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Leafs Rebuild

TheAngrySportsGuy

Registered Member
Hey guys, wanted some opinions on the Leafs rebuild.

I think it's going according to plan and maybe ahead of plan.

First the plan:

Acquire as many young assets as possible while cleaning out cap space for the future.

This was done at incredible levels. To have Kessel, Phanuef and Clarkson all off the books with only a fraction of cap space picked up is unreal. People have said that was the easy part, but I'm not so sure clearing all those contracts was all that easy. Especially finding a way to get rid of Clarkson entire contract.

Leafs have picked up a boat load of high round picks. A top 4 pick this year plus another (likely in the 20s) plus a plethora of 2nd rounders over the next few years. Now they wont use all those picks. But they could use them to move up and get a better player, like trading the Pens pick plus a 2nd or two to move back into the top 10-12? Either way, this organization is going to be FLUSH with young skilled players, adding in to the fact they will probably be picking top 10 again next year.

MAYBE ahead of the plan:

Lets be honest, the Leafs getting the #1 pick this year would change everything. I think it increases the likely hood they get Stamkos (or likens they at least try). If they are successful getting Mathews and Stamkos I see a trade of Kadri for a goalie or a D-man. This would speed up the process, making the Leafs a potential playoff team NEXT year.

Thoughts? Pie in the sky?
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
I do believe the Leafs are on the right path. They have a very good young core with Nylander leading the charge. On top of that you'll get a very high draft pick, maybe ev en Matthews who would be ready to play with the team next season.

I do believe the Leafs are going to go with Bernier next season and see if he can change things around, he's still young and who knows, maybe he's a late bloomer.

Babcock is a very good coach, and if the young guns are willing to listen and put in the work, I see the Leafs being back in the playoff picture in a few seasons.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
Leafs don't really have to get the 1st... there's a few quality players from 1-7 that could be that franchise type of player many teams are looking good. I believe Laine could be 3rd but he could easily be 1st... just as long as the Habs win one of the lotteries!!!
 

StroShow

The return shall be legenday!
V.I.P.
The Leafs are rebuilding to perfection IMO. They sign decent players to 1 year deals, put them in good position to produce and ship them off for picks at the deadline. On top of that, field a terrible team to possibly acquire the best possible pick in the draft. They should for a force for years to come.
 

Babe_Ruth

Sultan of Swat
Staff member
V.I.P.
I'm not a Leafs fan, but I'm also not a Leafs hater. The Leads are doing a great job with this rebuild. Very fortunate for them to get the first overall pick on Saturday night. All that being said, I don't think Matthews knows the pressure cooker he's entering.
 

TheAngrySportsGuy

Registered Member
Laine looks like he really wants to go 1st... looked pretty darn good in WC today!
I don't think it's necessarily all that close. Laine picked up steam during the Finnish league playoffs because he was ripping it up and Matthews wasn't playing. Out of sight out of mind. I still think, when push comes to shove Matthews total game will come out on top of the flash of Laine's shot (his skating has been questioned). From everything I've been reading Matthews is like a more talented Toews. I'll take that over an Ovechkin clone that can't skate.

Now my rant about the Stamkos talks:

I just want to touch on things I've been reading (mostly on comment sections) about the Leafs not needing Stamkos because

1. they are now loaded at centre

2.Stamkos wont want to come here because he wont go some where and play second fiddle.

3.The Leafs wont screw their cap in the future to sign Stamkos now. Sign Tavares in 2 years.

Lets touch on the first nonsensical crap first. The Leafs are NOT loaded at Centre. The Leafs #1 centre at this moment is Nazem Kadri, I know, Matthews is probably coming. Nylander is coming. Marner is coming etc.... But guess what, is Nazem Kadri a great second line centre? He'd be a decent second line centre. But he'd be a fantastic third line centre (in this scenario Bozak has been traded)! Matthews coming into the Toronto market as the "saviour" is a dangerous game. Why not bring in a superstar NHL player to push him to second line duty. Kadri drops to third line. Takes all the pressure off of Matthews.

"Well, what about Nylander and Marner then???" Well, I can guarantee you the Leafs would rather have those two smallish guys at wing.

"Well why did they move Nylander to centre this year???" Well, at the beginning of this year, the Leafs had.... What, Bozak and Holland signed beyond this year? Maybe, just maybe they were checking to see if Nylander COULD play centre if you know, they don't get the #1 pick and they don't re-sign Kadri because he's a mental case, and they don't sign Stamkos. The Leafs centre situation has changed drastically from when they put Nylander at Centre.

"Marner?" From what I've read he's never been thought of as a centre at the NHL level.

2. These same guys say Stamkos wont go to the Leafs because he wants to win a cup. The thought process here is Stamos wont come to Toronto because he'll play second fiddle to Matthews. Well if that's true, Matthews will probably have to be pretty freakin' good. And if Matthews is pretty freakin' good, the Leafs are probably going to be pretty freakin' good, with Stamkos. I said during the season to my buddies, if the Leafs finish last, they have a 20% chance of landing Stamkos. They asked why (I assume we all know why now) and I told them Stamkos will come here if the Leafs get Matthews because the rebuild will be expedited and the team will be better faster. Well, that happened and I'm not backing off now. Matthews isn't a hindrance to landing Stamkos, he's a big plus.

3. This doesn't even make sense. If they were both FAs right now, I'd take Tavares. But, in 2 years from now when Tavares becomes a FA, the market will be higher, and the years will just be starting. In two years, Stamkos will have 5 years and $50 million left. Tavares will have 7 and $77 left. Which guy screws the cap for the future? Oh, but just think of all the guys there will be to sign to huge contracts. Marner, Nylander, Mathews etc... Well, that assumes they all hit! That's a good thing. If they are all worth huge money before the Stamkos contract is up then just think how many Cups will be paraded through Toronto! But, even if they do all hit, Most will not be hitting the UFA market until the contract is over. Sure, they'll get raises during the RFA years, but the big money comes after Stamkos is already gone.

The way I see signing Stamkos, the Leafs are signing him to a 5 year $50m contract in two years. They just have to pay these first two years to him to get there. Since the cap is no problem the next couple of years, and there is tons of money coming off within the next 3. I think the cap will be fine and Stamkos is the perfect fit.
 

Crypticshock

Registered Member
I don't think it's necessarily all that close. Laine picked up steam during the Finnish league playoffs because he was ripping it up and Matthews wasn't playing. Out of sight out of mind. I still think, when push comes to shove Matthews total game will come out on top of the flash of Laine's shot (his skating has been questioned). From everything I've been reading Matthews is like a more talented Toews. I'll take that over an Ovechkin clone that can't skate.
Please re-read what I said. Laine wants to go first. Has nothing to do with him being 1st. He's not going to get picked 1st, not over a great centreman when the team picking first has been trying to get a #1 centre for 15+ years. Laine and Matthews will be linked like crosby and ovechkin, which is also useless. Both play different positions, Ovechkin will always score goals. Crosby will also get more assists.
 
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