Your Opinion on Leafs Moves

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (July 6) – The question to fans of the Maple Leafs was simple and straight-forward; the answers somewhat diverse: “On reflection, do you like the moves made by Brian Burke and Co. the past week and is the team ready to make a concerted playoff push beginning in October?”

 

The moves involved signing unrestricted free agent Tim Connolly of Buffalo; trading Brett Lebda to Nashville for veteran forward Matthew Lombardi and young defenseman Cody Franson; signing restricted free agents Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak to two-year contract extensions before they could get to salary arbitration.

 

Your multiple Twitter replies were as follows (edited for spelling)…

 

 

@Robby322: “Not yet. I think Burke is going to do one more trade for a true #1 centre because Connolly doesn’t cut it, and we need a #4 centre.”

 

@lontlaw99: “I definitely think they will make the playoffs.”

 

@THA_CROWN: “Nope, need a No. 1 centre.”

 

@jerjell: “Yes and yes.”

 

@Mike_Fahmy: “Well, the Leafs making the playoffs will be determined by a) whether or not Tim Connolly stays healthy, and b) if Reimer is for real.”

 

@goleafsgo_: “Leafs are better than prior to July 1. Still have needs. Best group of young players I can remember the Leafs having.”

 

@TankDiggityDawg: “I have to say no. If Reimer and the Kulemin line don’t duplicate last season’s effort, it could be a long year. That and Tim Connolly’s health.”

 

@DJ_Llewellyn: “They will (make the playoffs) if Reimer keeps it up/stays healthy. If they can make a trade for a centre like Paul Stastny, they’re a lock.”

 

MOST BELIEVE JAMES REIMER (ABOVE) IS KEY TO THE LEAFS SUCCESS NEXT SEASON; MORE-SO THAN THE MOVES IN FREE AGENCY AND VIA TRADE THIS WEEK.

@ChrisArnold33: “I’m a Habs fan and dislike the Leafs a lot, yet I would bet they make the playoffs.”

 

@Leafsbh: “Leafs have made very good progress but the playoffs will not come easy.”

 

@BIGMAC0918: “No Howard, we need more jam. I see 10th (place).”

 

@NewfieDave1: “I don’t see the playoffs unless we get better than average goaltending. But, it should be decent hockey.”

 

@Spuds93: “Not playoff material yet… need one or two more keys.”

 

@blazingcannons: “With Reimer in net, anything is possible!”

 

@Enigma_DML: “Yes, I think they can be in the 5-7 range (in East).”

 

@SHusika84: “Though I think the Leafs made some good moves and avoided making any dumb signings, I am still not confident this is enough.”

 

@QBone9: “Considering the circumstances, how could they have done much more? Now, seal up Schenn for 3-5 years.”

 

@ckramer15: “More steps in the right direction. Baby steps, but that’s where the team needs to be.”

 

@jonnyo5: “Certainly improved, at least on paper. Burke/Nonis did their jobs… now it’s on Wilson and the players. Cautiously optimistic.”

 

SEVERAL RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THE PRESSURE NOW FALLS SQUARELY ON THE SHOULDERS OF HEAD COACH RON WILSON (ABOVE).

 

@mmarges: “Like the moves but same if (Leafs) had gotten Richards. It will come down to Reimer.”

 

@aMAC8: “Leafs signed last year’s No. 1 centre (Tyler Bozak) and their second-leading scorer (Clarke MacArthur) for roughly $4 million. Not a bad day.”

 

@Bounce7: “If Nashville can win with one 20-goal scorer, the Leafs can win.”

 

@OB_GYN_Kenobi: “I don’t think they’re good enough yet.”

 

@goleafsgo_93: “I’m excited, there’s definitely a lot to be excited for with all the moves Burke has made.”

 

@Timmysaddict: “Good week! No crazy, long-terms and solid upgrades overall. Will make playoffs but more work needed to contend.”

 

@zombiekillinc: “I think there’s too much talk about the additions and not enough about Grabovski. Potentially the biggest year of his career.”

 

@14DaveKeon: “As far as I’m concerned, anytime is BergerTime, so bring on the 2011-12 season!”

 

@KF_Kadri43: “The Leafs made quality changes. Not many, but a lot of depth (added). One more trade should put us into contention.”

 

@AnthonyDunkley: “Happy? No. Leafs need a big splash. Six of eight playoff teams are still better than them and Carolina, New York Islanders, Winnipeg and Florida got better. Give Stamkos $100 million.”

 

IS STEVEN STAMKOS WORTH $100 MILLION OF MLSE’S ASSETS?

 

@Thomas_Duncan: “I heard they might be putting a hockey team of actual players on the ice this season.”

 

@TalkLeafs: “Bozak deal great; MacArthur got what he deserved after a gritty effort over the year. Lombardi/Franson deal was Dion-like.”

 

@jordanmackinnon: “There’s still too many variables to tell (if Leafs can make playoffs). Will Reimer be the real deal? Will Gustavsson bounce back? Connolly’s health?”

 

52788 tim connolly Maple Leafs ink Connolly to two year deal

LEAF FANS ARE EXCITED ABOUT TIM CONNOLLY (ABOVE) BUT WORRIED ABOUT HIS LONG-TERM HEALTH.

 

@robr0: “Underwhelmed is how I feel. They still lack a legit No. 1 centre and that is damaging my playoff hopes.”

 

@akaka2amazing: “I hope so (re: playoffs). I like the low-risk; high-reward moves. I’m glad to see it appears the team will give chances to three young goalies.”

 

@MMA_Elite: “I’m disappointed we didn’t get a true No. 1 centre but, overall, I’m happy with the moves that were made. Not a playoff team, though.”

 

@fritz114: “I like how they bolstered their defense with Liles and a puck-mover and Franson. Still need a proven No. 1 centre.”

 

@AceLarkin: “I think the Leafs will finish between 6th and 10th. They’re looking better every year, but they’re still missing that star power.”

 

@JasonAlaksa: “CERTAINLY doesn’t hurt (the moves)!! One more major forward (lots of goals) just might be enough!!”

 

@KevRolfe: “The East is a crap-shoot for at least nine teams that will fight for the last three playoff spots. If healthy, (the Leafs) have a great shot.”

 

@jsin4250: “To be fair, our defense is looking strong. If goaltending holds up…”

 

@tpave: “Goaltending tends to be only as good as the defense, (which is) much better now and a lot less soft without Kabby.”

 

ALL LEAF FANS ARE EXCITED TO SEE WHAT BIG DEFENSEMAN CODY FRANSON (ABOVE) BRINGS TO THE HOCKEY CLUB.

 

@di_nic: “The team is better than the one that finished the season on a tear. All signs point to (Leafs) climbing. But, will others fall?”

 

@89Mogilny: “If Lombardi and Connolly are healthy, I would say Leafs have enough depth to seriously challenge and sneak in (to the playoffs).”

 

@Kaev93: “If Reimer’s play remains solid and the new acquisitions amount to only half of our expectations, then, yes, the playoffs are possible.”

 

@garrettbauman (of Maple Leafs Hotstove): “Leafs have improved, but to what degree is the question. The short-term approach is the key; flexibility carries its own value.”

 

@cjr8989: “I think the moves (Leafs) have made might allow them to slip into the bottom (playoff) spot, but not do anything in the playoffs. They need a stud forward.”

 

@AronWinter: “CUP IS GUARANTEED NOW!! Connolly is better than Richards. Stamkos is 90% coming here. Phaneuf will win Norris Trophy; Reimer will be an all star.”

 

@faceofgravy: “I’m more pleased with the non-moves and, yes, I feel this team is ready to make a push.”

 

@matt_chaisson: “Love what Burke/Nonis have done. Build from within; wait until the team is a true contender before committing to a superstar.”

 

@Leafs80: “Depth is there and the centre position is improved. It comes down to goaltending. Optimus Reim and the Monster sound scary.”

 

@AmanjotRocks: “Last year the team DID make a push beginning in October. Remember, Leafs went 4-0-0. MacArthur was on pace for 170 points.”

 

CLARKE MacARTHUR (ABOVE) MAY NOT REGISTER 170 POINTS WITH THE LEAFS THIS SEASON, BUT MOST FANS SEEM VERY PLEASED HE HAS RE-SIGNED WITH THE BLUE & WHITE.

 

@J_Ugulini: “Leafs have too many second and third-line forwards to be truly competitive. They’re missing one or two impact guys up front (Stamkos).”

 

@francisganzo: “If Leafs fans think Tim Connolly and Cody Franson are bringing the Cup to Toronto, then I truly pity their delusional minds.”

 

@lloyder1971: “Leafs have made improvements and if Reimer is the real deal, the team will make the playoffs even without another centre. If goalies falter, it’s a lottery pick again.”

 

@lstewart28: “Connolly and Lombardi will give the Leafs three legit centres (with Grabo). Franson will improve second powerplay unit.”

 

@Idsooner: “I am cautiously optimistic about the Leafs and their prospects for next season. In my opinion, they still need a STAR centre-man. Any RFA’s possible?”

 

@ScienceKiller: “Every team we might compete with next season got better the last few weeks. I think we’re on the outside looking in.”

 

@kromkar: “So far, I feel like the team is slightly upgraded, though I’m not convinced the rest of the East hasn’t held serve.”

 

@drewm99: “Decent moves; playoffs a pipe-dream. Moving in the right direction.”

 

@Dougie_leafsfan: “I like the acquisition of Franson. I hear he’s a top-four defenseman but I think he’ll be a top-two on the Leafs after playing behind Shea Weber and Ryan Suter (in Nashville).”

 

@3ggi3: “I feel we are (ready to make a playoff push). But, the need for a number-one centre remains. That is the only impediment I see that will stop us.”

 

@killerleaf93: “I can’t say I’m really content; I still believe there is something larger brewing. I believe we are three trades away.”

 

@TMLFansRob (of TMLFans.ca): “I like the Leafs moves but they still look like a ninth-place team, at best, in the East. Wild-card is Reimer: can he shine over 82 games?”

 

@prowirepro: “No and no.”

 

@sawu1st: “I’m glad that BB didn’t get involved in all the overpaying of a lot of teams (Florida, Buffalo).”

 

@AoR598: “It’s either going to be boom or bust. Either way, I’m excited for a new season.”

 

@BrandonO91: “Legitimate chance (at playoffs?) Yes! However, I feel (Leafs) will need that No. 1 centre they have wanted for awhile. Grabo doesn’t make the cut.”

 

Mikhail Grabovski Mikhail Grabovski #84 of the Toronto Maple Leafs shoots the puck as Andrej Meszaros #41 of the Philadelphia Flyers tries to cover him in the third period of a hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center on October 23, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

THOUGH HE’S COMING OFF HIS BEST SEASON IN THE NHL, LEAF FANS HAVE MIXED FEELINGS OVER MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI’S ABILITY TO DUPLICATE THE EFFORT.

 

@Tenkay23: “If Reimer plays the same or better than last season, the Leafs will make the playoffs. Still not convinced this team can score.”

 

@kchuck78: “Hey Howard, BB must feel this team is close and doesn’t need many tweaks. YES, a centre… another STAR… but we must be close!”

 

@deantimpany: “I’m okay with the Leafs moves. They are short term and do not tie us up too much for the future. Maybe a trade yet… we can hope!”

 

@AronAtGazette: “Franson and Liles were great moves. Connolly and MacArthur are getting paid too much, and Komisarek needs to go.”

 

@mmarges: “Very much enjoying your post-FAN590 coverage of the Leafs.”

 

@pallyman25: “Brian Burke is working the same magic as Cliff Fletcher did 20 years ago. His team is a lot younger and he’s building good depth.”

 

@ernestkc: “Yes, I am happy with the moves. No, the Leafs are not ready for a playoff push. Questionable goaltending.”

 

@Heasy_Peasy: “I am happy with the moves because none have outrageous term. Connolly is overpaid, but only for two years. Franson trade was a steal.”

 

@kevinrfauth: “Leafs have made some very savvy moves and some very practical signings that leaves them flexibility.”

 

@pnastolfo: “No and no. Injury prone and still no number-one centre.”

 

@ArbuckleTV: “Team needs to prove last spring wasn’t a fluke. Additions will help over the course of a full season.”

 

@SkyzNest: “Still in need of a No. 1 centre.”

 

@Joe_Lama: “Outside chance of making the playoffs. Not sold on Reimer yet.”

 

@billjappy: “Slowly moving in right direction. Richards would have been too costly and tied our hands for years. Is it enough to make the playoffs?”

 

@CaptainCrunch17: “I’m okay with the re-signings of Bozak and MacArthur and really pleased with the draft picks. I’m not really sold on Connolly being the No. 1 guy feeding the puck to Kessel; he’s too injury prone. I hope Burke and Co. go after a real top guy like (Paul) Stastny. Overall, a decent revamp to the roster. Leafs in playoffs! Book it!”

 

TYLER BOZAK (ABOVE RIGHT, CELEBRATING GOAL WITH MIKE KOMISAREK), RE-SIGNED ON TUESDAY WITH LEAFS AS A RESTRICTED FREE AGENT. HE HAS TO BE BETTER.

 

 @rockgoaliedad: “Leafs still need a number-one centre. I like the moves this week but it’s too risky to call Connolly a #1. Push for Vincent Lecavalier.”

 

@douglas_rob75: “Great moves… signing young, tough defenseman (Franson); Connolly to help Kessel. Welcome back @Bozie42 and MacArthur. Good job.”

 

@sachababic: “So far so good, but not done yet. Still need to make move for a true number-one centre. Connolly and Lombardi aren’t long-term solutions.”

 

@11Sharks: “Burke has stuck to his plan and hasn’t been pressured by fan or external (forces). Some things have not gone as wanted, but… the plan!”

 

@frotteur: “Once again, the Leafs fill their roster abiding by their tag-line hopes and dreams. We hope all these unhealthy, injury-riddled players get well and concussion issues disappear. We dream Kadri becomes the player we need him to be. Burke needs to pony up for a legit franchise player, or we tread water in the middle forever. I love the Leafs but grow tired of the repetition. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same things and expecting different results?”

 

@Jason_Parsons: “I think they are solid additions but it will not put Leafs in the playoffs. It doesn’t do anything to address the worst PK.”

 

@realkazak: “I like the changes without giving up anything of value. Still see a huge deal coming to bring the true No. 1 centre.”

 

@rickpearce76: Connolly & Franson + new assistant coaches = better powerplay. I also think this helps out north-south game while playing five-on-five.”

 

BRIAN BURKE (LEFT) AND HIS CHIEF LIEUTENANT, DAVID NONIS, DID A PARTIAL RE-MAKE OF THE MAPLE LEAFS THIS WEEK VIA TRADE AND FREE AGENCY.

 

@droberts2011: “I thought the changes were a step forward. From what I hear, the d-man from the Preds looks to be a steal. The rest… meh.”

 

@MBD_27: “Finally some moves with an eye toward developing internal talent: Liles; Connolly; build from within.”

 

@AJCASSIDYMINI: “Ask yourself this question: ‘Will this matter a year from now?’ – Richard Carson.

 

@mullen93robbery: “By going to capgeek.com, you can see the good work done. No long-term deals hanging over the team’s head.”

 

@mr_cdc: “Better than expected. I was fearful of long-term contracts just for the sake of change. The Nashville deal was great and to lock up Schenn… although it was tempting to offer-sheet Stamkos.”

 

@MarcNeville50: “Connolly has 250 points in last 302 games. That’s 68 points if  he plays 82 games this season. Pray he stays healthy.”

 

@shady_krs11: “Probably a little late but sad to see you leave FAN590. Definitely did not always agree with you, but I respect your insight!!!”

 

@Cathmoir91: “Looked good on OTR last night. Show needs one less guest, though.”

 

@jerryleaf: “You were awesome on OTR! Loved it!. You were calm, cool and intelligent with your comments.”

 

@Livii_P: “Signing Jay Rosehill and letting Brenter go was a huge mistake. Rosehill is useless (except for fighting).”

 

@MrCSword: “Non-Leafs fan but  am shocked they paid $9 million for a guy who has never had 20 goals and hasn’t played a full season since 2002.”

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