Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis – Matthew Lombardi

With Burke gone, and with Nonis as yet an unknown entity as a Leafs GM, I don’t really know what to call my latest evaluations of Leafs trades, so maybe I will retroactively change it to something else if I am indeed forced to launch a campaign to fire Nonis, but the way he has started off things, I hope I won’t have that problem.

Maple Leafs Get: Conditional 3rd / 4th Rounder (became Toronto’s 2014 4th round pick)

Coyotes Get: Mathew Lombardi, LW/C, age 30

The Leafs had a log-jam at LW going into this season, with Lombardi being the most obvious choice for 4th line minutes only because of his terrible post-injury season last year. Lombardi’s contract was terrible, but he was acquired, essentially, as a fee for trading Lebda for Franson. This trade changes that previous trade trade to

  • Lebda, Slaney and a 4th round pick this summer for
  • Franson and a 3rd or 4th round pick next summer.

On paper, the trade remains excellent: Lebda was an absolute disaster for the Leafs, Slaney is likely a career minor leaguer and a 4th round pick is only valuable if it’s a deep draft and Phoenix has great scouts. (And honestly, I have no idea if they do.)

The problem for the Leafs – because of Ron Wilson, not because of Burke or Nonis necessarily – is that the Leafs didn’t play Franson enough last season to know if he’s legit. If he is, this trade accomplishes two things:

  1. it get’s Lombardi’s salary off the books and
  2. it makes the Lebda-Franson trade resemble highway robbery even more.

If Franson is not legit – or if the Leafs let him walk before finding out whether or not he is legit – then all this accomplishes is the removal of Lombardi’s salary.

So either way it’s a positive thing.

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