As I am sure everyone is aware some big changes have been made in Leafs land over the last month.
Nazem Kadri was drafted 7th overall and was recently signed to an entry level contract. I feel that his is a great move as it will motivate Kadri to get better faster, and compete for a spot on the big club. With the additions of the big rugged players Burke has brought in, Kadri may be able to fit in sooner than later.
Free agents Mike Komisarek, Francois Beauchemin, and Colton Orr were added to the lineup. Komisarek is a stay at home type of defenseman who will not produce much offence, but he will produce bone jarring hits, bring down the goals against, and drop the gloves when necessary.
Beauchemin has been playing behind Niedermayer and Pronger for years and he will now get his chance to take on more of a leadership roll. He plays a similar style to Komisarek, but I believe his points will go up this year as he will be on the first PP unit, unlike in Anaheim where he spent his time on the second unit.
Colton Orr.....what can I say, he is a bonafide heavyweight who will take on anyone who gets in his, or a teammates face.
Next we traded Pavel Kubina for Exelby and Stuart. Exelby is another chippy defenseman who loves to throw his weight around. He is known as one of the best open ice hitters in the game. Again, don't expect him to score a lot of points, but he is another player that will make opponents think twice while coming through the neutral zone.
I don't know much about Stewart, but he looks to be the kind of pick and shovel guy that Burke wants on his third and fourth line.
Today we added some much needed depth in goal with Swedish netminder Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson. I think this guy will thrive under new goalie coach Francois Allaire as he has the size and style that Allaire loves to work with.
Burke is doing everything right as he is building from the net out. I know a lot of people were hoping for Burke to land a top line scorer but that would not help the dreadful goals against that the Leafs had last year. The Leafs now have an influx of D-Men and I would not be surprised to see Burkie make a splash in the trade market to land a top six forward. I also think it is important that everyone remembers the prospects that could make a difference this year now that there is some muscle to stop teams from punishing our forwards. Prospects like Bozak, Stalberg, Hanson, Stefanovich, Kulemin, Grabo etc.
It will be an exciting year of hockey this season.....I can't wait!
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