Re: !!!!!!!phaneuf and giggy to the leafs!!!!!!!!
I posted this in the Leaf forum.
I am a big fan of both Stajan and White as both of them really gave it their all night in and night out. Both of them have been two of the Leafs most consistent players all year long to. Hagman has produced this season, but he is simply way too inconsistent to rely on. He is the definition of a streak player. He will go through a 4 game stretch where he gets 7 goals, but then he will be M.I.A. for the next 10.
However, despite how much I like both of these players, if you get the chance to flip a 3rd line center on a good team, a streaky 30 year old goal scorer and a 4/5 defenseman on a good team for a player who has franchise defenseman potential, you have to do it. Phaneuf has struggled so far this season, and struggled last season, but lets not forget that he was nominated for the Norris Trophy as a 21 year old and is still only 24. A lot of the mistakes he makes I think will be fixed as he becomes a more mature player and person. Having a defenseman who can actually shoot the puck is going to help Toronto's powerplayer tremndously as well. We saw how effective the McCabe-Kaberle duo was on the PP and Phaneuf has just as good, if not a better shot than McCabe did.
Lets not overlook the Leafs getting Keith Aulie either. He is an interesting prospect and Hockey Future had him ranked as the Flames' 3rd best prospect (behind Mikael Backlund and Greg Nemisz). He was Brandon's captain last season and he played a pivitol role in Canada's World Junior Gold lst year. Him and Myers were a dominant shut down pairing in that tournament. Give him a couple of years and he could be a very nice defenseman for the Leafs.
Sjostrom (sp?) gives the Leafs a reliable penalty killer, and getting him for basically nothing (Jamal Mayers) is a nice move, in my opinion. Back when Sjo was with the Rangers, he and Blair Betts were one of the better penatly killing duos in the NHL. He should hopefully gives the Leafs PK a boost.
The way I look at it, the Leafs may not have gotten better as of right now (I don't think that they got worse either), but they added a potential franchise defenseman as well as a very nice defensive prospect (which outside of Schenn, Gunnarson and Blacker, they are severly lacking) for players who, realistically, didn't factor into their long term plans and would've been gone anyways (Hagman through a trade, Stajan and White through FA most likely).
As for the Giguere trade, even if he sucks for Toronto, he can't possibly be any worse than Toskala was for Toronto. At least with Giggy, you have a goalie who is capable of mentoring Gustavsson (they play similar styles from what I have seen) and who knows, maybe reuniting him with Francois Alliare will rejuvinate his game. He is clearly an upgrade over Toskala and taking on his contract for next season is worth dumping Blake and his awful contract. Blake is a hard worker and all, but paying him $4M to work hard and shoot the puck at the goalies chest is absurd.
I have been one of Burke's biggest critics as I thought he overpaid for Komisarek, made some questionable decisions last season as well and trading away 2 1st round picks on a rebuilding team is never a smart move. However, I like both of these moves. At the very least, you have to give Burke credit for having the balls to make a big move.