One of the most anticipated days on the NHL calendar is coming up this week. The NHL trade deadline. Some teams need to do a long list of things (Edmonton Oilers). Some teams do not (Toronto Maple Leafs).
With the big day being tomorrow, I have compiled all of my reasons for who to trade and who not to trade from the Leafs’ perspective. It’s really fast and simple. Players listed according to Offense and Defence, player age, plus a line or two about why they should be untouched on trade deadline day.
Here it is:
Who to trade: nobody.
Who to keep: everyone.
Players currently on the roster as per mapleleafs.com:
Troy Bodie Age 29 Brings plenty of grit and developing as a stable NHL centreman.
Tyler Bozak Age 27 Turning into one of the league’s top centres, no reason to trade Bozak, not even for someone playoff-proven.
David Clarkson Age 29 Goals scored have obviously been lacking but too soon to give up on Clarkson. Following that whopping $30-something million dollar contract they gave him back in July, would it even be possible to get rid of him? Probably not.
Nazem Kadri Age 23 Yeah, that’s right, let’s trade Nazem Kadri. How many websites wanted me to write about putting this stud on the trading block…trade him and then watch him come back to Toronto and burn them really good each and every time. I can’t wait to see him perform in April after having completed his first full season putting up good numbers.
Phil Kessel Age 26 Next!
Nikolai Kulemin Age 27 even if you are going to deal someone, the whole point is to acquire someone who can help out the team in ways the guy you give up on can’t. I see no good out of trading Kulemin.
Joffrey Lupul Age 30 as irreplaceable as Kessel
Jay McClement Age 30 another dependable centre on this Leafs team, hard worker too, and seems to get along well in coach Randy Carlyle’s system, on top of all that, did well in the playoffs last season so that’s another good thing.
Frazer McLaren Age 26 Frazer, like teammate Orr bring something these Leafs are going to need down the stretch, and especially into the playoffs. Tough guys that should serve to scare the opposition’s best players.
Colton Orr Age 31 see above
Mason Raymond Age 28 another forward with good skating and good shooting, has shown flashes of brilliance in shootouts and penalty shots. Too early to give up on him too.
Trevor Smith Age 29 just got placed on waivers
James van Riemsdyk Age 24 one of the biggest parts of the Leafs, still remember him scoring the fourth goal in Game 2 in Boston last year, it was a sign at least he is ready to go farther, as well as that the Bruins team did not seem to scare him.
Cody Franson Age 26 he held out of camp last summer for a reason: he is good enough to make the money, he will cash in next year.
Jake Gardiner Age 23 one of the few ‘little’ Leafs that played huge in the Boston series, he’s a little like most young players, gets himself into trouble from time to time, and it usually is huge trouble, but unlike a lot of guys, he is smart enough and skilled enough, to get himself out of it and make up for it, and at age 23, what are you gonna do, trade him? Nope.
Tim Gleason Age 31 jury still out on this one, although he got floored in a fight in the Islanders game, I guess he needs a little more time to get acclammated to things. Carlyle loves Gleason’s style of play.
Carl Gunnarsson (A) Age 27 tons of upside, he was one of the few Leaf blueliners who still managed to play really well against those big forwards of the Bs.
Dion Phaneuf (C) Age 28 last year’s experience will hopefully fuel him a bit more to get something done this time around. The big guys on the Bruins had their way with Phaneuf (and just about every other Leaf).
Paul Ranger Age 29 Leaf fans continue to give the big guy his bad name, a lot of it is earned though, but for some reason unbeknownst to most of us, Randy Carlyle seems to really, really like him. I believe he had a goal in the 5-4 loss on the Island, but okay…
Morgan Reilly Age 19 The lone teenager who made this team from the tryout camp back in August. The only question surrounding him should be how long may it take him to win a Norris Trophy. He has clear potential. Anyone watching the games knows it.
Jonathan Bernier Age 25
James Reimer Age 25
There are many people out there that will argue that they should keep both of these goalies as the team prepares to make a (hopefully) lengthy playoff run. However, Carlyle needs to start giving Reimer some playing time before he forgets where he keeps his goal pads. Hopefully he will get a string of games in the next couple weeks because I think we are starting to see that Bernier does have some weak spots. Maybe it is time for Bernier to take a break, after all he hasn’t had this kind of playing time in his career, either.
Recent transactions have seen Carter Ashton re-assigned to the Marlies.