August 11 2012 11:38AM
Imagine if you traded a potential top six centre-man and a potential top four defenseman for a guy who was a year and a half removed from scoring 27 goals on a 16.27 shooting percentage. That might even be a bad enough trade to get yourself a sarcastic shout-out in a certain blogger's footnote.
You all know who I'm talking about, of course. I'm talking about Cliff Fletcher's magical Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak trade. And yes, if you're wondering, it was a bad enough trade to get a sarcastic shout-out in a certain blogger's footnote.
With Alex Steen signed to a sickeningly amazing contract for the next two years and Lee Stempniak being a bad hockey player who, for some reason, can double his career shooting percentage for stretches (only when he's not playing with the Leafs though) there is only one player from this deal to wonder about.
This brings me to my next UFA spotlight, follow me over the jump to find out who it is.
(Note: If you don't know who it is you might be as dumb as Cliff Fletcher 2.0)
Remember him? He's the guy who couldn't stay healthy to save his life. While he still can't stay as healthy as you might want, he has turned into the defenceman that we all hoped he would become (and just got frustrated with how long prospects take to develop).
Something that Leafs fans aren't used to is a players Corsi Rel being lower then his Corsi On (this shows that the team is a strong possession team). The St. Louis Blues were the best team in the league last year, in terms of Fenwick close, and not surprisingly five out of six regulars on the Blues' blue-line had a Corsi ON number that would make Leafs' fans blush. Carlo was one of those regulars. He had the third best Corsi REL, third best Corsi ON, third best SA/60 and third lowest Off Zone Start%. Basically, he was the third best defensemen on the best defensive team in the NHL.
[Numbers can be found here. Ed note: Roman Polak is terrible]
The fact that Carlo doesn't have a contract yet is confusing. As far as I know he's not injured, as he played in the playoffs, and being a Toronto-born player due for a big raise if he isn't about to go play in Russia. With NHL contract talks becoming a hot issue and uncertainty around next season becoming more and more contentious this might be the best time for the Leafs to swoop in and give him a nice, fair contract.
The reason I say this might be the best time to sign him—or any UFA for that matter—is because UFA's might be willing to sign on if they get a sizable signing bonus. That's something the Leafs can definitely afford to lose if there is a lockout.
Obviously there are many teams that can afford to lose that money but maybe, just maybe Carlo will give us Leafs fans a break here and just re-sign with his hometown team.