Sunday, July 25, 2010

More Roster Shaping

Another Leafs post for you here at K Ω A. I couldn't stay away, what can I say? I'll try to keep this short and sweet.

Jeff Finger will not be buried in the minors unless he becomes a detriment to the team with his play. As this is not the case currently, don't expect him to be buried simply because his paycheck is too large. Not going to happen. I'm getting tired of everyone taking it for granted that he will be buried.

That said, having 8 NHL-capable d-men is obviously untenable. Kaberle is the obvious move here, but may not be the only one. Francois Beauchemin at 3.8 mil for 2 years would be an attractive commodity to many teams. Luke Schenn and Carl Gunnarsson are especially attractive because of their RFA status at the end of the coming season. Given the makeup of the current defense and the pending trade of Kaberle, one would figure the best thing to do would be to keep the more mobile and offensive defensemen, and parlay some defensive d-man depth into a skilled forward. Brian Burke is reknown for preferring tough, truculent players, however, and may see it differently.

Goaltending and bottom-six forward positions seem to be adequately filled. The only position that seems necessary to be filled is a top-six left winger. Trust Burke to address this with the Kaberle trade.

There is one last argument to be made. We have 3 centremen vying for 2 top-six positions in Bozak, Kadri and Grabovski. Coming from junior, Kadri has to make the team in training camp, and force the coaching staff to make a decision. If he does, then Grabovski will become the odd man out. You can't have both of your top centers be small, opposing teams will walk all over you. Bozak could play on the third line while Burke makes something happen, but isn't suited to the role. Grabbo could be shifted to the wing. Is Kadri better than Grabbo right now?

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