Author Topic: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.  (Read 4375 times)

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Offline #1PilarFan

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2012, 09:14:08 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

Agreed with you, Bullfrog, on the bolded point. Also with CF on the line combo. MacArthur is going to be a stretch in the top 6 this year, I think...he and Connolly are two that I can see being moved - albeit closer to the deadline...
I could live without either of them, but two things to note; (i) the Leafs seem deadset on slotting JVR into the #1C position, and given their options I don't really blame them and (ii) would anyone really want Connolly? Even for a marginal playoff team, he doesn't offer a whole lot if he's not producing and if he is producing then he's likely to stay.
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Offline Corn Flake

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2012, 09:18:18 PM »
If he can produce at center, I'm all for it. However, I'm particularly interested in seeing him continue his career as a winger. This team needs a bonafide centerman, someone how's done so as an NHLer.

I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

Agreed with you, Bullfrog, on the bolded point. Also with CF on the line combo. MacArthur is going to be a stretch in the top 6 this year, I think...he and Connolly are two that I can see being moved - albeit closer to the deadline...
I could live without either of them, but two things to note; (i) the Leafs seem deadset on slotting JVR into the #1C position, and given their options I don't really blame them and (ii) would anyone really want Connolly? Even for a marginal playoff team, he doesn't offer a whole lot if he's not producing and if he is producing then he's likely to stay.

If Connolly plays this year like he did last, then no it's unlikely he will be moved, but at least at the deadline the contract is far less of an issue.  Who knows.. maybe he bounces back. I don't see the JVR experiment lasting but that's just me and based on how these things historically pan out, so maybe Timmy gets a 2nd chance at centering the top line.

Offline Potvin29

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2012, 09:29:00 PM »
(i) the Leafs seem deadset on slotting JVR into the #1C position, and given their options I don't really blame them

I don't know if that's necessarily true.  Carlyle just said today or yesterday that it was blown out of proportion (if you can believe that in this market) that they would use JVR for sure at C - that it was just something they were toying with basically.  Doesn't sound like it's inevitable.

Offline #1PilarFan

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2012, 09:48:34 PM »
Well, it's hard to see a way out to be honest for the top line centre. It's one of JVR, Connolly or Bozak - frankly, the options are terrible.
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Offline bustaheims

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2012, 09:54:30 PM »
Well, it's hard to see a way out to be honest for the top line centre. It's one of JVR, Connolly or Bozak - frankly, the options are terrible.

They're not great, no, but Bozak did a good job of riding shotgun with Kessel and Lupul last season. Obviously, to become a contender, an upgrade is needed, but in terms of next season, having him there again isn't the end of the world.
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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2012, 10:05:22 PM »
They're not great, no, but Bozak did a good job of riding shotgun with Kessel and Lupul last season. Obviously, to become a contender, an upgrade is needed, but in terms of next season, having him there again isn't the end of the world.

I don't know how good a job Bozak really did. He was there, sure, and he didn't actively prevent Lupul or Kessel's career years but I don't think he contributed much to them either.

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Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2012, 10:08:32 PM »
(ii) would anyone really want Connolly? Even for a marginal playoff team, he doesn't offer a whole lot if he's not producing and if he is producing then he's likely to stay.

I think there's a good chance he gets dealt. If the Leafs are contending for a playoff spot and he's a contributing part of that he probably stays but if he struggles or the Leafs are out of it I think he can definitely be moved. Let's keep in mind that, so long as there's only a month or so left on a contract, just about anyone can go. Two different teams traded for Vesa Toskala in a similar situation.

And, in maybe a best case scenario, if the Leafs are out of the race and he has a decent season? He could land a pretty decent haul.
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Offline Potvin29

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2012, 10:30:54 PM »
Grabovski would be a far better option at #1 C, IMO.  His corsi numbers are great, as well as having a better overall game that don't show up in the numbers.  Grabovski has shown he drives possession, and that's great for an offensive player like Kessel and Lupul/JVR/whoever is the other winger.

I don't remember how many games he has played with Kessel, but I seem to recall they have played briefly on a line and looked good together.

I think Bozak is a good player, but it should be in a 3rd line role.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2012, 10:39:39 PM »
Grabovski would be a far better option at #1 C, IMO.  His corsi numbers are great, as well as having a better overall game that don't show up in the numbers.  Grabovski has shown he drives possession, and that's great for an offensive player like Kessel and Lupul/JVR/whoever is the other winger.

I don't remember how many games he has played with Kessel, but I seem to recall they have played briefly on a line and looked good together.

I think Bozak is a good player, but it should be in a 3rd line role.

I agree to an extent but the problem there is that you might be bunching the only three really good offensive forwards the team has on the same line. A Kessel/Grabs/Lupul top line leaves a second line of Kulemin/Connolly/JVR or Kulemin/Connolly/Mac assuming Bozak is in that third line role. Those are combinations that scored a grand total of 31(with JVR) or 40(Mac) goals between them last season. Even if JVR develops and Kulemin rebounds you're still leaving that line without a good offensive centre and leaving the prospective top line vulnerable to the other team's concerted efforts to just shut them down.
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Offline Bullfrog

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2012, 10:55:58 PM »
So maybe the key acquisition that's needed is not a #1C, but a #2C? Is it possible that we'll be able to fill that role internally? kadri or Colborne?

Offline Bullfrog

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2012, 10:57:34 PM »
I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

That's exactly what I pictured. that's two very strong wingers, neither afraid to play physical.

Offline #1PilarFan

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2012, 11:06:29 PM »
So maybe the key acquisition that's needed is not a #1C, but a #2C? Is it possible that we'll be able to fill that role internally? kadri or Colborne?
Grabovski's our best option for 1C, but that shouldn't change Burke's focus from acquiring a top line centre. I mean, the Leafs are far from contenders so I might be getting ahead of myself, but I just think you're not going to be a great NHL team with Grabbo getting top minutes.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 12:17:41 AM by #1PilarFan »
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Offline #1PilarFan

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2012, 11:08:31 PM »
They're not great, no, but Bozak did a good job of riding shotgun with Kessel and Lupul last season. Obviously, to become a contender, an upgrade is needed, but in terms of next season, having him there again isn't the end of the world.
No, but if the Leafs are trying to make the playoffs then throwing Bozak out on the top line again is probably not the right choice.
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Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2012, 11:10:21 PM »
They're not great, no, but Bozak did a good job of riding shotgun with Kessel and Lupul last season. Obviously, to become a contender, an upgrade is needed, but in terms of next season, having him there again isn't the end of the world.
No, but if the Leafs are trying to make the playoffs then throwing Bozak out on the top line again is probably not the right choice.

The top line wasn't the reason we missed the playoffs last season though. If that group can maintain status quo and we improve our defence and goaltending then the playoffs should be a realistic goal.

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2012, 11:12:00 PM »
I think JVR on Grabbo's wing will be a great fit, with Kulemin on the other side.

That's exactly what I pictured. that's two very strong wingers, neither afraid to play physical.

My problem with that is it leaves very little size for the 3rd line. I've always been a fan of the idea to pair players together and rotate the 3rd guy to form lines. My pairs for the Leafs would be Lupul/Kessel, Grabs/JVR, and McClement/Kulemin. Bozak, Connolly, MacArthur, Kadri, and Frattin fight to complete the lines.

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Re: 10 People Who Could Improve the Leafs.
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2012, 11:12:00 PM »