There are 47 shopping days for NHL GM’s not named Brian Burke. We all know that Burke’s own holiday Christmas trade freeze kicks in early, so if the Toronto Maple Leaf GM is going to make a deal, the window to do pre-freeze is just over a month away. I’m certain if he were asked he would say something along the lines of he is always looking to improve the team, that other teams are offering up nothing but bad contracts etc. etc. etc.
One area most of us agree that Burke should go looking for some help is in net. Vesa Toskala is simply not the answer. He hasn’t even shown to a be a capable backup to Jonas Gustavsson. I think Toskala is still waiting for the shootout to begin in Montreal.
Lots of folks talk trade in the MSM of the NHL. There aren’t too many worth listening to when they do. Too many of them are just simply off the post when it comes to rumors. I can list on one hand the number of guys who discuss potential trades that are the least bit reliable. Pierre LeBrun is one of the guys who is actually pretty good at it.
Now LeBrun, in his latest column isn’t talking rumor per se, rather speculation on a deal that he believes should be made:
“In my opinion, if there’s a trade that just makes too much sense, it’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere to Toronto. Clearly, it makes sense for Anaheim, which wants to cut itself from the goaltender’s contract ($6 million this season and $7 million next season). But I also think the Maple Leafs should give this some serious thought (I think they have, at least a little bit).”
We’ve had this debate before already the main question in my opinion is what are we giving up to get him? Can’t give up picks. If we are taking a huge salary back, I hope we are either dumping a huge salary or getting prospects or picks back.
“The Leafs are one of the few teams on Giguere’s short list (he has a no-movement clause), he would be reunited with goalie coach Francois Allaire and he could mentor rookie Jonas Gustavsson, much like he did Jonas Hiller in Anaheim. Let’s face it: Vesa Toskala (UFA July 1) is probably beyond repair in Toronto, where the fans have turned on him. The Leafs, meanwhile, could rid themselves of some excess baggage in the Giguere deal, perhaps sending a forward or two the other way, a guy like Alexei Ponikarovsky, for example.”
Excess baggage I agree with. Is Ponikarovsky the excess baggage though? I am not saying I am in love with Poni but there are others I would sooner throw over board as “excess baggage”. I would have to assume that Toskala would have to go the other way too no?
“The Leafs will have some extra bodies up front when Phil Kessel makes his much-anticipated return. And, by the way, Giguere might help the Leafs win a few games over the next year and a half, which isn’t a bad thing considering Boston holds both of Toronto’s first-round picks. It’s just my own speculation, but I just think it makes too much sense.”
Winning games would be a refreshing change around here. Leaf loses are becoming as accepted as NHLPA leadership changes. I am not a fan of change for change sake, however I do think with that if things don’t get MUCH better as we approach and surpass the 15 game mark Burke has to do something.
LeBrun is here