Toronto Sun hockey columnist Mike Zeisberger provides his take on the deal between the Maple Leafs and St. Louis Blues yesterday.
LEAFS GET: F Lee Stempniak
BLUES GET: D Carlo Colaiacovo, F Alex Steen
THE LOWDOWN: Colaiacovo and Steen needed a change of scenery. When Colaiacovo was publicly slagged by coach Ron Wilson last week for not being in shape, it was a clear indication he had fallen out of favour with management. Truth be told, general manager C liff Fletcher had not been enthralled with either player. Colaiacovo had the reputation of being soft and brittle; Steen was seen as an underachiever. Stempniak dropped from 27 goals in 2006-07 to 13 last season but spent the summer in St. Louis rededicating himself to the sport and came to training camp in great shape. He was averaging almost a point per outing (13 points in 14 games) so far this season.
ZEISBERGER'S TAKE: The Leafs win this one. Stempniak, at least, has shown more of an upside and, at 25, is the type of young skilled player the Leafs covet. Colaiacovo and Steen might flourish with a change of address, but that remains to be seen.