Toronto Maple Leafs: Who Stays and Who Goes This Offseason?
GM Brian Burke is set to attend the event and will surely be asked about his draft intentions. But don't expect him to give away very much.
Burke addressed his offseason intentions earlier this morning during his annual year-end press conference, and with his comments in mind, this slideshow takes a quick look at some names that are on the bubble.
As you read through the slideshow, you will be referenced back to Burke's press conference, so I have provided the link for you to check it out.
Read this slideshow, watch the presser and feel free to comment.
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Armstrong was brought in to be an impact player, but his tenure with in Toronto has been marked with injuries and inconsistent play.
Carlyle wants his team to play a tough and physical brand of hockey, but Armstrong's days of being an impact player may be behind him.
If management believes this is the case, expect Burke to try and move his $3 million cap hit.
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Komisarek has the tough-nosed intangibles to play for new head coach Randy Carlyle, but Burke admitted that the leadership on his team needs augmentation.
Captain Dion Phaneuf isn't going anywhere, so does that mean Komisarek is out?
Perhaps it does, because it's tough to be a leader when you're watching from the press box like he did for much of this past season.
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Burke stated that positional upgrades are needed in net and at the No. 1 center position.
Bozak was good this season, but he is far too small to retain the same role with Toronto next season.
He could slip into the center spot on the third line, but Burke may choose to retain Tim Connolly for that role. If he does, Bozak will become trade bait.
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With a cap hit of $4.75 million, it's fair to say that Connolly was a very expensive mistake this season.
Unfortunately, his contract also makes him difficult to move. So, if I had to wager a guess, I would say that Connolly stays.
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Gustavsson is a pending unrestricted free agent, and judging by Burke comments, he may walk.
This is not to say that the "Monster" wouldn't welcome a return to Toronto next season. That point is surely debatable.
But Burke was emphatic in suggesting that James Reimer is "the real deal."
Gustavsson doesn't provide Reimer the help that he needs moving forward, so don't expect him back next season.
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Lombardi is a fast, creative center. But when Burke made the trade with Nashville to acquire him, the primary target was Cody Franson.
It remains to be seen whether or not either of the two will return next season. However, Franson provides size and versatility on the back end.
Burke will look to add size and physicality to his forward compliment this offseason, and because his top-six group is set except at the No. 1 center spot, adjustments will be made to the bottom six.
Lombardi may fall victim to these circumstances.
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Much like Matt Frattin, Crabb was a pleasant surprise this season. He provided Toronto with quality minutes through hard play and was able to chip in offensively as well.
Carlyle relies heavily on his third and fourth lines, and Crabb's versatility should enable him to be just as effective next season, even with the new names that are sure to surround him.
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