Stats: 6'4", 219 lbs, 82GP, 30G, 59PTS, -19
No offseason analysis could be complete without mention of Nash...so here he is. He's essentially everything that Brian Burke wants in his players.
There has been enough dissecting of Nash to understand why he'd be a great, almost perfect, fit. He can play PP, PK and lots of EV strength ice time. He's been used in shutdown (Team Canada WHC and Olympics) and scoring roles and could slot in besides Kessel or Grabovski.
That would effectively give Carlyle his shutdown checking forward unit and free up the third line for secondary scoring, maybe giving some kids a chance without the added responsibilities of being completely defensively responsible.
Nash is a stand-up all-around guy and leader, although his leadership can be slightly questioned based on Columbus's success with him as captain (then again, what the hell has Columbus ever done right since drafting Nash?).
He's not worth the monstrous sum of parts that Columbus is supposedly asking as he is not a god-sent saviour for the Leafs. But he is an excellent player who would go a long way to making the Leafs a cup contender (that's right not just playoffs but CUP!) and as such he will probably cost a significant part of our future.
Probable cost: asking price of two or more young impact NHL players, one or more elite prospects and two or more first-round picks
What Burke's best offer will be: Colbourne, Kadri, Gunnarsson, first 2013, second 2012, second 2013.
Stats: 6'0", 205 lbs, 57GP, 11G, 26PTS, +1
Toronto has a few things working in its favour when it comes to acquiring the career Dallas Star and captain of that franchise.
One, Joe Nieuwendyk is a friend of Burke's and was a special adviser to him for two years, learning the GM trade before accepting the Dallas gig.
Two, Morrow's injury-plagued season lowered his value.
Three, With all the young guns chomping at the bit throughout Dallas' system, Morrow is being pushed out. He's a big-bodied, veteran leader (can I stress how useful and valuable that alone makes him to the Leafs?). He can still chip in offensively (although he is definitely closer to the end of his career than the beginning), and he's defensively responsible.
He'd be a great addition to such a young core, and he'd take a lot of pressure off of Phaneuf as a leader as well as being a fantastic mentor for everyone else.
Probable cost: second 2012, Brad Ross, Stuart Percy
Stats: 6'2", 225 lbs, 76GP, 17G, 45PTS, -5
Bouncing between the second and third lines all season, he put up a respectable 45 points. Clowe's game has never been about points, though. He's going to grind, hit, fight and battle you into submission.
He's Burke's kind of player—he's reportedly made an attempt to get Clowe every year since 2007, back when he was still with the Ducks. He'd add some definitive "beef" to the Leafs' top six, and compared to other players,he wouldn't cost the Leafs an arm and a leg.
After bombing out of the playoffs in the first round, the Sharks need to blow up the current core (Thornton, Marleau, Havlat, Pavelski, Couture, Clowe, Burns, Boyle, Niemi) as they've been given a really long leash but have continually fallen short and haven't produced that coveted Stanley Cup.
Where players like Marleau and Thornton are almost impossible to get fair value back on (see: original Heatley trade between Ottawa and San Jose, also Hossa trade from Atlanta to Pittsburgh), second-tier players like Clowe, Pavelski and Havlat are much easier to recoup value for.
Probable cost: second 2012, Holzner
5'11", 195 lbs, 82GP, 31G, 61PTS, +18
Same points as Clowe, except that with such a career year and a (so far in his short career anyways) penchant for clutch scoring and showing up when it matters - something other SJ stars have been constantly criticized for a lack of - he might be someone that the Sharks decide to build around instead of Thornton and Marleau.
Also a bonus is the fact that he plays centre and right wing, so he gives Carlyle some flexibility with the lineup, especially if whoever the Leafs grab for first-line centre duty doesn't pan out.
Probable cost: first 2012, or first 2013, Gunnarsson and D'Amigo
Stats: 6'0", 185 lbs, 55GP, 10G, 20PTS, +4
Buried on a deep Canucks roster, and missing the start of the season after the horrible back injury he suffered in the Cup finals against the Bruins last year, Raymond still has a borderline elite offensive upside.
He plays bigger than his size, with wicked speed, a decent shot and a fearless style of game similar to Grabovski's. He fits right in on the second line.
Because of his massive injury and the fact that he's been playing on the third or fourth line for most of the year, his price tag would be significantly lowered. However, there is also the risk that the injury derailed his career to the point where, even if he's given more responsibility, he is a 30-point ceiling kind of guy.
Probable cost: second 2012, sixth 2012, Mueller
Stats: 6'4", 219 lbs, 68GP, 20G, 48PTS, -11
He's big, he hits, he stands in front of the net and screens the hell out of the goalie and he's a solid two way guy. Only downside is his massive contract (4.5 million cap hit for three years, although his actual salary is significantly lower) and the rumours that the only place he'd accept a trade to is Pittsburgh.
Probable cost: Franson, second 2012, second 2013
Stats: 6'1", 210 lbs, 82GP, 32G, 67PTS, -10
Iginla is the prototypical power forward in the NHL. He hits, he scores (11 seasons of 30-plus goals) and he plays the game the "Canadian way."
He is looked at as one of the best captains in the NHL and would go a very long way to fixing two of Toronto's top four problems: lack of veteran leadership and size in the top-six forward group.
The Flames have been a limp franchise trapped in hockey purgatory—not good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to get a good pick—for too long. This, combined with their history of trading away top picks, has left the Flames reeling in no man's land with a veteran core and a bare prospect cupboard.
If the Flames finally realize that they need to re-build and re-tool, then the only way to do so is by getting value for their veteran assets, like Iginla. They won't get as much for him as they would've last year (cue Matts Sundin situation similarities), but he'll still command a big rerun package.
Probable cost: Swap of first picks 2012, second 2012, Blacker, Colbourne