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Maple Leafs in Need of First Line Centre for 2010-2011 Season

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 14:  Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs warms up before playing against the New York Islanders on March 14, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Isles defeated the Leafs 4-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Tyler SwaggermanCorrespondent IMay 22, 2010

Brian Burke has a lot of things on his agenda in terms of acquiring new players this off-season, and Leafs Nation has an even longer list for him.

One thing that many Leafs fans don't have on their agenda is a top line centre.

Why?

Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, and Mikhail Grabovski.

To me, those players are three reasons why I think we DO need a top line centre.

Now don't get me wrong, Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri are fantastic players, but we'll get to them later. On the other hand, Mikhail Grabovski is less than stellar for a top six minute munching centre ice man.

He is in the prime of his hockey career at the age of 26, and will never get any better than he is now.

Last season was cut shorter do to injuries, as he only played 59 games putting up 10 goals and 25 assists. That is only 0.59 points per game, and 0.17 goals per game. Those numbers are far off what you would expect from a top 2 centreman.

I think most Leafs fans have come to the decision that we should trade Grabovski and I agree, but for different reasons. I think that instead of leaving room for Bozak and Kadri we should sign or trade for a certified top line centre.

As I said before, I think Bozak and Kadri are great, but I wouldn't put the reins of the organization in their hands just yet.

Kadri is just 19 years old and has played 1 NHL regular season game. Bozak is 23 years old and has played 37. That brings them together for a grand total of 38 games played in the big boy league. 

If I were a GM, I wouldn't put my trust in players that are unproven to run the two scoring lines. Especially since Wilson and Burke have both stated that we are competing for a playoff spot next year.

They could both fold under the pressure and what would that leave you with to replace them? Wallin? Mitchell? Hanson? I don't think so.

I would rather put my trust in a player who has proven himself on the top line, and put Bozak and Kadri on the second and third line.

By all means Kadri and Bozak will be our top dogs for years to come, but signing a star to a one or two year contract could really help the Leafs out.

Numbers from http://tsn.ca/nhl/teams/statistics/?hubname=nhl-maple_leafs

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