Leaf Pre-Season Begins Tomorrow

Get ready leaf fans, less than 24 hours from now the puck drops at the ACC to mark another season for the blue and white. This season is one of optimism after the slew of moves made by general manager Brian Burke. One of the major factors pushing for the leafs, is a full season with Dion Phaneuf and stanley cup winning J.S. Giguere. Those two are key players which will increase any teams chance of making it to the post season. Burke is sticking to his guns and building from the net up, youth and talent is what makes up the leafs goaltending core. Giguere is the only goaltender who is born before 1983. Youth, grit, and tenacity is what makes up this years roster and an excess of defence man. Nine NHL quality d are on the roster meaning one of them will have to go via trade or demotion to the minors. Jeff Finger and his overpaid $3.5 million salary is the most likely to start the season with the Marlies, such a move will clear up some cap room for Brian Burke to search for a talented center or winger. Goals should be easier to come by season. A healthy Phil Kessel is capable of lighting the lamp for 40 goals, fresh off celebrating the stanley cup Kris Versteeg should take attention off Kessel, Tyler Bozak’s first full NHL should be an interesting one, Colby Armstrong and Clarke MacArthur should combine for 45 goals. Center is a weak position for the buds, with no proven player down the middle this could make or break the leafs season. Don’t be surprised if the spontaneous Burke makes a team altering trade to obtain a center before Christmas break comes around.

Every move made this year adds something new Toronto didn’t have last year. Even though every fan dreams of a deep play off run for the leafs it’s not going to happen this year, but such a run is not far away. Getting to the play off’s is not going to be an easy task for the leafs, but they will get it done. An eighth place finish should see the leafs bounced in the first round.

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