With the recent wide spread speculation about potentials trades involving the Toronto Maple Leafs, the question has been raised, when is the best time during the season to make a trade?
The answer, at least for the Toronto Maple Leafs, should be now.
That is not to sat that they should get rid of anyone as in all fairness with the amount of young developing players on the current roster and still waiting in the farm system, to make an accurate assessment of the team could prove difficult.
Many of the Leafs 'weak points' can be traced to inexperience at least as much as to a specific player, and certain aspects such as special teams even more so.
There have certainly been some incredible individual melt downs by a few players to date this season.
One of the more recent examples of course, is Mike Komisarek and the beautiful tape to tape pass to the Montreal Canadiens Michael Cammalleri who just happened to be four feet directly in front of frustrated Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson who could only watch helplessly as Cammalleri drilled a one timer past him.
That being said, if the Monster happened to have made that save, it would have been spectacular!
The Toronto Maple Leafs defensive corps, which had been highly touted coming into the season, at times has looked, well, bad.
If you were Brian Burke, would you look at making moves now, or closer to the play offs?
While they have improved for the most part of late, there is still room for improvement.
Strange that aside from Gunnarsson's slow start, it's been the young blue liners on the team who have been the steadiest.
Keeping in mind, it's really the forward contingent that needs the help, where does Burke turn and when does he do it?
If the team is finding it's groove, which it may in fact be doing, why mess with it? No one really expects this version to go far in the playoffs so if the current incarnation of the Maple Leafs can make the playoffs, why not wait until the off season and try to add via free agency?
Though a recent Toronto Star article states that the Leafs only have a 12% chance of making the post season, as Andrew Kavanagh of Examiner.com states in a well written rebuttal, the numbers that were used in the article, just don't make sense for the most part. There is fair chance they will make it, at least as much of a chance as 75% of the other teams in the NHL.
The reality is, the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing good hockey for the most part although it can't be said they are playing at, below, or above they're potential simply because there is no real way to gauge it.
Their potential is the opinion of whoever happens to be talking about it, or writing about it at the time.
If there are moves to be made during the season however, if Burke thinks there is a deal to be made that can cement a playoff birth for the team this year then now is the time to do it, this team is too young and too inexperienced to be able to adapt to a huge move closer to the play offs.
While there are likely deals that Burke could make, and probably lots of players that could help the team, anyone short of Stamkos, Ovi, or Sid the Kid, isn't going to make enough of a difference to risk the progress that this team had enjoyed.
Even a little progress is still progress.