2009 NHL Free Agents At A Glance

Mitch. Mitchell.Correspondent IJanuary 15, 2009

The following are not all the available free agents for 2009 but some that may fit the Leafs' plans.

Buffalo has two players the Leafs may want: Spacek and Kotalik.

Calgary may want to get rid of Todd Bertuzzi for a price or Mike Cammalleri.

Carolina, I do not think will allow Chad LaRose to go.

Anaheim Ducks could help the Leafs with center Samuel Pahlsson.

Minnesota are not going to get rid of Nicklas Backstrom but they may want to deal Marian Gaborik.

Chicago Black Hawks will part ways, I think, with Martin Havlat: He would be a great catch for T.O.

Detroit will keep Franzen and Zetterberg but may want to deal for Marian Hossa.

Florida I do believe would want the farm for Jay Bouwmeester. Great player!

The rest of the free players what! Free agents are either too price-minded or they are staying with their team.

The rest who are free to tackle are over the hill or coming to the end of their careers.

I do believe Toronto has about $20 million laying around in the School Teachers' Fund which they should be using. The rainy day has arrived.

But before we go buying, selling, or trading, on the Leafs' part let's have a good look at what the Leafs have to offer and what they would lose in the rebuilding process.

Let's be honest here, Thomas Kaberle, Pavel Kubina, Niklas Hagman, Matt Stajan, John Mitchell, Mikhail Grabovski, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jason Blake, Dominic Moore and Vesa Toskala—if any were with another team, they would be stand-outs.

Here is my case: Toronto cannot trade players who are going to give them equal value and you cannot trade two or three of the above players to get a leading scorer.

The leading scorer you get is going to be a Daryle Sittler playing on a weak Toronto team, working your ass off every night with no team results.

Toronto must buy players with their $20 million, keep their best players and never trade their draft choices.

As I see it from this side of the table the Leafs may have about four players who may get them a pretty good return without trading the farm or tearing down the house.

I may also add if the troubled economy has the effect on hockey it is having on everything else, the greed players and their agents may be begging some of the big markets for contracts. We will see.