NHL Rumors – March 21, 2012.

The latest on Ryan Suter, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Nabokov, Scott Gomez, and Josh Harding.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter isn’t thinking about his contract status, as he’s more concerned about helping the Predators prepare for the playoffs.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan points out the folly of trading Maple Leafs leading scorer Phil Kessel, claiming the Leafs wouldn’t get back anywhere near what he gave up to land him. Koshan believes goaltending must be a priority for Leafs GM Brian Burke in the off-season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I address the Leafs current situation in detail in a recent THN.com column.

Nabokov hopes to remain an Islander.

NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports NY Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov isn’t used to missing the playoffs, but said it won’t alter his thinking about re-signing with the club for one or possibly two more years. Contract talks between Nabokov’s agent and Islanders GM Garth Snow are ongoing, and two sources claim a deal could be in place by season’s end.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yet another player “drinking the Islanders kool-aid”. Seriously, many of the Islanders genuinely believe they’re very close to becoming a legit playoff contender in the near future, Nabokov among them.

LA PRESSE: Richard Labbe reported on recent rumors claiming the Montreal Canadiens could buy out Scott Gomez in the off-season. Ian Pulver, Gomez’s agent, denied a rumor his client nixed a trade to the NY Islanders before the February 27th trade deadline, calling it false.

MONTREAL GAZETTE’s Dave Stubbs reported yesterday via Twitter Gomez told him a buyout and a return to the New Jersey Devils was news to him. Gomez claims a buyout was never mentioned by Habs management.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there’s an amnesty buyout at the start of the next CBA, you have to believe the Canadiens will use it to buy out the remaining two years of Gomez’s contract.  A trade in the off-season to a team trying to get about the cap floor is possible, but unlikely, especially if the cap floor ends up dropping in the next CBA.

TWINCITIES.COM: Brian Murphy reports Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding faces an uncertain future with the club but is hoping for a strong finish. Harding is eligible for UFA status next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as Niklas Backstrom is the Wild’s starter, Harding won’t get his opportunity to fill that role. He’ll find considerable interest in his services in this summer’s UFA market, likely from the Maple Leafs and Lightning, who will be seeking goaltending depth.

41 Comments

  1. NOT TOUCHING THE KESSEL ORDEAL ………..SO NOT TO OFFEND ANYONE !!!!!!
    He is worth more than people are saying though ……especially to a team like LA KINGS who need a scoring winger for between 30 – 40 goals or the Wild or Nashville !! Maybe even Edmonton !

    RYAN SUTER
    Suter will most likely stay but will earn Weber money …my feeling is that Weber is traded due to the better return that he can get to fill in holes moving the team forward ….however it is believed that Suter is more interested in money than winning !! I also think that the Leafs seriously ned to look at Weber as there #1 priority then goaltending then a center ….they need to anchor the backend …makes me wander how that will play out !

    EVGENI NABOKOV
    How he went from I hate you Garth Snow to lets make a deal is very weird ….He probably has just looked at this as a money making time and who cares about winning the cup at this point !!! However if he is signed by Snow thats guarenteed money he will always get that matbey another team would bot have given him even if Snow trades him at some point …..so that could be part of the play !!!!

    SCOTT GOMEZ
    If the Habs dont buy Gomez out… this will send a terrible meesage to everything Montreal …..has to be done.
    If the NEW GM can perform a miracle to another team without having to take on debt ….obviously you do it …but most unlikely as some other eteams have imrpoved immensely and may be in contention for a playoff spot next year …so why bring on a guy who does absolutely nothing for your team at 7 million ????WOW!

    JOSH HARDING
    The ball is in his court and can play to the highest bidder and the deal breaker is obviously who can give him a starting position ….I hope its not to the Leafs as there are better options out there possibly VIA trade …
    .I really dont see this guy being a TRUE #1 anyways…… ..good Goalie but not for a franchise looking to be at the top of there game for years to come and not a stanley cup goalie, PURELY A BUBBLE GUM MOVE
    if backstrom cant do it ..this guy isnt going to do it with a similar team !

  2. Hey Chris, We are allowed to post about the Leafs today!!!
    The only problem is you can’t talk about the Kessel subject because according to some of the fellow posting people you have beat that dead horse to death. Not…. I don’t care buddy I want to hear it again.

    Trade Kessel if it gets us a very franchise goalie, or a very good tough big bodied center or a crap load of prospects. This team is doomed with it’s current lineup and it’s time to rebuild the forward lines.

  3. imo the best thing the leafs can do now is keep on losing. They will get a higher draft pick and possibly be able to swing a deal with maybe Edmonton to move up a few spots in the Draft. It’s no secret here that Edmonton’s pick will be available come draft day. Should Edmonton choose to retain it they will most certainly draft a defenceman. Most likely Dumba. Dumba can be had in the 5-7 spot where a big center like Grigorenko is top 3 picks. Leafs get Grigorenko their big center problems will be solved (well, maybe in a year or two but they will have a good guy for it).

    I have a feeling that the goaltending will sort itself out. As a hockey player, sometimes when you get a concussion you need a year or so to fully reboot and get back on track. I think next year Reimer will bounce back and have a better year. However, I think that the Leafs will certainly sign an affordable backup plan with experience. Monster will walk, and the Leafs will try to get Volkun out of Washington. There’s no way the Caps will resign him with Holtby sitting in Hershey.

  4. SCOTT GOMEZ will not be bought out by the Habs! The price is to high! $4.7mil in the fist year and 3.5mil for the second, then 1 for each of the next 2. The Habs will play him, he’s worth more as a player playing than the cap hit of his buyout. I’m getting tired of this crap! Most of the “experts” seem to forget Gomez’s buyout cost the Habs for 2x as long as what’s left on his contract.

  5. Another reason why Leafs will not trade Kessel is Lupul. When Kessel gets the attention that opens up space for Lupul. Take Kessel away and Lupul reverts back to being a marginal 2nd liner, also Lupul will have to deal with Caryle next year as coach who never cut Lupul any slack when he was here in Anaheim.

  6. @ Beergoggles and Big Boss

    I am hoping to the Leafs drafting Radek Faksa 6 “3” 210 pound CENTER….. is 5th on central scouting ..NHL ready & not Russian as I dont see a Russian playing any Carlyle type system thats for sure!!!

    I dont care for Voukon to be a leaf to be quite honest …I am hoping a little bolder than that…. IMO
    Huge fan of Holtby and have posted many times he is a great pick up for any team.

    Unfortunately Gustavson is the better Goalie ! Right now !

    I have lots more to say but will refrain until Lyle asks about a rebuild in Toronto !

    Regards

  7. @ Alforducks

    with the collapse of the Millenia …there is no unsafe player in Toronto this summer ….sorry bud !
    Kessel will give the best return and has to be shopped as everyone else !

  8. Chris….How does the Kings NEED Kessel? Since the trade deadline and the Carter deal we are scoring on average 3.5 goals a game in 12 games. I can guarantee you the Kings don’t want an overated one dimensional player, and if we did there is now way we give anything remotely close to Seguin, Hamilton and Knight. Maybe just maybe you can take our back up goalie straight up for him. As for Nashville Trotz wouldn’t want this guy either, his players have to be able to play some defence, and with the arrival of Radulov they get their potential big goal scorer for free. Edmonton has enough goal scoring wingers they need D not Kessel.

  9. Chris

    If you trade Kessel, then you have to trade Lupul also, If he is your #1 scoring threat, he will shut down fast.

  10. RE: Leafs

    So if Leafs are out of it why is Colburne, Kadri, Holzer and anyone else with potential for next year, not playing NOW to see what they have ?

  11. I guess I’m drinking that Islander Koolaide too! They have several quality players and seem only one scoring line short of being a contender.

  12. @ Alforducks

    The reason Colborne Kadri and Holzer are not playing is becuase the Leafs have used up there 4 recall options …they are not allowed to call up anyomer players on the season this year …terribel rule that Burke brought up at the Mangers meetings to be addressed !!

    Dont believe you have to trade Lupul as he plays an all around agressive game …where as the reason you MAY HAVE TO trade Kessel is he is the only player that a trade can address multiple issues with one deal !

    @ Canadian King
    It has been widely reported that the Kings have been and are still in the summer market to upgrade goal scoring on the wing or wings …just thought that they would be a very good partner in the off season for a deal as Kessel would fit in beautiful on that type of squad due to his ability to score and that LA may be looking to move some individuals this off season depending on how they finish this season …..I purley stated that LA would be one of a few teams that makes sense in a fit for a Kessel type player …he could play with almost anyone on any of the there 3 lines and succede to score 50 goals with that talent !

  13. BigBoss, I like your post, and I pretty much agree with all of it.

    Alforducks, the Leafs have burned all of there remaining call ups. They cannot recall Kadri, Colborne or any Marlie for the rest of the year. I believe we had one more callup when Lupul went down (to justify bringing in a potential top 6 forward), and that’s when Burke brought up Ashton. I kinda shook my head at that, but I guess management wanted to see what they got in the trade. No need to bring up Holzer, we’ve been relatively health on defence, and he’d sit in the press box.

    Re: Gomez, I think the only person who nixed the Habs/Isles swap was Garth Snow. I mean C’mon!

  14. Chris…

    The only team you mentioned that might want Kessel is the wild.

    The islanders ARE or at least should be close to a decent playoff next year. Too much talent and everyone who comes there seems to be buying in.

    I wouldn’t sell Harding short.

    The rest is from yesterday

    So Chris you want Burke to trade Kessel, phaneuf and schenn for what? Burke overpaid for Kessel, dion is a meh d man, and so is schenn. What are they going to get you? In a package you might get your #1 center or goalie. Burke has stayed true to maple leaf fashion; he thinks he and his team are better than they are, and has made bad trades.
    If you hadn’t traded your 1sts for Kessel you’d have your #1 center coming along nicely and you’d another top player (Hamilton depending on who he would have drafted with whatever pick it was)
    If Burke trades the guys you want him to or tries to acquire what you want him to it will be lateral moves at best most likely or you know the never ending rebuild you laffs have been on. So unless you want to talk about something new, stop repeating te same garbage.
    Oh and while Kessel is a parameter player it’s not like Nash whom you covet has done wonders. I don’t believe he’s ever even hit 80 pts. I know he’s not playing with superstars in columbus, but it’s not like anyone would have thought lupul was capable of the season he’s having this year.

  15. Just for some more meat on the bone for you guys …and I said I wasnt going to talk about Kessel becuase of the angry people on this iste ..wow !!

    But does anyone realize that Kessel is an RFA next year and would be an amazing pick up for the RIGHT team to only have to spend $5.5 million on a potential 50 goal scorer for 2 years max and then trade him if they wish …..for the right team vying for the cup seriously in the next year or two he is an amazing aquisition Burke can benefit from this situaition …..after seeing this collapse since trade deadline my feelings have changed and Iam no longer an all in or bust on Nash …

    I truly feel that Weber should be Burkes prime target at this point !

    We need an anchor on the back end like no tomorrow !!!

    @ Icebear ..
    not sure what came through on my post but I had mentioned a number of teams that I felt would be a good place for a resepctable goal scorer such as Kessel to help them not just the Wild ..not sure how that heppened but I feel there are some really good teams that could benefit from his scoring that are legit contenders where Kessel is a complimetary player not the only go to guy on the team !
    If Kessel can score almost 40 goals on the Leafs with that Line up he can hit 50 as Ive alsways said on the right team at the right time with the right players !! FOR SURE!! He just cant be the franchise type player he needs to be part of a mix and play in the shadows …..as per the media hype!

    Also the Leafs are really in tight on the cap and have players signed to a couple more years that they do not want …there only way out is VIA trade …no other way ……they are very stuck at this point to improve the team in any way …thats why they need to move bigger assets that would attract attention as the 2 ndl liners are not going to get anything in return to help oiut this dismall team !

  16. So did anyone notice the funny thing of the Nabakov Newsday article?

    No mention anywhere of Rick DiPietro anywhere, even in Nabby’s comments he mentions working with the team’s young goalies next year.

    Has DiPietro officially retired or are we all just assuming that he will spend all of next year on the IR as per usual?

  17. @ Chris – Please check your facts on Kessel. He has 2 more years after this season at $5.4m AAV. Seriously, you use Capgeek’s trade machine for every proposal you use (instead of real world logic), but you can’t take two seconds on the SAME SITE to back up your inane posts?
    Icebear is dead on with his points. Trading Kessel, Phaneuf, Schenn, etc… the Leafs aren’t going to get anywhere near the value they paid to get them, so why bother? Unless Burke’s plan is to strip it all down and start pretty much from scratch, those players are Leafs at least for the duration of their contracts.

  18. We should put Suter talk to rest for now as nothing will be done until season’s end…his answer until then will be the generic “I’m focused on the playoffs and not my contract”But if i had to guess, I would say he re-signs in Nashville as I see them going deep in the playoffs thus generating that extra revenue to sign their big names.

    Again, Kessel should not be traded, top 10 scorers dont grow on trees and once he gets the hang of Carlyle’s defensive system then he might not be such a liability defensively. Again,if the Leafs are to add a #1 centre, one more source of secondary scoring and a true #1, they’re looking pretty good. A full rebuild now will result in the Leafs missing the playoffs for a couple more years. Burke inhereted a horrible team and if you look at the pieces he has added, they are far better looking team then they were when they had zero assets. This upcoming offseason is critical for the Leafs and if they aren’t able to obtain the pieces they are lacking, next year could be very similar to this.

    I am personally a big Harding fan and think he will be starting somewhere next year. Maybe the Oilers. Harding needs a solid end to the year as he will be expendable in Minny with the emergence of Hackett who will be backing Backstrom next year. Harding just needs the chance to play. I think Harding, Schneider, Vokoun, Bernier all change teams next year. Schneider is RFA but he knows he can start somewhere and with the Nucks having Lack, this should make a move for Schneider easier to swallow.

  19. @Chris
    You and I know that you should trade players when their value is as high as it’s ever going to be as long as you are filling a bigger hole with the trade. By trading Kessel we could potentially get a franchise type goalie which is and always will be the bigger hole to fill. Reimer will not bounce back like everyone thinks next year. I like the guy but he was playing way over his head last year and it was shown how much so this year. Everyone thinks just because he had 4 or 5 games at the beginning of the year where he played alright that he was suddenly the next Price, Miller or Giggy. He is not and probably won’t every be although he could prove to be a solid back up behind guys like that. The Leafs will need to plug the biggest hole and with that type of goaltender you will see a defence that is actually pretty decent under Carlyle’s defensive system. Then what do we do about Kessel’s 40 goals? We fill it with numerous bigger, tougher guys that can score 15 to 20 goals on all 3 lines. Forget this one horse pony trying to retain a 40 goal scorer I’d rather have 9 15 to 20 goal scores any day and an MVP goalie. Kessel to the Habs for Price. lol

  20. @ Thewes!!
    I was gonna respong to that post by Chris, but I think he had his feelings hurt yesterday so I restrained from answering!

    Phaneuf, Kessel, Schenn are not the Leafs problems, their goaltending and lack of secondary scoring is what’s hurting them,. Guys like Kulemin, Grabo were expected to have bigger years so this is partially who is to blame.

    @ John!
    The 67.5 million dollar contract he signed was parently a lifetime contract for him to assume a position in the front office after retirement. But certainly does seem like retirement is just around the corner…lol

  21. Interesting points on your thn.com article Lyle. It’s tough for Leafs management to gauge their team under the new coach because it came way too late in the season and added more pressure of not only driving for a playoff run, but learning a new system/coach/personality. It has blown up huge in Burkes face and cause the Leafs to crumble under all that pressure and change.
    The truth is the leafs have too many bad contracts that they prob can’t move and it has them so tight to the cap that the roster you see oday is te one you will see in the middle of September. That can’t be too encouraging. Should the buy out clause come into effect then either Komi or Connolly will be gone so that would open up a spot to bring in one more guy or make a trade for a large contract, but everyone wants the Leafs young guys and Burke can’t move them. I still don’t like the Aulie trade (partial to the value of defencemen, when groomed right) and I’m not sure that Burke should be the one making the deals after April 7. I think he and Pierre Gauthier will no longer be GM’s within a week of the final horn.

  22. Fists- the more Leafs games I watch the more I think Phanuef IS a problem. The guy is way over paid, way over pressured with the “C” and shows no intensity to his team. When you see guys like Schenn, Garbo, and Komi dropping the mitts cause they are pissed and trying to fire things up, that’s good. When your captain stays away from all of it and gets walked around all day and spews the same two lines after every game it’s apparent. HE DOESN’T GIVE TWO SH!TS. either take away the C and see if that helps or trade him to a city where he can collect his pay cheque in obscurity. A good captain always gets into it, always tries his hardest, and works to fire up the team. Don’t see that with Phaneuf.
    You guys can tell me how wrong I am, but I think guys who aren’t Leafs supporters who have watched them play may agree with me somewhat.

  23. Chris. Of the teams you mentioned (oilers, kings etc) the only one that could really use Kessel is the wild.

    If the leafs are going to pry weber out of Nashville it’s going to cost a lot, and other teams could offer a better package I’m sure, unless you overpay again (like with Kessel) so now you have your top d man for 1-2 years (weber wants a cup) and then you lose him for nothing.

    What the leafs need goaltending, which shouldn’t be too hard to address.

  24. @ Smielman
    I agree with you on Phaneuf, but he started out great when the whole team played with intensity. Maybe he has lost his motivation because he realizes this season is a lost cause. I think Phaneuf is a valuable player to have, especially when they gave up nothing to obtain him. I agree he is overpaid 100%, as are most players in the NHL though. If I was Carlyle, I would probly accept your suggestion and remove the C to relieve some of the pressure on him.

    next year will be different. Carlyle was the right decision as coach. He doesn’t take shit from his players and holds them accountable. I even think Phaneuf will re-emerge as one of the lleague’s top d-men next year. Time will tell

  25. Please put Gomez in the minors and walk away. Other teams have done it and Montreal has the money.
    This season is over so they need to worry about landing a top 5 draft pick.
    I would also like the Habs to make a move on Parise with the money they saved on sending Gomez to the minors.

  26. Well Nabokov has signed a 1 year deal

  27. @Chris,
    Sorry buddy, but mentioning the Oilers in a possible trade for Kessel…I thought i had smoked some good buds…you seem to have some good hockey knowledge, but have you seen the Oilers roster up front? Starting to turn into a powerhouse, and the last thing they need is a one dimensional twerp like Kessel. The Oilers need a defenseman or two. And with their recent “good” play and the floundering of other teams, they should move up a couple spots and choose a d-man, likely Reinhart. They watch that kid play all the time with the Oil Kings, and when he lifts up that Memorial Cup this year teams will be clammoring to choose him. Dumba may be too risky with his style of play. Oilers finish either 26/27th with the Habs and Wild tailspinning out of control.

  28. Anyone who is making the case for Nash by saying he doesn’t play with super stars is crazy. Does Kessel play with super stars? He’s younger, scores more points and has a lower cap hit. I would love to have Nash on the Hawks but I wouldn’t be trading Kessel for Nash. If you could add Nash with Kessel then go for it.

  29. @danomite spot on. Since I saw griffen play at the skills/stars comp/game ive thought he would be the perfect fit for the oilers. I hope the draft him

  30. @ Chris and beergoggles, what’s funny is that you guys seem to not understand the scope of what players real values are. So you both think trading Kessel and schenn and even phaneuf is a good idea. Here’s the thing, ask any fan about if they think trading away a top 5 pts producing fast skating winger that snipes 30+ goals every season he’s played so far and the best thing is that he’s only 24 and you have him signed at least two more years at just over $5m a year. Never mind he’s American, or that’s he’s Kessel and costs what he did or plays on a shitty team like the Leafs with no #1 center or any one that is a legit top 3 forward.

    Schenn is 22 and has a long way to go before anyone can really determine his value but when you compare his stats so far with other players that have had similar careers as him he’s fairly in line with his peers. Chara was a -27 when he was playing at Luke’s age, Ottawa/NYI I’m sure regretting trading him I bet.

    As for Phaneuf, well he’s top10 in defensmen scoring as has been all year on this Leafs team. He logs all the tough assignments playing against teams best players, not against easy competition such as karlsson in ottawa does. Take a look at some advance stats such as fenwink and corsi to get an idea of just how well these guys compare to others in similar roles…

    Why your there, take a long look at Leafs goaltending. There you will see all you need to know about the Leafs and their collapse. If the Leafs only managed to get average goaltending, you know a goalie that has .915 save percentage, the Leafs would be sitting comfortably in a playoff spot. If there is anything to blame you can blame the goalies as Wilson was saying all year round as well as Burke for not learning his lessson he said he learned while in Vancouver and their goalie shortcomings.

  31. @ Flushie, your buyout numbers are slightly backwards.

    2012-2013 3,523,810
    2013-2014 4,523,810
    2014-2015 1,666,667
    2015-2016 1,666,667

    With the habs arguably going to build from the draft and not in the market for any free agents, I wouldn’t see a buyout as a terrible idea. It wouldn’t be my first (or even second choice) but it beats the option of having him take up a spot on this team that is better used on anyone else. Centers like Desharnais, Plekanec, Eller, Leblanc are all way better options. Bottom line, this guy can absolutely NOT be here next year!

  32. Honest question: Is there any evidence that the Leafs goaltending is really poor as opposed to their team defense collectively giving up too many great scoring opportunities?

  33. Lets all be honest, if they had consistent goaltending over the last 20 games, the Leafs would be in the playoffs and none of this would matter.

  34. The Pens were interested in Harding at the deadline too. They didn’t come close to trading for him, but they looked. I’m guessing they’ll look in summer too.

    Johnson hasn’t had a good appearance in net since last year, he seems done with the Pens on ice. And next in line Brad Thiessen may need a few more years seasoning, even though he’s 3-0 he’s looked green in all 3 games.

    Harding could provide the Pens with the frequent early season relief for Fleury, by someone who would be a challenger as a #1 goalie on any other team like Johnson used to be.

    The question is does Harding want to be a starter most of all or does he want to play for the best possible team he can even if it’s as back-up?

  35. @ THewes …sorry you are right I should have checked twice about Kessel UFA ..I counted one less year !
    but answer the second portion its the only way to get value in return and multiple assets with the least amount of trades! Have to rebuild the right way this time !

    @ LIDDY 5…totaly agree ….goalies have been hung out to dry most nights bad defense

    @ Smielman Totaly agree with Phaneauf now as well …just a disgrace !! Captain my ass !!!

    You guys take the names on the back sweaters way to much for granted …have you guys been watching a player like Phaneauf the last 25 games ….are you telling me this guys is a Captain …a leading point getter and a top 1- 2 defenseman in the second half of the season because if you are your definetley not watching what Iam watching …hes God awful….. terrible….. and cant hit the net from the point on the powerplay if his life depended on it …how many fights has this guy gotten into during th slide to motivate the team or show leadership NONE!!!….Poor Mike Komisarek had to do it !!! Even with a reconstructed shoulder surgery !

    As for Kessel hes not a player that fits into this team dynamics and at the present situation hes a complimentary player which would be much beter on a more complete team !

    Luke Schenn is absolutely one of the worst defenseman Ive seen in Tornoto in a long time he has hands of stone can not puck handle makes terribel decisisons and his feet are stuck in sand …this is a player that is seriously digressing every year …big deal he has the most hits….hes done nothing growing with this team .

  36. @Liddy

    Have you watched any Leaf games?

    Its definitely the goaltending

    Burke will never ever ever ever ever trade Kessel not with Seguin doing as well as he is,

    And I highly doubt Burke gets canned after the season is over with that said next year could be his last,

  37. JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I COULD MOVE ON ……….YOU GUYS PULLLLLL MEEE BACK IN !!!!!!

    DAM IT !!!!!

    LMAO

    DAM KESSEL !!!!

    God Bless Miichael Corleone !

  38. @ Flushie & @ Geof : Amnesty buyout menaing gomez is bought out free and clear, no residual cap hit. That is why he will be bought out. Geof, good point though that no matter if there is a free buyout or not, it would be worth it.

  39. After having read all the posts, and my own observations, here are my predictions including some wishful thinking. ( Lyle you could probably make a lot of money on the side if we ever had to put money on these but it would be fun to track). here goes:

    -Burke does not get fired
    -Suter and Weber stay in Nashville
    -Reimer and Gustavvson stay because nothing better will be available in trade or attained in UFA
    -Leafs Trade McArthur, Lombardi, Connolly to whomever, for whatever they can get in picks
    -Leafs Trade Kulemin and Pick(s) to LA for Dustin Brown. Brown becomes Assistant Captain
    -Leafs Trade Armstrong, a late round pick and a prospect to Dallas for Steve Ott.
    -No #1 centres are available by Free Agency or trade or depth so Bozak stays for now
    -Kessel stays
    -Lupul, Gunnarsson, Kadri, Blacker and picks get traded for Rick Nash. Nash becomes Captain
    -Phaneuf loses the “C”, gets an “A”
    -Holzer moves up from Marlies to partner with Phaneuf
    -Leafs sign UFA Travis Moen

  40. One thing about recalling the kids for the Leafs they are in a playoff race and can go deep in the playoffs. Leave them down there to learn how to win a cup, that will help them more than 8 games with the Leafs and seeing a team with no confidence!

  41. Everyone seems to be 100% convinced that Kessel will produce even more than he already is if given the opportunity to play on a better team why is this? Granted he has had a very good year but this is the first time he has really shown what he is capable of, but several players in the past have been far more successful being a big fish in a small pond. It stands to reason that if he goes to a team where he is only ever going to play on the second or even third line as many of you have proposed, his confidence may decline and in turn so will his performance.
    For the right price any GM would be happy to have him but Burke WAY overpaid for him and will not get anywhere near the same in return. I am not a Leafs fan and find enjoyment every year in watching them fail but they are better off with Kessel than without him. As long as he is a Leaf he will be a 70-80+ point player but you will not get enough of a return to compensate those numbers.
    A rebuild is desperately needed and Kessel is not the player that will take Toronto into contention but in a market like Toronto you must have someone that the fans can cheer for while the rebuild is happening. It is time for all Leafs fans, Burke and MLSE to accept that the team is going to need a few more years, build towards 2015-16 and use Kessel for what he is, 1 bright star in an otherwise black sky.