Part 2: The Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2012 free agent market.
Today I will discuss who the Leafs should pursue this off season in the free agent market.
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for how the Leafs roster should look after they have made their off season acquisitions.
I will start things off by saying that all the recent talk about Brian Burke quitting or getting fired is completely and utter BS. Yes he probably wants a contract extension and Yes if the Leafs fail to make the playoffs again in 2013 then he may well be a dead man walking. However until then BB's job is quite safe here in Toronto and I expect him to get his extension regardless of if the team makes the playoffs as long as they are developing good prospects.
The prospects that might buy him an extension would be Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov. As it has been reported today that Brian Burke is looking to obtain both somehow. This report comes from Yakupov and Galchenyuk's agent, the former great Red Wings player, Igor Larionov. So take this rumour for what it is, and that is just a rumour, as it could simply be a ploy by Larionov to make sure that his clients go one two in the draft this year.
But without further ado I will now present who should be on the Leafs radar in the Free Agent market this summer.
Leafs 2012 Free Agent Signings:
Currently makes: $3,500,000
Everybody knows that Ryan Suter is due for a raise this off-season from his $3.5 million deal that expires on July 1st. The question now is more; How much? What kind of terms? And where is he willing to go to get these?
I posit to Brian Burke that Ryan Suter is perhaps the most valuable free agent in the market this summer and would be a great fit on a Randy Carlyle team. Much the same way Chris Pronger was a great fit on the Anaheim Mighty Ducks team coached by Carlyle and built by Burke.
Throughout the 2011 stanley cup playoffs experts have been asking how good are the Vancouver Canucks this year?
The expectations on the most part were that of cautious optimism. Meaning that most people were thinking that they had the best regular season record but are on the most part unproven in the playoffs. They garnered some comparisons to the San Jose Sharks in that they often do extremely well in the regular season only to fizzle out in the playoffs due to their poor ability to adapt to the increased physicality in the playoffs. So far the Nucks have been able to step up to the physical pressure and have pushed back, hard, sometimes even a little over the line hard.
Up to this point the Canucks have defied expectations as according to many experts they should not have made it out of the first round against the Blackhawks. This being said the question remains; How good are the Vancouver Canucks? Are they Stanley Cup Champion good? In short Yes. I say this because they have shown that they are who they thought they are. Not necessarily who we thought they are or who we thought they might be. Bobby Lu has proven himself to be one of the best in the game in the playoffs when he is on his game. He was in the discussion for the Conn Smythe coming into the finals and despite having two consecutive poor outings has shown enough for us to think he will bounce back. The Sedins have shown flashs of brilliance but have lacked consistency while Ryan Kesler has shown that he truly is one of if not the best two way player in the game. Although the defense has been devastated by injuries and suspensions they have all been solid in their increased roles. All this points to the Canucks being able to bounce back from adversity and finish off the bruins in most likely seven with both teams holding true to home advantage.
Canucks push back hard
Watch the NHL finals games live streaming here