The Toronto Maple Leafs suck. At least right now they do. Losing eight of nine games and earning only three of a possible 18 points has dropped the Maple Leafs into the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference and out of playoff position.
This slump is happening at the worst possible time and the Leafs are now in danger of falling completely out of the playoff race if they don't right the ship as soon as possible.
The trade deadline is 3 o'clock Eastern Monday afternoon, and Brian Burke has a decision to make. What that decision is we won't find out until Burke makes a move or perhaps when Burke says that he was unable to make a deal.
Whats going to happen? Well, there are three options. Here they are.
This is what Leaf fans are dreading, but the fact is there is a real chance that 3 o'clock could pass and the Leafs don't do a thing. Brian Burke likes the young team that he has and doesn't want to break that up very much.
That team might have to fight for a playoff spot with no improvement. They will have to improve their play and not have another string of games like this recent one.
For the sake of all Leafs fans' sanity, the Leafs need to make a deal.
The most likely scenario is that Brian Burke will go out and make a few trades that bring in pieces that the Maple Leafs need. A goaltender and some help in the bottom six are in the cards.
If the Leafs can pick up the small pieces that are important in a playoff run without giving up to much, they could be in very good shape.
Players that could be targeted: Travis Moen, Paul Gaustad, Josh Harding, Anders Lindback
It's happened in two previous years. Brian Burke makes a call and comes out with a pretty good player or two that improves the Leafs. Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie, Joffrey Lupul and Jake Gardiner have come to Toronto and are big pieces in the Leafs' future.
Burke would have liked to make a deal like that in January, but the way the NHL is right now, teams don't want to move their big pieces as they are still in the playoff race. Now, Burke might have to overpay to make a big move that will certainly improve his team.
Players that could be targeted: Rick Nash, Eric Staal, Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan