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FTB - Draft Day Is Tomorrow

Damn. I thought today was Friday. Anyway, I received a pretty interesting e-mail from the makers of The Love Guru with a clip to post (that you can find via LFiV's FanShot). It's nice to see that they are trying to harness the power of the internet to spread the news about the movie but they might want to focus on Rotten Tomatoes. Alternatively, they could have offered free tickets to the premiere or a chance to meet Jessica Alba and I would have posted pictures and interviews and reviews but alas, no freebies for the bloggers so no freebies for the movie.

Anyway, tomorrow will be the biggest day in the Leafs' recent history. The management team will put their mark on the franchise and the picks will reveberate for the next decade. If they draft a Luca Cereda then we are well and truly screwed. The seventh overall pick has to yield an impact player. But what else can the Leafs do? Steve wonders what the Leafs could offer the Canucks who are desperate to get better now in order to capitalize on having Roberto Luongo. He suggests a few scenarios but I think the most tempting for the Canucks would be a package of Wellwood, Ponikarovsky, and White.

These three players provide help not only in the short-term but in the long-term as well. Wellwood could definitely benefit from a fresh start (which he'll get under Wilson anyway but maybe a small hockey market would help as well) and he could immediately help a powerplay that has ranked 18th and 20th over the past two seasons.  Ponikarovsky is the exact player that would flourish playing with the Sedin sisters. Anson Carter became a 30 goal scorer with the pair and Poni's history with Mats indicates that he would fit right into their style of play. Poni also kills penalties, has good size, and a great shot. Ian White would be a tougher sell. He helps improve the offensive abilities of their backline.

The biggest selling point is how cheap the trio can be signed. While they aren't superstars all three provide the Canucks with flexibility. Currently they have $35M with Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund as UFAs. Next year they only have about $20M in contracts. This gives them a lot of opportunity to pursue the top-end free agents that will fill out the roster. One of the reasons I like the Leafs' current young players is that even if they aren't superstars they help fill holes cheaply that allow a team to grab top-end talent. Of course, this is a pretty optimistic trade proposal.

The Omen, in between jabs at Fletcher, suggests that Antropov would be the more likely piece of fruit to dangle that could land the Leafs the Canucks' 10th pick or even the Blue Jackets' 6th pick. Antropov is a complete forward that would look great at centre with Rick Nash. If they are actually pursuing Ryan Malone then Antro would be an infinitely better pick-up but the Leafs would probably have to toss a pick or two in the pot to get # 6 but it would be a massive move.

The Globe looks at what the Leafs' are facing this weekend. They have 10 picks including the 7th overall. The article also teases us with this final line:

There are rumblings that the Leafs are trying to work out a deal to send his rights to Montreal.

Depending on what the Leafs could get out of Montreal this could cement Fletcher's legacy with the Leafs (for better or worse) and his reputation as Trader Cliff. It would also be the end of any mention to Mats Sundin on this website. Anyway, onto the links: