Another week, another round of Maple Leafs speculation. Enjoy!
TORONTO STAR: Mark Zwolinski looks at what the Maple Leafs have left to play for over the remainder of this season, particularly several notable players. He feels Nazem Kadri either has a significant future with the Leafs or another slippery slope toward trade bait. Whether Phil Kessel remains a Leaf or is traded away, he has a lot to make up for following his poor second-half performance. Zwolinski considers Tyler Bozak’s status as a core player has eroded to the point where he’s part of the problem and not of the solution. He considers James van Riemsdyk a big part of the Leafs rebuild. It remains to be seen what the future holds for Dion Phaneuf. Morgan Rielly will also be a key part of the Leafs’ rebuild. David Booth’s hard work could earn him a contract in Toronto or elsewhere. Zach Sill is angling for a fourth-line job with the Leafs next season. Roman Polak and Stephane Robidas are both on the books for $3 millon-plus next season unless they’re dealt in the offseason.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The status of Kadri, Kessel, Phaneuf and Bozak will remain hot topics of discussion in Leafs Nation from now until the summer. By mid-July we should know for certain if they’ll continue to have futures in Toronto or not. Rielly definitely has a future with the Leafs and isn’t going anywhere. I believe van Riemsdyk and Kadri will also play a key part in the Leafs rebuild. I could see the Leafs bringing back Booth and Sill for another season. Polak has trade value, Robidas does not.