Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/12/14 at 12:36 PM ET
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
This is what the off-season is going to look like for the Leafs, who after failing to fire their head coach last week have unintentionally changed the discussion to cleaning out the dressing room. James Reimer? Joffrey Lupul? James van Riemsdyk? With each new day leading up to next month’s NHL Entry Draft, they are all reportedly trade bait.
The information might not always be accurate. But that’s beside the point. Change is coming. Or, at least, we think it is.
The Leafs have six pending unrestricted free agents and four restricted free agents, so some players will inevitably be on the move. At the same time, the core of this roster is anchored to the team’s long-term future. Phil Kessel is locked up for eight more years; Phaneuf for seven years; David Clarkson for six years; Lupul, Tyler Bozak and van Riemsdyk for five years.
Of those players, Phaneuf is the only one without some form of a no-trade clause.
While we can debate the merits of trading or keeping Phaneuf, or stripping him of the captaincy, the thinking is that something has to change for the Leafs this off-season. Brendan Shanahan was not hired as the new president to keep the status quo, although he did just that with Carlyle.
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