Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free Agent Food For Thought

I haven't posted in awhile, but I plan to start back up as we get closer and closer to the new NHL season.

Anyways, it was great to see the Maple Leafs name Dion Phaneuf as captain. I know some are saying he was the only choice and questioning the timing of the move, I think that it was a smart decision. When in Calgary, Dion was obviously being groomed to for a leadership role. He is a very passionate player on the ice, and I think he can set the tone for others to follow.

The Leafs also released their new jerseys. Not a complete overhaul, but the new jerseys are very nice. If you haven't had the chance to see them, here they are!

Now, onto the topic I came here to talk about. I was on Hockey Buzz reading that the Leafs are going to target both Marleau and Kovalchuk. Now, both are great players, but I have learned to take anything a certain rumour blogger writes with a grain of salt. Plus, I don't think getting either player is a great idea.

Hear me out. Yes, Kovalchuk is probably the best goal scorer in the NHL after Ovechkin. Yes, Patrick Marleau had an amazing regular season for the Sharks this year. Adding either player would certainly boost the offensive abilities of the Leafs.

However, both Kovalchuk and Marleau are expensive players. Kovalchuk is going to be looking for a long contract with $10 million per year, while Marleau will probably be looking for $7 to 8. The Maple Leafs do not have a lot of breathing room under that salary cap, and I believe we need to add more then one player to increase the quality of our top two lines.

Instead of looking for one player to fix our offensive woes, I think the Leafs should look for a 30 goal scorer and one or two 20 goal men. This might not be possible with just free agents - a trade may be needed. With all the rumours floating around about Kaberle, though, I think Brian Burke is already working on this.

So, who do I think the Leafs should be gunning for? One name I've heard is Nathan Horton. Horton is a proven producer who still has some upside. He is the big body we need to improve our powerplay, and 27 or more goals three times in his career. Last season, Horton put up great numbers and could have put up a career high in points if not for injuries. The rumours of Kaberle going to Florida continue to pop up, so maybe this move is already being discussed.

Who do you think the Leafs should look to bring in? Would you rather see them bring up players from the Marlies and their other prospects? Post below and let me know!

1 comment:

  1. I'd rather see them drop huge dollars on Kovalchuk and plug the gaps with those cheap prospects that Burke has spent the past 12 months acquiring.

    I honestly think a lot of the rationale behind stockpiling these guys is to be able to splurge on high-end talent and hope a couple of them work out well enough to fill the holes.