I’m back from a very busy week. I had virtually no time to go on BR except for a few minutes here and there, and I’ll tell you, it was really hard. Oh well, the important part is I’m here now and ready to write Part Two of Who Stays, Who Goes?
In Part One, I covered the forwards I thought needed to be included, and now, in Part Two, I’m looking towards the defensive end, which includes the guys between the pipes. Enough talk—let’s go!
Finger signed a big contract with the Leafs during the off-season, and it definitely raised a few eyebrows. Although Finger may not be living up to the hefty contract he signed over the summer, he is still playing well with the Leafs and has been a solid defenseman for them. He’s gritty and tough, and that’s what the Leafs need.
Brian Burke’s acquisition of Brad May shows he wants grit too. I’m sure he wants to keep any grit he already has on the roster. Besides, who wants Finger's $3.5m contract anyway?
More rumours surround this guy than that one girl from your high school. Well, maybe not, but there is at least one rumour that Kubina could be involved in a trade with Nik Antropov.
When I wrote Part One I didn’t think Antropov was going to be traded, but after a few comments, I realized getting Antropov out with Kubina might not be a bad idea. They’re starting to age and likely won’t get much better.
This 31-year-old defenseman has been improving his game in Toronto in the last few months, and if they want to get rid of him, now is the time to do it. A team that needs a solid defenseman to help make a playoff run might jump at the chance to grab Kubina, and I don’t think Mr. Burke would hesitate to pull the trigger.
Young, talented, on a two-way contract, and he is already one of the Leafs' top D-men. The most important word here was young. The Leafs are rebuilding, and to get rid of a young player with so much potential would be ridiculous! There is no way Stralman is going!
Mike Van Ryan:
After 40-some odd games, Van Ryan has only played 17 games this season. I haven’t really noticed him on the ice myself, but he has nine points and is a +2, so in the few games that he’s played he must be doing something right. However, I’m sure on deadline day Burke will be on the phone trying to move him, but the chances of that happening are slim.
Want to move him, but won’t be able to.
He has been moved up to the wing a few times this year and is currently sporting a very fashionable 1970s hockey mustache. Aside from that, White has played 36 games and is a +4 with 12 points; not bad if you ask me. He won’t be leaving anytime soon, not because he’s a valuable piece to the team and not because he has an inflated contact, but simply because he just isn’t on the urgent agenda.
At Joseph's age, where are you going to trade him? No one wants a 41-year-old washed up backup goalie. It just wouldn’t be logical for someone to trade for him. The Leafs are better off keeping him and sticking with him until the end of the season. Make him a healthy scratch a few times and have Pogge come up and play a few games; that way Pogge will be ready for next year.
He’s looked shaky for a bit now, and he seems to be slowly improving, but it would be a hard choice. At the start of the season he was seen as the Leafs' building block, and there could be no way I or anyone else could see him being traded, but now it’s more of a trade him while he’s still worth something kind of deal.
I really have no clue what the Leafs will do with Vesa on March 4. If they hold on to him hoping he returns to his former self, they could strike gold, or it could all come crashing down.
Well, there you go. If anyone wants to know why some people were not included on the list, it is because I did not feel the need to include them, i.e. John Mitchell is not a big part of the team, so I passed on him. However if there is an uproar or demand I will publish one with all the players I skipped, just to make you feel better.
Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed!