Toronto Maple Leafs To Ice Worst Forward Line-Up In NHL...Again

Mark SmithCorrespondent ISeptember 3, 2010

Top six?
Top six?

Brian Burke's inability to create any interest in Thomas Kaberle has resulted in the Leafs preparing once again to start the season with the worst forward line-up in the league. 

Phil Kessel is an exciting addition vs. last year's starting line-up, however, he remains the only true top line forward the Leafs have.  He is complemented by recent addition Kris Versteeg, adding from the disassembled Stanley Cup champs.  The Leafs have also added third liners in Colby Armstrong and Clarke MacArthur, but unfortunately they lost as much as they have added.  The 2009-2010 Leafs had Niklas Hagman, Alex Ponikarovsky and the very overpaid Jason Blake.  While the new additions may be younger and part of a  better future, the Leafs find themselves hoping that Nazem Kadri can somehow make the leap from junior to a key scorer, praying that Bozak will somehow play bigger and more consistently than last year.

The Leafs will be better this year (low bar), winning some of the one goal games they lost a year ago, but they will struggle mightily to score as Wilson goes with his relative strength on defence and net, and pushes his forwards to backcheck. 

Burke certainly has a long way to go to ice a competitive team, and we can expect him to make another major move before the new year, but for now...it's another year with at least half of their forwards who could never make a true playoff team.