The Toronto Maple Leafs fired some coaches and extended Randy Carlyle today, and in doing so gave the hockey world something to talk about.
If the Leafs are looking at trading those two young players, should Edmonton be interested?
- The positives: Kadri is a physical skill player, 20 goals and 50 points with the Leafs while playing 17:23 a night. He helped on the power play, and would certainly offer a nice range of skills for Edmonton as a 2line C.
- The negatives: He’s not a great faceoff man (45%) and he’s not a big center (6.00, 188).
- The truth: At $2.9 million (and an RFA after the season), Kadri certainly covers the bet. He’s not going to be a shutdown center, he should have better seasons, and the team employing him might undervalue his ability.
- The positives: He’s a wonderful skater and a very creative defender. Carlyle doesn’t trust him at all, his Vollman Sledgehammer looks like a bubble trying to escape bottom of the graph, but he’s miles ahead in the shot differential. Gardiner has delivered results when given the opportunity.
- The negatives: He’s been sheltered for most of his Toronto career. Can he take on more of the job? Randy Carlyle doesn’t think so. I don’t think that should stop anyone from hiring him.
- The truth: I think Jake Gardiner would be an excellent Oiler, but I can’t imagine the team would employ Gardiner and Schultz on the third pairing. It would be far too expensive. If you ask me if Gardiner would be a better option than Schultz for Edmonton, the answer is yes.
AT WHAT COST?
Acquiring one or both might be difficult because the Leafs appear to want more toughness, and that’s something Edmonton doesn’t have in spades.
I expect Toronto would be interested in Perron, but the Oilers are unlikely to deal him. Hendricks? Perhaps an option—but that’s not enough to satisfy Toronto in a deal for either player.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
The Leafs aren’t looking for Lions, they’re looking for Buffalo’s. Edmonton isn’t a match, unless the 3rd overall pick is in play. Despite the obvious value of Kadri and Gardiner, the lottery pick holds far too much value.