Around this time last year the Leafs
- traded Ponikarovsky for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula
- then traded Skoula to Jersey for a fifth round pick (Sam Carrick)
- traded Joey McDonald for a seventh round pick this year
- traded a sixth round pick (Joe Rogalski) for Chris Peluso
- traded Stempniak for Matt Jones, a fourth round (Philipp Grubauer) and a 7th round (Kellen Jones).
The Ponikarovsky trade is looking really smart a year later. I was a little miffed at how little we got for a guy who was about to hit twenty goals for the fifth time in six years. But he was a disaster for the Pens finishing the season and only alright in the playoffs. This year he has been terrible (when he’s played) for the Kings. Caputi hasn’t worked out for us either, but then he’s a lot younger than Poni, so let’s give him some time. In order to fully judge it, we must look at the second Skoula trade too.
Skoula is playing in the KHL. The guy we got for him has put up fairly insignificant numbers in the OHL this year. He’s about four years younger. His numbers are low enough that there is little likelihood they will transfer so he is probably a fourth liner if he ever makes it. So we got two prospects, both of whom might not turn out, for a guy who was about to have one of his worst seasons ever. I guess I’ll take that.
The McDonald trade can’t be evaluated completely but he’s basically the backup to the backup and we still have a pick to use. Nothing wrong with it, especially now that Reimer is showing what he can do.
Peluso is an offensive defenseman. He finished college last year and I honestly have no idea where he’s playing. I do know that the guy who got picked, Rogalski, is a fighter. So on principle I like this deal. And it’s very un-Burkian.
Stempniak was moved after a fairly disastrous time here. 25G, 36A for 61P in 123 games, -19. Not what Fletcher was hoping for when he gave up Steen and Colaiacovo for him. At the time I was in favour of that trade because I believed that Stempniak would get tons of minutes on the Leafs and get back to scoring 20G per season. I was done with Colaiacovo, who hadn’t played half the games he could have do to injury (or something like that) and I was willing to give up Steen, if only because he hadn’t turned into the player I thought he would, after I watched him and Lindros be the team that year Mats had his eye injury (fall ’07). He looked so good back then, I guess I was disappointed when he got stuck offensively. Colaiacovo is still injured a lot, but Steen has turned into an important part of the (admittedly bad) Blues. So I guess it was time to fix that mistake.
Stempniak had a great finish to last year which made everyone rue this trade to get rid of him. But this year he’s back to his old self (Leafs edition). So I don’t really hate it until I look at what we got back:
- Matt Jones doesn’t appear to be playing hockey anywhere right now.
- Grubauer is a goalie, and a young one (20), so it’s hard to know. His OHL numbers are up and down.
- The other Jones, Kellen, is playing at university and not scoring a whole lot, which makes me think he’s a grinder.
None of these guys look like NHL players. So we gave up an NHL player to possibly get none back. Only way this trade is remotely a win for the Leafs is if Grubauer someday makes his way up to the big club. Otherwise this was bad, even if Stempniak stunk it up while here.
A couple of minor deals that weren’t even worth commenting. On the two big ones, I say Burke did a good job with Poni and a not so good job with Stempniak. But neither adds to his resume of disaster.