As I'm sure most of you already know, the Maple Leafs have acquired Matthew Lombardi and Cody Franson in a trade yesterday. Brian Burke pretty much "Fleeced" the Nashville Predators, who were looking to garner more cap space to sign their star D Shea Weber. Matthew Lombardi was essentially a salary dump, Cody Franson being the ultimate centrepiece of the deal. Personally I think this makes the Leafs one of best defensive teams in the entire NHL....on paper at least. With the acquisition of John Michael Liles, and the signing of Tim Connolly, I think its safe to say that this Leafs team has improved greatly; Both on the back end, and on the front lines. In light of my apparent excitement with the roster movements within the last 3 weeks, I cooked up a potential starting line-up.
Lupul - Connolly - Kessel
Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur
Kadri - Lombardi - Armstrong
Brown - Bozak - Rosehill/Orr
(Coltan Orr apparently isn't doing well at all when it comes to his post-concussion syndrome. So with the recent Jay Rosehill signing, I thought it only fitting that he takes Orr's spot.)
1st Defensive Pairing
Aulie - Phaneuf
2end Defensive Pairing
Liles - Schenn
3erd Defensive Pairing
Gunnarsson - Franson
(Mike Komisarek is the odd man out. I think he'll be traded before the opening of training camp in September.)
The roster looks pretty good considering the way it looked at the beginning of last season. I think Connolly will spark some chemistry with Kessel next season; Of course that is if he doesn't get injured. Even though Burke did not land Brad Richards, he did pull off the trade of the century by shipping Brett Lebda to the Preds. So to all of you on Twitter and Facebook who were calling for Burke's head...I guess patience is a virtue. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't very happy either after Friday had come and gone, but I think I can speak for all Leaf fans when I say..."Trade Of The Century".
...And Remember My Fellow Leafers...
GO LEAFS GO!!!!!