Toronto Maple Leafs Not Singing the Blues Anymore?

Melissa HanschellCorrespondent INovember 24, 2008


By Melissa Hashemian


I was merely minding my own business today, when I heard an unfamiliar statement on the radio. The Toronto Maple Leafs make a trade?

Now I don't know about you, but I rarely hear about Toronto making trades, let alone any good ones. So, you can imagine my interest in learning more about this incredulous news.

With all the rumours spreading around Toronto about Brian Burke's arrival as new GM, you'd think Fletcher would hold off on making any drastic altercations to this developing organization.

Right now, I'm in a state of shock, and my jaw doesn't seem to want to fit back into place. Instead of ranting about how I feel, it's probably best to explain what changes the Leafs actually made.

I can tell you it's not sleepless in Toronto anymore.

Maple Leafs' GM Cliff Fletcher announced this afternoon that they have acquired young forward Lee Stempniak from the St. Louis Blues.

Stempniak, who has three goals and 10 assists so far this season, will be welcomed into Toronto in exchange for defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and center Alex Steen.

The 25-year-old New York Native was selected 148th overall and was St. Louis' seventh pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

He's got some impressive stats so far, averaging roughly 20 minutes of ice time per game. He might be exactly what the Leafs are looking for, in an attempt to reconstruct this young team.

For what price though?

To be honest, I was fairly upset and felt nothing but disdain for Fletcher. I'm so used to seeing Steen and Colaiacovo on the ice, that I just wasn't ready to see them go.


Colaiacovo is injury prone, so in some way I can understand why he's gone; he probably won't play much due to the injuries he's previously sustained.

Steen, on the other hand, I couldn't and didn't want to understand. Yes, he hasn't been performing as well as he should be and yes, he hasn't scored many goals, but why can't we just give him a little time?

Are we that inclined to giving up all hope in some of these players?

I guess we sometimes are, and in Steen's case, the performance clock was ticking and eventually ran out of battery. His endeavors were useless, as he only had two goals and two assists in 20 games this season. Who knows, maybe his luck will change for the better in a new town, with a new team.

As for Stempniak, let's just hope he can produce quality results offensively and play a key role on the power play, two things the Leafs need to work on. Other than that, I can't really stay mad forever, and my jaw has to set back into place eventually.

I just hope it was all worth it because frankly, I really loved our prospects. I guess with reconstruction you need change, so this is exactly what Toronto is doing. I have to support them either way right?

They'll definitely be an improved team with the addition of Stempniak, and possibly a playoff contender? I don't know, you decide, that's all just a part of my surmise.