While I have wondered aloud in this space over the past few weeks that the Leafs may well be investigating a significant roster move prior to training camp, as the days pass and the CBA talks (not unexpectedly) crawl along slowly, it more and more raises the possibility—maybe even the likelihood—that the blue and white will in fact march into the 2012-’13 NHL season with pretty much what we see now. That is, a young roster with some speed and skill, a bit of legitimate toughness but still one that triggers more questions for the fan base than answers.
Even in these quiet times for Leaf followers I continue to believe (at least I'm still leaning that way...) that the Leafs will indeed shuffle the roster (perhaps via something that none of us have even contemplated...) by the time the regular-season gets underway in October. But as the summer days pass, I admit that I am beginning to wonder if something will - or even really can - be done that makes sense for the Leafs.
Some Toronto fans believe we can make the playoffs as we stand right now. From my perspective, if that is the case, it will be because a) the Leafs will be a stronger, more consistent team under Carlyle, b) our goaltending will be solid and c) there will be some slippage elsewhere in the Eastern Conference. (I’m thinking specifically about New Jersey, Ottawa and Florida as teams who may struggle to match their surprising success of a season ago…)
While the Leaf brass has not had what we might call a blockbuster summer so far, they have acquired van Riemsdyk and signed their RFA’s like Frattin and Kulemin, as well as recent first-rounder Rielly Morgan. As much as many Leaf supporters would still like to get their hands on say, Luongo and or Bobby Ryan, Getzlaf or players of that ilk, that’s not quite as easy as we’d like to think. Usually something pretty good has to go the other way, and with the current labour talks in a state of uncertainty (not only if and when they will reach an agreement, but also what the new CBA will mean regarding the cap and how players can be moved, etc.), I wonder if we will see a lot of trade action until this all gets settled.
In the meantime, we are largely in a wait and see pattern when it comes to the Leafs, so here are a few recent posts that you may well have missed, given that a lot of us aren’t visiting hockey sites as regularly as we generally would when we are in the midst of the NHL regular season…
- Wondering how anyone, including an ex-NHL tough guy, can defend Todd Bertuzzi?
- What would you give up to get Roberto Luongo?
- Will Nazem Kadri play centre for the Leafs?
- Do the Maple Leafs still matter?
- Is there a Maple Leaf "identity"?
- Discussing the different levels of player development still required for the Leafs to be successful...
Training camp gets closer every day. Some fans may not be in 'hockey mode' yet, but I sense a lot of Maple Leaf supporters can't wait for the puck to drop, even if it's just in training camp...