If the HFBoards Ran the Leafs


Coming off a historic collapse, and missing the playoffs for the 8th time in 9 years it seems reasonable that the Leafs are badly in need of change. The Shanahan hiring is a good start, and we hope Carlyle will soon be shown the door, leaving us with two birds left. The General Manager and Assistant GM team, and the players themselves. I’ve decided to take the two birds with one stone approach and today we’re going to hand the GM duties over to the HFBoards and let them rebuild the roster. 

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I selected the first four Leafs trade threads I could find on the trade proposal board, and we’re going to see what happens with the roster. I excluded trades that involve a player who has already been moved in a prior HFBoards deal. Deals involving Leafs draft picks will always assume the highest pick the Leafs hold in that round will be moved. Here we go… 

 Trade #1: Clarkson to Buffalo for Future Considerations 

This starts off strong as the Leafs rid themselves of a boat anchor without taking on any salary (in yo’ face Leino) and they will have the joy of facing said boat anchor several times a season. Clearly the Leafs are fleecing Buffalo, but may the original poster of this thread can provide some insight into why the Sabres make this deal.

“Taking on salary isn’t a problem for Buffalo, and we could use some veteran leadership and grit going forward. Even with the awful season Clarkson had, he would still play top 6 in Buffalo with Ennis or Hodgson. He would play PP and PK for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised if they slapped the C on him right away.” -Stokes84

Trade Advantage: Toronto

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Plausibility of this deal: 2/10, new GMs of building teams generally don’t want their early deals to look so questionable. 

Trade #2:
Phil Kessel and Carl Gunnarsson to Nashville for Roman Josi, Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson

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Finally the Leafs get rid of streaky scorer Phil Kessel in favour of non-scorer Colin Wilson, an up and coming prospect, and a bit of an upgrade over Gunnarsson in Josi.  As excited as I may be about Forsberg and Josi, I’m less excited that 60 point guy JVR is now the Leafs top scoring forward, and with 4 deals still to come it seems unlikely that he’ll survive the moves. Colin Wilson is a nice replacement for Clarkson though.

This HFBoards user is upset that the Leafs aren’t swinging for the fences…

thats some good young talent from Nashville, but if kessel is involved you know the only guy leafs would want back is Weber.”

Trade Advantage: Nashville

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Plausibility of the deal: 4/10 (nice score for HFBoards), the Leafs trading their rosters bright spot for collection of young players sounds marginally probable, but points are deducted for the lack of grit coming back. 

Trade #3:
Leafs trade their 1st round pick (2014) and Dion Phaneuf to Edmonton for their 2014 1st round pick

With Clarkson, Kessel, and Phaneuf now gone it’s amazing how much cap space Nonis will have to work with. He might even be able to re-sign Bolland. It seems a little step to give up a top pairing defenseman to move up 5 spots in the draft, but in giving up a top pairing defenseman the Leafs may have the chance to draft potential top pairing defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Wheeeeeeeee!

Here’s a rare dose of common sense 

“The leafs defense gets significantly worse, which is easily the leafs biggest needs, to add a prospect that may take years to even add any significant contribution to the team. Why would you think the leafs would even consider this in the slightest?”-Hennig

Trade Advantage: Edmonton

Plausibility of the deal: 3/10 While this doesn’t sound like something the Leafs are incapable of, the idea of the Oilers fleecing anyone this badly is laughable.

If you’ve been worried about what the Leafs have been doing so far, and are wondering what the Leafs will do with all that excess cap space, fear not. Paladin2799 is about to blow your minds… 

Trade #4:
Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner, and the 2014 1st Round Pick (now Edmonton’s pick) to Carolina for Eric and Jordan Staal


I’m going to assume Paladin2799 is a Leafs fan from Thunder Bay. I am also confused why Jared Staal wasn’t included in this deal. Without him I’d have to believe the Leafs would say no. This deal certainly speaks to Carolina’s desire to shed salary, and Jordan Staal fits the Leafs mold of expensive 3rd line players, but I can’t help but think the Leafs might be getting two established players for pennies on the dollar. My bias against the Staals prevents me from liking this deal, but even with a nice draft pick this seems like a little much (remember this was originally posted when the Leafs held the 11th overall pick). Maybe the HFBoards have opinions on this…

“why would anyone want Jordan?”

“Probably enough for Eric, but both of them together would take a bit more.”

“This is embarrassing.”

Trade Advantage: Immediate edge has to go to the Leafs

Plausibility of the deal: 1/10 The Staals have not suddenly become the Sedins and do not need to be moved together. If Ron Francis is in fact taking over the GM role this spring he’s probably not looking to leave a crater where his centermen used to be. 

So what have the HFBoards left Toronto with?

van Riemsdyk-E.Staal-Wilson 









Shockingly Reimer, Franson, and Bozak survived the HFBoards fall out. Of course Reimer, Franson, Holland, D’Amigo, and Ashton all need contracts still, but don’t worry the HFBoards has left us with over $20,000,000 to spend.

While the Leafs clearly have established themselves down the middle with four respectable centermen, they’ve managed to create new holes on the wing and take a horrible defense and make it worse.

It’s also noteworthy that the Leafs now don’t pick until the third round of the draft.

The HFBoards have made bold moves, but have wound up with a product that seems vaguely familiar to a roster you’d expect out of John Ferguson Jr. It is my conclusion that none of these people should even be allowed to manage a Fantasy Hockey Team.

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  • Millerrr

    if trading Clarkson for anything is possible it should be done immediately. I’d consider trading him for nothing & paying part of his salary to get him off the books.

    your waaaaaay overrating the value of phaneuf in your talk about that trade with edmonton. If you could get eckblad with that many years of control from the best defenseman in the draft (a well rounded defenseman). I think its a fairly even trade, especially if you feel that Phaneuf has a bad contract (which allot of people do). I’m not saying I’d do the trade, but I’m not sure Edmonton would do the trade either.

    as for trading Kessel…. makes no sense.

    I WOULD:
    – Hire trots for head coach.
    – Trade clarkson if possible.
    – Re-sign Bolland (I think due to the injury he didn’t get the chance to show how valuable he can be to this team. He brings great defensive play & leadership that nobody currently on the roster provides).

    The jury is still out on phaneuf/kadri/franson/gunnarson/gardiner. I really believe they need to give these players another chance under a new coach, clearly this system is not working for the team, but I think there is a chance for them to be allot more productive under a new coach/system.

    I think reimer is a great backup goaltender, not sure trading him for a 3rd round pick is worthwhile to us,although we could use cap space. If we could get a 2nd then go for it.

  • Alex Cooper

    If the jury is still out on phaneuf and franson at this point in their career then you need to find a new jury. Also yeah years of control over a defenseman that has yet to show he can even play a top 4 role in the NHL is what the leafs need, so lets give up a top pairing defenceman who can play in the NHL and also has years of control.

  • CashGameND

    lol @Grabovski. ND are my initials, but I do like sound of it so maybe I’ll go with Cash Game Notre Dame here on out haha

    @Shasan I just wrote the longest shpeil about how Eckblad compares to Seth Jones, and how its really not that uneven of a deal. HOWEVER, no point in debating it cause the deal will never happen. Edmonton would never give up the potential/years of control of a Seth Jones type, and Nonis would never admit his wrongs & give up on phaneuf so quickly. AS FOR FRANSON, you don’t think the jury is still out? Last year they were talking about how high of a trade value he had & how much money he was worth, and that he has top 2-3 defenseman potential, we were lucky to get him for that contract. Now a year later he looks like a nightmare on defense despite his offensive upside, and I don’t think many see him as more then a 4-6 defenseman.

    Bottom line, LETS GET SAM BENNETT!!!!!

    ~~ although as a mooseheads homer (lets get Nikolai Ehlers!!) kids a beast, looks like Drouin 2.0 He was rated outside of the top 60 coming into this year, now hes up to 7th on button’s list, and will continue to climb if the Moose keep destroying these playoffs. He was 3rd overall in qmjhl points this season, his rookie season.

  • STAN


    As for your first post, can’t disagree about doing anything to get rid of Clarkson, but Nonis ought to go with him. It was his call. An atrocious call.

    Edmonton has insane inexplicable management but even THEY aren’t thick enough to take on a clearly diminishing Phaneuf and that albatross contract.

    Yes, trading Kessel makes all the sense in the world. Like Phaneuf, there is clear evidence that he fades when the going gets tough.

    Do NOT bring in Barry Trotz, a chartered member of the OBC (Old Boys Club). The world’s richest hockey team MIUST have some decent internal coaching prospects. If not, it hasn’t been doing its job for 50 years. Oh, right, it hasn’t.

    The jury has already concluded that phaneuf/kadri/franson/gunnarson/gardiner are expendable. Not one of them is worth adding to a ‘core’.

    As for James Reimer, with some decent coaching he is clearly a number one. He has one or two flaws that CAN BE TAUGHT. And he’s an intelligent, articulate hard worker. Bernier proved he wilts under too much work. He’d never played that much. Ever. Maybe the Kings had him perfectly slotted as a solid back up.

    Now, CGND Part Two. Is Franson a “nightmare” or does he deserve a second chance? Make up your mind. No offence, CGND, but Franson’s either gonna get better under a new coach or he’s worth moving. Who cares what the Leafs get back? It’s irrelevant in the long term.

    Which brings me to Shanahan. Tim Leweike is a liar. If he he had a “plan” and was focussed on Shanahan or some other golden boy figure head, he certainly kept that well under wraps until every other team started deeming former players worthy of presidencies, despite them having little or no actual experience, other than being ‘nice guys’ willing to haul down $3-$4 million a year on long term contracts during which they will “learn the business”. Must be nice.

    Imagine your bank bringing in the best TELLER they ever had… to RUN THE BANK… and then explaining that to bank customers. Yikes!!

    Leweike is proving to be a an over-hyped, over paid fraud.

    MLSE’s new, dysfunctional ownership is making Harold Ballard look like a rational genius.

  • CashGameND


    – I agree Nonis should be gone. But clearly he won’t be. We can only keep our fingers crossed now they do fire the coach.

    – Kessel fades when the going gets tough, based on clear evidence? He struggled against Boston ever since he came to Toronto. Then we faced them in the first round & he performed quite admirably. He is streaky, and has some killer droughts. But he is worth what we are paying him, without him this team would not have been anywhere near the playoff hunt.

    – You don’t like Barry Trotz cause he’s from something you just made up called the Old Boys Club? I could care less if we have a young or old coach, I want a winning coach. Last I checked Trotz was doing allot of winning in a franchise that was basically spending the league minimum every year. To be able to get those teams into the playoffs as often is he did is amazing. He got the most out of his players, and he has a great system. There may be other coaches out there, he just comes to mind for me because of his track record & proven success at the NHL level.

    – Phaneuf, Kadri, and Gardiner MAY be worth adding to the core. Kadri & Gardiner have allot to prove, but there is certainly a big upside with them. And Phaneuf is a part of any teams core, but he shouldn’t be their #1 defenseman, he should be the 2 or 3.

    – I agree Franson is going to get better under a new coach or he is worth moving for anything we can get. But thats why I say the jury is still out, I think its worth seeing how he performs under a new coach/system.

    – I’m not sure if anybody cares if Leweike is a “liar”, whether or not he planned on hiring a president the whole time or not. I’m just glad its not Nonis who is in charge of shaping the teams identity, and that somebody else has a final say. I don’t know if Shanahan will be great as a president, but he was a great player, he did a great job as the NHL’s disciplinarian (although I feel suspensions should be harsher, he implimented a system that helped players understand things better, and explained to them what they did wrong & why they were suspended. he seemed to do a much better job then anyone in the past). So I’m ok with the hire. Its team president though, at the end of the day its on the GM to build the roster, and the coach to find the right system. Its a shame that Shanahan is being stuck with nonis, but hopefully they will find the right coach to right the ship.

    – And as for Leweike an overhyped fraud, i couldn’t agree with you less. So far hes made excellent hires with GM of the Raptors, and bringing Drake on board (as much as I hate to say it) looks like its paying of as well. And what hes done with TFC has been fantastic (I would’ve never considered watching an MLS game before this year. So far I haven’t missed 1 this season after all their huge signings, I am actually enduring soccer games). Hes also stated he is not a hockey mind, so to blame the Leafs on him 1 year into his contract makes no sense at all. Like I said, we’re only a year in, but everything I’ve seen from him has been great moves (exception of not firing Nonis, but as he said, hes not a hockey mind, so I’ll give him a pass since the MLSE board wanted Nonis to begin with)