Monday, September 28, 2009
The Maple Leafs look weak in the middle
The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to trim down their roster to the 23 man limit for Wednesday but no matter what Brian Burke and Ron Wilson look to do, the Maple Leafs are definitely weak down the middle. The Maple Leafs best center during the pre-season was 2009 1st round pick Nazem Kadri but he has been sent back to OHL as he should be, some would say that the second best center in camp was rookie Tyler Bozak who looks to be on his way to the AHL Marlies which leaves the Maple Leafs with Mikhail Grabovski, Matt Stajan, John Mitchell, Rickard Wallin and Wayne Primeau. These players do not place much fear into opposing teams, while Grabovski holds promise and Mitchell could bring his game up to another level, he looks to be opening the season as a winger. Stajan who is coming off a career year of 55 points would be nothing more then a third or fourth line center on most teams and Wallin and Primeau do not look like nothing more then journeymen NHLers. The Maple Leafs will be harder working team this season, they will also be a tougher team and have one of the better defense in the conference but lack that middleman. This over the years will not be the case with Kadri and Bozak waiting in the wings but at the moment the Leafs lack a true number one centermen but this could change come November if they decide to switch Phil Kessel back to his natural position. Kessel would be a huge upgrade at the center position and would move back the centers to more suitable roles with Grabovski dropping to number 2, Stajan to number 3 and Wallin or Primeau as the number 4. This Leaf fans could be a short term solution to the Maple Leafs center blues but wouldnt it be great to see Kessel centering Stalberg and Hagman when he is ready to get back in action? This Leaf fans is something i would definitely look forward to.