Leafs Need New # 1?

Ken Campbell wrote today that the Leafs have decided against an Aubin/Telly platoon. Of course news like this resulted in some heated e-mails and a lot of discussion. The long and the short of it is that this move is not a good idea.

The contracts that both Giguere and Nabokov would bring are one of the main reasons. Giguere is only making $3.99M/yr but he will also be a UFA after the 2006-2007. So the Leafs could end up in a similar position as when they picked up Nolan, giving up young talent for a guy that will only be here for a short period. As for Nabokov, next year he stands to make $5.375M. He's also under contract for three more years after next for a total commitment on Toronto's behalf of $21.5M over four years for San Jose's backup.

The main issue is the Leafs always trading away anything resembling young talent to try to win RIGHT NOW. I remember reading a Bill Simmons' article that said that most fans would rather their team win one championship followed by 5 years of missing the playoffs instead of 6 years of being good but not good enough. Sound familiar? apparently in Toronto it's 1 championship followed by 40 years of ineptness sprinkled with a bunch of close but no cigar seasons.

My friend put it in the best in his e-mail:

The Leafs are dumb to go after Giguere. He's a UFA in 2007. Why do they insist on building a team ranked 6th-12th every season? They need to ink some more talented players. The Leafs have enough youth to fill out the roster so only legitimate upgrades should be made. I'm talking impact players not role players. If we roll the dice with Telly and Aubin the worst thing that happens is that they fizzle in a year in which our expectations are focused on developing our young players rather than mortaging the future. Nabokov has a rich contract and I'm not convinced he can be The Man. I think he would struggle under the TO media scrutiny. Also, If we give up quality youth to San Jose again Boston fans will make fun of us. At least they only got ripped off once.

So there you have it: Go with youth, build something, make quality upgrades. Doesn't JFJ realize that this is the blueplan for success post-lockout? probably not.

In other news: this draft weekend has the potential to be huge. The Leafs are apparently trying to move up to the top 5 picks and Luongo, Bertuzzi, and Pronger are rumoured to be on the move.

Update 1: tsn.ca has reported that the Canucks and Panthers have completed a trade that will send Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan Allen, and Alex Auld to Florida with Roberto Luongo and Lukas Krajicek heading out to Canada's West Coast.

Initial thoughts: Thank God Mike Keenan is in the NHL. He single handedly makes the draft weekend interesting. Who else would trade a top 5 goalie for a career backup who did well enough to fill in for Cloutier and the only surviving neanderthal? At least Bryan Allen is a career +3 defenceman. If only Mike Milbury was around to keep the crazy train going.

The World Cup will keep me from posting predictions on what the Leafs might do with their picks but check out Raking Leafs to get an idea of what moves might occur. I'll post my thoughts on the draft, the trades, the hirings, and all sundry moves on Monday.

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