Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Leafs Possible Deadline Deals:

MVR to Boston, Montreal, (or someplace else) for a 2nd and 4th

Precedent: Brad Stuart last year to Detroit for a 2nd and 4th. Similar calibre, Stuart maybe a bit better but was a rental, MVR has another year. Or Hal Gill last year for a 2nd and 5th, with a year remaining on his contract, MVR is more effective than Gill.

Rumours? No there are no rumours of Mike Van Ryn being dealt. You could replace his name with Ian White who was involved in some trade rumours earlier this year. A Mike Van Ryn trade is pure speculation on my part. A deal involving MVR would also be dependant on his getting healthy before the deadline.

Antropov to Columbus for a 1st and a decent player under 26, ie Alexandre Picard

Precedent: Dani Zubrus from Washington to Buffalo at deadline for a 1st and Novotny. Zubrus was coming off a 57 pt season and posted 60 that year, Antropov is coming off a 56 pt season and is on pace to post 65ish. Novotny was a Buffalo 1st round pick who was 22 at the time of that trade and not developing into a star, just a decent forward. Picard is a former 1st round pick who is now 22 and not producing like a star in the making, but should be a decent forward. The Zubrus deal was made 2 years ago and Dani is 2 years older than Nik.

Rumours? Yes, there has been a lot of speculation that Columbus is interested in a big centre/winger like Nik Antropov. Columbus has been scouting the Leafs lately, and Ken Hitchcock has gone on record saying he’s a fan of Nik Antropov. Columbus is also a bubble team right now and there is reason to believe they will be a buyer at the deadline.

Ponikarovsky for a 2nd (to Vancouver? Or wherever there's a fit)

Precident: In 2007 Phoenix traded Oleg Saprykin to Ottawa for their 2nd rounder. Also, in 2006 Washington traded Jeff Friesen to Anaheim for their 2nd round pick. If you don't think much of Poni I know some people don't, he has 14 goals in 41 games this year, he's scoring at a decent pace and without a Mats Sundin or Joe Nieuwendyk to centre him his production has not gone down. He is not the most skilled forward available but a big body, decent speed, heavy shot, and decent nose for the net. In his previous 3 seasons he has posted 20, 22, and 18 goals, so consistantly around 20 goals and 40 points, $2.1 million cap hit good through 2010, and top 5 +/- rating on the team almost every year in the NHL.

Rumours? Yes there have been rumours that one of the players Burke is shopping is Poni. As of right now your guess is as good as mine for who Burke keeps and trades, but Poni is one of the more valuable trade commodities and a very moveable player.

Tomas Kaberle to New Jersey for Tedenby, Clarkson, 1st

I like Tedenby's skill, I think he's a good prospect, he's a late 1st round pick from the '08 draft. Clarkson is just 24, and although he's not expected to be a star he is a decent young guy who could be the type of role player Burke is looking for, and could be part of this young rebuilding team. Clarkson’s rookie year he posted 22 pts but 183 pims. This year he’s on pace for around 30 pts and 160 pims. The 1st rounder is key.

Rumours? Yes there are rumours all over the internet of Tomas Kaberle being traded and he has gone on record as saying he would agree to waive his NTC. Why New Jersey? This is a team that is lacking a PP quarterback, Kaberle fits the bill. If you don't think its a fit with New Jersey then look for a similar deal to this one (Kaberle for a 1st rounder, a solid prospect, and a decent younger roster player.) This trade is just a good example of what to expect.

Dominic Moore to (virtually anyone) for a 2nd

Precedent: Dominic Moore was traded at the deadline of ’07 from Pittsburgh to Minnesota for a 3rd. Moore had 15 points in 59 games that year for Pittsburgh. So far this season Moore has 21 pts in 42 games and is playing the best hockey of his career, often being counted on for important draws and being matched up against higher end centre’s such as Spezza. He’s 27 years old and UFA in the summer.

That's it for now, essentially we pick up a bunch of draft picks (Two 1st's, three 2nd’s, a 4th). Two decent younger players in this example its Clarkson (24) and Picard (22), and a higher end prospect in Tedenby (so not Filatov, not Cody Hodgson, not Drew Doughty etc. You get the point).

So we get a chance to really get the rebuild kicked into high gear.I think this type of return is reasonable and realistic. A lot of fantasy GM's out there believe the Leafs will acquire a lot at this deadline, I think its more reasonable to believe they will acquire a number of draft picks and maybe only a few players. Other deals that may transpire could include some roster players coming back too, but these will be minor deals like the May trade last week.

Just to recap I'll do an "in - out" thing in order of value:


1st round pick
1st round pick
Mattius Tedenby
2nd round pick
2nd round pick
2nd round pick
Alex Picard
David Clarkson
4th round pick


Tomas Kaberle
Nik Antropov
Mike Van Ryn
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Dominic Moore

Kubina could be moved in the summer too don't forget. I didn't forget about him. But if you're Burke, you can wait to see which teams don't land 'that guy' during free agency and move Kubina while his NTC has its summer window. This way he can't say no to any trade and more teams become available to trade him to. Or keep him, whatever, maybe he's a drawing factor for a UFA like Bouwmeester?

Also having 3 first round picks and 3 second round picks gives the Leafs flexibility on draft day. They have a oppurtunity to draft 6 times in the top 60 selections, or they can maneuver these picks a bit to move up in the draft. Either way it replenishes the farm system. A true rebuild is a few years away from being complete and having a draft like this would be key. I know this is just in my example and we may not get that many picks in the first two rounds, but I would not be surprised to see something like this happen as Burke has gone on record saying he wants draft picks and has mentioned that he has no 2nd round pick in '09 or '10.

The team post deadline. If Burke moves the players I expect him to and is able to get returns similar to what I expect, I think the team could look something like this post deadline. For arguements sake I'll use the players I said he would acquire in my examples.

Blake – Stajan – Stempniak
Hagman – Grabovski – Kulemin
Picard – Mitchell – J.Williams
Clarkson – Mayers – May

Kubina – Schenn
Frogren – White
Sifers - Finger


Scratch/spare/minors: Hollweg, Deveaux, Stralman, Tlusty, Kronvall

Thanks hope you enjoyed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

KHL Going under??? + May joins Leafs

First off, Brian Burke made his first move as GM of the Leafs today acquiring Brad May for a conditional 6th rounder (what's the condition? I don't know). May is a tough guy, and as you all know Burke likes to mold his top 6 and bottom 6 forwards with specific role players. So I guess that's what he's doing here. Also maybe he's bringing in players for when he starts to sell guys off like Antropov and Poni, he'll have some guys to fill out the roster. Kulemin has been assigned to the Marlies... for now.

Now, onto the KHL. Last night on Sportsnet they were talking about how the KHL is in a bad financial situation and they may be asking their players to all take a 40% salary cutback to keep the league alive. Well if this happens its safe to say a lot of these players will be bolting for the NHL. The K does have a bunch of star players who could easily come (back) to the NHL and be big time performers.

Here are a few of the bigger names and top performers. When looking at the stats keep in mind that over there they don't give out 2nd assists so points totals tend to look small sometimes. See how many of these names you recognize. I'll keep the teammates altogether.

Player, (Age), Gp G - A - PTS

From Salavat Yulayev (1st place)
Alex Tereshenko (28), 28 21 - 25 - 46
Alex Perezhogin (25), 40 25 - 16 - 41
Alex Radulov (22), 40 18 - 22 - 40
Oleg Tverdovsky (32), 33 7 - 15 - 22

other notables from this team are:
Well no one really, remember Konstantin Koltsov? Ya he's playing there but he's not producing at all.

From Mytischi Atlant (2nd place)
Sergei Mozyakin (27), 41 21 - 30 - 51

other notables from thsi team are Alexander Koralyuk (31 pts), ex-Leaf Igor Korelev, Yan Bulis, Denis Arkipov and goalie Ray Emery.

From Kazan Akbars (3rd place)
Alexei Morozov (31), 34 23 - 29 - 52
Denis Zaripov (27), 41 25- 25 - 50

other notables from this team are:
Niko Kapanen, Oleg Petrov, Nikita Alexeev, Goalies Wade Dubliewicz and Freddy Norrena

From Yaroslav Locomotiv (4th place)
Alexei Yashin (35), 40 14 - 20 - 34

other notables from YL are:
Rugged blueliner Vitali Vishnevski, Josef Vasicek,

From the rest of the league here are your better known names:
Stanislav Chistov, Karel Pilar, Nils Ekman, Sergei Brylin, Andrei Zyuzin, Darius Kasparitus, Robert Esche (.912 Sv%, 18-9-2, 1.82 GAA, wow Esche), Oleg Saprykin, Petr Shastlivy, Alex Suglobov, Maxim Kondratiev, Jussi Markenen (back up, bad numbers), Andrei Nikolashin (remember him? He's leading his team in scoring 34 pts in 40 games), Oleg Kvasha, Branko Radevojevic (remember him? tops on his team 37 pts in 40 games), Ladislav Nagy (What happened? 14 pts in 34 games, just 3 goals), Joel Kwiatkowski, Jaromir Jagr (20 and 23 for 43 pts in 40 games. But you know he's dominating the play), Jakub Klepis.

Now that's just players from the teams who are in the top half of the league in standings. Its pretty clear making this list that the NHL could not house a lot of these NHL calibre guys. I think its good that there's another kind of high end league out there. Just look at the part of the roster of Moscow Dynamo:

Petr Cajanek, Dmitry Afanasankov, Karel Rachunek, Alexei Zhitnik, Matthias Weinhandl, Vitali Yachmenev, Dimitri Shitikov (okay I don't know him either but great name), and Danny Markov.

I bet out of the entire list there are a dozen guys NHL teams would still really want. Anyway's that's it for now.