White Making a Case For Maple Leafs' "C" on The Way to The Cup

Graeme BoyceCorrespondent INovember 23, 2009

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 21:  Vesa Toskala #35, Ian White #7 and Francois Beauchemin #22 of the Toronto Maple Leafs grab the loose puck before Tomas Fleischmann #14 of the Washington Capitals during game action November 21, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
Abelimages/Getty Images

While the trade rumours with Chicago continue to heat up, let's focus on the real burning issue that's been simmering for a while.  Ian White made a rather startling case for himself this past week, well, actually over the course this young season, and has now proven himself to be worthy of the vaunted 'C'.

With a decent amount of points to his credit, he iced the cake for me last week by simply being truculent, not to mention his initial highlight-reel hip check, which sent an unsuspecting Erik Cole cartwheeling over the blue line.

But back to the rumours for a moment, I like Kaberle heading over to the Hawks in exchange for Sharp, and a few others, like maybe Sopel and Tlusty, but I'm not in favour of sending Toskala for Huet.  I also heard Chicago likes Stajan, as they apparently need a 2nd line centre.

Which brings us to the upcoming games and who needs to step up to the plate this week.  I'm really liking the idea of recalling Stalberg and giving Hanson a shot.  Obviously Blake is heading toward the waiver wire sooner than later, as the game against Taveres, et al, will surely demonstrate.

After all, who is this Moulson chap?  One minute he's got a collective 10 points under his NHL belt prior to joining the Isles, and the next he's elevated the team toward playoff contention. Well, it's not a one-man team, obviously.

There is some animosity to dwell upon between these teams.  Hopefully someone in MLSE management is showing the Peca-Tucker incident in the dressing room as we speak.  But there have been some trades too.

Getting back to our young guns, I predict Phil Kessel will dominate this week, after going head-to-head against Taveres, especially with other weeknight games against Florida's Bolts and Panthers.  After his SO goal, Hagman might have inspired himself!  I look to Stempniak to deliver a critical goal or two this week, or he's going to be shuffled off to Buffalo.

The Monster needs to learn a few more things on route to becoming a bonafide #1 goalie for the Leafs.  In the meantime, Toskala is holding the fort, quite admirably, I might add.  I wonder if we'll be seeing Exelby skating in a game any time, as the play of Gunnarson has been pretty impressive, despite bad penalties here and there. 

Speaking of Sweden, I'm sure Wallin's days are numbered too.  This isn't such bad news, as we do have some talent to exploit on the farm these days.  Luck and timing are now influential factors, as well as the impending trade.