Friday, July 10, 2009

Leafs add another!

The Leafs signed Rickard Wallin today. He is the captain of the Swedish Elite League championship team Farjestad, and the fourth member of Farjestad to join the NHL (Brunnstrom in Dallas, Frogren and Gustavsson in Toronto).

Wallin posted an impressive 18 goals and 27 assists for 45 pts in 55 games in the SEL (keeping in mind point totals are lower in the SEL since they only award 1 assist per goal). Big Wallin is 6'3" and just under 200 lbs seems to fit the Burke mold, especially since he's considered to be a great defensive player.

Brian Burke said that he expects the 29 year old to be a great guy to have in the dressing room. I haven't seen the guy play, but judging by his penalty totals (pretty high), I'd say he's the big feisty type of Swede. I definitely see him as a possible candidate to take over that third line centre, defensive role as Burke likes to build his team "top 6 - bottom 6".

Anyway's the team will look something like this as of right now. Depth chart:

Matt Stajan
Mikhail Grabovski
Rickard Wallin
Johnny Mitchell
Tyler Bozak
Colin Stuart

Left Wing:
Jason Blake
Alexei Ponikarovsky
Niklas Hagman
Christian Hanson
Jamal Mayers
Victor Stalberg

Right Wing:
Jiri Tlusty
Nikolai Kulemin
Lee Stempniak
Colton Orr
Mikhail Stefanovich
Ben Ondrus

Tomas Kaberle
Mike Komisarek
Francois Beauchemin
Luke Schenn
Ian White
Mike VanRyn
Garnett Exelby
Jeff Finger
Jonas Frogren
Anton Stralman
Phil Oreskovich

Vesa Toskala
Jonas Gustavsson
Justin Pogge

Monday, July 6, 2009

Leafs sign Beauchemin

Brian Burke signed Francois Beauchemin today to a 3 year deal worth $3.8 million per season.

So now you figure he's got to make some moves. Look at the glut of defense he has:

Tomas Kaberle - could be traded, but only if the return is substantial
Mike Komisarek - not going anywhere
Francois Beauchemin - not going anywhere
Luke Schenn - not going anywhere
Ian White - could be traded
Mike VanRyn - could be traded
Garnett Exelby - could be flipped but I hear they were big on him, hence the Kubina trade
Jeff Finger - could be demoted, maybe traded but not likely
Jonas Frogren - could be demoted/traded
Anton Stralman - could start the year off in the minors
Phil Oreskovich - will probably start off in the minors.

So there's 11 NHL worthy d-men.