The trade deadline is over and the Leafs have acquired Brian Boyle and Eric Fehr. They got more but those are the main ones. They are both veteran forwards and people are getting mad that the Leafs didn’t do any serious upgrading. I don’t agree.
What is the purpose of this year? To win the Stanley Cup? Hell no. It’s to get into the playoffs so the rookies gain more experience in their FIRST season in the NHL.
So why on earth would they sacrifice anything substantial that can affect their future to make this playoff push? That’s absolutely ridiculous.
There’s been talk since October that the Leafs need some defensive help. I was one of them but I’m starting to change my mind. Look at this team defensively on paper. Rielly, Zaitsev, Carrick, Gardiner, Hunwick, and Polak. 4 of the six are under the age of 26.
They can and most definitely will improve their game and have the potential of being the best puck carrying defenseman in the league. No problem there.
Hunwick and Polak are not getting the respect that they deserve. They kill penalties consistently and play on the third pairing, where they belong. Third pairing defenseman are not meant to be superstars.
The problem with this entire Leafs team isn’t with their skill, it’s what’s in between the ears. They still don’t know how to close out an NHL game, but that can be taught. They don’t play a sound defensive game, but they can learn how to.
We didn’t pay Mike Babcock, the best coach in the world, 50 million dollars to sit there, we’re paying him to teach.