Could The Maple Leafs Land Patrick Marleau? Should They?

Our man LT likes to check in a few times a week with the same question, “Did Burke land Marleau yet?” Clearly, LT wants Marleau. The news that the San Jose Sharks have stripped Marleau of his captaincy has lead to rampant speculation that Marleau will be dealt by the Sharks. So the question is twofold, one, do we want him? and two, do we have the assets to get him.

The answers are as intriguing as the questions themselves. Burke seems to be after high character guys. Does the fact that he is losing his captaincy mean he is not a high character guy? Does losing his captaincy make him less desirable? There are lots of high character guys who aren’t captain material. Hell, I wrote yesterday that Tomas Kaberle is, by all accounts a high character guy but by no accounts is he captain material. In my opinion, the only reason we want him is if Ron Wilson wants him. It’s one thing to be a GM in the league and covet or admire a player on another team. It’s different to have coached a guy. If Ron Wilson wants him, than that is good enough for me too. He puts up good numbers and is only 30.

Now, more interesting is do the Maple Leafs have the assets to get him. The obvious answer is yes they do. They coud pile up enough of (or all of) their young talent and throw in draft picks (Tom Kurvers trade ring a bell) to trade for him. The real question is, how marketable is a guy who has just been stripped of his captaincy? I mean how does Doug Wilson sell high on a guy who he in essence has just humiliated? Whether or not the move is justified or not, stripping a player of this honour can’t be viewed positively on the part of the player. I don’t care how it is sold, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, it’s still stripping the player of one of the highest honors in the game. So what is the price for a guy like this right now?

All intriguing questions as we inch closer to training camp.

I have to admit, the more I have thought about it today the more I have really started to believe that Burke should find room for Chelios in this franchise. I think it would be a move of pure genius to land him. One way, two way, what ever way. Bring him here to be a role model and a mentor. I hear Ken Holland interviewed today, and as brutal an interview as it was, he said that the one thing that makes the Red Wings special is that when kids finally make the roster (they are so deep they don’t have to rush their prospects) they sit in the locker room in stalls next to guys like Steve Yzerman and Chris Chelios and learn how to be professional hockey players. They learn how to prepare, how to workout, the work ethic, how to eat etc. This is exactly why Burke should offer Chelios something unique to come in and teach these young kids how to be pros.



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August 19, 2009 1:45 am

Chelios could easily bomb just like Cujo,playing for the Leafs is a far cry from the Wings.I don’t think watching a once proud player face his mortality at 47? is what Schenn or the Leafs need,especially in the one position they have quality depth.Hire Chelios as a roving instructor(and mentor) but for fuck sakes,keep him off the ice!

August 19, 2009 8:38 am

If the Leafs didn’t have so many vets on D, i’d be ok with bringing in Chelios…but i don’t see how they have room to make him the #7 guy (’cause that’s all he could be at most). If there is a way to bring him on as a roming instructor as Eggbert suggests, no problem – though i’m not sure if this approach would have the same impact…he may be viewed as “management” versus one of the guys in the strenches.

As for Marleau…the move to strip him of the ‘C’ took me back for sure…I don’t think you publically embarrass your Captain unless there is a reason…which does worry me. That said; we don’t have to bring him here to be our new captain…he’s a $6.3M point per game center…we need one of those at some point. I’d be careful of what we give up since he’s a UFA at the end of the season. Thankfully, Wilson coached him so a decision on whether or not to make a play for him will be based on solid information.

August 19, 2009 10:21 am

Agreed on the Chelios statement, but as for Marleau, didn’t he and Ronnie have a huge slap-fight at the end of a playoff run a few seasons ago? I get the feeling they don’t like each other. Besides that, I like Marleau. Think the Sharks would want Blake? They’d save 2 mil in cap space…

August 19, 2009 1:07 pm

Marleau would be a nice addition, but I don’t think there is a trade that fits very well with the Sharks. It would make more sense for the Leafs to sign him next season as a UFA if they want to rather than give up assets now. Also I am not sure if he is the type of player who would thrive in the pressure of TO and therefore trading assets for him would only add to his pressure.

Theothervatican….I can’t see any way the Sharks would take Blake for him in a package…sure they’d save 2 million this season but get an inferior player, and then be stuck with 2 more years at 4 mil each on said inferior player.

August 19, 2009 2:05 pm

Marleau is still a good player but the Leafs don’t have anyone they can afford to give up for him. He’s a guy you pickup as a missing piece, not as the only piece. The Leafs aren’t in any position to get rid of young players for anyone. If you want to build a strong team you don’t do it by throwing away your future unless you already have a pretty strong team and are just one or two guys away from a championship. Definitely not the position Toronto is in. And walk away from Chelios. He doesn’t have any good years left in him, maybe one sub-par year. He was good back in the day but with Beauchemin on the team, you have someone who can mentor Schenn for a couple of seasons, which is what he needs, not one year with a player who would be just taking a roster spot away from another young player that could use the icetime. This is Chelois we’re talking about, not Blake. Now that’s someone who could be helpful to the Leafs because he can still plan and would be both a great mentor and an actual defensive asset. You don’t just pick up any veteran.

The Meatriarchy
August 19, 2009 9:41 pm

If Marleau does get traded to the leafs it would mean one thing: Doug Wilson absolutely hates him.

1. Strips him of the captaincy
2 trades him to the team with the coach who hates him.

Boy that would be cold.

I think I like Doug Wilson.

The Meatriarchy
August 19, 2009 9:43 pm

Oh and Burkie on the Fan this am said he was going to trade for a forward and use the cap space for that. So it looks like a team with a surplus of forwards and cap issues is his target.

Anyone got any ideas?

August 20, 2009 11:37 am

An example of being stripped of the Captaincy, then staying with the team is Mike Modano with the C going to Brendan Morrow. Modano ate a lot of crow after that, but didn’t make a fuss. He has since put up another 146 points since losing the C in Sept 2006. That’s a show of character for sure.

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