If the HFBoards Started the Leafs Rebuild


Last year as the Leafs entered the off season I made the
executive decision on behalf of Brendan Shanahan to let Nonis go, and replace
him with the HFBoards
, the results led to a roster that even Steve
Tambellini would be embarrassed by.

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That was the HFBoards first time out, and pencils have
erasers for a reason. It’s time to hand the Leafs back over to the HFBoards and
see what would happen if the HFBoards rebuilt the Leafs.

The rules I’m following are the same as last time. I will
look at the first four Leafs trade proposals I find on the HFBoards that do not
include a player used in a previous deal. Restraints on salary retention and
draft picks will also be considered, as well as the salary cap from a Leafs
perspective. Since the Leafs will be unloading contracts I can’t imagine any of
this will be an issue. I’ll make the assumption that the other team involved
will be making additional moves to correct their situation.

One of the other catches I will be adhering to is that since
Kessel and Phaneuf trade proposals have been rolled up into larger threads, I’m
going to skip these two players and leave them to be sorted out in the summer.

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Ready? Here we go…

Trade #1: Leo Komarov
to Vancouver for Zack Kassian

Much like the last time we did this exercise, the Leafs are
starting off with a subtle move. A little salary is being shed, the team gets
slightly younger while not sacrificing the clear need for grit and
intimidation. While it’s not a huge cap savings for the Leafs which is a plus
for Leafs fans who want something other than suspension-worthy headshots coming
back in the deal. It also sends a good message to Leafs fans that their
favourite players will not survive a rebuild. It’s not going to be all Bozak
and Clarkson deals.

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“Canucks get a
hard hitting heart and soul player that will help in the playoffs, has contract
left and is reasonably priced.
get a great young power forward that will grow with a young rebuilding team,
and be in his prime when Toronto is knocking on the door of the playoffs in a
few years.

Trade Advantage: Toronto (youth and cap space are nice.)

Plausibility of this deal: 6/10 While I’m not sure I
understand why Vancouver would want to make a deal for a more expensive player
who fills a similar need, Kassian does seem to be someone who has his name come
up a lot.

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Trade #2: James van
Riemsdyk to the Rangers for Chris Krieder and a 2nd Round pick

It may seem like I’m cherry picking deals, as the two Leafs
I’ve been arguing to get rid of most and the first two to go. I can assure you
that if the return is Krieder and a 2nd I am suddenly a very big fan
of JVR. Krieder is two years younger than JVR, not as good, and is a year away
from a contract that will be nowhere near as good as van Riemsdyk’s. A late 2nd
round pick doesn’t exactly close that gap, but I’m sure the HFBoards know what
they are doing and they appear to have insider knowledge…

“Someone on our
board was saying that they heard from one of JVR’s friend or someone that would
know that JVR is trying to get a trade to NY.
got me thinking, what would this trade take?
Kreider+2nd get JVR? I’m not even sure that I’d do that, but I would consider
it. I want to know if Toronto fans are willing to trade him for a reasonable

Advantage: New York

Plausibility of
this deal: 3/10 This seems like a deal that would happen if JVR’s contract were
about to expire, but it isn’t. I sleep well at night knowing that the Leafs
will get a huge overpayment for van Riemsdyk when they finally realize they
need to trade him.

Trade #3: Joffrey Lupul
to the Habs for Bournival, Eller, and a 2nd

HFBoards, you’re endearing yourselves to me with who you are looking to move.
The original poster gave the option of either Bournival or Christian Thomas,
and for my own reasons I’ve chosen Bournival in this to make the deal even more
lopsided for the Leafs. Maybe I don’t like Lupul less than most people, but
this deal would work for me if it was just Eller for Lupul.

*checks to see
what Eller was re-signed at

Awww, now it makes sense. Leafs are getting a fizzling
prospect, soon to be expensive under performer and a late second round pick for
a guy with his own parking space at St. Michael’s Hospital. There aren’t any
cap savings, just lottery tickets.

Since the poster of this proposal didn’t provide us any
reasoning, here’s
a Leafs fan with their reason why you take this deal…

If i am the
Leafs i would consider taking this deal if its the best you can get. 
healthy Lupul is good but he isnt healthy a lot. Lupul is 30 making 5.25M for
the next 3 years. I rather have a 25 year old Eller making 3.5M for the next 3
years, a 2nd and a young player. 
like the Leafs like Bournival and/or Thomas. A pick is a pick which is great
for us. You save close to 2M on the cap and i think you can turn Eller into
something as he is only 25. At worst he probably produces in our top 6 when his
contract expires and you could probably turn him into a 2nd round pick.
value has gone down a lot this season. He isnt going to get a 1st and a
prospect like some hope. This is a pretty fair deal; good proposal. 
i hate the Habs it might be a good match.”

Advantage: Toronto

Plausibility of
this deal: 7/10 The Habs are one of the few teams that wouldn’t have difficulty
with Lupul’s salary next season, and there are worst contracts on worse players
that the Leafs are likely to eat than Ellers.

Trade #4: Jonathan
Bernier to the Oilers for the Penguins 1st Rd pick and Oilers 2nd

It really does seem I picked these trades to fit the players
I want moved, but looking at this trade and the previous ones I might be talking
myself into keeping all of them. Basically the Leafs get little more for
Bernier than they paid for him when they took a gamble on him being better than
the backup role he was filling. This offer is less than what you’d get for
Bernier in an offer sheet if such a thing was something that NHL GMs ever
considered. That being said, I like the idea of shedding Bernier’s future
salary, and see little point in keeping him through the next few years of a
rebuild. I have to trust that the HFBoards have done their due diligence and
know that this is the best deal that can be made.

“Would the
Leafs and Oilers consider Bernier for Pittsburg’s 1st 2015? 
maybe add edmonton’s 2nd. Would essentially be two late firsts
have been looking for a goalie for a while. Jury may still be out on Bernier,
but the potential is there. Thoughts?”

Advantage: Oilers and it’s not even close

Plausibility of
this deal: 2/10 While Edmonton seems like an ideal team to make a trade with
regarding Bernier or Reimer this seems light. I hope for something spicier when
I see an Oilers/Leafs trade on the HFBoards, why isn’t Yakupov replacing one of
the picks?

Those moves would
leave the Leafs with…

Eller – Bozak – Kessel

Kreider – Kadri – Panik

Winnik – Holland – Kassian

Bournival – Jokinen – Clarkson

Rielly – Phaneuf
Gardiner – Polak
Holzer – Robidas


The Leafs have additionally added a late first, an early 2nd,
and two late 2nd round picks. We’ll have to assume that we’ve still
got a few minutes to go before the deadline and deals for Winnik and Jokinen
are still in the works.

At a glance, that Leafs lineup looks terrible, but it’s
supposed to look terrible during a rebuild. What’s terrible is not having
anything worth getting excited about after getting rid of two top six forwards
and your starting goaltender. The Leafs would be picking four times in the top
35, and are better equipped to potentially take a run at the 3rd or
4th lottery spot with these moves. Unfortunately not much has been
done to improve the Leafs cap situation either.

In conclusion, the HFBoards are still an excellent way of
feeling better about the Leafs management.

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  • CMpuck

    Guythhhhs Kessel is an elite scorer but if you look at hith pointh per game ith’z only 0.198 better than ROR and ROR bring tho much more defense. I don’t twade ROR for Kessel just for a little more offenth.