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Leafs Nation: Where’s the size?

Posted By Mike De Petrillo On Aug 25 2010 @ 12:30 pm In Toronto Maple Leafs | 5 Comments

With the World Hockey Summit in full swing in Toronto, there has been a decided lack of news in Leafland regarding player movement.  It seems Brian Burke and Co. are content heading into training camp in a couple of weeks with the roster of players currently assembled.  Miscalculation, or have the Blue and White upgraded enough in key positions to climb out of the cellar in the NHL’s Eastern Conference?

Those who follow the Leafs may remember an article coming out earlier in the summer where Brian Burke was quoted as saying Dion Phaneuf essentially “called him out” about the lack of quality size in the Leafs forward corps.  With the additions so far this summer, this is an area of concern yet to be addressed. 

Colby Armstrong, Krist Versteeg and Mike Brown bring a certain amount of grit, combined with varying levels of skill, but none would be accused of being a hulking presence in opposition goaltender’s faces.  Braydon Irwin remains a long-shot to crack the roster coming out of camp, and the recent NCAA defection of Jerry D’Amigo brings yet another possibility of a sub-six foot forward cracking the 2010/11 roster.  (For a 19 yr old, D’Amigo does present some size weighing in at an impressive 210 lbs)

Readers of my most recent entry may have noted my preference of adding Raffi Torres to the Leafs forward group; another dream dashed by those West Coast Canucks.  I have now shifted my attention towards a potential cast-off out of New Jersey in the Kovalchuk soap opera:  Danius Zubrus.

At an impressive 6’5”, 225 lbs, Zubrus boasts a reasonable 465 points – 176 of them goals – in over 900 career NHL games.  He also brings the added luxury of being able to play up the middle or on the wing. 

With the need to shed salary in New Jersey (one would assume soon), Zubrus’ $3.4 million cap hit may be on the block – we’ll see if Brian Burke is able to swing something with his old friend Lou.

***

“Anyone Else?”:

  • Anyone else rooting for Bill Sweatt to be the next Kyle Wanvig? (Canucks strike again!)
  • Anyone else find it inappropriate certain members of the Toronto media feel the need to call-out a certain Blue Jay having a career year for ‘potentially, kind-of, sort-of, probably’ using a banned substance without a shred of proof?  Are we so cynical these days that someone performing well is automatically a cheater?  Ironic that this same personality chooses to put down Internet sports bloggers in general, yet partakes in this same brand of rumour mongering.  WAY offside in my humble opinion, but I’ll leave it to Ben to take up this cause.
  • Anyone else wish Ilya Kovalchuk would face facts:  he is not the best player in the NHL and no more deserves the richest contract than the middle-tier players his shenanigans have held up signing?
  • Anyone else counting the days to October so we can see some action?

As usual, always a pleasure.

MD27

Follow me on Twitter:  @mbd_27

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