Leafs defense - the best in the league?

Ok so let's be honest - the headline was designed to get your attention. BUT this is something that really warrants some debate! With the recent acquisition of Beauchemin, and the departure of contract busts such as Pavel Kubina ($5M) and Bryan McCabe ($5.75M), the Leafs may have the best defence core in the league. If you disagree with me about that, then at least look at the bang we're getting for our buck in Leafs Nation. I'm way too lazy to seek out the contracts of every team - I'll leave that to the pro bloggers (this is my first FanPost and I have to nap still before my hockey game tonight). But with Kaberle ($4.25M), Komisarek ($4.5M), Beauchemin ($3.8M), Schenn ($1.25M cap hit) and a healthy Van Ryn ($3.35M), is there a stronger core in the league with such value? The only blemish on this list is Finger ($3.5M). 


I'll post the Leafs as well as the other Top 10 teams in Goals Against and their defence core in 2008-2009. At the bottom, the Leafs top 11 defencemen (and prospects) for 2009-2010. I included Jeff Finger because he's getting paid at an elite level (for some reason). I think the Leafs new defence is among the best. (Edit: goaltending of course played a part in the defensive success of more than a few of these teams. I acknowledge this.) (Re-edit: LEAFS HAVE THE MONSTER NOW! SO ADD THAT TO THE DEFENSE!!) 

#30 Leafs (2008-2009)

Ian White
Luke Schenn
Jeff Finger
Tomas Kaberle
Pavel Kubina
Jay Harrison

#10 Florida Panthers
Jay Bouwmeester 
Steve Eminger
Bryan McCabe
Karlis Skrastins
Keith Ballard
Jassen Cullimore

#9 Columbus Blue Jackets
Mike Commodore
Fedor Tyutin
Rostislav Klesla
Marc Methot
Jan Hejda
Aaron Rome

#8 Carolina
Joni Pitkanen
Dennis Seidenberg
Joe Corvo
Tim Gleason
Anton Babchuk
Niclas Wallin

#7 Vancouver
Willie Mitchell
Mattias Ohlund 
Kevin Bieksa
Alexander Edler
Sami Salo
Shane O'Brien

#6 New York Rangers (ok this is a damn good core if you ignore Redden - especially if you add Ryan McDonagh)
Marc Staal
Daniel Girardi
Wade Redden
Michal Rozsival
Derek Morris
Paul Mara

#5 Chicago Blackhawks
Duncan Keith
Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell
Niklas Hjalmarsson
Cam Barker
Matt Walker

#4 New Jersey Devils
Paul Martin
Mike Mottau
Johnny Oduya
Colin White
Niclas Havelid
Andy Greene

#3 San Jose Sharks
Christian Ehrhoff
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Dan Boyle
Rob Blake
Douglas Murray
Brad Lukowich

#2 Minnesota Wild (cool side note - did not make playoffs!)
Kim Johnsson
Martin Skoula
Marek Zidlicky
Nick Schultz
Marc-Andre Bergeron
Kurtis Foster

#1 Boston Bruins
Dennis Wideman
Zdeno Chara
Aaron Ward
Steve Montador
Mark Stuart
Andrew Ference

Interesting to note - the Penguins were #18, and the Red Wings were # 19, so great goals against doesn't necessarily win cups, but still it sure helps not to be #30.

Toronto Maple Leafs Defence 2009-2010 (let me know if I missed an obvious prospect - does Carl Gunnarsson have a chance I don't know his deal):

Mike Komisarek 
Luke Schenn
Tomas Kaberle
Francois Beauchemin
Mike Van Ryn
Garnet Exelby
Ian White
Anton Stralman
Phil Oreskovic
Jay Harrison
Jeff Finger

That is a pretty elite core of defenceman if you ask me.

Go Leafs Go

Zack is a fan community that allows members to post their own thoughts and opinions on the Toronto Maple Leafs and hockey in general. These views and thoughts may not be shared by the editor of

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