With the off-season fast approaching due to a shortened season and the Leafs actually making the playoffs, there's a lot of work to be done by Toronto's front office. First comes the draft where the Leafs find themselves mercifully (?) outside of the lottery with the 21st pick in a 20 player draft. Will they draft Tyler Biggs 2.0 or someone with the potential to actual play in the NHL some day? Then comes free agency for a team with obvious holes that need to be filled and other areas that are just fine but will be filled anyways with more pork barrel spending than a Republican submitted bill in the US House of Representative.
What will the Leafs do? We obviously don't know. What we do know, however, is what we want the Leafs to do. I polled PPP's collective brain trust and asked each of them to submit their Top 5 Leafs wishes for this off-season and their reasoning behind those wishes. Without further a do, the PPP Wish List:
|Acquire a top 4 defenseman||9|
|Randy Carlyle gone||8|
|Let Tyler Bozak walk||8|
|Re-sign Clarke MacArthur||4|
|Amnesty buyout Komisarek||3|
|Avoid over-payments during UFA season||3|
|Re-sign Phil Kessel||2|
|Draft for upside||2|
|Retain Dallas Eakins||2|
|Shore up the bottom of the defence||2|
|No David Clarkson||2|
|Buy out JML||2|
|Number one center||1|
|Stand pat with the goaltending||1|
|Explore trading guys who might be at peak value||1|
|Trade (Lupul?) for a top pairing D man||1|
|Jake Gardiner plays in the top 4 next year||1|
|An elite forward||1|
|Re-sign Cody Franson||1|
Wish #1 - Acquire a Top 4 Defenseman
birky: Gunnarson - Phaneuf is a stable pairing. Gardiner & Franson have both shown they are ready to assume second pairing duties. The Leafs need NHL quality on their third pairing in case of injury. The days of Kostka, Holzer, and Fraser need to end.
PPP: They need some help with the tough minutes and it would free up Franson and Gardiner to destroy the opposition's weaker players
Godd Till: Teams biggest area of need; allows us to fire Ryan O'Byrne into the sun.
Wish #2 - Getting Rid of Randy Carlye
mf37: It took systemic injuries for him to figure out a line-up that worked.
Steve Burth: He is a horrible possession coach.
Chemmy (who actually wished for "Randy Carlyle tragic accident"): We could all pretend to be sad for him but he'd be gone.
Wish #3 - Let Tyler Bozak Walk
Bower Power: Carlyle's over-dependence, ridiculous rumored salary expectations.
daoust: He’s not good enough to be a 1 or 2 C, and will want more money than a 3 C warrants. He also seems like a real douchenozzle IRL.
birky: Because he's been miscast as a top line center in Toronto and he's not worth the money he's reportedly seeking. He's also pretty bad.
Chemmy wished for "Tyler Bozak signs for $5M"
... with the Montreal Canadiens.
Wish #4 - Re-sign Clarke MacArthur
SkinnyFish: He's like David Clarkson but better, younger, and cheaper.
PPP: Long-term the marginal benefit from re-signing MacArthur would be off-set by the incremental cap space needed.
Bower Power: Capable, productive depth winger.
Wish #5a - Amnesty Buyout Mike Komisarek
JP Nikota: Do I need to explain?
daoust: He’s useless and it’ll save us cap space.
Wish #5b - Avoid Over-payments in Free Agency
birky: There's little of value in the free agent pool this summer. Avoid the likes of Weiss, Morrow, Clowe, etc. Stop wasting money on bad players.
mf37: This needs an explanation? You want the team to pay too much on a crap group of UFAs?
So that's our wishlist. What's yours?