Latest on the Red Wings, Canucks and Penguins – April 21, 2012.

Changes could be coming to the Detroit Red Wings this summer, dismissing speculation Roberto Luongo could be dealt this summer to the Maple Leafs, and the reason the Penguins are expected to re-sign Jordan Staal.

 

Changes coming for Red Wings this summer.

MLIVE.COM: Brendan Savage reports questions surround some of the Detroit Red Wings key players, such as pending UFAs Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart, Jiri Hudler and Tomas Holmstrom. Lidstrom will soon turn 42, was hampered by a late-season ankle injury, and could contemplate retirement, though if he decides to return for another season, he’d be welcomed back with open arms. Age seemed to be catching up with 39-year-old Holmstrom, who was relegated to the fourth line and the power-play. Hudler said he’d prefer to remain a Red Wing, while Stuart is expected to move on, perhaps signing with a team closer to his California-based family.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports Red Wings coach Mike Babcock singled out a lack of forward depth as one reason the club fell short against the Nashville Predators. St. James also speculated on the futures of Lidstrom, Holmstrom, Hudler and Stuart.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie believes Red Wings management will spend in this summer’s UFA market, regardless of Lidstrom’s status, suggesting New Jersey’s Zach Parise and Nashville’s Ryan Suter could be targets if they opt to test this summer’s UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Before I get started, anyone who seriously suggests Lidstrom could sign with another NHL team is being ridiculous. If Lidstrom returns for another NHL season, it’ll only be with the Red Wings, who’ll be more than happy to bring him back, even if they were to sign a big ticket blueliner like Suter. 

The Wings currently have over $43 million invested in 17 players, and always keep pace with the cap ceiling, which could be between $60-$64 million for next season if the league successfully reduces the players share of revenue down to fifty percent, so expect them to aggressively pursue Parise and Suter if they become UFAs on July 1st.  I daresay Holmstrom is done, and could move on to a job within the Wings organization. Hudler could be re-signed, provided his salary demands aren’t extravagant, while Stuart is definitely goin’ to California, or as close to that state and his family as possible. I would also expect the Wings to sign Parise and/or Suter to heavily front- loaded, cap-friendly deals, provided they can woo either guy to Detroit. If they hit the market, I believe the Wings would be the favorites to sign them.

NATIONAL POST: Michael Traikos dismisses the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs acquiring Robert Luongo from the Vancouver Canucks, citing the bad blood between the respective managements of both teams.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A lot of folks are dreaming up trade destinations for Luongo, with the Leafs among them. If Leafs GM Brian Burke were really keen to get Luongo, I’m sure he and Canucks GM Mike Gillis could put aside their mutual distaste for each other and talk deal. That being said, there’s a number of stumbling blocks here.

First and foremost, Luongo’s “no-trade” clause, giving him full control over where the Canucks could trade him, and we don’t know if Toronto would be among his preferred destinations. There’s a good chance he’d want no part of the pressure of playing in “Leafs Nation”. Second, that expensive, long-term contract, while not impossible to move, will be difficult for a number of teams to swallow, including the Leafs, who’d have to shed about $6 million per season to comfortably absorb it. Third, Gillis wouldn’t just give Luongo away. Yes, he’ll want to free up payroll by moving Luongo, but Gillis would want at least a first round pick, along with a couple of top prospects and/or promising young players, like Jake Gardiner or Nazem Kadri, as part of the return.

Right now, Luongo isn’t on the market, and we don’t know for certain if he will be, let alone if there’s a deal which would please everyone, including Luongo. That’s the reality. Feel free to speculate for the next couple of months, but try to keep those factors in mind when dreaming up trade scenarios, especially those which would  bring “Bobby Lu” to Toronto.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Dejan Kovacevic points out the reasons why he believes the Penguins will re-sign Jordan Staal to a long-term extension before his current contract expires next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Staal demands a trade, and I don’t believe for a minute he wants out of Pittsburgh, I concur with Kovacevic. Yes, there’s could be some changes if the Penguins get bounced early from this year’s playoffs, but I don’t believe they’ll involve Staal.

52 Comments

  1. And that is why no Luongo for TBay.

  2. People need to stop putting Gardiner in every trade scenario. He’s not our only asset and he isn’t going anywhere…I don’t care who the new flavor of the month is.

  3. Vancouver

    Luongo will ONLY go to the Bolts or the Panthers end of story !!

    Detroit

    They will sign BOTH Suter & Parise as they are very good friends and both want to play for a contender every year whioch detroit always is not to Mention they are the best run team in Pro Sports , so why not …it will happen and they will have the money ….it was very obvious they need a SUTER and a Parise type guy on the team for sure !!!
    Lidstrum was pointless in the series and there was no speed and toughness upfront …enough said !

    LEAFS

    They are screwed plain and simple !!!!!

    I M O …they should do absolutely everything & anything to aquire Shea Weber as there top priority then a goalie.
    Throw the bank at Weber long term !!!

    If Burke was smart Gardner would be in play for a trade!!

    After watching the first round so far they could never compete with any of these playoff teams in a gruelling series and even more reason to captalize on Phil Kessel and trade him for multiple pieces that can upgrade in size, grit and skill for long term and playoff capability becuase Kessel will vanish in a series like Philly or Pitt and thats who they will eventually play in that divison playoffs IF AND WHEN THEY GET THERE !!!!
    Has to happen !

  4. NOTE :

    The biggest thing against the leafs this offseason is not what they are going to do ….BUT how good is every other team going to get ….thats the scary part !!!!!

    There is a possibility they finish close to last again next year and more of a posibility that as the other teams get better …the playoffs become further of a chance !!!

  5. Slap I honestly didn’t know you were a Leaf fan untill you said so yesterday. Your comments seem to be a little merose at times. I won’t slam on your opinions, your entittled to that. But try being a little more patient with our young players. We’re not as screwed as you think. We Need a goalie, a big two way center, and tinkering with the second and third line. We have our problems yes, but we have quite a few young players that haven’t hit their potential yet. Just be patient my dude.

  6. @ Slap & Shot. Are you a GM? No, you’re just like us so stop talking in absolutes. You wanna know an absolute? Yzerman would not take that ridiculous contract when he already stuck with Lecavalier’s. Yzerman wants younger and @ 33 Luongo isn’t younger and paying till he’s 43 is flap out stupid for him to do. We have 3 quality prospects in Helenius, Janus and Tokarski so signing a Vokoun or someone similar is much more likely. Please stop telling everyone that you know better then one of the most able hockey minds in the game today.

  7. @ Bolts nation

    Sorry !

    Luongo will only approve a deal to return to the Panthers !!!!

    @ Durt

    …YEP Leafs fan die hard 40 years !!!
    I really dont like a lot the Leafs have done and definitely dont like how they handle the fans and there youg stars i.e Kadri…Scrivens ..Holzer ….
    Idont like that Burke has not admitted to his mistakes and hes made a ton ….

    The biggest problem now is that they are not in line with kessels strides and have no support after the 1st line ..the defense is terrivble for the dollar value and can not compete with the other teams top lines …The goaltending is horad ….Riemer is NOT the guy …I like him but he is not a guy who will steal you a playoff series as he could not even stop a land slide this season by winning one game in 10 to right the ship even a little.
    They over spect on shit and are stuck with $20 million in shity players when they really need help in so many areas !!!

    I really see them dead last this year coming !!!

  8. Spec, I usually agree with you, but I have to say I think that *if* Gillis trades Luongo, it will be for substantially less than a first and a couple of top prospects/young guys.

    I don’t think they’d have trouble unloading Luongo, but it is a pretty crappy contract and other teams will know the Canucks are not dealing from a position of strength.

    I think the Canucks can get some good value for Lu, but only if they take a bad contract back. I think the value for him would be more like a 2nd rounder, a solid 2nd liner OR top 3 defenseman, a mid-grade prospect, and an overpaid forward.

    Just my opinion of course!

    Side note: I agree that if Luongo is traded (again, that’s an “if”) he would not want to go to Columbus or probably Toronto (due to the media). However, he wants to be a #1 – if he found out that those are the only teams willing to trade for him, I think he’d give in and say yes.

    (And I think CBJ makes the most sense, and he’ll probably end up there)

  9. I agree that Detroit has a very good chance in getting both Parise & Suter. Detroit is always considered a contender and both want to play for one. Detroit is also the best run team in the league.

    As for the Leafs throwing the bank at Weber.. it would have to be by offer sheet as he is an RFA I believe. Suter is the UFA.

  10. @ Paddy

    Luongo has one of the most complex contracts in NHL history …..he had so many clauses and things HE WANTED that a list would take up this whole post …he is a CONTROL FREAK ….one thing in his contract is he even has the last say who will be his back over the years… TRUE!!!

    So in saying that he negotiated a no trade clasue for a reason…..and the only reason …so he chooses where he wants to go ….and there will be only one area he will return to I M O due to this clause …and thats to be as close to his family as possible if he has that choice which now he does ..it does not make sense for a Goalie of his stature to choose to play for a last place team when he has the capability in the right atmosphere to get a team deep and back to the finals …..and Florida is on pace to accomplish this in 2-3 years and he would be the perfect fit to do this job there ……

    Every team has that one contract that is shity but not many teams have an elite Goalie and florida needs one BIGTIME …they can manage his contract well because for the next 4 -5 years they will have many new rookies on that team that will be cpoming in with entry level contracts and it wont handcuff the team at all …

    PLUS ….Dave Tallon has a huge respect for Veteran presence and he will need that in goal for the next 5 years and Lou is that guy!!!!

  11. @ Sandy

    On Weber ..Iam talking major trade and then sign him BIG and lock him up !!

    But If I was Burke …I would put in an Offer sheet on Weber …ABSOLUTELY…..if he cant make a deal with Nashville this year that would include this years first rounder!

    • Slap, an offer sheet would not include this years first. The draft is in June and Weber (and all pending RFA’s) will not be availible to offer sheet untill July 1. (if they are eligible for an offer sheet that is)

  12. “and we don’t know if Toronto would be among his preferred destinations. There’s a good chance he’d want no part of the pressure of playing in “Leafs Nation”.”

    Give me a break. As if the pressure of playing a regular season with the Leafs is worse than playing in the Olympic Games or even the playoffs anywhere in Canada for that matter. Don’t buy it at all–it’s an excuse by Leafs management.

    On the other hand, would he waive his NTC to go to a NHL bottom dweller? Doubt it, unless management seriously persuades him.

    • Absolutely agree. The pressure to not make the play-offs, again, must be tremendous.

  13. @ DURT …..

    The IIHF torny is coming up very soon ….I think this will give you a very good insight as to how bad Luke Schenn & Phaneuf really are …….they will be playing with top end talent here …..

    so the excuse that they are on a bad leafs team will fall very short here ….they are both highly overated and really bad defenseively …..both have hands of stone soft in front and Dion cant hit the net on the P P for the life of his …….why they dont have Franson on the powerplay for his shot accuracy is beyond me !!! Really !!!

  14. @ Durt

    …yes I know I minced words …I was suggesting to offer an offer sheet if Nashville wouldnt take this years first rounder and pieces in a trade first …THEN make an offer sheet !!

    • I bet Poille would love if somebody offer sheeted Weber, they would match in a heartbeat and be able to keep him long term, especially if they lose Suter. The only way Weber can free himself from Nashville (if that’s his choice) he just has to take a one year deal and leave at the end. (I forget if that means he gets qualified or goes to arbitration) either way Poile will match any offer sheet.

  15. I think Jordan Staal will think about other options. He will never get the ice time he deserves behind Crosby and Malkin.

    Luongo did not like the pressure in Vancouver, how would he ever like it in Toronto which could be even worse?

    Luongo, if ever traded, goes to either Columbus or Colorado. I would consider NJ, TB, Anaheim, SJ as maybes.

  16. I’m a black hawks fan but secondly a hockey fan. T.O was 6th in the east up to the trade dead line. Even if they played 500 hockey they probably would have made the playoffs.

    They need a number 1 center, they need a # 1 goalie to ride, not a 1a, 1b goalie system.

    I don’t think they have a huge problem. Their problem is #1 centers and #1 goalies are so hard to come by. Plus they are the 2nd youngest team in the league. I don’t understand how the 2nd youngest team in the league can have so much pressure put on them.

    Plus Wilson is terrible young player coach. If you OTR or any interview by retired NHLers they will tear Wilson apart for the way he treats young players.

    This UFA is weak.

    The Preds are going to go deep this year, I can see suter and weber both resigning there.

    and @ Slap

    Phaneuf is so bad he’s one of the top point getters for Dmen since the lockout. I think in the top 5.

    And I’m not a Leaf fan, and I have a better out look for your team then you.

  17. @Slap – good argument for Luongo going to Florida; I definitely think that option is in play!

    And yes, his contract is crazy – so many clauses! Some of those might make it more open for him to be traded to a greater number of teams.

    @Sean – I totally agree that Luongo has no interest in going to CBJ at the moment… but if that’s the only team that comes knocking (with a deal the Canucks would accept), I think he’d go eventually. He needs to go wherever he can be a #1 – he has an NTC, but he also can’t force himself to be traded to a team like Tampa that might simply not want him.

    Plus, what better boost to someone’s ego than to be able to make a cellar dweller a playoff team?

    (because one of the reasons CBJ is so awful is the goaltending – shore that up and trade Nash for something good parts and who knows?)

  18. Listen everyone.

    If Nashville gets to the finals or at least into the next round, expect them to do everything in their power as an organization to keep Suter.

    Same goes for Jersey, if they can go through the Panthers, and then maybe another round, watch the Devils try everything to keep him.

    Both are scenarios I could see possibly happening (Jersey should be up 3-1 if they didn’t fall apart in game 3). Also for the Detroit speculation…

    If Detroit were to land both Parise and Suter, I have a feeling that would be the start of the decline in Michigan. Although those two players are world class (Both are probably in the top 5 American born players playing in the NHL currently) it would be weird seeing Detroit grab a couple stars that they haven’t selected in the 5th round and groomed into being an NHL all-star.
    Also, the big free agent spending spree seems to be the downfall of many teams. Where a team seems to be one piece away, and then ends up doing worse because of their signings.

    Also, Burke will never throw an offer sheet at anyone. It happened to him, and it pretty much black-listed Lowe and the Oilers for a good three-four seasons.

    If Roberto is moved, it will be back to where he came from in Florida. Simply because you could have a plug (Jose Theodore) playing there and putting up great stats with the type of game they play. It’s going to be funny if he does move and then puts up these monster stats from playing in FLA, and you have Vancouver fans going nuts (I truly believe that this was their last year to win a cup with the team they have, remember, they don’t go 8/10 with 17 out of a possible 20 points in the last ten games of the season… they aren’t first seed/presidents trophy… also, 8 of those last ten games were against non-playoff teams that they barely were able to squeeze through).

  19. @ Eddie

    that Phaneuf stat was inflated by the success he had in the first couple of years in the league when he was a FORCE ….I am sorry but Ive watched enough over the last 2 years to now know the difference between his game ….he is not very good and his stats are not refective of his poor positional play …his lack of speed …hsi getting beat to the outside EVERY time ..his softness in front of the net …and he HORABLE point shot that is head hunting every time …..sorry I ws excited of having this guy but now watching him night in and night out its plain to see why they chose Giordano in Calgary instead ….hes a better smart positional player ….simple!!!

    By the way you robbed us the Stallberg deal ….wish he was a leaf…

    • I believe most of T.O’s/players problems where Wilson lack of a system.

      We’ll see if I’m right or wrong this season.

  20. @ slap I think I can safely say any sane leaf fan should hope Burke doesn’t sign weber to a huge offer sheet. It would cost them the $7+ mill you sign him for plus what 4 1st round picks.,.. Ya good idea

  21. Burke will not extend any offer sheets or take on any long term contracts (over 5 or 6 years). He has time and time again shit on anyone that attempts to sign a player on a long term deal to reduce the cap hit or sign a RFA on an offer sheet so no point in talking about those senerios.

    I think slap is so down on the Leafs not just because of where they finished but how they got massacred in Boston 3 or 4 times and by a few other big bodied teams this year. I tend to agree when you get out scored 8-0, 7-0 by Boston and 7 – 1 by Philly you tend to lose confidence in the entire line up especially when your best players are out classed, out played and completely disappear. While I agree with Durt’s arguement about letting the youth develop I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle of Durt and Slap’s idea of what to do with the team.

    Suter would be a great addition to the Wings. I can’t see them landing both Suter and Parise though.

  22. Re Luongo: I agree with some of the comments made here, and certainly that CLS might be the club most in need of his services. I might also put EDM in that category, but a deal there is unlikely given they are in the same division. TO has a need, but the contract is of course an issue for a team right at the cap. NYI have a goalie carousel but it seems like Nabokov will extend. TB have a genuine need and, with respect to Tokarski, he’s a top 25 goalie prospect (not a top 5) and it’ll be years (if ever) before he can backstop at Lu’s level. FLR have Markstrom ready to crack the squad full time next year, so that’s not a option they’ll likely pursue.

  23. Eddie how dare you speak logic! What are you Vulcan? Sorry I don’t listen to martians lol!
    Seriously, I pretty much agree with everything you said, spot on brother.

  24. Athletes have pride, and Luongo is no different. I see that he would accept a trade to somewhere where he will be the clear #1 rather than split time with Schneider. His contract is long, so another long contract would be coming back in return. I think that Florida or Columbus are the likely destinations (and I do think he’ll agree to CBJ for the above mentioned reason.

  25. DETROIT

    Clearly would be a top notch contender for both Parise and Suter who I believe would sign below market value to play for the Wings. Lidstrom had a good year, might have one more in the tank and I would be he waits a bit first. If the Wings bring in Parise and Suter, than he could sign an even cheap contract and play one last year as that is a cup team for sure. I also wouldn’t rule out that the Wings pitch to Semin if they feel Parise is too much or can’t bring him in.

    I don’t believe Holmstrom, Hudler, or Stuart will be back.Helm, Adbs, and Quincey will get new deals though. I also question what the Wings are going to do in goal, is Joey MacDonald their guy for back up or do they pitch to a guy like Harding to have a very stable 1,2 in net. Also believe that the Wings will looks for that clean grit this offseason, someone who checks hard but plays smart.

    Either way if the big two UFA’s do land in Detroit, expect another cup in the Motor City.

    LUONGO

    Luongo controls his fate. IF he is going to be moved then I would expect that is communicated to him in advance and they ask him to provide a list of teams to deal with. I will agree Florida will be on that list, but I don’t know beyond that. I do think it will also take a decent return, but not quite as big as what is being said.

    LEAFS

    Please just stay the course. Why? I want to see them finish dead last. This is what we need to happen, rebuild while we have picks. With a 5th OA this year if we happen to finish last next year (MACKINNON) then we’ve truly got a rebuild going. Not too mention, Connolly, Lombardi, MacArthur, and Armstrong would all be coming off our books and Komi would be down to a one year and moveable contract!

    If Leafs nation is patient we can watch at the end of next season as $15 million (at least) drop off of our books. If you can find takers via trade before that then surely you do that. But you be patient with your youth, develop them and get them ready for the year after. You add too top 5 picks over this year and next and you maybe make some trades along the way and suddenly things don’t look so bad in TO.

  26. @ Eddie
    @ Durt
    @ Beergoogles

    Weber is quite possibly the best player in the game right now and moving forward hes a plus 20 something and has made Hamhuise and Franson look stupid playing for other teams ….

    Hes a franchise player a big d man and is a Pronger in the making with a hell of a scoring upside than Pronger …..anything after a 10 spot in the darft is a crap shoot anyways as per the top 30 every year where as only 10 players usually go on to make an impact any ways …Iam sorry I know it sound ubsurd but hes worth every penney and every draft pick …you can build around this guy and succede often…you can recoupe some of the draft picks by trading Kessel and Phaneuf and Schenn and at the same time getting players to help in thos multi player trades Kessel will bring 2 players and a pick ….Dion will bring a player and a pick or 2 players and Schenn will bring in a pick or roster player so there is ways to skin a cat …but WEBER is the guy Burke should have his sights on …

  27. with a no trade clause Luongo has ultimate control on where he goes but he has no control over how many starts he gets in Vancouver should he stay. Gillis has gone on the record saying as a policy the club won’t ask players to waive no trade clauses but will honor requests to be traded by players. it’s clear the way to get Luongo to request a trade is to tell him that the starts are going to be split 50/50 with an eye to preparing Schneider for the number one job. there’s been a lot of talk about his onerous contract but his Cap hit is well in line with what top goalies in the league are making ($5.3 million)and he is still a top goalie. he’s only 33 and when you look at at Brodeur (39) or Roloson (42) you realize goalies can still be great in their late 30’s. the next 6 years will be high income years ($6.714 million per) for him but after that it drops to very managable numbers(around $6 million due over 4 years). bottom line is he’s handling the situation with grace right now and things could change if Schneider was to get hurt and Luongo got back in net. if he were to move on the Canucks would be the first to acknowledge how much he’s meant to the franchise and allow him a graceful exit.

  28. Holmstrom will call it a career, Lidstrom is iffy, this is his first major injury, and he may want another shot. If Hudler isn’t signed on the first he stays a Wing, but I doubt he’s a high priority right now, Stuart will be gone more than likely. Luongo is probably going to be a Canuck for a few more years

  29. I have posted constantly on Luongo to Tampa. next best option is the Panthers.

    Would love to have Jordan Staal in Toronto. Durt,yesterday you said leafs would need to give up Schenn, Kulemin and the 5th overall pick. I like your thinking but would hate to give up 5th overall in addition to Schenn and Kulemin. If Leafs could offer their first rounder in 2013 instead as part of the deal that makes it more palatable to me.Pittsburgh does not need a draft pick to be able to step into the lineup immediately, they are very talented already.

    I see Weber staying in Nashville. If he is guuning for a cup, what team is already advancing to the next round of the playoffs, Nashville Detroit or Toronto? He stays and I bet they find a way to keep Suter too.Those guys staying will attract other key players to add offensive depth to their team.

    I see Lidstrom and Holmstrom hanging on for one more year. hard to imagine the Outdoor winter classic next year without them playing.Brad Stuart to LA Kings? Hudler to Pittsburgh?

    Lets really stir up the pot a bit. Has Tim Thomas played his last game in Boston? Could the Leafs do them a favour and take him off their hands? When your team is owned by a media conglomerate the headlines and soundbites would be plentiful. Would also push Francois Allaire (Goalie Coach)out the door as he is already reportedly considering it. Don’t ask me what they would give up in return, not sure. But maybe it would have to include Lupul?Imagine Don cherry’s freak out on Coaches Corner if this happened.

  30. One thing to keep in mind with the Wings and Lidstrom is that if Lidstrom decides to take one more crack at winning the Cup, he may well sign for less than what he made this season, so as to allow the Wings management to pursue both Suter and Parise. I agree with what someone wrote earlier that if Suter and Parise could sign with the same team this summer, especially a top notch organization like the Wings, they would very likely do so. I’d prefer they both sign with the Preds, but fat chance of that happening.

    If the Wings land both of those two players this summer and keep Lidstrom around for another season, they’ll be right back on top in the league.

  31. Slap, I fail to see how Weber made Hamuis and Franson look better on Nashville. They weren’t even regular pairs with him. As for the rest, I agree how good he is and would love to have him. But Poile will do everything in his power to keep him regardless of how much you throw at him.

  32. I’m not saying it’s happening, or that anything is happening on the Luongo front .. but remind me again why he wouldn’t approve a trade to the Leafs? Is it because Toronto is a hockey crazy city and he’d be under too much pressure?

    Really?

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned that’s he’s both public enemy #1, as well as the ever so praised “Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu”, in Vancouver? I think he’s very well adjusted to being under the spotlight.

    If anything, he rejects a hockey crazy city like Toronto, simply because he wants OUT of a city like that. I actually think it’s a good fit in Toronto.

    The only question is; do you give Reimer one more year to prove himself? Simply “scratching” last year from memory and racking it up to the “sophmore jinx”.

  33. @ Everyone

    TIM THOMAS

    Here is a not so crazy scenario considering
    Tim Thomas …..How about Parise or Suter signing in Detroit and then the Wings going out and getting a local boy in Thomas …the wings have done this so many times in the past I can really see this happening ….Mike Vernon …Hasek …CuJo ….

    I can totaly see this happening ….would it be a Howard for Thomas !

  34. @Slap
    I think TO problems go a lot deeper than the mere poor play of a few key members. The calamity that was the Wilson media circus must assume a proportionate share of the blame. Day in and day out this guy ripped all his players. They never did anything right in his eyes. Even when they won they were never good enough.

    I coach and can tell you that the minute you knock down a player you set a challenge for their resolve. They can turn it around once maybe twice, but eventually you loose the players confidence in themselves.

    It appears that this is what happened in TO with Wilson. I think next year will be a rebound year for players that struggled under Wilson.

    In terms of trades I would hope for the sake of Leafs Nation, other GM’s recognize this as well.

  35. @ man_ oss

    I totaly agree with you about the Wilson era and his approach FOR SURE!!!

    I also think that the team was a mirage when it comes to talent …and I stand form on my assesment …being a former junior goalie I apprecuate your coaching expertise in the discussion …but I really see some gaping holes and digression in talent …..pure talent ….

    In regards to coaching What I think has become a funny scenario and gaping HOLE is that Carlyle has to teach a veteran blue line…. Liles ..Komisarek …Phaneuf …….4 years in the NHL for Schenn and a $20 million back end how to play a defesive system ….I just donet get it how can they not know how to play defense at thsi point in the NHL …not only that the LEAFS are hanging there hat on Gardner a KID who has played wing almost his whole life up until college hockey and considering him one of the bnbest young defesnman up and coming in th NHL …WHY…just becuase he can skate with the puck ….he doesnt hit anmd his defense SUCKS …LMAO …are you kidding me !!!! c mon !!!!

    Its going to be exposed again next year and it will be the demise of Burke by Christmas and unfortunately its the $20 million backend that will cause his fate !!!

    They have no line under the 2nd line no power forward no real # 1 goalie to carry them through a rough patch and no specialty teams ..thats a last place finish ..oh yeah no talent outside Lupul and Kessel Kadri & Grabo

  36. @Slap & Shot (Elkund)

    Signing Weber to an offer sheet would reach the top category for offer sheets. This would cost the Leafs 4 first round picks. If you ever do this form of an offer sheet to a player you better be sure that he is the core of your franchise for 15+ years to come. I see only one player who has been up as RFA recently who might…MIGHT be worth it and that’s Stamkos. If you thought the complaining about 2 first rounders for Kessel was bad (and he’s a constant 30 goal scorer on a team full of nothing) then wait and see what it would be like for Weber.

    @ Leafs

    The Leafs have a bunch of good pieces in place to build a strong team long term. they have 4/6 quality top 6 players (Kule, Grabo, Kessel and Lupul) In the bottom 6 lies the Leafs biggest challenge. If you look at the +/- stats as well as quality of play from that bottom 6 group that’s where the biggest problem is. You can not have your 3rd line a -15 and expect to be a competitive team in the playoff picture. Out of the group that they have as bottom 6 I would keep the following in the picture: Steckel, Brown, Crabb and Frattin. Bottom line is, the Leafs need a first line center, second line winger, and 2 solid, third line guys who have some solid NHL experience and leadership.

    On the back-end I like 5/6 of the D. I think the Leafs should keep Schenn (yes, i said keep him) Liles, Gardiner, Phaneuf and Gunnarsson. The problem with the Leafs on the back end is that Franson, Phaneuf, Schenn and Komisarek are the same type of Defender. In todays game the hardest thing to defend is speed. These 4 cant defend it. If you bring the number down to 2 defenders who are going to be your rugged battle it out guys then it works. Gardiner and Liles are both solid offensively and not bad defensively as well.

    I think that the holes on the Leafs roster can be filled within (well some of them). Kadri can come up to the big club and lock down that second line wing role very well (he should have been here for a while) On the back end Holzer can surely make the jump to the NHL too.

    As for the ones not mentioned. Connolly, Lombardi and Komisarek are complete eyesores on the ice and on the budget. These three are horrid. Armstrong can be effective when he’s actually healthy but that’s next to never. Even then he is overpaid. Macarthur should be moved for assets. He beings a solid effort but doesn’t seem like he’s as effective as he needs to be all the time for a top 6. Bozak could be a solid number 2/3 center for some teams but certainly not the Leafs. He could have a role as a 3rd liner but that’s about it.

    I think Burke has his work cut out for him but he has a lot of cards he can deal. Franson is the biggest one i believe and should be able to fetch a decent asset in return.

  37. @ big boss

    Weber is the Stamkos of the defesive side of the game so why not ….your not going to use your 1st rounders anyways because your going to hope to get better and draft later over the next 5 years so why not start with arguably one of the to 5 guys in the league!

    I agree with some of the stuff you said but not keeping Schenn and Franson should be kept to play the Power Play he has the hardest and most accurate shot on the club and if the leafs had some guys with balls they could have put at least 20 in just on the rebounds alone because Franson always hits the post or goalie and has an uncanny abaility to put a shot through

  38. Every team has three options, Heavy defense, Run and Gun offense (usually doesn’t work, ex Washington, except this year) or try to get a mix of both.
    Burke has stated he wants to build a defensive type of team, but he refuses to pay anybody to play in TO. If you want the big ticket guys you MUST pay them like big ticket guys. Burke seems to try and steal every player he can. I think players around the league know it. So they won’t sign with TO.

    TO’s coach is a defensive coach, so build from the net out. Don’t jump all over a big name forward. The puck is still going in your net too much. It doesn’t seem like rocket science to me. Big Boss is right; fix the defense and then look to fix your front lines. Loosing 2-1 is much better than 10-1.

  39. Slap & Shot….Suter, Parise and Thomas in Detroit? You do realize there is a salary cap in the NHL right?

  40. If you really want the RFA, teams would have to make the team an offer they can refuse. Ex if you want Weber and its going to cost you a huge contract (over paying) plus 4 first rounders. Why not offer the team a trade of 2 firsts and 2 seconds in the next two drafts? It may seem huge, but you might be able to throw in a player or two and save the picks for the future.

    Example: TO offers the two firsts this year and next and two seconds in 2014 and 2015 plus Kadri (insert other roster player) for Weber.

    Does this make sense or have I lost my mind?

  41. With Carlyle as our head coach, it makes perfect sense to go after webber or sutter, but I think that we the leafs should
    go after thomas vokoun as the starter for next year.
    Also, I think it’s imperative that Burke finds a way to shed either komisarek or connolly’s contract. Brittle Tim is not suited to the style of play that Carlyle employs, so I think his goose is cooked.

  42. Nobody is going to givr away 4 fisrt-round draft picks in an offer sheet. Not even Millbury would have done something so stupid.

    Burke will try to get a #1 centre and #21 goalie, but what they need migh tnot be available. If they trade the $5 pick they are stupid.

    @JJB: I agree 100%. I have mentioned before that the best thing for them to do is finish last again next season and use thisupcomming season to package assets for high end talent (at any position). THe problem is that this process should have begun 3 years ago! They should definitely NOT trade the top 5 pick….. but they will.

    Man, all these trade rumours and guys up for sale, but no talk about the Ducks. I think Selanne returns, and they are looking to make a deal with the Leafs and try to rebuild. I hate to say it, but I think they move Getzlaf… 3 seasons of declining point totals. They move him for a package including the Leafs’ pick and draft a centre with size. In the meantime, they fill that slot with Bobby Ryan, and build through this draft with 2 very high picks.

  43. @ Slap

    No offense man, but it’s people like you that others make fun of Toronto fans.
    Kessel- No d, one dimensional, no toughness – We can get roster player and 2-3 prospects/picks for him.

    Pheanuef- bad d, always head hunting, slow – we can get roster player and 1-2 prospects/picks for him

    Schenn- slow, looks lost, looks like a pilon – we can get prospect/pick for him

    If you see them as being THAT BAD, why in god’s name would anyone give up anything for them especially considering the money they are signed for 5.4, 6.5 and 3.6 respectively, with two of them having movement clauses and minimum 2 years remaining on the contracts.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions but man get real with your expectations especially considering they are seriously dealing from a position of weakness.

    • Agreed. Like these proposals for T.O. to acquire Jordan Staal…if Ray Shero takes Kulemin, Schenn, and a 2013 1st rounder for Staal, he should be fired. And T.O. signing Weber to an offer sheet? Not gonna happen. And even if it does, Nashville will match- particularly if they go deep into the playoffs this year.

  44. Probably because players in Toronto get way more media attention and therefore drives there value up. I agree with Slap’s assessment of Kessel, Phaneuf and Schenn but it doesn’t mean they can’t be the right fit for another team. Take Kessel for instance. He is right about him being one dimentional, no toughness and no D but he also scores 40 goals with the right center and winger who what Kessel lacks in certain areas. That’s worth big bucks for certain teams. Unfortunately the Leafs currently don’t have the right center to play with Kessel and don’t have the right second and thrid line guys to take the pressure off him either. It all comes down to who is the right fit with the rest of the roster. So Slap is right Kessel can be worth a big return from the right team even though he has those weeknesses.

  45. If Weber is intent on leaving Nashville, it’s highly unlikely he would sign an offer sheet with anyone due to that allowing Poile to match and keep Weber in town long term If Suter leaves this summer, Weber isn’t gonna stick around, so he’ll likely just sign another one year deal and either leave via UFA in 2013 or force Poile’s hand to trade him.

    Poile has done a good job of putting together a very good team this season, but when you’re a pending UFA looking to sign a long term contract, you’re looking past the current season, and both Suter and Weber know that the Preds organization hasn’t shown a willingness to spend the kind of money that’s needed to keep a team like the current one intact. All the late season pickups the Preds made are either UFA’s or RFA’s (Radulov) who may well go back to the KHL after these playoffs are over.

    What Poile needed to do this season was to bring in a top tier forward who is under contract past this season so as to show both Weber and Suter that the organization is intent on being a contender for the Cup past just this season. Not having done that will likely cost them losing their big two Dmen unless ownership steps up this summer and makes a splash in the free agent market (thinking Parise here).

  46. Any chance the Wings get Luongo? Do they feel Howard is good enough to take them all the way?

  47. I don’t see how Luongo helps the Wings situation either in talent or salary cap. Howard is good enough if the Wings can get their offense back to what it used to be and if they can fill the void left by Rafalski retiring.