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NFL CANADA


Are the Leafs pulling off good moves?
Mon, November 24, 2008

The Maple Leafs have traded Carlo Colaicovo and Alex Steen to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Lee Stempniak.

Stempniak, 25, a native of West Seneca, N.Y., scored 27 goals two seasons ago.

This season, he has three goals and 10 assists through 14 games.

Is this a good move for the Leafs? Have your say in our forum.

Colaiacovo, Steen dealt to Blues



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Cliff Fletcher can do all he wants. But till the Toronto Mapel Leeafs have an Ownership Group thats has more Interst in tthe pride of a Stanley Cup win and Not just maing Money they will never win the Stanley Cup. The Seasons Tickets holders are as much to blame as they keep buying faithfully every year reagardless of how lousy things are.


Darryl Lennox, 2008-08-27 19:58:13

I think the question is ludicrous. How could the Leafs have rebuilt already, they've only just begun. Ask the question after a couple more entry drafts and stop bullying the management team. Let Fletcher rebuild. It takes time.
Doug, 2008-08-27 18:30:20

A good job if they're aiming for a number one pick next year. They're right to blow it up and start over but I don't think that they have to run everyone out of town to save face. Aside from Kaberle how many of the top players on the Leafs are left from two years ago? Trading your top players would be great while rebuilding, but if they were getting nothing in return...?

What's left are mostly fringe NHLers or unproven prospects that might not be NHL worthy, or might break out on another team. Guys like this are hard to trade, the cap means many of this calibre are being forced out of the NHL and to Europe. There they can play more and likely get paid more. So getting value for them is wishful thinking, kind of a rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic scenario.

Personally, I'd have kept McCabe and Raycroft. Maybe get them counselling or earplugs to drown out the boobirds. Offer Mats a low salary (no no-trade clause however) with the lure of mentoring and maybe longterm coaching duties. Then he could be good trade bait late in the year if need be. Let him go out in a more dignified manner than Sittler was forced to.
Rick W., 2008-08-27 16:30:26

Nice analysis Amazed. Agree with everything you said. The only point I might comment on is 4) which, I think, is more in the line of wishful thinking.

The best bet among that crew to bring back even a draft pick is Ponikarovsky. With his size he'd be a nice 3rd or 4th line addition to a team stacked up front, and he'd be even valuable in that role with Toronto. IF they had any valid 1st or 2nd line players. So they'll likely hang onto him in the hope that, a couple of years down the line if and when they develop two good front lines, they can put back on the 3rd or 4th where he properly belongs, and where the experience gained by playing 1st and 2nd line minutes will make him a commodity worth having.

Colaiacovo has the raw talent to be a decent D - but the guy just can't avoid the DL and over the long haul that has become a drain on the roster. No one else would likely take him for that very reason.

Ian White is too small to be a Top 6 D anywhere, Devereaux has already been found wanting in three other cities, and ever since Williams scored a goal in each of his first 3 NHL games they've been waiting for this "juggernaut" to take over. It'll be a long wait. I doubt if there's a team out there would take any of this package.

As for Battaglia, wasn't he sent packing last season?
Gary O., 2008-08-27 14:36:02

The Leafs are are a joke they are a pathetic bunch of whiners
jimf, 2008-08-27 10:44:36

If this is the Laffs team come September it will be no better than 3rd last. Here is what Fletch did not do to rebuild:

1) He did not fire the old guard. The overweight and overpaid Mike Penny and the thin-lipped and inarticulate Dave Morrison, Directors of Pro and Amateur Scouting are incompetent, arrogant and unknowledgable. They should have been replaced long ago in order that better player decisions could be made.

2) He made a couple of poor free agent acquisitions - Finger was a terribly costly addition. He has no stamina and poor upper body strength and cannot clear guys from in front of the net. Perhaps it was a guy like Mike Penny who recommended him? Yes Fletch got Fingered. Players like Hollweg, Hagmann and Mayers are journeymen ie, non-impact 3rd liners. Poor Mikhail Grabovski, he has scored 3 NHL goals and now Fletch thinks he is ready for prime time?

3) Fletch did not replace lost firepower. Where are the goals that Tucker, McCabe and Sundin contributed going to come from? Certainly not from the new acquisitions nor from players like lusty Tlusty or that long time non-performer Ponikarovsky.

4) Fletch did not make any significant trades. Please show the backs of Carlo, Ian White, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Bates Battaglia, Williams and Devereaux. These guys just don't have any talent. Could Fletch not have traded them for a draft choice or two? A 6th rounder for all of them?

5) Fletch did not hang on to his draft choices as well as he could have eg. 2 draft choices for the 3 goal scorer Grabovski. What was he thinking? Grabovski is a small guy who could be a 2nd line forward in a couple of years time. So why give up 2 draft choices for him? Where is the upside? The Laffs will be losing steadily for the next 3 or 4 years with or without Grabovski.

Toskala is a good second string goalie and if called on to perform in 20 to 25 games he would do an adequate job. But he is not a top 10 goalie. There has to be a 10 ten goalie somewhere in the Laffs organization to give some hope for a better future. But at the present time there isn't. What is the point of talking about rebuilding when you squander your money on a guy like Finger, trade your future draft choices for players like Grabovski and Hollweg, rely on player advice from Morrison and Penny and expect players to perform at levels far beyond their capabilities? However, Fletch did make some good moves. Getting rid of Granato and bringing in, Wilson, Coates and Joe Nieuwendyk will be good over the long run. And trying to undo the contract mess created by the dimwitted JFJ with MCabe and Sundin was an unenviable task that he took on and did his best to sort out. Fletch was OK on the management side but showed he was out of date on player knowledge and salary cap manipulation. Out of 10, somewhere in the 6 to 7 range.

Its easy to predict another bad season for the Laffs. They haven't won in 41 years! This year will be no different. How can you go wrong with this prediction? They have no first line goal scoring forwards to compete with Ottawa or Montreal in their own division. How about Grabovski, Antropov and Ponikarovsky against Detroit? These three would not be outstanding in the AHL never mind the NHL. Moreover, Laffs do not have an outstanding goaltender and they really don't have any talent in the supporting cast.

So its real bad news for Laff fans unless Cliffhanger can pull off a miraculous trade or find 2 or 3 goal scorers before the puck drops come September.


Amazed at the audacity, 2008-08-27 10:22:28

The new Leafs team is just a bunch of new faces, with little to hope for. Sure they got rid of some players that should of been gone long ago; no thanks John! But the reality is that this team will struggle tremendously this year, and probably worst off. In afew days you will the departure of McCabe, and what will they get for him? From Fletcher,s record so far it pomises to be very little. With Sundin not a very likely return to Toronto (and even if he did, this team can never get better with the present pool they have anyway),... the prognosis is; NOT to make the playoffs one more time. Go Habs Go Sens!
Rick Malette, 2008-08-27 09:30:39

The link I took here asked if "you like Toronto's new look?"

I was hoping they had a new jersey or logo but I can't find anything on a new look.

Oh sure, there may be 10 new faces but the result is going to be the same.

Ottawa will be Ontario's only hope again this year.
Peter Michael, 2008-08-27 02:19:03

Rehire JFJ
Vince in Ottawa, 2008-08-20 08:10:05

Laffs haven't done a good job in handling Sundin. Should not have given him a no trade contract and should have gotten something for him 2 years ago. Ah that JFJ. What a manager.

Now that its too late to do anything else, Laffs should phone Sundin and tell him their $7M offer is off the table. With Sundin the Laffs are indeed a nuch better team. If he plays for them in 2008/9 he could move them up 4 or 5 notches in the standings - from 3rd worst to 8th worst record in the NHL. When looked at in this light it seems rather pointless. Laffs should just start accummulating draft choices and get some better scouts (fire Penny and Morrison) who can make better choices.
Laffing at the Laffs, 2008-08-19 09:34:26

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