NHL Trade Rumors: Top 10 Possible Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Scenarios
The Toronto Maple Leafs are always going to be subject to rumors. Whether they relate to the coach, players or anybody else in the organization, the franchise is doomed to an eternity of speculation and judgement.
This pressure can largely be attributed to the enormous amount of media coverage. Toronto is widely considered to be the epicenter of the NHL, so there are cameras around every corner.
And with those cameras come television shows, newspaper articles, internet reports and handfuls of other sources to fuel the fire of a rumor. A couple of sentences on Hockey Night in Canada can completely fabricate the idea of a trade or signing which likely won't even happen (i.e., Kris Versteeg).
For example, a website may mention that Tomas Kaberle is on the verge of being traded. Half-an-hour later, another website will consider this information and decide that it really means the Maple Leafs have secured this season's Stanley Cup.
Heck, at one point in the year, Brad Richards, Ilya Kovalchuk, Vincent Lecavalier, Jarome Iginla and Brayden Schenn were all "guaranteed" to become Toronto Maple Leafs. I can even remember a specific report in the middle of the summer which loudly proclaimed that Bobby Ryan would be a Leaf within two weeks.
These false reports suggest that the media, for the most part, produces lies. I think that's a statement the majority of us can agree with.
However, sometimes there is a slice of truth to the rumors. Mind you, rumors are still rumors, so nothing can really be proved true until, well, it's proved true.
So, keeping the contradictory paragraph written above in mind, here are the Top 10 Possible Toronto Maple Leaf Trade Scenarios.
J.S. Giguere to Ottawa
Why not start this list off with a bang? This one is just speculation, but I think it could actually work. Hear me out here.
The Ottawa Senators are in desperate need of a No. 1 goaltender. Their squad currently consists of the inconsistent Brian Elliot and the injury-prone Pascal Leclaire. Rookies Mike Brodeur and Robin Lehner have also both received starts.
Giguere has been a steady keeper in the games he's played. His play seems consistent and strong, and it looks like he still has a number of years left.
Jiggy's veteran presence would be a huge plus on this immature hockey club. He's also got a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe Trophy under his belt, which would be welcomed with open arms in the Sens dressing room. He would be the perfect goalie to mentor the large number of young Senator goaltenders because he has experienced just about everything the game of hockey has to offer.
Sending Giguere to Ottawa makes sense on just about every level. However, his nagging groin injury and bloated salary would likely be road blocks.
Who could come back? Well, I was thinking big with this one.
Spezza has been unhappy in Ottawa and needs a change of scenery. Toronto is convenient so he can stay close to family and friends. Heck, I'm sure he'd like to play the Sens once and awhile as well.
The Leafs would have to package up a couple of prospects or players as well to make this deal go through.
Francois Beauchemin to Columbus
Yes, sources have said that the Columbus Blue Jackets are no longer looking to trade for Beauchemin. That, however, doesn't mean a deal is impossible.
As mentioned earlier, the media often reports false or twisted news stories. Whether this one is true or not, I could still see a deal between the Leafs and the Jackets going through.
Burke let other GM's know that Beauchemin is being shopped, so maybe with the right amount of pressure from other teams, the Jackets could crack and send their best offer.
R.J. Umberger is a player who was believed to be tossed around in discussions. The Leafs would likely have to up the ante to acquire his services though.
Tomas Kaberle to Vancouver
It's against laws of physics to compose an article about Toronto Maple Leaf trade rumors and not include at least one Tomas Kaberle idea. We've heard just about every rumor, but I think this one may be unique.
This particular idea is about half speculation, half rumor. Recently, there was a rumor that preached the Leafs had acquired defender Ryan Parent from the Vancouver Canucks. The player going the other way was never released.
I think a deal involving Kaberle could still go through, with Ryan Parent and highly touted prospect Cody Hodgson going the other way. Hodgson has been linked with the Leafs for a long time now and seems to have fallen out of favor in Vancouver. He's also encountered his fair share of injuries in his short career. Hodgson would be the perfect addition to the Leafs franchise.
Clarke MacArthur to Florida
Clarke MacArthur would be a good fit in Florida. Mac has posted 10 goals and 29 points, which would put him in first on the Panthers for points.
A possible returning player from Florida would be David Booth. Harvey Vialkov of Sun-Sentinel.com stated that we shouldn't be "stunned" if Booth is on the trading block.
One worry about Booth is his health. Last year, he suffered a concussion on a blind side hit, and one never knows how a concussion can further affect a player's game.
Booth has 10 goals and 10 assists so far this year. The 26-year-old posted 31 goals and 60 points two years ago.
Jussi Rynnas, Clarke MacArthur, Jerry D'Amigo to New Jersey
Would it be crazy to mention Zach Parise in trade talks?
Logically, the New Jersey Devils won't be able to keep both Kovalchuk and Parise, so one, likely the latter, will have to be traded. I simply can't see the Devils finding a deal for Kovalchuk, so Parise looks like the odd man out.
As it stands now, the Devils won't have the cap space for Parise when he returns, so a deal of some sort must be made.
MacArthur is the perfect player for the Devils. At $1.1 million, he's incredibly cheap and has been putting up solid numbers all year. His 29 points puts him in first on the Leafs and would put him in first on the Devils as well.
Rynnas is a highly touted goaltending prospect that would come in very handy should Brodeur go down with another injury. Even if he stays healthy, Brodeur is getting old, and it wouldn't hurt to have a backup plan.
D'Amigo is known for his star performance in last year's World Juniors as a part of the United States.
These three players provide the Devils with a good set-up for the future with some immediate help. Parise gives the Leafs another legitimate scorer.
It makes sense to me.
Return of Brad Boyes?
Susan Crosby of The Fourth Period speculated that a return of Brad Boyes to Toronto could be possible. Boyes was not a player I had originally thought about, but the trade could actually benefit both teams.
The idea was that Boyes and a prospect would come to Toronto in exchange for Tyler Bozak and John Mitchell. In my opinion, that's one of the most bittersweet deals in Leaf history.
On one hand, the Leafs rid themselves of Mitchell, which would likely lead to the entire city of Toronto taking the day off in celebration. But on the other hand, they're trading an interesting piece in Tyler Bozak.
Bozak had a spectacular rookie campaign last year but seems to be suffering from the sophomore slump this season. It wouldn't surprise me if he improved greatly for next year.
Should this year's play simply be because of a sophomore slump, then this deal could be a little scary. The Leafs have already traded away a fair share of their young "talented" players and watched them develop into stars in other cities (*cough* Tuukka Rask *cough*).
But if Bozak just isn't the player Burke and Co. thought he was, then this deal actually looks good.
The return of Brad Boyes would be welcomed. The hope would be that he could return to his 40-goal form and become the center that Phil Kessel has been missing.
Kris Versteeg and Francois Beauchemin to Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Kings are another team that was rumored to have been scouting Beauchemin. That's convenient, because the Kings have a load of offensive trade pieces, which is exactly what the Leafs need.
With Versteeg in the deal, the Leafs could possibly target Wayne Simmonds and a mid-range pick. Last year, there would have been no pick in this deal, but Simmonds has struggled to find his game this season.
Hey, maybe we could even throw Kaberle in there and shoot for Brayden Schenn...
Kris Versteeg to New Jersey
Multiple media outlets have reported that the New Jersey Devils are interested in Kris Versteeg. The underachieving Devils have a number of attractive assets that could be shipped the other way in a deal.
The most talked about player is Travis Zajac. Zajac has been linked to the Leafs for a couple of months now with talks of him becoming the center Toronto is looking for. It's looking like that connection could actually mean something.
Zajac has totaled six goals and 21 points thus far, while Versteeg has 10 goals and 25 points. Steeger obviously has the edge in stats, but one also has to take into account that Zajac is playing for a very underachieving Devils squad. Zajac had two 60+ point seasons prior to 2010-11.
A mid-round draft pick could be shipped to the Leafs as well.
In a recent poll on another B/R article, fans seem to be split on whether they'd prefer Versteeg or Zajac. The poll results have hovered at around 50/50 the entire time, with over 750 people voting.
Kris Versteeg to Atlanta
Brian Burke recently received a solid offer for Versteeg, which so far hasn't led to a trade. Damien Cox stated that he thinks there is a large amount of interest coming from the Southeast Division.
Well, the Atlanta Thrashers reside in the Southeast. They have been promising a playoff spot for years but often don't produce great results. This year, the club has found talent and consistency, currently holding down the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kris Versteeg would be a good player to have on this team. He obviously has experience in the playoffs, and in the Stanley Cup Finals for that matter. Many of his teammates from the Blackhawks last year play for the Thrashers this year as well, so Versteeg wouldn't feel or play out of place at all. It's the perfect environment for both sides.
In return for Versteeg, a player like Bryan Little makes sense. His point total fell from 51 to 34 in the previous two years but seems to be back on track with 10 goals and 22 points thus far.
While Versteeg has racked up three more points, Little has posted a plus-13, miles better than Steeger's minus-12.
Francois Beauchemin to San Jose
Of all possibilities, this deal is the most likely to go through. Beauchemin to San Jose has been talked about for a long time now, and it's beginning to look like the rumours are becoming reality.
The name that has been largely tossed around from the Sharks is Devin Setoguchi. He posted 31 goals and 65 points in 2008-09—his first full season. However, he has trended downward since then, posting 20 goals and 36 points in 2009-10 and has just seven goals and 12 points thus far.
Beauchemin's play has followed a similar pattern of Setoguchi's. He was signed after his formidable playoff performance for the Anaheim Ducks but has gotten progressively worse in each season since then.
Two players spiralling downwards being traded for each other. Could it be possible that a change of scenery could awaken these two?
The Sharks would probably package late-round pick with Setoguchi should this deal go through.
The Toronto-faithful would likely hope for a player such as Ryane Clowe, who's bigger, more physical and can score goals. However, the Leafs would have to vastly improve their side of the deal for a player like Clowe.
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