Author Topic: Your summer 2012 strategy?  (Read 22178 times)

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Offline Sarge

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #270 on: April 02, 2012, 04:26:54 PM »

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the starts/cap space would be wasted if given to some career back-up. Reimer's play this year has raised enough questions for me that hiring a back-up goalie for the expressed purpose of mentoring him seems ridiculous. I say, the team has a bunch of goalies who've played well at the AHL level, let's give them the keys and hope one of them emerges next year. Worst thing that happens is the team sucks and you end up with another good pick. The 5 or 10 extra points a veteran back-up will give you will probably leave the team just as mediocre, just as in need of a legit #1 but with a worse pick.

It's difficult to argue with that plan. That said,  I don't think MLSE will see it that way. I'm 99% sure the Leafs will upgrade their goaltending in some fashion this summer.

Online Bullfrog

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #271 on: April 03, 2012, 08:20:38 AM »

I have a funny feeling that Kessel is going to quietly ask for a trade.

Why is that? Carlyle?

Offline Tigger

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #272 on: April 03, 2012, 11:34:33 AM »

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the starts/cap space would be wasted if given to some career back-up. Reimer's play this year has raised enough questions for me that hiring a back-up goalie for the expressed purpose of mentoring him seems ridiculous. I say, the team has a bunch of goalies who've played well at the AHL level, let's give them the keys and hope one of them emerges next year. Worst thing that happens is the team sucks and you end up with another good pick. The 5 or 10 extra points a veteran back-up will give you will probably leave the team just as mediocre, just as in need of a legit #1 but with a worse pick.

Curious, this seems like a different approach than you were thinking about last off season.
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Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #273 on: April 07, 2012, 09:41:53 PM »
With this season down the drain, what's your initial thinking on the moves Burke should make this summer?  (Dare I add, assuming he's still here?)

Right now my inclination is: blow it up.  Blow it up good.  This team is very, very far from anything worthwhile.  The team that was 28-19-6 on Feb 7 was a frigging mirage, as is now sadly apparent to all.


Offline proteus2000

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #274 on: April 08, 2012, 09:49:23 AM »
With this season down the drain, what's your initial thinking on the moves Burke should make this summer?  (Dare I add, assuming he's still here?)

Right now my inclination is: blow it up.  Blow it up good.  This team is very, very far from anything worthwhile.  The team that was 28-19-6 on Feb 7 was a frigging mirage, as is now sadly apparent to all.


Blowing the team up and aiming for a solid team in 2-4 years is a good idea. However, that is what reasonable gms do in their 1st yr on the job, not in their 5th..unless Burke gets a seal of improvement from ownership, not sure how that could happen, he will go out gun blazing to improve the team for next yr to preserve his job. I hope it happens but the odds are weak...

Offline slapshot

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #275 on: April 08, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »
Blowing up the team is a huge overreaction. That being said a few key pieces are missing. But you are not going to get them by simply shuffling the deck. The biggest thing right now is to move out dead assets and replace them with better ones. Here's how I see it:

Forwards: Needs, two top forwards and Kadri for full-year (unless traded)
Forwards worth a re-run (unless trade in a package).
1. Kessel
2. Lupul
3. Bozak
4. Grabo
5. MacArthur
6. Kulemin
7. Frattin
8. Kadri
9. Steckel
10. Crabb
11. Brown

The Leafs need at least two top forwards, so one of those 11 have to go in a package deal. Gone for sure, have to be Connolly, Lombardi, Armstrong. None of which have played like top six IMO. Colborne is not ready I don't think.

Defence

The need a top pairing d-man to go with Gardiner, pushing Gunner and Phaneuf to 3-4 spot. Could that be Suter, Schultz (not likely from rookie, but perhaps down the road). But who would have thought we'd be talking about Gardiner as top-pairing already? Liles paired with someone for 5-6 spot (Schenn, Franson, Holtzer, Blacker or someone traded for?).
Komi bought out or traded or something. D-needs to get tighter and tougher.

Goaltending: There are quite a few teams with a couple of decent goalies: Blues, Canucks, Kings, Preds, Isles, Wild (Harding UFA). I'm sure Burke will make a deal to resolve this messy situation. Gus is gone, with Reimer and Scrivens battling for back-up role.

So the Leafs are missing about 4 key pieces: a starting goalie, a top shutdown d-man, a first line centre and a power forward.

The strategy goes like this: 1) aim for one key piece via free agency - go hard for a Suter or a Parise (this will probably be the toughest challenge) 2) Add 1 key piece via trade 3) add one key piece via top 5 selection 4) Hope that someone steps up and surprises like Gardiner did.

Realistically, if the Leafs could solve two of those problems, they'd be doing good, a successful summer. However, that would mean they'd have to use stop gap measures to solve the other two, sort of like they tried with Connolly after not getting Richards. They will need to make sure goaltending is one of the piece solved for sure. Priority number 1. Carlyle may be able to mask some of the other issues with more effective coaching. The Leafs also have to hope they have better success with their stop gap measures, that some of those pan out better than the Connolly, Komi and Armstrong did. MacArthur was one UFA that worked out pretty well. A guy like Shane Doan might be a good fit and bring leadership for a year or two until the younger guys gain experience.

I see a few deals this summer. And, I see help on the way. Ross, Biggs, McKegg and this summer's pick. But realistically, I think were looking at 2-3 years before we can truly make some noise. If the goaltending is sorted out and solid for next year, I think the playoffs are certainly doable. I have no problem with Burke's efforts so far, he's not going to succeed on every deal, but in the balance I think we are better off asset wise, even if the points aren't showing yet.

Everyone is saying its four years in his regime, but really only 3 years and a few months. I say by his 5th anniversary, Leafs fans will finally be looking at something to get excited about. We need to get rid of some high priced useless assets (no not Phaneuf or Kessel) and find some better pieces. Then, I think we'll be in good shape. Most of the dead weight contracts expire in a year or two. The longer ones involve players that are actually tradeable like Schenn. 


« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 10:25:25 AM by slapshot »

Offline Corn Flake

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #276 on: April 08, 2012, 10:42:47 AM »

I have a funny feeling that Kessel is going to quietly ask for a trade.

Why is that? Carlyle?

In part, yes.  Other part is I think the scrutiny is getting to be a bit much for him. 

Based on nothing other than observing and a gut feeling.

Offline Corn Flake

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #277 on: April 08, 2012, 11:18:04 AM »
The team won't be blown up but it could use a thorough strip down and overhaul in the mid-section...

Staying:
Kessel 82 freaking points (assuming my theory he will ask for a trade is wrong) but he can't be "the guy" for this team to win.
Lupul.. might be best all-round forward.
Grabbo.. might be the heart and soul of the team.  Would be a good mentor for young Russian draftee.
Frattin .. top six/bottom six tweener. Need those tweeners.
Steckel.. .6th overall in faceoffs.  Needs to be 4th line centre though, not 3rd.
Brown.. only problem with brown is you need 2 of them since he's always hurt.  Needs to stay healthy.
Crabb.. Carlyle seems to love him. May also be a tweener with upside.
 
Phaneuf... team sv% when he was on the ice was around .945 last I heard.  Can't trash that number.
Gunarsson.. quietly solid, super cheap and efficient. 
Gardiner... looked like he was going to take over games at times in the last 10 games. Something big going on here.
Liles.. I believe he will bounce back. Concussion screwed him up

Scrivens OR Reimer... Scrivens is wavier eligible so they have to keep him or move him.  Hate the idea of going with these two as a pair next year.

Tradeable pieces who have lots of upside but just haven't filled the roles.  Can be used to acquire the missing pieces to better compliment the group above.

Schenn.. eternal patience or use him as a key piece in trade.
Kulemin.. apparently has a lot of trade value. Probably best to use it and not have him become a project.
Bozak .. 47 pts when centering 2 PPG players.  Just not 1st line material, but not 3rd line either.  Time to move on. Has trade value.
Franson..Just doesn't seem to quite have the right instincts to make it work.  Huge talent.  Will go for good return and will probably emerge as a solid top four somewhere else.

Expensive veteran parts that probably should be unloaded, although unlikely:

Komisarek.. I'm betting he stays and Carlyle straightens him out.  I wouldn't eat his contract in a bad trade.
Lombardi.. could pull it together with a full off-season to train, but if there's a chance to move him they should.
Armstrong.. in same boat as Liles but I think something else is up here. He just fell off the face of the earth.
Connolly.. the 1000% guy I would unload without hesitation.  Huge disappointment.  Team like Edmonton might take him when they can't sign anyone else to go there.

Players I'm just not sure should stay or not:

MacArthur... He probably stays but if rumor of 1st round pick value is true, trade him.  If he was 4" taller he would be the big power forward this team needs.


NEEDS:

1. 1st line centre, bigger the better but playmaker who can run with Kessel & Lupul is priority.
2. 3rd line centre
3. 3rd line winger with plenty of size and jam
4. veteran backup/tandem starting goalie with LOTS of been-there-done-that winning experience
5. 2nd line winger
6. calm, collected stay at home d-man.

I think internally, items #2 #5 and #6 could be filled by Colborne, Kadri and Holzer respectively, but the other 3 items will have to come from elsewhere.  They have to bring in some experience, some leadership to help Phaneuf and they have to get the physical play ramped up big time.

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #278 on: April 08, 2012, 02:37:19 PM »

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the starts/cap space would be wasted if given to some career back-up. Reimer's play this year has raised enough questions for me that hiring a back-up goalie for the expressed purpose of mentoring him seems ridiculous. I say, the team has a bunch of goalies who've played well at the AHL level, let's give them the keys and hope one of them emerges next year. Worst thing that happens is the team sucks and you end up with another good pick. The 5 or 10 extra points a veteran back-up will give you will probably leave the team just as mediocre, just as in need of a legit #1 but with a worse pick.

Curious, this seems like a different approach than you were thinking about last off season.

Last year I thought the team was on the right track and building towards something definite. This year I'm fairly well convinced that when the Leafs are competitive again they'll have a different core than what we see right now anyway so you can take the riskier approach.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline Tigger

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #279 on: April 08, 2012, 07:24:21 PM »
Last year I thought the team was on the right track and building towards something definite. This year I'm fairly well convinced that when the Leafs are competitive again they'll have a different core than what we see right now anyway so you can take the riskier approach.

I'd probably go the way you're suggesting, Burke won't, though I don't think the 'core' is quite as grim as that. If there was a creative, not hugely expensive, way to get a younger better goalie I'd be interested in that too.
"My father was born shortly after the Wright Brothers" Charlie Duke

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #280 on: April 08, 2012, 07:28:57 PM »
I'd probably go the way you're suggesting, Burke won't, though I don't think the 'core' is quite as grim as that.

So...do you think this team will win something significant with Kessel as their best forward, Phaneuf as their best defenseman and Reimer as their best goalie?
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline Tigger

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #281 on: April 08, 2012, 07:45:32 PM »
I'd probably go the way you're suggesting, Burke won't, though I don't think the 'core' is quite as grim as that.

So...do you think this team will win something significant with Kessel as their best forward, Phaneuf as their best defenseman and Reimer as their best goalie?

Kessel, as their best scoring forward maybe, Phaneuf, no but I think he'll be eclipsed by Gardiner and Reimer... well, no. I'd have Grabovski in there too, and I think Schenn could be a very big part of the defense down the road.

Looking at that, it's weak, but not impossible to work with.

"My father was born shortly after the Wright Brothers" Charlie Duke

Offline Nik the Trik

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #282 on: April 08, 2012, 07:47:31 PM »
Kessel, as their best scoring forward maybe, Phaneuf, no but I think he'll be eclipsed by Gardiner and Reimer... well, no. I'd have Grabovski in there too, and I think Schenn could be a very big part of the defense down the road.

Looking at that, it's weak, but not impossible to work with.

That's all I meant. For this team to be competitive there's going to need be big changes and those changes will take time. As a result I'm less concerned about what happens next year.
Give a man the reputation of an early riser and he can sleep 'til noon
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Offline Tigger

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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #283 on: April 08, 2012, 07:52:50 PM »
Kessel, as their best scoring forward maybe, Phaneuf, no but I think he'll be eclipsed by Gardiner and Reimer... well, no. I'd have Grabovski in there too, and I think Schenn could be a very big part of the defense down the road.

Looking at that, it's weak, but not impossible to work with.

That's all I meant. For this team to be competitive there's going to need be big changes and those changes will take time. As a result I'm less concerned about what happens next year.

Fair enough.

I know it's foolish to worry about next years draft but I wouldn't mind a full on transition/development year and having a shot at getting MacKinnon.

Again, Burke won't see it that way at all.
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Re: Your summer 2012 strategy?
« Reply #283 on: April 08, 2012, 07:52:50 PM »