It's almost at that point.. Do we go for the gusto and sign Paul Stastny? Do we stick with what we have and play it out? I'm not so sure.
Acquiring a number one centre in free agency is something that I'm hearing more and more about, yet is this truly the solution to our Stanley cup dreams? The problem lies in that you will likely only get 2 or 3 productive seasons out of a 29 year old. To say the leafs are one Paul Stastny short of the cup is too easy. The leafs would still be a bubble team and we would continue the trend of mediocrity for the foreseeable future.
Maybe a rebuild is finally the answer? It probably should have started a while ago, but too many ego's were at play. It might be that we have a few of the right pieces to keep and a few to swap out in order to build a true contender. To me, possessing a top 5 scoring winger on a non-contending team almost seems like a waste of our most valuable asset. Kessel was the best player for the Toronto maple leafs over the last few years, but is he going to be the identity of our team forever?
I think everyone would agree that the draft is the only realistic way to get a #1C in their prime. The real question is how the leafs should go about getting one. The 8th overall pick this year is too late for a top tier C, and I doubt anyone thinks it would be a good idea to go off the board for Mccann.
Would Trading kessel for a top 5 pick this year + a 1st round pick next year be worth it? If not Kessel, how many other leaf players could net us a solid return?
Obviously, Phil Kessel would generate a lot of interest from around the league. What would his value be? Would he even be worth multiple first round picks? I like kessel as much as the next guy, but scoring wingers are the finishing touches on a contending team, and the leafs built this team backwards. Everyone wants to just "Add a # 1C so he can play with Kessel", but sadly I doubt we could ever get the type of skilled #1C we desperately need through free agency.
We have the goalies. We have a number of defencemen for the future and we have a ton of young forwards who could probably fill the depth of our forward roster in a couple years. If we keep JVR and Kadri, I think we could try rebuilding our forward core in less time that the standard 5 year rebuild.
It's one thing to sign a 29 year old UFA and make a couple runs at the playoffs, but the more I look at the leafs roster it is starting to look like making a move to draft a centre for the future might be in the best interest of the team. If we can pick up a skilled winger with the 8th overall, keep our young PMD's and Kadri, we might have something to compete in a few years from now.. Of course Connor McDavid would make our inevitable tank less painful.
This is my first FanPost guys so input is appreciated. In the future I will make more time for the style formatting