" My Two Leaf Trade-Bait Players Are"

Mitch. Mitchell.Correspondent IFebruary 7, 2010

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 05:  Dion Phaneuf #3 and Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs defend the net against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 5, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Although The Leafs played their best game of the season with a 5-0 win against Ottawa and are putting the pieces together nicely, there are a couple of pieces missing.

At this stage I would not tinker with the farm, keep those players for further experience at the Pro level, and give them a shot now and again.

So now comes the scary part: the Leafs have two players that will help any team down the stretch, and who are not doing their part not now at least.

Gustavsson is a good goalie, but I do not think he can take the pressure and media attention that goes with playing in Toronto.

I do understand his health problems and all the effort that Burke put into getting Gustavsson signed with The Leafs: but it is a fragile situation for The Leafs, to say the least.

The next guy on the trade block would be Ponikarovsky.

Pony, as he is so affectionately known, has been given many chances to prove he belongs but has just not lived up to what the management expects of him.

This is not to say that Pony or Gus do not come up with a good game now and again, but that is not good enough, when you are in The Big League.

As much as I would hate to see these two guys go, they maybe holding the piece(s) that Burke could trade for.

Remember come draft time: "It is going to be pretty lean for The Leafs".  

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