Is there anyone left who can score?

LANCE HORNBY, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:12 PM ET

The Maple Leafs offence took another hit with the trades made the past 48 hours, but the scouting department was doing high-fives after Wednesday’s deadline.

The dealing of Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak took 33 goals out of an offence already ranked 24th, but in a lost season, that’s not going to matter much.

Toronto did end the day with two extra picks, its series of small deals bringing the 2010 total to one third-rounder, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and two in the seventh.

“I’ll take a plus-two,” amateur scouting director Dave Morrison said with a laugh.

The hole remains in the first and second slots, now owned by Boston after the Phil Kessel trade.

General manager Brian Burke stood by the deal and, if unable to replace the picks by June, hinted the Leafs would once more be active in the college free-agent route — “like finding a wallet,” he said.

In trading Stempniak and his 29 points, Burke parted ways with the last player Cliff Fletcher acquired prior to handing over the office keys early last season.

“I don’t think that made a difference, or that I was a bad guy or anything,” the Phoenix-bound Stempniak said. “I wish I could’ve done more here (25 goals in almost two full seasons after more than 50 in three years with St. Louis). When I first got here, I was in shock at being traded, but I was much better this year.”

Coach Ron Wilson will make do with scant forward lines for now, with Tyler Bozak centring Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin leading into Thursday’s game in Boston. Rookie Luca Caputi’s place is yet to be determined.

“We don’t have many players who can score, but it’s an opportunity for a lot of people,” Wilson said.

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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