Toronto Maple Leafs Still Searching For Consistency

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ season so far has been nothing but a rollercoaster ride.

Through their first 23 games, the Maple Leafs have had three major stretches: a four-game winning streak that came in the first four games, an eight-game losing streak and a stretch in which they won three out of four games. As you can see, the Maple Leafs haven’t exactly been the most consistent team in the National Hockey League this season.

A lot of that blame can be placed on Phil Kessel. Kessel, a potential 30-40 goal scorer, has just ten goals and four assists in 24 games this season. Kessel started the season with seven goals in his first eight games, but has since tailed off.

The 23-year-old’s poor play certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed, as his lack of effort has forced him into head coach Ron Wilson’s “dog house” multiple times this season.

Kris Versteeg meanwhile, also has 14 points, but in one less game. Those statistics put him on pace for 58 points, which would be the second most total in his NHL career.

Although 48 points seems like a good season, it would be deemed a poor one for Versteeg, who is being expected to thrive off of top-six minutes, something he didn’t get in Chicago. He started slowly, but with eight points in his last 11 games, Versteeg has been playing extremely well. He too will need to become consistently good for the Maple Leafs to make any charge at the post-season.

Many would be quick to point out that the acquisition of a top-line centre to play with Kessel and Versteeg would help the two, but that cannot be used as an excuse.

But of course, not all the blame can be placed on just two players.

Dion Phaneuf, although currently injured, is off to a very slow start this season. The 6’3″, 214 pound defenseman has played in 11 games this season and has a minus-6 rating. This lack of effort and what looks like a lack of passion has been put into question by almost everyone this season.

Phaneuf, the team captain, is expected to lead the team. If he isn’t able to lead the team on the ice, he certainly can’t having an easy time leading them in the dressing room.

Despite his poor play, Phaneuf’s return to the lineup definitely won’t hurt, as he is still a very useful asset.

The 25-year-old has scored 77 goals in his NHL career, 48 of which were scored on the power play. His big shot and offensive ability should help the Maple Leafs.

Other Maple Leafs defencemen still looking to find their way this season include Francois Beauchemin and Mike Komisarek, both of whom have felt the pressure from the Toronto fans and media to do better.

Someone who has not struggled all that much, however, is Luke Schenn. The third-year defenceman is plus-1 in 24 games this season and has been one of the most stellar and consistent Maple Leafs all season long. With six points so far, Schenn is on pace to score a career-high 20 points this season.

Despite the importance of offence and defence, goaltending is one of the most important aspects of hockey, and the Maple Leafs have it. With Jonas Gustavsson and Jean-Sebastien Giguere splitting time in net, the Leafs always have an above-average goalie as their last line of defence.

In 13 appearances this season, Giguere, who just returned from a groin injury, has a goals against average of 2.90 and a save percentage of .890.

Gustavsson, meanwhile, was more than impressive during Giguere’s time away. The sophomore goalie has a record of just 3-7-2, but has a goals against average of 2.66 and a save percentage of .910. Unfortunately for Gustavsson, the Leafs haven’t been giving him very much offensive support, something that he and Giguere need in order to win games.

If the Maple Leafs can get going offensively, they should be able to find some consistency and possibly even climb into the playoff picture. However, that is easier said than done. The Leafs sit in the bottom five in the entire league when it comes to finding the back of the net and there are no signs of that changing any time soon.

**Follow Buds In Blue on Twitter @BudsInBlue for frequent blog updates. You can also follow Lukas on Twitter @SportsHazeLukas for breaking hockey news and rumors, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs game updates. You can contact him at lukas.hardonk@gmail.com.

Toronto Maple Leafs Benefiting From Kaberle Trade That Never Happened

 

Tomas Kaberle

 

On August 15th, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs and media all over North America were going crazy in anticipation for a trade that would see veteran defenceman Tomas Kaberle pack his bags and leave the Maple Leafs. Just over three months later and many fans are happy to see Kaberle wearing the blue and white.

General manager Brian Burke’s decision to keep Kaberle now seems to be a very good one, for more than one reason.

The 32-year-old has begun the 2010-2011 season by assisting on three goals in his first four games and posting a plus/minus rating of +3. If one was to watch his defensive play as well, they would notice that he has also been more-than-impressive without the puck.

However, his quick start is not the only way the Maple Leafs are benefiting from the Kaberle trade that never happened.

It’s no secret that Clarke MacArthur is off to a hot start this season. Scoring six points (five goals, one assist) in his first four games, as well as a +2 rating, MacArthur has exceeded expectations.

There were many top-six forwards, wingers and centremen, rumoured to join the Maple Leafs in return for Kaberle. With players like Ryan Clowe, Brad Richards and Marc Savard involved in those rumours, it’s highly unlikely MacArthur would be playing with Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski right now, a line that has been highly successful.

In fact, MacArthur may not have even signed with the Leafs had Kaberle been traded, due to a lack of salary cap space.

That’s not to say Clowe, Richards, Savard or any other player that may have come to Toronto in a trade involving Kaberle wouldn’t be playing extremely well, but as of right now, with a 4-0-0 record, it appears as though the Maple Leafs are better off with Kaberle and MacArthur in the lineup.

The line of MacArthur, Grabovski and Kulemin may not be the only one benefiting from the Kaberle trade that never happened, though.

Although Phil Kessel, Kris Versteeg and Tyler Bozak haven’t looked all that impressive on the top line together, they did have a good game against the Rangers on Friday night. All three have great potential to put up big numbers, with many fans, the coaching staff, management and media expecting at least 50 points from Bozak, 60 points from Versteeg and 40+ goals from Kessel.

It’s likely that the three would not be skating together had Burke of traded Kaberle, acquiring a top-six forward.

With a good game from the trio on Monday against the New York Islanders and another on Thursday against the Rangers, Versteeg, Kessel and Bozak will have some serious confidence instilled in them, leading to some good, if not great production.

**Follow Buds In Blue on Twitter @BudsInBlue for frequent blog updates. You can also follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking hockey news and rumors, as well as Toronto Maple Leafs game updates. You can contact him at lukas@gacksports.com.

Toronto Maple Leafs Offence: Believe

 

The Leafs are expecting big things from Tyler Bozak this season

 

Gone are the days of Mats Sundin, Alex Mogilny and Darryl Sittler, the days when the Maple Leafs offence wasn’t worst in the entire league and the days when fans league-wide weren’t counting out the Maple Leafs when it came to the playoffs.

Instead, it’s become the complete opposite. Now a days, people are expecting the Leafs to finish in the bottom ten in the league, and the Stanley Cup seems as far away as ever.

However, that doesn’t mean that fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have reason to cheer. That’s not to say the Maple Leafs are going to make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout, but what it does say is that with strong play from the back-end, things could get interesting.

We all know how good the Toronto Maple Leafs defence is, at least on paper, so I’m not going to sit here and talk about their defensive play.

Instead, it’s time for people to start believing that this Maple Leafs team can put the puck in the back of the net, if they can put their minds to it and get creative.

With the likes of Phil Kessel, Kris Versteeg and Tyler Bozak leading the offence and Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin right behind them, things are starting to look up for the Leafs when it comes to scoring goals.

Phil Kessel, a two-time 30+ goal scorer, knows exactly how to find the back of the net. Still, people say that if he’s going to continue scoring 30+ goals a season, he needs a play making centre like Marc Savard to play with—but what about Tyler Bozak?

Bozak played in 37 games last season, scoring 27 points, including eight goals. If he can live up to expectations, he could become just as good as Marc Savard, leading to more production from Phil Kessel and Kris Versteeg as well.

After playing third line minutes in Chicago due to being a victim of the Blackhawks’ tremendous depth, Kris Versteeg should see top-line minutes with the Maple Leafs, at least until a sixth offensive threat is added. When it comes to Versteeg’s production this season, things are looking great. With a total of 44 goals in his first two NHL seasons, Versteeg should thrive on a line with Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak.

The trio of Kessel, Bozak and Versteeg won’t be relied on too heavily in the latter part of the season if Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski can prove to be the players everyone is hoping for.

Grabovski, who was acquired by the Maple Leafs in July of 2008 from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2010 second round pick and the rights to Greg Pateryn, scored 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in just 59 games last season. Although those stats seem impressive, he still has yet to prove that he can be a solid top-six centre.

If he does become the top-six centre the Maple Leafs had hoped for, Grabovski should be able to put up 50-60+ points, which could mean big things for the Leafs.

Just imagine what it will be like if Nikolai Kulemin can drastically improve upon in 2009-2010 statistics. Unfortunately, a drastic improvement is unlikely.

After scoring 16 goals and 20 assists while posting an even +/- rating in 78 games during his sophomore season, Kulemin is expected to put up even better numbers this season. If the 24-year-old can score at least 40 points in 2010-2011, combined with a 50 point seasons from Grabovski, the Maple Leafs will have a solid duo skating on the top-two lines. Still, general manager Brian Burke needs to find someone to round out the top-six, preferably a winger.

Little offence will come from the Maple Leafs’ bottom-two lines. Made up of Colton Orr, Mike Brown, John Mitchell, Tim Brent, Fredrik Sjostrom and Colby Armstrong/Clarke MacArthur, as well as extras Mike Zigomanis and Jay Rosehill, not much more than 130 points should be expected from the bottom-six.

The Maple Leafs combined to score a total of 576 total points last season.

Let’s not forget, though, that not all offence comes from the forwards.

Dion Phaneuf, Francois Beauchemin and Tomas Kaberle are all expected to be highly involved offensively, at least as far as defencemen go.

Phaneuf, the team’s new captain and a former 60 point, 50 point, 49 point and two-time 20 goal scorer isn’t expected to contribute the same amount of offence as he did to Calgary in his first two seasons, but he should be somewhere around the 40 point mark after all 82 games.

Beauchemin, who has never scored more than 34 points or eight goals in a season, has a cannon for a shot. He will be a large part of any success the Maple Leafs have on the power play.

His setup man, Tomas Kaberle, was left out of all captaincy. The former 67 point man will once again use his passing expertise on the power play and five-on-five.

Carl Gunnarsson, Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek will all be minor contributors to the offensive side of things, but will, just like any other player, be expected to score a decent amount of points.

The Maple Leafs forward group is one of the youngest and most inexperienced in the league. With that in mind, be patient. There will be growing pains, and there will be dry spells. If this group of young NHLers can gel, produce and remain fairly consistent, Bozak, Grabovski, Kulemin and Versteeg will all be top NHL players and point producers one day, while Phil Kessel should reach the 40 goal mark.

Let’s just hope it all happens while they’re still playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking hockey news and rumors. You can contact him at lukas@gacksports.com.

NHL 2010-2011: Northeast Division Power Rankings: Week One

Once again, Ryan Miller will be a huge part of the Buffalo Sabres

The 2010-2011 NHL season is right on the door step.

From signings and trades, to draft picks and major injuries, it was a very interesting off-season all around the National Hockey League, let alone the Northeast Division.

Going into the new season, there are a lot of questions surrounding each team in the Northeast Division. Those questions include the playoffs, rookies, replacements and even special teams.

Teams like Toronto and Boston need to improve offensively in 2010-2011, while Toronto and Ottawa will be trying to catapult themselves into the top half of the league defensively.

Here now are my Northeast Division power rankings for week one.

1. Buffalo Sabres

Record (2009-2010): 45 – 27 – 10

Conference (2009-2010) – 3rd

Division (2009-2010) – 1st

Major Acquisition – Jordan Leopold

Questions:

Can the Sabres rebound after being upset in the 2010 playoffs?

Will Tim Connolly play the entire season?

Can the Sabres finally turn an impressive season into an impressive playoff run?

How will the Sabres defence play without Henrik Tallinder and Toni Lydman?

Prediction:

With the acquisitions of Jordan Leopold and Shaone Morrisonn, the Sabres shouldn’t feel the pain of loosing Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder too much.

Even after finishing 10th in the league when it came to offence, general manager Darcy Regier and head coach Lindy Ruff are both expecting big seasons from Derek Roy, Tim Connolly and Drew Stafford. Although all three have played well since coming to Buffalo, they have the ability to put up better numbers than they have.

Goaltending won’t be a problem for the Sabres. Entering his eighth season with the team, Ryan Miller will be the starting net minder once again. In 333-career regular season games, Miller has posted a goals against average of 2.57, and a save percentage of .914.

Patrick LaLime will be Miller’s backup for the third straight season. LaLime played in 16 games during the 2009-2010 season. With a goals against average of 2.81, a save percentage of .905 and a record of 4-8-2, he was a solid backup.

2. Boston Bruins

Record (2009-2010): 39-3019

Conference (2009-2010): 6th

Division (2009-2010): 3rd

Major acquisition – Nathan Horton

Questions:

Can the Bruins finally make it past the second round of the playoffs?

Will Tuukka Rask play this season like he did last?

How much better will the Bruins offence be with Nathan Horton now on the roster?

How will Tyler Seguin play?

Prediction:

After finishing dead last in goals scored per game and total goals scored, the Bruins will be entering the 2010-2011 season better offensively, at least on paper. With the acquisition of Nathan Horton and the addition of Tyler Seguin via the Entry Draft, the Bruins now have two more offensive weapons to attack with.

Horton, who scored 57 points in 65 games last season, is a former 30 goal scorer, a one-time 28 goal scorer and a one-time 27 goal scorer. Seguin, meanwhile, scored 106 points (48 goals, 58 assists) in 63 games last season for the Plymouth Whalers. Both are expected to be significant contributors to the Bruins this season.

Unfortunately, the Bruins will be without top-line centre Marc Savard to begin the season. Savard, who played in just 41 games last season, is still suffering from post concussion syndrome.

General manager Peter Chiarelli made no major changes to his back end or goaltending in the off-season. Once again, it will be Zdeno Chara anchoring the defence, while Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk will follow.

Tuukka Rask, meanwhile, is expected to be the starting net minder, with veteran Tim Thomas backing him up. Even with goals against average of 2.56 and a save percentage of .915, Thomas was not able to keep Rask from taking his job last season.

3. Ottawa Senators

Record (2009-2010): 44-32-6

Conference (2009-2010): 5th

Division (2009-2010): 2nd

Major acquisition: Sergei Gonchar

Questions:

Will Sergei Gonchar play just as good in Ottawa as he did in Pittsburgh?

Will Alex Kovalev be able to rebound after a poor first season in Ottawa?

Will the Senators be able to get past the first round of the playoffs for the first time since making it to the Stanley Cup Finals?

Will Pascal LeClaire finally have a healthy season?

Prediction:

As you can see, three of the four questions above are about individuals. For a long time now, off-ice distractions and poor performances from certain players (i.e. Ray Emery, Alex Kovalev) have hurt the Senators considerably. As of right now, the only individual who might hurt the Senators’ chances at a successful playoff run is Pascal LeClaire. If LeClaire can stay healthy and have a good season, the Sens are set in goal.

When Andy Sutton and long-time Senator Anton Volchenkov headed to free agency, things didn’t look good for the Senators in the 2010 off-season. General manager Brian Murray, however, rebounded nicely with the signing of Sergei Gonchar. After Gonchar, the Senators defence isn’t great, but good. Chris Campoli, Chris Phillips and young Erik Karlsson will likely round out the top-six to start the season, with Filip Kuba returning to the lineup later on.

Jason Spezza, Alex Kovalev, Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher will once again headline the Senators offence, while Nick Foligno, Chris Kelly and Peter Regin will lead the group of secondary scorers. Last season, Spezza, Kovalev, Michalek, Alfredsson and Fisher all combined to score 108 goals, almost half of the team’s 210 goals.

4. Montreal Canadiens

Record (2009-2010): 39-33-10

Conference (2009-2010): 8th

Divison (2009-2010): 4th

Major acquisition: Dustin Boyd

Questions:

How will Brian Gionta play wearing the ‘C’?

Will Carey Price have a good season?

Without making any major moves in the off-season, will the Montreal Canadiens make the playoffs?

What happens if Carey Price struggles?

Prediction:

If the Habs are going to have a major back fall this season, it will be their goaltending, which will either be great or horrible. After trading playoff hero Jorslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues during the off-season, the Canadiens re-signed fourth year goalie Carey Price to a two-year contract. Price’s struggles when the fans turn on him have been well documented by the media and could cost the Habs this season.

Aside from Jeff Halpern and Alex Auld, who will likely see third line and back up duties respectively, Dustin Boyd was the only acquisition by the Habs who should have a some what large impact. Boyd, a former Calgary Flame, has played in 2010 career games, scoring just 31 goals.

The Canadiens finished 26th in the league when it came to offence last season, worse than the Maple Leafs. Mike Cammalleri, Scott Gomez, Tomas Plekanec and newly named captain Brian Gionta will once again lead the Habs offence. All four will need to have huge seasons if they plan on making the playoffs, let alone competing for the Stanley Cup.

The back end doesn’t need much explaining. Much like most of the roster, it stayed the same.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs

Record (2009-2010): 30-38-14

Conference (2009-2010): 15th

Division (2009-2010): 5th

Major acquisition: Kris Versteeg

Questions:

Will Nazem Kadri be a big contributor if called up during the season?

Will this be the year the Maple Leafs break their playoff-less streak?

Will Dion Phaneuf still play well while wearing the ‘C’?

Will Phil Kessel score 40 goals?

Prediction:

There is no doubt that the addition of Kris Versteeg will help the Toronto Maple Leafs when it comes to offence, a category that the Maple Leafs finished second-to-last in the league in last season. A much more experienced Nikolai Kulemin will also help, as well as youngster Tyler Bozak and 30 goal scorer Phil Kessel.

Even with how good the back six looked on paper last season, they need to play better. With the likes of Mike Komisarek, Francois Beauchemin, Tomas Kaberle, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson and Dion Phaneuf, a case could be made that the Leafs defence is one of the strongest, deepest groups in the entire league. They just need to show it.

Of course, if the Leafs are going to make sure that the puck doesn’t go in their own net as much as it did last season, they will need some help from the goaltenders. If veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere and sophomore Swede Jonas Gustavsson can each turn in healthy, good and consistent seasons, the Leafs will be set in goal.

Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking hockey news and rumors. You can contact him at lukas@gacksports.com.

Toronto Maple Leafs Perfect Fit for Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong

Kris Versteeg celebrates after scoring a goal. (cbc.ca)

The Maple Leafs shocked hockey fans the day before free agency began by taking a different route to improving their team.

Rather than signing a big name free agent, they completed a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks that saw Kris Versteeg and prospect Bill Sweatt come to Toronto in exchange for Swedish winger Viktor Stalberg (as well as prospects Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis).

Versteeg, who is coming off of a 20 goal season, avoided the sophomore slump that is dreaded by many second-year players.

The Lethbridge, Alberta native has scored 42 goals over the first 170 games of his career, and won a Stanley Cup last season with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Versteeg, 24, now knows what it takes to win the Stanley Cup, meaning that the Maple Leafs have another player coming into their dressing room who should be a good influence on the younger players, including Nazem Kadri.

The Maple Leafs did not stop making attempts to improve their roster after trading for Versteeg, as they continue to build their team for the 2010-2011 campaign.

After trading for Versteeg and keeping Tomas Kaberle, they went out into the open market on July 1 and signed free agent agitator Colby Armstrong.

In 79 regular season games Armstrong scored 15 times, adding 14 assists, and posted a +/- rating of 6. Perhaps what is even more impressive about Armstrong is that he recorded all of those statistics and dished out many huge hits, but he only sat in the penalty box for just over an hour.

So, with the two newest Maple Leafs getting ready to hit the ice in October, the question now begs: where do Versteeg and Armstrong fit in?

Kris Versteeg is a goal scorer, not a third or fourth line type player.

With that being said he may just be the top six forward that Brian Burke, the entire Maple Leafs organization, and Leafs fans have been wanting.

Versteeg does have the potential to be a top-line winger, which works out great because he can play left wing, centre or right wing.

Phil Kessel is a right winger, meaning if you were to place Versteeg on the left side you could place young playmaking centre Tyler Bozak between them.

Colby Armstrong on the other hand, is a different kind of player.

He is a Brian Burke type of player, someone who is not afraid to drop the gloves or try to get under the skin of other people who is also able to score as well. 

It will be rare for Armstrong to receive playing time on the top-line but he does have the potential to be a second line winger on a team like the Maple Leafs, who are still lacking offensive skill.

However, a bottom six role would still be more suitable for a player like Armstrong.

The Maple Leafs are not done yet when it comes to improving their club, and there are still many free agents out on the market who could fit in well with the Maple Leafs.

Raffi Torres is one of those players.

The one thing that Brian Burke has to be careful with when negotiating with Torres is that he does not over pay him. Playing on their third or fourth line, Torres can be a very useful player.

Some general managers have made the mistake of signing him for too much money.

For example, last season Torres made $2.75 million. 

When put together, Torres, Colby Armstrong, and Christian Hanson would make a great third line. Hanson does not have much of an offensive upside, but can chip in offensivly when needed. Armstrong and Torres both have the ability to score, but, like Hanson, are better when they are placed in checking roles.

If Torres is not brought into Toronto, than Brayden Irwin would be the best candidate to play on the third line with Hanson and Armstrong. Irwin, a native of Toronto, played in two games last season collecting no points while posting an even +/- rating.

With that being said, a line of Hanson, Armstrong and Torres or Irwin could make a very productive third line.

If Irwin does not make it into the lineup, than the American League would be the best option. Since Irwin has only had a small taste at what the NHL is really like, it wouldn’t hurt to allow him time to develop.

Newly acquisitions aside, there are players who are on the roster who also have considerable talent.

While Bozak, Kessel, Hanson, and Sjostrom have all be mentioned, Nazem Kadri, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski have not.

Nikolai Kulemin was considered to be one of, if not the, best two-way forwards on the Maple Leafs last season. Kulemin tallied 36 points in 78 games last season with an even +/- rating.

Not only will he be beginning the 2010-2011 season with high expectations, but he will also be beginning the season under a new contract.

Kulemin signed a two-year deal with the Leafs this offseason that will see him make $2.35 million in 2010-11 and another $2.35 million in 2011-12. 

Grabovski, meanwhile, was very selfish at points last season, choosing to keep to puck and attempting to make plays himself rather than passing it to a fellow teammate and heading up ice.

Nevertheless, Grabovski still managed to score 10 goals and tally 25 assists in 59 games last season. He will make $2.85 million next season and $3.10 million the following season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Nazem Kadri was selected seventh overall by the Maple Leafs in 2009 and had a small taste of the NHL last season. The 6’0″ 167 pound centre is expected to be playing for the Maple Leafs this coming season and contribute largely to their offensive plans.

He would be a great fit playing between the speedy Grabovski and Kulemin on the second line.

Kulemin, Kadri and Grabovski are still young and have a lot to learn.

If Kulemin can help teach Grabovski and Kulemin play better on their own end and Grabovski can teach Kadri some of what he knows, then the three of them could make a great second line.

Luca Caputi is a young forward and the main part in what the Maple Leafs got in return for Alexei Ponikarovsky. In 19 games with the Leafs last season he scored one goal and five assists.

If he is placed with an energetic, hard working player like John Mitchell, then he could easily work his way up the depth charts. For now, he and Mitchell are more likely to take on a fourth line role.

Fredrick Sjostrom would be the most practical player to put on the right side of the fourth line. With very little ice time, Sjostrom is great at blocking shots and injecting energy into a lineup. 

As you may have noticed, there are players missing. 

Mike Brown and Jay Rosehill and Colton Orr are all absent.

Mike Brown was acquired during the draft from the Anaheim Ducks for a draft pick. Brown is not a substantial NHL player, nor will he be.

The 25-year-old scored six goals, adding one assist in 75 games. The season before that he scored two goals in 28 games with just one assist.

Brown will most likely be a healthy scratch most nights and a fourth line player when he is in the lineup.

Jay Rosehill is more of an enforcer than anything else.

With Colton Orr already playing on the Maple Leafs’ fourth line and the team having an extra forward on their roster, the chance of Rosehill being in the lineup for 35 or more games is very small.

Rosehill does have a shot at being on the roster as a healthy scratch, however.

Unfortunately for him, the more likely thing to happen would be him playing in the minors.

Colton Orr, also an enforcer, makes much more money than Jay Rosehill and is the older of the two. With that being said, Orr would most likely be chosen by the Maple Leafs over Rosehill. Expect Colton Orr to play about 40 to 50 games next season, being a healthy scratch on other nights.

So to recap, here is what the Maple Leafs depth charts should look like come September, assuming they do sign Raffi Torres.

First Line

Versteeg, Bozak,  Kessel

Second Line

Kulemin, Kadri, Grabovski

Third line

Irwin/Torres, Hanson, Armstrong

Fourth Line

Caputi, Mitchell, Sjostrom

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @lukas_bib for even more up-to-date information on your Toronto Maple Leafs!