- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: With the trade deadline just days away, Brian Burke is being squeezed. The teams is struggling (losing 7 of 8), and he’s hoping to make a deal at a reasonable price. Does he overpay for a Rick Nash or not given to the high prices for others? Columbus is squeezing Burke on Nash, same with demands for backup goalies, and what it would take for Dustin Brown. Burke has worked hard to accumulate prospects like Jake Gardiner, Matt Frattin, Joe Colborne, Keith Aulie, Nazem Kadri and Jesse Blacker, and it’s difficult to package them off for a big-name expensive player. Does Burke trade away future players for short-term solutions, or avoid it all costs? Some want Nash or Brown now. The smartest decision may be to trade Mikhail Grabovski and Clarke MacArthur, keep the young guys and regroup, and fire Wilson.
- Randy Starkman of the Toronto Star: Former NHLer Mike Peca thinks the Maple Leafs should go after Mike Ribeiro or Ryan Getzlaf.
“There’s so many spots where they can benefit from getting somebody. They’re waiting to see if Reimer will shake out to be a good goalie. I think the one thing they do need is a centre. Somebody who might be available is a guy like Mike Ribeiro from Dallas, who’s just a good guy with the puck and can move it around and seems to have a personality and a swagger that can hold up to the pressures of Toronto. I don’t know if (Ryan) Getzlaf will still be available. He’d be a guy that’d be a perfect fit in Toronto. But I think for them to get a guy who can be a No. 1 centre, play those minutes, distribute the puck is somebody the Leafs would love to get. They talk about Rick Nash, but then that’s adding another scoring winger without addressing what the need is: A bona fide No. 1 centre that’s going to anchor that top line for years to come.”
Darren Pang thinks Josh Harding and Chris Mason may be good options for the Maple Leafs
“You need a goaltender there that you’re not going to give up too much for … the guys that are unrestricted. Josh Harding would be a good fit there … He’s unrestricted at the end of the year, likely not to re-sign there, can win hockey games, can play the puck and I think he would be a good fit for Toronto. A guy like Chris Mason in Winnipeg, a veteran guy who’s been down the stretch and helped get the Blues in the playoffs a couple of years ago, he’s a great teammate. He would be a stabilizing force for those young goaltenders.”