Toronto Maple Leafs: Free Agent Frenzy or Slow, Quiet Summer?
It's now one day away from free agent frenzy '08 to start and with the blowout well underway, what can Leaf fans expect to see? Only Cliff Fletcher knows for sure, but if you ask this die hard fan, don't expect a whole lot to happen.
Toronto should have a fair amount of cap space come free agent time, even after re-signing all the UFA's and RFA's. I think they should bring in one or two guys to be role players, or locker room leaders, like bringing in Mayers from St. Louis. He'll be a good guy to help develop the younger players and provide leadership. A couple more guys to do that couldn't hurt.
The one position, in my opinion, that is the most important is back-up goaltender. Even though that sounds crazy as to all you hockey fans, it's very important for Toronto to clear it up.
Vesa Toskala is clearly the number one goalie in town, but whose number two? Justin Pogge, Scott Clemmensen, or someone else? It better be someone else!
Pogge and Clemmensen need to stay down in the minors because Pogge needs to play and backing up Toskala means riding the bench for probably 60-65 games. That's not good for him.
Clemmensen needs to stay down with the Marlies as well to help Justin learn and become the future star goalie all the Leaf fans are hoping for, since we no longer have Tuukka Rask (Thank you very much, JFJ).
I have the perfect candidate for the back-up goalie, Curtis Joseph. Yes Cujo. He should already be accustomed to the back-up role; playing 20-ish games at this stage in his career should be alright with him. It seemed to be okay last year with the Flames, so that works out well for him.
As for the team, they're not expected to win a whole lot this year anyway, so why not bring back a fan favorite like Cujo to at least bring some merit to a team in the rebuilding stages.
That's just one Maple Leaf fans' opinion though. If the Leafs can bring in a good back-up and some role players or locker room leaders, it will make this season a step in the right direction. Keep at that pace and the Stanley Cup will be in downtown Toronto in six or seven years at most, or at least that's what Leaf Nation is hoping!
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