The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Brett Lebda to a two-year contract that pays him $1.45 million per season.
Last season with the Detroit Red Wings, Lebda scored one goal and added seven assists in 63 games.
This signing gives the Leafs a defense corps that is great, if not overstuffed. With the signing of Lebda, 28, the Leafs defense consists of Dion Phaneuf, Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson, Jeff Finger, and Lebda, with prospects like Keith Aulie and Jessie Blacker knocking on the door.
This trade might as well seal the fate of Tomas Kaberle, the only D-man that can fetch us the top six forward that Burke desires. Does this mean that Kaberle will be heading out of town tomorrow? No. What about next week? No. The Leafs have until August 15 to trade him so there is no need to rush into a bad trade that hurts us in the long run.
If the Leafs can trade Kaberle for a second-line right winger, the Leafs might finally have the top six and bottom six forwards he needs. Here's what the Leafs roster would look like:
First Line: LW:Kris Versteeg C:Tyler Bozak RW:Phil Kessel
Second Line: LW:Nikolai Kulemin C: Nazem Kadri RW: New Acquisition
Third Line: LW:Fredrik Sjostrom C: Christian Hanson RW:Colby Armstrong
Fourth Line: LW:Mike Brown C:John Mitchell RW: Colton Orr
First Pairing: Dion Phaneuf & Francois Beauchemin
Second Pairing: Mike Komisarek & Luke Schenn
Third Pairing: Brett Lebda & Carl Gunnarson
I know a lot of people believe that Bozak and Kadri should not be our top two centers, but unless we acquire a center for the first line, moving Bozak to the second line and Kadri over to right wing (yes, he can play wing), we are going to deal with what we have, which isn't that bad.
This lineup is the definition of a Brian Burke-type team, and who would have thought that it would happen because we signed some guy named Brett Lebda.