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  1. #1
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    When is the Fire Sale?

    I'm sorry Leaf Nation, but for anyone remotely as passionate about the game of hockey, and a fan of the Leafs for over 30 year, you can see the writing all over the wall. This team is about 2-3 weeks away from being 5-7 points out of a playoff spot, and even if they do squeak in, they're out in the 1st round with this heart-less, identity-less squad.

    So the question is...when are they gonna do the ONLY thing that makes sense...and start a fire sale? This HAS to happen in one of two ways. A complete change of leadership behind the bench and FO is the first option...new GM, head coach, assistants. Whatever game plan Carlyle and his staff is preaching, his team is either not listening, or just not capable of executing it. He consistently is unable to motivate this team or find ways to play to their strengths.

    The 2nd option is a MAJOR shake-up with the roster...get rid of the guys that don't have heart, character, or the competence of compete. Guys like Kessel, JVR, Lupul and Kadri have ZERO heart...3 of them worry more about fashion and Twitter than hockey...and Kessel is a ZERO compete guy. Watching the HBO 24/7 documentary you could see that Kadri and Kessel are about as bright as a tarnished $1 flashlight lens. Dion shows no visible signs of leadership, and it almost seems that the core of the team don't even really like him.

    This squad makes the same mistakes over-and-over...it was kind of comical and frustrating at first...but now it's just really sad and depressing. There will be some hard decisions, but management has to bite the humble bullet and admit this roster is spiraling downward at warp speed with no brakes in sight.

    The need to get whatever they can for Kulemin and Raymond before they lose whatever little value they have now. The David Clarkson experiment may be one of the 10 worst NHL signings in the past 10 years...I'd be happy with a 3rd round pick for him right now. As a 3rd liner he's a great character team guy...grit...occasional offense...but as a 5+ million dollar player on the 3rd line, you just gotta admit the mistake, get what you can, gain the cap space back and plug in Ashton, Leivo, Holland or Broll on that 3rd line for now.

    They also have to get what they can for Reimer...this guys deserves a shot somewhere, and they've handled him VERY poorly this year. Obviously with the re-signing of JVR, Kessel and Dion, there's little chance of ridding ourselves of them, but those are definitely 3 cancers on this team. Maybe not dressing room distractions, but definitely not leaders with heart and passion for the game...guys that are going to lead a team in anything other than highest salary.

    So there's my most recent rant. Many of you will respond to me with some rhetoric in regards to overreacting, not having patience, etc... But mark my words...if major changes do not occur, this team will finish in 10-12th place in the weak East this year. Someone please quote me!!!
    Last edited by passengershawn; 01-09-2014 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
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    When is the Fire Sale?

    I don't think Carlyle is the entire issue but he needs to go, he's certainly lost the room. The d-core needs to be revamped. Night after night Ranger,Fraser Etc are killing this team. Keep Phaneuf,Gardiner and Rielly and move everyone else IMO

  3. #3
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    A coaching change should come before trading Kessel, Jvr, Phaneuf. Why you would want to is beyond me. I don't think people realize how hard it is to acquire these types of players. This isn't the NBA, one or two players don't make you a stanley cup contender. Dion has been great this year and hasn't even been bad tonight. I think he's the only guy that hasn't been on the ice for a goal against.

    And Kadri has been the best Leaf tonight, and has been going through a tough sophomore season affected by the death of his grandfather. That will weigh on anyone.


    Franson has been a huge problem this season. It's clear now he can't handle being a 2nd pair guy just yet. Why Gardiner is sitting tonight is beyond me. I'm starting to really think it's all Carlyle. I mean how do you sit a guy that you count on to give you 21 minutes a night (Gardiner) to play a guy that plays 15 minutes on the 3rd pair (Fraser).


    Make a smart trade for young talented and controllable players if it presents itself. The only guy that has played his way off the team (imo) is Franson.

  4. #4
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    I am starting to feel the same about Carlyle, this team just isn't suited for the style of play he likes. This team is more suited for a Pittsburgh style speed game as opposed to what ever style he's trying to preach. He does seem to have lost the room, as evident in 24/7 when he's laying into the guys and they don't even pay attention. The fire sale idea though is absolutely ridiculous. Burke and Nonis have worked extremely hard to bring in some talented core players and you expect him to blow it up after a bad 40 games? Not happening...

  5. #5
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    Leafs should just keep adding if they get a great offer but let this play out. They'll either make the playoffs or get a top-14 pick at the draft.

    Haydn Fleury is the perfect target should we just barely miss the playoffs. shutdown guy that can skate. He's projected to go anywhere from 10-15 this year.

  6. #6
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    I agree with you that Dion has played pretty well this year...maybe his best stretch as a Leaf. The concern for me is that fact he's the captain. He displays ZERO leadership skills...and thanks the the HBO 24/7 series, the film captured some of the tension that seems to exist between him and the rest of the team. He seems like a nice guy...but he is not a leader. McClement, IMHO, should be the captain, with Bolland and Lupul wearing the 'A'.

    They either need to take away the 'C' from Dion (not likely), or I really feel this team would be better without him. I think someone responsible can find better ways to use that 7 million in cap space. You may not get a better Dman in terms of minutes of play, production, quality of play...but I can almost guarantee there are 2-3 better team guys that the 7 million can buy in place of Dion.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaysLeafs98 View Post
    Burke and Nonis have worked extremely hard to bring in some talented core players and you expect him to blow it up after a bad 40 games? Not happening...
    Washing machines work hard too...who cares though if they don't clean your clothes properly!
    Burke destroyed this team by bringing in guys that just aren't hockey guys...the ones that play with heart and passion. Nonis is destroying this team by investing in players that the hockey world...people with waaaay more insight and knowledge than myself...has already said are not worth it. Giving the monster deal to Dion and locking up Kessel and his heart-less efforts...don't tell me the rest of the team hasn't taken notice and it gets to them.

    So with your reasoning, all someone has to do is work hard in the front office? Burke walked into the MLSE office prim and proper, then 30 minutes later ran his hands through his hair, unbuttoned his shirt collar, and un-did his tie...do you think he was working really hard? I think some of that 'ethic' has rubbed off on his players...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by passengershawn View Post
    I agree with you that Dion has played pretty well this year...maybe his best stretch as a Leaf. The concern for me is that fact he's the captain. He displays ZERO leadership skills...and thanks the the HBO 24/7 series, the film captured some of the tension that seems to exist between him and the rest of the team. He seems like a nice guy...but he is not a leader. McClement, IMHO, should be the captain, with Bolland and Lupul wearing the 'A'.

    They either need to take away the 'C' from Dion (not likely), or I really feel this team would be better without him. I think someone responsible can find better ways to use that 7 million in cap space. You may not get a better Dman in terms of minutes of play, production, quality of play...but I can almost guarantee there are 2-3 better team guys that the 7 million can buy in place of Dion.
    I'm not sure i want to support a team that has a guy like Dion playing very well shutting down top lines and having very few bad games, and his teamates don't think he's a good leader. The same way i wouldn't fire Carlyle if his "fire up" speeches didn't have any affect on the teams morale. If the team systems are bad then you fire Carlyle... just like if Dion is playing bad then you trade Phaneuf. If the team has an issue with Dion right now, then i question all of these players. Phaneuf, Reimer, and Bernier are the only guys i would agree with if they ripped this team in the press... the only guys that earned the right this year.

    I never understood the, "our team is playing so badly so let's trade our best chance to shutdown top-lines who's actually the only one consistently playing well" theory/idea/fantasy/legend.

    I don't know how you can spend $7 million better than knowing that you have a player that is a legit #1 NHL defenseman. I mean 5 goals tonight and he'e on the ice for 1? maybe.

    I'd love to know who you'd pay that $7 million to instead of Dion. Not calling you out but i would legitimately like to know (from the people who feel Dion is the problem with this team) would replace him with. So i can figure out what the rationale is.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by passengershawn View Post
    Washing machines work hard too...who cares though if they don't clean your clothes properly!
    Burke destroyed this team by bringing in guys that just aren't hockey guys...the ones that play with heart and passion. Nonis is destroying this team by investing in players that the hockey world...people with waaaay more insight and knowledge than myself...has already said are not worth it. Giving the monster deal to Dion and locking up Kessel and his heart-less efforts...don't tell me the rest of the team hasn't taken notice and it gets to them.

    So with your reasoning, all someone has to do is work hard in the front office? Burke walked into the MLSE office prim and proper, then 30 minutes later ran his hands through his hair, unbuttoned his shirt collar, and un-did his tie...do you think he was working really hard? I think some of that 'ethic' has rubbed off on his players...
    *So do you throw out the clean clothes that this washing machine actually cleaned and ignore the dirty ones. Because that's what trading Dion would be the equivalent to. Let's trade the one clean t-shirt because the rest of the clothes suck... i mean are dirty

    You know who was signed to bring heart and passion... David Clarkson. And Dion is the problem?Burke?Nonis?

    People with way more hockey knowledge than us gave Dion a $6.5 million deal and a $7 million deal. And his recent play hasn't warranted anyone to question that deal.

    The fact that Dion and Kessel are being paid the way their stats/play warrant shouldn't mean **** to guys that aren't even close to playing at their level. It's simple, you play well and put up points and you get paid
    Last edited by OptiMized; 01-09-2014 at 09:41 PM.

  10. #10
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    Not saying these guys are available, but those who would fit into the 6-8 million range with similar assets would be: Weber, Boumeester, Seabrook, Doughty, Letang, Chara, Subban (not sure about his maturity yet), Keith, Karlsson, Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Suter, Kronwall.

    For all Dion gives...yes he plays against top lines and has done a pretty good job shutting down top players. But did you realize he's not even in the top 35 in the NHL scoring for Dmen...not in the top THIRTY-FIVE...and he's our 7 million dollar man! I'm fine with him being captain (if he shows leadership and that he's respected) and not having a lot of points if he's playing solid D. But NO ONE in the NHL is worth 7 million by simply playing good defense, but not putting points on the board.

    Goalies who stop 90% of the shots fired at them still have a 2.80 or higher GAA...do those goalies get signed to $7 million contracts? I mean they play pretty well most of the time...

    Sorry to bag on you, but I'm tired of the excuses for this team...regardless of what Dion, or anyone else does, it is not producing a winning culture within the team...period. There's no confidence...no chemistry...no intensity...no identity. That's not all on the captain (as mentioned earlier, Carlyle has lost this team like Wilson did), but Dion doesn't have the demeanor to take this team to task and call out the best in them.

  11. #11
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    okay...now you're talking like Dion is the heart and soul of this team...you're talking like a Leaf fan, and not with rationale. I've been there, and I'm done defending this team. Sure Dion has played better than he has in the past, but is that what you're really settling for...mediocrity? Dion is a 4.5 million $ player AT BEST. Just because he plays top pairing minutes doesn't mean he deserves big bucks and a free pass onto your fantasy team.

    And for the record, Dion plays 'well'...not great...not terrific...he plays well, AND doesn't put up points...yet he's getting paid...

  12. #12
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    When is the Fire Sale?

    Fire Carlyle. Dress Fraser and scratch Gardiner? I understand cap has limited the roster flexibility but come on. The lineup decisions are brutal. We play 3 lines, not 4, and burying guys like Holland on the 4th line is a joke. For a team that stresses defence and work ethic, i see a team not getting fired up and getting outshot in a bad way.... Something isnt working and this team has more talent than what their record shows.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by passengershawn View Post
    Not saying these guys are available, but those who would fit into the 6-8 million range with similar assets would be: Weber, Boumeester, Seabrook, Doughty, Letang, Chara, Subban (not sure about his maturity yet), Keith, Karlsson, Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, Suter, Kronwall.
    This is my point. Why discard a #1 defenseman just because their are better ones that aren't even attainable. And if they were would cost a lot more than $7 million. Chara? Look at what the cap was when he signed that deal... it's a way bigger % of cap that Dion takes up. Weber, Keith, Doughty, Suter, etc. all have longer deals than Phaneuf that drive down cap hits (deals that are illegal now). Then you have RFA's signing cheaper than UFA's. Only Bouwmeester is left... a player no one on this board wanted on this team when i suggested a mock trade like a year ago. But now all of a sudden he's better than Dion now that he's on a better team.

    For all Dion gives...yes he plays against top lines and has done a pretty good job shutting down top players. But did you realize he's not even in the top 35 in the NHL scoring for Dmen...not in the top THIRTY-FIVE...and he's our 7 million dollar man! I'm fine with him being captain (if he shows leadership and that he's respected) and not having a lot of points if he's playing solid D. But NO ONE in the NHL is worth 7 million by simply playing good defense, but not putting points on the board.
    That's hilarious. When Dion was top-15 in scoring (like the last 3 or 4 years) it didn't matter because he wasn't any good at defense. Now he's good at defense and on pace for 32 points and all of a sudden people don't want him. Dion's put up the 2nd most points in the NHL since he cam into the league, only Shea Weber has outscored him in the same time frame.

    2012-2013: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...ewName=summary (10th in NHL scoring for Dmen)

    2011-2012: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...ewName=summary (12th in NHl scoring)

    2010-2011: http://www.nhl.com/ice/playerstats.h...rt=points&pg=2 (43rd in NHL scoring in an injury short season - he was on pace for 37 points which would place him 30th)

    So he's gotten to the point where he was top-15 in back to back years. And now he's doing what we need him to do and he's not scoring enough apparently.

    Go up that top-30 and list (to us or to yourself) how many of those top scorers you would want taking Dion's place on this team as the shutdown guy and then ask yourself how many are available.

    Goalies who stop 90% of the shots fired at them still have a 2.80 or higher GAA...do those goalies get signed to $7 million contracts? I mean they play pretty well most of the time...

    Sorry to bag on you, but I'm tired of the excuses for this team...regardless of what Dion, or anyone else does, it is not producing a winning culture within the team...period. There's no confidence...no chemistry...no intensity...no identity. That's not all on the captain (as mentioned earlier, Carlyle has lost this team like Wilson did), but Dion doesn't have the demeanor to take this team to task and call out the best in them.

  14. #14
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    I had this in another post but i'll post this seperate so it can marinate and stand out for those that question Dion's play/value



    bold: I don't see what your going for here. Would you like me to post stats that show Dion Phaneuf is an elite defender this year... yea elite

    *Control+F and type Phaneuf, if you can't easily find his name.


    Dion Phanuef has been on the ice for 1.77 goals against per game. The only "big name" or #1 defenseman that is higher than him is Ryan Suter. Yea one top-pair defenseman is higher than Dion on that list. Take a look for yourself. For reference Shea Weber allows 2.96 goals when he's on the ice.
    Now let's look at goals against while he's off the ice.

    The team allows 2.72 goals when he's off the ice. The only #1 defenseman that beats him in that stat is Brian Campbell. By beat, i mean Brian Campbell is the only player whose team allows more goals while he's off the ice than Phaneuf.
    Let's talk about scoring
    When Dion is on the ice the team scores 2.75 goals per 60 minutes. For reference, Mr. "Norris Trophy" Subban's team scores 2.76 goals while he's on the ice. Not that big of an impact right?
    How much do we score with Dion off the ice
    Leafs score 1.97 goals while he's off the ice. For reference, the highest scoring D in the NHL, Duncan Keith, plays for a team that scores 2.82 goals when he's off the ice
    Are we seeing these stats? (/60 = per 60 minutes)

    Dion on the ice: Team scores 2.75 goals/60 and allows 1.77 goals/60
    Dion off the ice: Team scores 1.97 goals/60 and allows 2.72 goals/60


    I'm not seeing where Dion is the problem with the team, in fact these stats say otherwise. And the fact that defensively he's besting a lot of the other #1 defenseman should be a real positive development for his game.

    This is the final link i'll give you:
    http://www.behindthenet.ca/nhl_stati...4+25+26+27+28#

    Dion Phanuef is 20th in the NHL for scoring while he's on the ice. That means when Dion is on the ice his team scores a lot. In fact, according to those stats, Dion has a similar offensive impact as Subban... don't believe me look right above Dion's name. Those two have an impact on the offense that differs by 0.01 goals/60 minutes as a team.
    Last edited by OptiMized; 01-09-2014 at 10:47 PM.

  15. #15
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    Sorry...I'm a results guy...not a sabermetric guy. You can throw all the stats you want at us...fact is Dion has very little respect in the league from other players, and his leadership is worth calling into question on the Leafs because they have no heart, no identity, no discipline...shall I go on?

    Your captain has to be the guy who can stop the bleeding...the guy that takes his team by the throat in this ship-sinking situations and says "enough already, let's at least play with pride." But perhaps Dion has also quit on his coach, as is evident with the rest of the team, and he feels it's no use.

    My argument with you is that if you poll all 30 GM's, I doubt Dion is on the top 4-5 list of any GM, including Nonis. You talk about Dion like he's Ray Bourque or Scott Niedermayer. He's our best Dman...and that's not saying very much at all!!!

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