Jets and Maple Leafs Rumors – St. Patrick’s Day 2012.

Could the Jets be buyers this summer, and could they re-sign Eric Fehr? Should the Leafs trade Phil Kessel or Jake Gardiner?

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Gary Lawless recently reported Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s cautious approach in last summer’s free agent market has left the club well-positioned to become “buyers” this summer,depending upon the market and the quality of the players available.

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe recently reported Jets struggling forward Eric Fehr, a restricted free agent this summer, may be running out of chances to earn a new contract with the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cheveldayoff’s focus will be upon re-signing RFAs Ondrej Pavelec and Evander Kane, and perhaps UFAs Chris Mason, Kyle Wellwood and Tanner Glass. With over $36 million invested in 13 players, the Jets GM is well-positioned to re-sign his key players and still have cap space to bolster his lineup via trades or free agency.  He could be a buyer, but unless he’s willing to up his payroll substantially for next season, he might be content to add second-tier talent. As for Fehr, I daresay he’ll end up being signed by another club, as things just didn’t work out as hoped for him.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan listed five things Leafs GM Brian Burke should think twice about, like trading Phil Kessel, packaging Jake Gardiner to get Rick Nash, maintaining the status quo in goal, or overspending in the free agent market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Three of those four are easy to do.  Given the lack of quality depth in this summer’s UFA market for goalies, and the potentially high cost of landing an upgrade via trade, maintaining the status quo in goal could be a realistic possibility.


  1. JETS
    One aquisition that wont cost them anything is Mark Shiefle back in a full time roll next year !!
    There is little in top quality free agency right across the board for the Jets to make serious moves on for long term …….if Pheonix does not get an Owner there could be potential that it looses its Franchise and the players would then become available and add to the mix some high quality players for the Jets to look at ……

    Ekman Larson ,Mike Smith , and Martin Hanzal would be good addittions

    From free agency some good support role players could be :

    Chris Kelly
    Greg Campbell
    Brandon Prust
    Dom Moore
    Mike Ziggomanis
    Joken Hecht

    First off the Leafs should never had traded Kieth Aulie ……..there was no need to move him for Ashton .NONE!!!!
    This puts the Leafs defence at a disadvantage now as they loose a very physical big body d man that they very desperately need who is very young and very determined to be good.

    Why they signed Liles to a 3 year deal is beyond me as well ……not very physical and has not panned out on the offence side of things and the power play has suffered along with that.

    Jake Gardner is a free wheeling d man who used to play the his natural position of wing almost his whole life and is only an asset if he is allowed to rush the puck…..but his defensive side hurts the Leafs most times however he is a good puck mover up the ice, but not very physical !

    The only way Id trade Gardner is if I can get a big experienced body back i.e. Shea Weber …Suter as the leafs need some stay at home smart d men…to get offence out of a trade for Gardner is not necesary as they can move out other pieces for that !

    The problem now is that the Leafs have traded a prime d man in Aulie and this complicates any defesnman trade deals moving forward if they are not going to get a big experienced D man back somehow.

    Gardners trade value should be high even a year from now if he improves just a little bit so there would be no reason he gets moved ……

    I hope that Gardner follows in the foot steps of Erik Karlson in Ottawa as they seem to be very similar players …….

    As for Kessel ive exasperated that conversation ….trade him !!!

  2. Chris, I don’t mind the Aulie/Ashton swap. I liked Aulie, but Ashton has proven to be a pretty gritty winger. The Leafs have way more depth in the prospect pool at defence…we needed an NHL ready forward prospect outside of Kadri/Colborne. In the near future, a third line with Ashton, Colborne, Ross (probably all a year or two away) seems like a good mix of offence and grit. I think the trade was a neccessary evil, but I can’t fault you for wondering why.
    The Leafs focus should be to add a top teir forward (if possible), add size to top 6, and find a frigin goaltender. Reimer had shown flashes of brilliance, but is too young to carry the fort. We need a quality goaltender to carry the reigns when/if Riems faulters. I would love to make a trade for Schneider, but that’s a long shot. If it comes to picking up a free agent goalie my wishlist is 1) Emery 2) Nabokov 3) Montoya.

  3. I doubt washington is going to resign their goalie and he would be a nice pick up for the leafs

  4. I think the Jets have a bright future. Lots of reasons to think they will keep improving, especially with Evander Kane taking a big step forward this year. If Schiefle is ready next year he could be a big help, but it’s probably premature to expect him to be an immediate star. Seems like he’s got plenty of potential though.

    @Chris If the Coyotes can’t survive in Phoenix I don’t think all their players just become available. As I understand it, there’s plenty of interested owners, just not ones that want to keep the team in Phoenix. So they would move to one of the many speculated places (Seattle, Hamilton, 2nd Toronto team, etc.), before simply folding and adding 30 something players to free agency. Don’t think that’s how it works….

  5. Aulie was horrible plus minus for the marlies this year(-8). I liked him too. For a big body We needed more fight like last year. He might take some time to get better however the leafs have too many of those projects. It is disapointing that we are not able to see more of the youth get called up. I do hope the marlies do well in the playoffs I think that will be exciting. This is what Brian Burke is building, This is what they helped build for Vancouver and the ducks, it may be Vancouvers time this year to win it all or will they become the next San Jose. Battle of Ontario, Ottawa doing well I think they are well coached for a young team. Leafs need to step up and and fight for there own jobs next year as the youth on the team looks promising. No long term contacts equals winning keep the players hungry. Keep Kessel offence players are needed in this borning NHL. Jagr should of never of been playing defence. More Run and Gun and Barn Burners please. Save the blocking of shots to the goalies and the final minutes or OT. got to go.

  6. @ Durt mcHurt

    I know you disagree with almost everything I post and thats fine !!!!

    Ashton is …..o.k . young …but just o.k.!!!!!

    He couldnt make a team dying for forward help in Tampa which was ripe with opportunity for him to be on that team right now!!!!!

    Aulie was paird with Phaneuf last year on the top d line most nights and plays real physical stay at home BIG BODY…hes going to be a very very good shut down d man one which the Leafs lack and need ……..

    With the major digression of Luke Schenn, Komisarek over the hill ……and the little physical play of Gardner and Liles and the lack of point production the Leafs are last in the confrence for goals against …….but close to top of the confrence for goals for the last thing they needed was another 20 year old 3rd line winger …they need a solid 1 – 2 Defensmen ….and the present core is not very good …..its called…. smoke and mirrors ….and it got exposed over the last 20 games and came to the surface ….the reality is the Leafs defence are not very good !!!!

    Theres a kid in the farm team MIKUS …whom I like alot ….I watch alot of Marlie games and hes a good asset can play physical and likes to move the play with skating the puck and is more of a winger mentality …hope he gets a shot !! along with Holzer at some point !!! Blacker is stiill another year away !

    There are rumblings that Colborne may never make it in the NHL ..he has good size but is not a very good skater ….I like him……. but he may never get his true shot …….

    Nabakov would be a good asset to have at a minimal cost

    Emery or Montoya is not any upgrade to the present foundation in Goal for the Leafs …..would like to se Jusi Rynass for a stretch of games like Scrivens got this year to see what hes all about ….hes a fast goalie with the legs and side to side big guy too!!!

    Scrivens has struggled this year and was sent to the ECHL at one point due to his bad performance when sent back from th NHL ….these guys are the same as Montoya ..Emery and have more to give in being young ….

    The unfortunate REALITY is that the Leafs are now at the cap ….and can only improve there team via TRADES ….they have no room any other way unless they move out contracts ……I dont understand why Brian Burke signed guys last year when this next year he would have had around $35 million to spend if he played his youth from the Marlies this year and sat pat for just one year ……now hes screwed …….very bad management with a short term mentality …….Burke has actually destroyed this team ….YES YES YES
    I know everyone is going to say well he stocked his cupboards … he hasnt …it just looks that way …..most of all the succesful players on the team were JFJ aqusitions ……theres no way he can sign Parise or nash or Weber now unless he moves out money and starts to play the younger guys moving forward ….he has no choice now ….he tried the bubble gum approach and that did not work …..Kadri should have played all this year and helped him with the mistakes as he progressed ..and Iam afraid they may have ruined him too in this process …they have shown very little interest in him …I think hes a gamer …..and would have had more points than that shitty Connolly for sure ……..

    Was kind of hoping the Jets would make it in the playoffs if the Leafs werent ….wow it would have been awesome to see that rink in the post season in Winnipeg !!!!

    Thank goodness Crosby is back …….now that the Leafs have tanked ….I can actually cheer for someone and a team !

    Go Pens !!!!

    Sincerely disgrunteled Leaf fan !

  7. Just a comment about prospects. Though everyone’s guilty of doing this, we as fans can’t possibly say with any amount of accuracy that someone is NHL ready or should be playing in the NHL when the GM and scouts of the team doesn’t think so. I’m willing to bet there isn’t a single fan out there (or on this site) who knows more about a prospect than the people who watch him skate, workout, interact with him, etc, every single day.

    Sometimes it’s a matter of the role that player fills. For instance, using the team I know best (Blackhawks), I might say that Jeremy Morin is NHL ready. But he is a top 6 player, regardless of the team he’s on that’s his role. Talented forward, plays the power play, scores goals. If there’s not a spot for him on the top 6, then let him play top 6 minutes in Rockford instead of trying to shutdown the best players on other teams as a 3rd liner, playing 11 minutes a game. Won’t do any good for his development.

    Just an example, but there’s plenty of scenarios like these. GM’s know what they’re doing with prospects most of the time. And it’s not just a GM usually, but a collection of good hockey minds (coaches, assistant gm’s, player development scouts, etc.)

  8. @ Diceman

    Agree 100%

    Well that sums it up to terrible miss management of players …..assets and free agent signings … its a mis mash …and most of the assets are very well overated!

  9. I have to say, trading Kessel might be good for the Leafs if the return is good. Trading Kessel + for rick Nash would be a VERY bad move. You would get another year the same result, albeit produced in a different way. IF Burke could add Nash and keep Kessel, that would be an improved team. The idea is that the Leafs need to add talent, and regardless of how you feel, Kessel does add talent, not enough of course, but his loss weakens the Leafs in a way the Nash does not replace in a ways that is overwhelming. No idea who they should get or how to improve that team, but trading Kessel for Nash is not the answer IMO.

  10. I’m lov’in Aulie in Tampa Bay!!!!!

  11. No one talks about him much but a guy I love to watch now and it took him a while to finally play this way is Blake Wheeler. The guy has good hands size and speed. There would be very few teams who couldn’t use this guy now. If I were. Burke that be a guy on my wish list. The jets should be very pleased with that trade they made with boston last year.

  12. Chris I wouldn’t say I was disagreeing with you on the Tampa/TO swap, I was just arguing that it was a necessary evil. We have a lot of defensive prospect depth, we could use another forward. There is a pretty good chance that Tampa may end up winning that trade.
    Now for your rebuttle, I disagree. Tampa wasn’t hurting for forwards. Their problem is defence/goaltending. They addressed their need, we addressed ours. Also, our defense is good, I would say our system was flawed. Guys like Komi and Schenn aren’t built for a north/south game. They’re gritty guys who I think will flourish a bit more with Carlyle’s system…I could be wrong, I guess we’ll see. And I think you’re over-valuing Scrivens. I agree the kid has talent, but how is Emery not an upgrade over him? Scrivens is still a few years away from us even knowing if he has a shot. Too much pressure in TO for a young goalie. We need a vet. I probably should have put Gus as my number 4, I see him and Montoya having bright futures (but that’s not even garaunteed, and they’re not there yet) Emery is a veteran guy, someone who can hold down the fort if needed. He can be a backup or first stringer. Plus he’ll piss off Ottawa fans…perfect fit.

  13. Aulie was having a poor season in the AHL, and in TO as well. Burkie had a logjam on D, and needed a big body up front. Good trade for both teams there.

    JML was having a great season offensively prior to being concussed, and was rewarded with the new contract. I really don’t see how anyone can say he failed in that way. He was only out a short time, and did not have his old game back when he returned. Compare that to Crosby, how did have his game back when he returned… but he was out for a long time. The same could be said for Reimer. Had those two concussions, and throw in the Armstrong too, (who alsways improved the LEafs record when in the lineup), had those concussions not happened, I don’t think you would have as many nay sayers as we there are at the moment.

    Take 3 vital cogs out of any team, one of them being your #1 goalie, and I doubt many will not suffer. That’s not an excuse, simply a wake up call. You can’t jude, and say fire Burke (not sayig anyone HERE suggested that) because of key injuries. Now Lupul and Kulemin gone too… easy to see why the team has failed when you look into it instead of just a cursory glace and quck answer. Now remove Kessel too… last place by far.

  14. @Chris
    It looks like the cap could go north of $70.0M so once the Leafs resign all their RFA’s they look like they will have about $6.0 to $7.0M to sign a goalie and a UFA forward. That number is only that low if they don’t move out a bad contract.

    It’s funny how Burke had no issues with dumping Finger into the minors at $3.5M because it was a JFJ signing but has never even come close to doing it with Komisarek even though he’s bee just as bad or worse at times. He’s such a hypocrite.

  15. Now granted I only became a Jets fan specifically on Friday night,but I’d like to see them get a “name” forward star. It would help them out on ice and in the business side too. I’ve never regarded Andrew Ladd up there with Crosby or Toews, though a great player.

    I know the cost it could take may be too rich for the underdog type, smaller market team they are, but it seems to me like the last missing piece. They got a promising young goalie, defense super star in Buff, good prospects. They just need that big offensive star. A Nash-type guy, though he seems out of their reach. Parise would be good but the same probelm as Nash as him. Maybe look at 2013 class and try to shoot for Getzlaf or Perry, hoping they split intrests in ANA.

  16. Beergoggles, your not gonna change your name to fireburke are you?

  17. @ Durt – Agree with all that you have said, although I am not sold on your Goalie solution, but it all comes down to who is made available. I thought Evans point about Vokoun was interesting.

    @ Evan- Your post about Washington’s goalie ( I assume you meant Vokoun ). He has typically played with run and gun teams with a focus on offense ( Nashville in the earlier days, Florida before Dale Tallon with Craig Ramsay, and now Washington) A Defence oriented team, with the key component being structure and specified roles might be good for him. The only other one who might fit in is Hedberg in New Jersey. He and Brodeur are both UFA’s and if Marty resigns, Johan has to take a back seat again. He would be affordable and might jump at the chance to play up to 40 games.

    @ Beergoggles – Finger was mediocre and way overpaid. No one would take him in trade. Komisarek is mediocre and overpaid. Good luck with anyone taking him for 2 more years after this at 4.5 million. Add to that he has a NTC / NMC, to add leg irons to the handcuffs. And Burke thinks this guy brings so many intangibles to the team that we would never see.Burke has no qualms about trading players he loves, like Francois Beauchemin. If there is a deal out there to move Komisarek that makes sense, he will do it in a heartbeat. But if not, as Durt says, maybe Carlyle can do enough with him to make it stomach-able.

  18. Leafs already lost two 1st rounders for Kessel (Seguin and Hamiton), so they’ll never get that back in value trading Kessel. Stick with rebuilding within and any UFA’s. Main focus is a goalie, Nabokov or Bernier ! Get rid of high overpaid contracts like Komisarek. Now i know how the NY Islanders fans feel like-losing,bad trades and draft picks.