Steven Stamkos: Will He "Be-Leaf" and End Up on Toronto Maple Leafs?

Ben WilsonContributor IJune 6, 2011

Steven Stamkos: Will He "Be-Leaf" and End Up on Toronto Maple Leafs?

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 25:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning controls the puck in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Bruins during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Ever since the 2008 NHL draft, Toronto Maple Leaf fans and Steven Stamkos have been in mutual agreement that "Stammer"—as he's called by Bolts fans—would look great in the hallowed Blue-and-White.

    However, since the day that he heard his name called first overall at that draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, there has been a fairly large problem in the way. Why would the Lightning trade one of the three superstars of the game (the others being Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin) to Toronto?

    I've read a number of articles on different websites and here on Bleacher Report. One recent article by Mark Gregory grabbed my attention and I thought I'd attempt to come up with a proposal that suits all parties concerned. Not easy when you're talking about a bona fide superstar!

    Please bear in mind that this is all pure speculation at this point and simply my two cents.

Who Stays and Who Goes

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    MONTREAL, CANADA - NOVEMBER 29:  Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke and NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman arrive at the memorial service for former NHL coach Pat Burns at the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral on November 29, 2010 in Montreal, Que
    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    I think it's fairly safe to assume that unless Brian Burke includes one of Luke Schenn or Phil Kessel in hypothetical trade discussions, Steve Yzerman hangs up the phone. In fact, when he hears Burke on the line saying, "I'm interested in Steven Stamkos," he probably hangs up anyway.

    But hey, it's fun to speculate!

    And I thought: Is it possible to create a mutually beneficial trade proposal without Schenn or Kessel? Probably not, but I'm going to try. What people don't realise is that the Leafs have valuable assets outside of these two players.

    Even so, a (slightly) realistic trade proposal would have to include more than than just Toronto and Tampa in trade discussions.

    Also bearing in mind that the only reason Yzerman would even think about trading Stamkos is if his wage demands are too rich for the Lightning ownership, and suffice to say I don't think that'll be an issue.

The 3rd Team: Nashville

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    BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 31: Defenseman Ryan Ellis #6 of Canada voices a complaint to the official during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game between Canada and Sweden on December 31, 2010 at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski
    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    I think it's well documented that the Nashville Predators need scoring. With more scoring threats it's possible that they beat the Stanley Cup Finalist Vancouver Canucks. The Predators also have a glut of talented young defensemen, which makes them perfect trading partners in this blockbuster deal.

    Let's be clear on this: If the Leafs want Stamkos, they'll have to pay a heavy price. In order to bring Nashville into discussions with the Leafs and Lightning this is what I could see going down:

    To Nashville: Clarke MacArthur, Tyler Bozak, Korbinian Holzer, Boston's 2011 first-round draft pick and Boston's 2012 second-round draft pick.

    To Toronto: Jonathan Blum and Ryan Ellis.

The 4th Team: San Jose

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MAY 24:  Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks skates on the attack in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals against Vancouver Canucks during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena on May 24, 2011 in Vancouver, British Col
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The assets needed to acquire Stamkos are still not quite there. So what better way of making a blockbuster even more crazy than adding a fourth team!

    The San Jose Sharks are stocked with young premier talent in the forwards—so much so that Joe Pavelski, one of the stars of their 2010 playoff run, is playing centre on the third line!

    It is also well known that the Sharks want to get younger and better on a reasonably talented but very thin blue line. To do that, they might just have to lose one of their scoring threats, which shouldn't be too much of a loss given the talent they possess.

    Here is one outcome I could see happening:

    To San Jose: Jonathan Blum, Carl Gunnarsson and Philadelphia's 2011 third-round draft pick.

    To Toronto: Joe Pavelski and San Jose's 2011 second-round draft pick.

The Blockbuster

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    TAMPA, FL - MAY 25:  Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning speaks to the media after their 5 to 4 win over the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at St Pete Times Forum on May 25, 20
    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Now...the deal that everybody's been waiting for.

    Is this a possible scenario for the Toronto Maple Leafs finally landing Steven Stamkos? Who knows. But it's interesting as a fan to examine all angles, likely or otherwise.

    Here is a possible final trade between the Lightning and the Maple Leafs:

    To Tampa: Joe Pavelski, Nazem Kadri, Ryan Ellis and San Jose's 2011 second-round draft pick.

    To Toronto: Steven Stamkos.

Quick Rundown

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    TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 08: Tampe Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman  walks the red carpet prior to the Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 8, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    To Nashville

    Clarke MacArthur (Toronto), Tyler Bozak (Toronto), Korbinian Holzer (Toronto), Boston's 2011 first-round draft pick (Toronto) and Boston's 2012 second-round draft pick (Toronto).

     

    To San Jose

    Jonathan Blum (Nashville), Carl Gunnarsson (Toronto) and Philadelphia's 2011 third-round draft pick (Toronto).

     

    To Tampa

    Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Nazem Kadri (Toronto), Ryan Ellis (Nashville) and San Jose's 2011 second-round draft pick (San Jose).

     

    To Toronto

    Steven Stamkos (Tampa).

Conclusion

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    391776 03: (FILE PHOTO) The sun sets over the Toronto skyline in his undated file photo. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) meets in Moscow July 13, 2001 to decide between front runners Beijing, Paris and Toronto for the site of the 2008 summer Oly
    Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

    Well, there you have it: My take on what it could take to pry Steven Stamkos away from the Tampa Bay Lightning and into the blue-and-white of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Tampa fans: What's your take?

    Leafs fans: Would you give this up to see Stamkos back in Toronto?

    San Jose and Nashville fans: Are you happy with your returns?