A Look At Some Leafs In Limbo As The Pre Season Looms
The summer has come and gone far too fast. Fortunately, at least that means the drop of the puck isn't far off.
With August in mid-swing, the Maple Leafs are about a month away from their pre season opener September 22nd, The roster is almost set.
However, there still are some questions to be answered as we head into a fresh new NHL season.
Lets take a look at the players on the Maple Leafs roster who are currently in limbo with the team.
They aren't sure if they're staying on the team, or going. They aren't sure what line they will play on. Who they will line up aside on the ice.
Lets start with the lighter side of the spectrum, and go down from there.
The signing of Curtis Joseph was a little two-fold. It reunited the Maple Leafs and their fans with one of their more popular players over the past decade.
On the other hand, it all but assures Justin Pogge may not see any game time at all this year with the big club.
The reality however, is that despite signing Cujo to back up Vesa Toskala, there is a very real chance that the Leafs goaltender of the future will get his chance to start for the big club before the season ends.
The more likely scenario is Pogge will start the bulk of the year in the AHL with the Marlies. As the Maple Leafs season winds down, or if one of the two goalies suffers an injury, Pogge will likely get his start between the pipes, clearing the path for his eventual full time duty, which will likely be next season.
By all indications Luke Schenn will be given every chance to make the Toronto Maple Leafs roster in training camp this September.
It won't be easy however. Not because he isn't ready, and certainly not for a lack of talent.
The truth is, the Maple Leafs (for the first time in a while) have some blueline depth, and there may not be any room for Schenn. In terms of development, it would be much better for Schenn to play big minutes in junior, than it would to ride the bench in Toronto.
I still think much of this hinges of course on Jonas Frogren and Bryan McCabe (who we will talk about later.)
Talked about him a little above. Frogren appears to be headed to the Maple Leafs, and when you take into account the money the Leafs had to pay to bring him over from Sweden, it looks like he is going to be in the top six for Toronto.
However, NHL league offices are in a sparring match with the NHLPA which may hold things up a little.
Once this gets worked out, and the consensus is it will, Frogren will come to Toronto and get the chance to play a shutdown role.
How big of an impact he will have is yet to be determined.
Fletcher tried to move Kubina at the trade deadline. When he couldn't be more or les berated him on national television. Knowing this, one would assume that Kubina would be as good as gone from the Maple Leafs.
However, with his no trade clause set to resume in three days, it appears Kubina's stay in Blue and White isn't over after all.
Barring any last minute developments it looks like the Leafs will hang onto Kubina and attempt to free space elsewhere (see below.)
And in my opinion it's a good thing too. As I've said through most of last year, I like what Kubina brings.
Sometimes he may try to do too much, but when paired with fellow country man Tomas Kaberle, Kubina is able to apply a simple and effective game.
With Kubina's NTC set to resume with little to no talk of a deal, it appears as though the Maple Leafs are still trying to move maligned defenseman Bryan McCabe.
And it isn't as far fetched as one would think. Any team that would take on McCabe would only suffer a cap hit of $5.75, which by todays salary world, isn't all that bad. Neither is the term anymore. Any team who takes on McCabe will only have his contract on the books for this year and the next two following.
Also comes the news this past weekend that McCabe is seriously considering waiving his no trade clause to facilitate a move.
And all in all, someone who gets McCabe will get a pretty decent player.
Sure, people in Toronto are down on him, and he is in a hole too deep to get out of with Leafs Nation.
But it wasn't too long ago that McCabe scored 19 goals for the Maple Leafs, and 68 points.
Nothing to say here. Mats said the other day he isn't even close to deciding whether or not he is going to return.
So, I mean, if he comes back, great. If he doesn't, then the Leafs will have to move on.
And they will, with roughly $7 million dollars in cap space to spare for this season, and for next summer.
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