With the NHL trade deadline about a month away, I wanted to weigh in on who might stay and who might be wearing a new sweater come March 4th.
Although Ian’s name has popped up in trade talks (most notably with the Los Angeles Kings) don’t expect White to be moved. White is a young offensive defenseman that has shown he can play the wing too, no team will be able to put any offer on the table that will make Burke trade this young man brimming with potential.
Moore’s name like White’s has appeared in some trade rumors but expect them to be nothing more than rumors. Although Moore is having a career year offensively and has leadership, I don’t believe any team will make an offer that will be worth trading a player that is a mentor to the young players coming up in the Leafs system and also plays coach Ron Wilson’s two way hockey style.
Well, the old saying applies here, the Leafs should’ve quit while they were ahead with Vesa Toskala. A move last year could have seen the Leafs get at least a prospect and 1st round pick for Vesa. This year Toskala has lost all the stock value he had compiled last year. With the leagues worst save percentage among starting goalies at .883 and a lowly 3.32 goals against average, no team will touch this guy with an hundred foot pole. I smell a buy out at the end of this season.
The talented center has been tested and passed this season by coach Ron Wilson. Matt is a future leader on this team and can chip in offensively. Stajan is also very close to being an untouchable on this Maple Leafs squad such as the likes of
Luke Schenn, Mikhail Grabovksi, Nikoli Kulemin and Justin Pogge.
The 30 year old defenseman from Rakovnik, Czech Republic has already said he will waive his no trade clause if asked by GM Brian Burke. Kaberle will be a hot commodity at this years trade deadline, mostly likely going to the highest bidder. Despite a recent injury Kaberle is expected to be moved for a top prospect and a first round pick. Teams interested in picking up the all star rear guard include LA, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Montreal and as many as ten other teams.
A team that fails at getting Kaberle, may make a pitch to acquire Kubina. Pavel has shown his worth and may waive his no trade clause come March 4th. Although he may not command a first round pick Kubina could be traded for a prospect or young roster player as well as a second or third round pick. Columbus is rumoured to be the top team interested in Kubina’s services.
Antropov’s name has been bouncing around in trade talks all season and why not? Nik has developed into a powerful center who has a gift for scoring. Nik should be able to bring in the Leafs a solid return. Columbus is again the front runner this time for Antropov and it is rumored a deal is in the works that would see Toronto rake in a package of prospects and picks including a first rounder for Antropov and Kubina.
The pesky forward has been lighting it up this past month and has pushed his trade stock skyward. Burke should be able to pick up a roster player and decent prospect for the surging Blake. Vancouver and Washington may be interested in Blake but his $4 million salary might be a stumbling block.
Alexei hasn’t exactly burned up the league but a team looking to add scoring depth may trade for the hulking winger. Alex has good size and can score or dish the puck. Leaf fans shoudn’t expect a big return for Poni but a decent trade could be in the future. Minnesota seems to be the main team interested in Poni.
Okay settle down. It may seem like a surprise that Tlusty is on this list but take a minute to think about this. Tlusty hasn’t lived up to the potential he was supposed to have but he is looking like he will turn into a decent player. Now you maybe thinking, “If he’s going to be a decent player then why trade him?”
Well I’ll tell you: When a team is looking to acquire Kaberle, Antropov or Kubina they may be willing to give up a draft pick and a prospect but maybe not as good of a prospect or as high of a pick Toronto wants. So by adding Jiri to the deal the Leafs could go from for example with the Columbus Blue Jackets from a prospect like Cody Goloubef to a prospect like Jakub Voracek.
Other players on the move could include Jeff Finger, Anton Stralman, Nik Hagman and Lee Stempniak.