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Dec. 1:
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Leafs trade Steen, Colaiacovo
Monday, November 24, 2008
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TORONTO -- Even though Cliff Fletcher's days as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs appear numbered, he continues to shake up the team's roster.

The Maple Leafs dealt former first round draft picks Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo to the St. Louis Blues on Monday for Lee Stempniak.

Fletcher has been targeting Stempniak for a month because he believes the 25-year-old is capable of playing on one of the team's top two forward lines. Neither Steen or Colaiacovo seemed to have won the confidence of new coach Ron Wilson so far this season, but the GM insists this deal wasn't a case of addition by subtraction.

"It's not about getting these players out of here -- they're good young hockey players," said Fletcher. "We think we're getting somebody that suits our needs better. Plain and simple."

Stempniak could make his debut in a Leafs uniform as soon as Tuesday night when the Atlanta Thrashers visit Air Canada Centre. That will be dependant on whether all three players involved in the trade pass physicals by then.

The Leafs don't anticipate there being a problem with the oft-injured Colaiacovo, who missed the team's game on Saturday with a minor foot problem.

While the timing of the trade appears curious given that many believe Brian Burke could become Toronto's new GM within days, Fletcher says the deal has been in the works for about a month. He told team CEO and president Richard Peddie about what was happening as a courtesy, but says it's not something he had to do.

Either way, the Burke speculation clearly isn't getting in the way of doing business.

"I think the board has confidence in me in getting the job done," said Fletcher. "Until such time as the heir apparent is in place, it's just business as usual. We're continuing on running the hockey club.

"Like I said earlier in this process, this isn't a one man situation. This was the overall consensus of the whole hockey department."

The addition of Stempniak should help the team offensively. He has 13 points (3-10) in 14 games this season and scored 27 goals for the Blues in 2006-07.

Stempniak, who grew up in Seneca, N.Y., first caught Fletcher's eye a couple years ago while playing in the American Hockey League for Peoria.

"He's a very crafty player," said Fletcher.

The trade also gives the Maple Leafs a little more room to add salary down the line. Stempniak's cap hit of US$2.5 million is $600,000 less than Steen ($1.7 million) and Colaiacovo ($1.4 million) combined, although he'll be paid $3.5 million next season.

Perhaps most importantly, it's another move that will inject some new blood into the organization. Colaiacovo and Steen were once pegged to be longtime stalwarts with the Maple Leafs, but neither had lived up to expectations so far.

As a result, they won't be around to see the results of the current rebuilding effort.

"I was really caught by surprise," Colaiacovo told reporters after learning of the deal. "My first reaction was I was in shock. The first thing that went through my head was how great I've had it here in Toronto. How good it's been to me. How everyone in this organization has been good to me.

"I'm really going to miss that."

Under Fletcher, the face of the Leafs has changed considerably. He was hired to replace John Ferguson Jr. on an interim basis in January and has since been responsible for cutting ties with 11 regulars. On top of that, former captain Mats Sundin remains unsigned.

"We have changed the chemistry in the dressing room substantially," said Fletcher.

Colaiacovo was drafted 17th overall in 2001 and has been plagued by injuries during his career. Despite playing his first NHL game more than six years ago, the 25-year-old has only appeared in 110 more since then.

Steen has been a reliable two-way player during three-plus seasons in the NHL, but he's never scored more than the 18 goals he had as a rookie. The 24th overall pick in 2002 has just four points this year while being used largely in a checking and penalty killing role under Wilson.

He was also taken by surprise.

"It came out of the blue," said Steen. "It's tough leaving the organization that's been so good to me and all the friends we've gotten to know in Toronto ...

"At the same time, it's exciting. Chapter 2 has started. I'm excited to get down there and get to meet the guys and hopefully have a better, second, third and fourth quarter of the season."

On paper, Stempniak is the most successful of the three players involved in the trade. However, they're all 25 or younger and should have their best years ahead of them.

With the Leafs rebuilding, the time was right for Fletcher to take a bit of a gamble.

"I have yet to know a player trade in any sport that there isn't an element of risk in it," he said. "There is in every trade because the party on the other side is making the trade because they think they're making a good deal. And we think we're making a good deal.

"Hopefully we're both right."

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And so it begins............ or should I say continues........ media influenced trade?
Posted by: Sparky2eh | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:28 pm ET
WOW!!!!!!!! great trade for Toronto this kid is awesome and can score.Sad to see Alex and Carlo go but worth it in the long run with Toronto having too many defenceman and with Alex struggling it had to be done.Fresh start will get them going in St louis,good luck guys it was great watching you.
Posted by: loudvalkyrie | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:32 pm ET
I know this will not sit well with the leaf fans, but I like what the leafs are doing right now. they are quietly assesing what is wrong with the team, and trying to usher in a new era. there comes a time when the existing core of players needs to be dismantled a bit, in order to compete at some point and time in the future. i am not saying plan the parade either, but you have to give something to get something these days. This will be an active personel year for the leafs, and I wish someone in Calgary would start to do the same thing...We had a cup run 4 years ago, and have done little if anything since...the core group needs to be tinkered with a bit, in hopes of a better future.
Posted by: lil_mont | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:42 pm ET
I really like this trade too. Great move for the Leafs but also a good move for Carlo and Alex. Both need a change of venue and I hope they blossom. Stempniak is another guy like Grabovski, fast and skilled. Toronto can now bring up a true speed third liner like Robbie Earl. Steen needs to get off the checking sort of line.

Im hoping Kronwall gets called up now because I really like how he steps up physically.
Posted by: peterleafs | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:46 pm ET
Gonna miss Steener alot. One of the best defensive forwards that we had... Its our defence that is the real problem though... But i am sure that Fletch has some more Plans before the next GM takes over. Good luck Coli and Steener!
Posted by: BleedBlue03 | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:48 pm ET
i kinda like the move.

leafs have too many defensemen and now have room and without the overrated steen there is room to move this kid to one of the top two lines.

well done, but i'm done if burke ends up in TO in the next couple of days
Posted by: yolacky | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:48 pm ET
The Silverfox is at it again the Leafs get faster and bit more skill. Carlo and Alex just did not fit into the Leafs plans, Steen will never be a first line or even second line player, Carlo at best will be number 6 or 7. I wish them well but I love this trade.
Posted by: MrMarto | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:50 pm ET
This is Great this Canadian team will soon have no Canadian boys left on it!!!! The European/American Maple Leafs!!!!
Posted by: Sparky27 | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:56 pm ET
I think that will come back to bite them...

Carlo may be out of shape, but he's got skill if he can stay healthy.

Steen was over-rated from Day One.
Posted by: Frameboy | Monday November 24, 2008, 1:59 pm ET
I don't know about this one. Carlo can go, he has potential but is so often injured it's worth the risk. Steen is a dynamic defensive player who if can score will make this trade look bad for the Leafs. Would have been nice to get a draft pick back also.

One final thought if why did the Leafs hold on to Antropov through his injury years and now they reverse that idea and give up on Carlo ? Is Nik in better shape ?
Posted by: Hockeyguru | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:04 pm ET
Good trade!! Both Steen and Colaiacovo have done absolutely nothing this year when this is exactly the time they should be stepping up with all the 'big' name players gone (Sundin, McCabe, Tucker, etc.) Steen doesn't seem to have the drive needed to be a NHL player and Colaiacovo may be in his 7th season but he may be still eligible for the Calder!!

Stempniak is a good player (got him in the pool!)and has more points than both of these 2 combined, hopefully will be a good fit with the rest of the young buds on the team. It will be interesting to see what Burkie does when he gets here! GO Leafs GO!
Posted by: Captk | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:07 pm ET
These two players were drafted way to high in the first place !!!! I like Carlos, but he is injured too often... and Steen just another Euro that is a maybe a third line player. TIME FOR CHANGE AND MORE CHANGE !!!! The way things are going, its gonna be another 40 years for Stanley to return to this piss poor run "pro" team ! LOL.
Posted by: LafleurOrr | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:08 pm ET
Good trade once again......

Steen has been a bust the second he arrived in Toronto and Colaiacovo well good luck to him. Knowing the person who he is lets hope he makes it to the airport uninjured!!!!

Posted by: eeeze123 | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:09 pm ET

I agree, however, it seems the tml have dismantled more than a little bit. McCabe, Wellwood, Steen, Coliacavo, tucker, sundin, raycroft. That is a complete overhaul.So far the team is doing lots of things right. Hopefully the ownership will stay out and let managemant work the team, and dont hire burke. As long as those two things continue, t.o. will have a good future to look forward to.

We oiler fans are in the same position as Flames fans, so we know what you mean. Seems teams in canada are struggling this year.
Posted by: oilersfan83 | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:12 pm ET
I can't believe this actually happened.... I was almost in tears when there were rumblings last year of Alex Steen one day captaining the team. I'm a Colaiacovo fan.... but sometimes a change could be good for both him and the team. Good luck to him. Cliff Fletcher has done nothing but trim the fat on this team and I'd hate to see him go in favour of Brian Burke with what he has done so far. He's built a core of young guys that play with desire and character - Ian White and the Wendel 'stache. I'm glad they've kept him. I'm kinda worried that Burke would go and blow all this up for a Marion Hossa or a Ilya Kovalchuk. And Mike Van Ryn looks like the best trade the Leafs have made in years. As much as I'd like a home grown (potential) superstar in John Tavares.... I'm really behind this team that Fletcher is building.
Posted by: petesin07 | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:21 pm ET
Don't worry Sparky.... the core of this team will be Canadian in a couple of years. Alex Steen was Canadian only on one of his passports. We've still got Ian White.... he's going to get better fast with playing time.
Posted by: petesin07 | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:24 pm ET
Any more if's and but's in the comments??

Let's look at this in reality.

Carlo: Couldn't crack the Top 6, has some potential but has always been injured and that won't change.

Steen: He's potentially maxed out at this point and is seeing his ice time disappear and is at best a 3rd line guy.

Stempniak is guy with great speed and has almost scored 30 at the NHL level.

I look at it as 2 spare parts for a potential Top 6 young forward.
Posted by: guido | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:26 pm ET
one mans garbage is another mans treasure, or in this case, its all junk.
Posted by: bamfo1 | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:28 pm ET
Great trade. Stempniak is a player while Colaiacovo was never going to live up to expectations being injured so often. Alex Steen has faded to the point of obscurity so great trade in getting another top 6 forward.
Posted by: coladin | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:29 pm ET
In different enviroment maybe Carlo and Steen can live up to the expectations but it wasn,t going to happen in Toronto.

Stempniak has 25 + goal potential and is a solid 2-way player with speed.

How could Fletcher turn it down?
Posted by: BrianA | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:43 pm ET
I like the trade here as well AND being from Toronto too. Colaiacovo is descent when he is healthy, but even then he at best, is maybe a 2nd line dman. His problem is though (minus his abundance of injury) is he tends to get really sloppy when tryin to produce offensivly. Yea he can be good at it, but i would much rather have a stay at home dman such as Schenn. Too many times have i seen carlo blast a 1 time point shot into a opposing players shins. Faint resemblances of Bryan Mccabe. PLus we already got Kubiner there doing the same, except slighty more talented both ways.

And for Steen,.. he's a hardworking all around player who i believe can and will thrive in an atmosphere with a little less pressure. St Louis may be good for him. regardless though...he has trouble putting the put in the net.
Posted by: BigTurdo | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:44 pm ET
I am jealous, i wish my team had made a trade like that. This will turn out to be an absolute steal for the Leafs.
Posted by: Archaeologuy | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:48 pm ET
Two players for one with a savings of $300,000.00 over this season and next, minus the games already played this year. By the sounds of the majority of the people in St.Louis they are really going to miss this guy and are very uncertain on what they are gaining.

Leafs may want to look at changing there scouting, Steen and Colaiacovo went very high and are a far cry from showing it. Colaiacovo, I bet the insurance company will love you in St.Louis.
Posted by: Ironrideau | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:53 pm ET
Colaicovo rejoins 2002 Memorial Cup Champion team mate Brad Boyes in St. Louis. Boyes is a class act. I wonder if Brad gave the Blues any advice on this?
Posted by: Cartoon | Monday November 24, 2008, 2:57 pm ET
great trade for both teams. now hopefully fletch can fetch a decent top 4 defensive man to help shore up the blueline. go leafs go
Posted by: onthetop | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:01 pm ET
To be honest, I never saw Steen as a first rounder, and Carlo was usually on the injured list or a healthy scratch this season. Great trade for the Leafs.
Posted by: LeafsForLife | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:01 pm ET
to whom ever it was that said steen is euro.

Can you show me where Winnipeg, MAN is in europe?
Posted by: baconater | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:10 pm ET
I hope Cliff Fletcher stays on because of trades like this and the trade for Grabovski...both steals!!

Posted by: LeafsForLife | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:12 pm ET
Leafs trade a second-third line forward and a potential 4-7 defenseman for a 25 yr old sniper. Very nice deal.
Posted by: Sportsfan08 | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:19 pm ET
Yeah, well Blake scored quite a few goals before he became a Laugh too so I don't hold out much hope for Stempniak. Get used to losing buddy! Year 42 of the rebuilding plan.
Posted by: NBCaper | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:28 pm ET
Steen is from Canada whoever said he was European, nice try though, smart Leaf fans!
Posted by: slipnslide | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:31 pm ET
Colaiacovo still has to pass a physical, this ain't a done deal just yet.

If it does go through, this may be enough to ensure we don't get a good draft choice. Go Leafs Go!

Posted by: Skrobax21 | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:33 pm ET
The Leafs are giving up some great potential, Alex, 24, and Carlo, 25, are both quite young from an NHL perspective. That being said, they are getting back a pretty good young player whose hot right now (11 pts. in his last 7 games). Might be fun to see him play on a line with Hagman and Grabovski given Stempniak's speed and ability to play either wing. Opposing D would have fits trying to reel in the three of them.
Posted by: JHUGH | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:38 pm ET
I'm a Sens fan and hate the Leafs... but I'm always rooting for them to make the playoffs to rekindle the best rivalry in the league when the battle of Ontario takes place in a 7 game series. (and yes, I'm aware that Ottawa is currently sucking, but on paper they should be at the very least be a playoff team)

With all that being said, I think the best player in the entire trade is Colaiacovo. If he wasn't so injury prone and could get uninterrupted development, he'd have the potential to be a top 2 dman on most teams. But since he spends more time in the hospital than on the ice, he's a 4th dman.

Steen sucks. Overhyped, and sucks. A good 4th liner.

Stempniak had one good season. He's doing well this season though, but still, lets be honest, he's a very good third liner or a mediocre second liner.

The bottom line is the deal is almost status quo. Toronto has too many depth dmen and too many bubble players, and St. Louis are pretty much the same, only with even more inflated slaries in the back end.

If Colaiacovo stays healthy, Toronto lost the trade. If Colaiacovo remains as fragile a papier mache, Toronto win the trade. With everything said and done, is anyone concerned at all with Stemp's 2.5 million/year contract?

Oh, and Fletcher sucks too. Finger at 4 million?...

Posted by: captobvious | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:42 pm ET
OMG ! CLIFF FLETCHER has def made a bad decision this time. Yes, Lee is an awesome player, but giving up Steen who is very good as well. Steen hasnt scored in a while just because he isnt on a line that fits him well. I've seen him playing through the years as a maple leaf, and he is WONDERFUL and its really sad to see him go.

Hasnt Cliff Fletcher learned his lesson? Every player he trades turns out to be stars on the ice. Kyle Wellwood, look how great he's playing in Vancouver now. I GUARANTEE YOU WILL SEE A SHINING COLIACOVO AND STEEN in ST.LOUIS.

All the leafs really need is some mix and match of players to see who plays well with who. Thats really all that needs to be done, no need to trade anyone.

One player is not going to make our team better.

Leafs management is a shame.

Bring back Pat Quinn

Posted by: ilovetiedomi | Monday November 24, 2008, 3:50 pm ET
Awesome trade Fletcher! Carlo ( was often injured, steen is a god player but not quick enough, lee stempniak is a great pick up, he is quick with a lot of skill, the leafs speed is already messing up the defenders on the opposing teams not with lee it will be even better, now if only fletcher would trade antropov and pony, get a high draft pick and a quality fourth line forward, Go leafs Go
Posted by: Leafsrock! | Monday November 24, 2008, 4:09 pm ET
Cliff Fletcher made a good trade.Stempniak will surely help the Toronto team.I hope Steen and Colaicovo help the St.Louis Blues.Fletcher knows what to do to help the team.I have nothing bad to say against him.It would great if Fletcher would remain as the Maple Leaf manager.I don't like Burke,I don't trust him.
Posted by: driftwood | Monday November 24, 2008, 4:36 pm ET
hope its not another jason blake....
Posted by: leafs_2010 | Monday November 24, 2008, 4:47 pm ET
Just to clarify, Steener was born in Winnipeg but his daddy was a Swedish hockey star and he spent his junior playing days in Europe. So he was born in Winnipeg but he played for Sweden in the World Championships, so he obviously thinks he's more Swede than Canadian.

As for the trade, wouldn't surprise me if Coli and Steener both become great players in St. Louis and Stempniak goes Jason Blake on us. I'm crossing my fingers, though...
Posted by: LeaFan77 | Monday November 24, 2008, 4:50 pm ET
Hopefully this trade will work out for the leafs. Next up what about getting rid of Ponikrovoski and Toskala! Maybe after that they could compete! Just a thought GO LEAFS GO!!!
Posted by: Tomahawk | Monday November 24, 2008, 4:54 pm ET
Comment Re lovetiedomi:

Its your right to love tie Domi, but it also gives me an idication that you Know very little about the Game of Hockey, Cliff Fletcher is trying to Make the Leafs a better team.

1st off STEEN should Have never been Drafted and had it not been that his Father Played in The NHL in all likelyhood if his Dad had not Played in the NHL Steen would never have been Drated.

COLIACOVO is ca china Doll, you touch him he breaks, Kyle Wellwood is doing not bad with the canucks, but i will tell you right now he will not be with the Canucks if they make the Playoffs.

So settle down, learn a bit about the Game of Hockey and be a bit more realistic in your next blog, that is if you write anymore Blogs.
Posted by: BillyBiff | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:05 pm ET
heyy : ilovetiedomi.... you probably know absolutly nothing about hockey. thats all i gotta say
Posted by: BigTurdo | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:11 pm ET
Honestly do we really need Brian Burke? Cliff Fletcher has done a tremendous job cleaning up the Leafs roster. Lee Stempniak is a dynamic player. He is the present and I state the present, not some so-called future.

Great trade. We passed on Brad Boyes and Chris Pronger. Boy I wish they were in a leaf uniform right now!
Posted by: hafizdoc | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:16 pm ET
Great Move By the Leafs organization making room for Sundin to come back and play after Christmas.
Posted by: luvdleafs | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:20 pm ET
Carlo is an amazing AHL defenceman...with Tier 2 conditioning.

Steen only played well with Mats...and is a 3rd liner at his best.

glad to see them both gone, get rid of the old spare parts that are rusting, and now Fletch has added a young two way forward with speed and a scoring touch who has more points than both of these players.

another slick deal by the silver fox...

Go Leafs Go.
Posted by: BarrieGuru | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:28 pm ET
Well Cliff you've done it again...and i thank-you. Great move today!
Posted by: bigcat | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:29 pm ET
Great trade and anyone that doubts this trade hasnt watched the leafs try to keep Carlo in the lineup and try to keep Steen from being a healthy scratch.Cliff has done it again and we have no reason to need Burke in here other then the fact cliff Wants to quit this fantastic job he has done with this team
Posted by: loudvalkyrie | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:30 pm ET
Stempniak, now thats a hockey name!!

Posted by: BarrieGuru | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:31 pm ET
Hate to break it to ya leafs fans, but Stempniak is the one who is overrated! Flash in the pan & has been in decline ever since. Apparently he has been available on the trade front since beginning of year! I actually don't like this trade for either team! Ahh, I just feel grumpy today (Monday)!
Posted by: hiccupman | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:34 pm ET
Can anyone say: the next Jason Blake (one year wonder) with an over the top salary.
Posted by: Iafrate | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:43 pm ET
Great move, Crystal Carlo & pressbox wannabe Steen, next up invisable man Blake & plodding Antropov, go Fletch go, while your at it how about a real # 1 goalie.

BB should be in good shape when he's signed up.

Posted by: sparky56 | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:43 pm ET
The Leafs dealt off two players who simply did not fit Ron Wilson's system. It's as simple as that.

Steen is a good player. Not great, but good. He didn't go 24th overall because of who his father was -- he went 24th because the Leafs wanted him on their team, but knew he wouldn't be there by their next pick. So they had to take him with the 1st. If they'd gotten him in the 2nd or 3rd, no one would be ripping the guy.

The Leafs weren't the only team who had him pegged as a 1st rounder - if they didn't draft him, he'd have gone 25th, guaranteed. Wasn't exactly the deepest draft, that year.

As for Colaiacovo, he did have 1st round talent, at one point, but now the question has to be: to what point has that talent/potential eroded, given the injury history and resulting lack of playing time? I think the Leafs simply got tired of having to ask themselves that question every time he got hurt.

Stempniak is a good pickup. He isn't nearly the defensive player that Steen was, but he doesn't have to be given that the team has a number of two-way forwards as it is. Stempniak, from the (admittedly) little I've seen of St Louis, has a decent shot, and he's got wheels. Could look good alongside Grabovski, don't you think?

Oh, and as for why there are no picks going to TO in the deal? St Louis is getting an injured player who has yet to play a full season, plus a guy on pace for all of 16 points, in exchange for a player who is currently scoring just under a point-per-game.

Sounds like a good deal to me.
Posted by: 2FnBz | Monday November 24, 2008, 5:48 pm ET
Great trade for the Leafs..... keep it up. Blake gone next hopefully for a bag of pucks. vesa for any devil.
Posted by: powerman | Monday November 24, 2008, 6:07 pm ET
carlo 17th ,steen 24th overall picks drafted in 02 and 03.brought up in the leafs systems for years and then traded away for a lee stempniak drafted 5th round 148th pick in 2003. jus shows you how bad leafs are at drafting quality players. not sayin its a bad trade though. good job cliff
Posted by: TML4CUP | Monday November 24, 2008, 6:14 pm ET
Thats too bad, Stempniak is a great player now he's gonna turn into garbage player now.!! should have asked clark the other night to lace up the skates again to help them out! 3 first round draft picks now are playing for the blues
Posted by: Bieskaisgod | Monday November 24, 2008, 6:38 pm ET
I was pretty surprised with this trade. I didn't think Steen would get traded so soon and thought Toronto wanted to keep him. However, watching Toronto play this year,he's been a ghost on the ice and I think I forgot he was on the team until this trade. My attention is tuned in on Schen, Grabovski, Moore, Stajen, and Hagman who really stand out.

Colaiacovo has been solid for the few games that he's played, but the kid's injury prone body is incredibly annoying and frustrated. Very unreliable. He has weak weak body and I don't think it's bad luck. He almost has a disease. He's also seems aloof in the sense that he doesn't know how to protect his body and be aware of it every second on the ice. There's alot more defensemen and players who take the same abuse and rough play he's had and still play 70-plus games a season. I wanted him traded two years ago.

I like Stempniak because he's good and most of all, *drum roll... get ready for this* because he's YOUNG.

I like how Toronto is getting younger and faster and they're not bringing old veterans who are past their prime anymore. It's too easy to do that. This is why I liked the Finger trade too. He an extremely responsible defensemen who is young and could even get better while with the Leafs. Stempniak can score and the same can be said for him.

Smart trade.

I think Kaberle (as much as I love him) and Blake should go for a Carter-like or Jordan Staal-like forward. Somebody who can just flick the switch on and just put the puck in the net.

Posted by: Hockeyhair | Monday November 24, 2008, 7:32 pm ET
Nobady should be compared to Jason Blake. Blake was an excellent signing at the time. The cancer has obviously had an affect plus any sniper needs a setup man which the Leafs don't have this year. So can't we just leave Blake out of the comments. As for Stepniak....this seems a very good trade for Fletcher....maybe picking Davidson's pockets a bit because of St Louis injury situation.
Posted by: happyhooking | Monday November 24, 2008, 7:37 pm ET
Wow, I don't know about anybody else, but I am shocked to learn of this trade. But what surprises me even more is how quick people are to run down leaf fans when they are even slightly optimistic about news from Leaf land. I am one of the unfortuante few who has cheered for the Leafs since my own humble beginnings and has yet to be rewarded for my faithfulness, so I think I have a right or at the privilege to be a little optimistic when there is a shake-up or interesting development from the blue and white!

Now I want to comment on two things from today's news. 1st of all I DO like this trade, It is about time that Carlo gets a dose of reality and I Do believe that his biggest problem is his own attitude! Get fit, get healthy and perhaps one day you'll be a good 3rd or 4th d man. As for Steen, Loved your Dad, Loved you with Sundin, but without him, your simply not producing. Put Steen with a guy like Kariya and maybe he'll rebound.

The 2nd thing is this whole Burke fiasco, Fletcher has been great, but geez don't put anymore stress on the guy, what is he like 98, He would be a great advisor, sort of like the DON of Leaf Mafia, but he needs someone else in the GM spot, and sorry everyone it ain't Burke! Burke has got some "good" credentials but I really don't think this is who needs to be in T.O. But if he is the man, I hope MLSE stays the heck out of his way and let's the man do his job. And yes, just like I was with Fletcher, JFJ, and the rest of the top dogs, I'll still be faithful. Go Leafs Go!

By the way, Give Kypreos a scouting job!
Posted by: Tank195142 | Monday November 24, 2008, 8:01 pm ET
Burke is next... then Sundin.

Just clearing the deck !
Posted by: Shootdapuck | Monday November 24, 2008, 8:09 pm ET
this is going to be a "wait and see" trade before we know who got the best of it, but one thing is certain, the worste Penalty Kill in the league just got even WORSE. Steen and Moore were the only Leaf forwards who can actually kill a penalty.

For those saying Blake's next - dream on. Blake is untradeable at the moment. He's in the second year of a 5 year, $20 Mil deal and his is currently scoring even LESS than last season. Face, we're stuck with Blake till he starts to score, so you might as well become fans.

Coliacovo is a top 4 defenceman on any team if he stays healthy - so far that's been a tough IF for him, but if he does, watch out.
Posted by: Badge | Monday November 24, 2008, 9:25 pm ET
First off Steen was born out west so he is not a euro and second why are people bashing Carlo. He has talent he is just injury prone. If he were injured from stupidity I could understand but if he is injured blocking shots I see that as doing his job. I hope they both do well but Stempniak is not the leafs salvation either. Just another bit player with little immediate impact. We need more skill than that before we can think of playoffs.
Posted by: moppet | Monday November 24, 2008, 9:27 pm ET
Well not a block buster trade just a decent upgrade

a solid player with exceptional work ethic (see Doug gilmour and Wendel clark) I am not knocking Carlos or Steens commitment but in all honestly there were many nights that their work ethic was in question!

Its just another small step (one of many by the end of things) in the right direction.
Posted by: ryesea | Monday November 24, 2008, 9:37 pm ET
cliff fletcher is a great hockey man who isnt

scared of change ,no one said this year would be

a stanley cup parade,but what he has done has changed the culture great trades for garbo,van ryn,mayers a good free agent in nic hagman.lets face it if toronto ever got good goaltending toronto might be in a better position.just for note pogge was the best goalie in camp toskla should stop worring about his wardrobe and worry about his job.
Posted by: yardiestone | Monday November 24, 2008, 10:26 pm ET
wow 'hockey fans' arguing about a player's nationality. like it matters in the first place.

fact of the matter is, even if its not a positive trade its by no means a negative trade. i always liked coli when he played.

i repeat.


steen, he was a good player to watch but how much longer do we need to watch? this guy was touted to be a first liner and a potential CAPTAIN.

good trade by the Silver Fox, can't wait till Van Ryan gets back.

ps: for all those blake bashers, yeah he flopped since his wonder year but give the guy a break. there are bigger things to bash in the hockey world. like the rubbish ugly hits on the ice and that ugly logo on the Sens uniforms.
Posted by: caponeTO | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 12:13 am ET
blah blah blah.....

the rebuilding continues...and the trade was a decent one. if stempniak has the potential AND plays alot like grabovski, then it was worth it.

some people here have hinted on a few good ponikarovsky and toskala...throw in antropov and blake. those 4 are the last of the underacheivers (blake has the hustle and energy...just cant put the puck in the net anymore) trade them for some first round picks and the future is looking good!

i hate burke as much as the next guy....BUT...HE WILL BE THE ONLY PERSON THAT WONT TAKE CRAP FROM PEDDIE!! if they hire him then you KNOW the decisions he makes are his own and not the owners/managements!!!!

and we don't need sundin for only one maybe two years when we are building...unless he signs with t.o. and then gets traded for youth.

by the way folks....enough about wellwood. he is awsome and will continue to do well with vancouver, only because others gave up on him. all injuries and personal battles aside, his attitude stunk here and not sure he would have been doing so well now that he is healed up. he needed the change.

long live wendel clark.....and keep going Leafs, you are looking good!
Posted by: ajstyles | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 2:13 am ET
Good trade for Toronto,good but injury prone defenceman,plus third or fourth line forward for first or second line forward.Faster with more offence,an upgrade for sure.
Posted by: Beathoven | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 9:32 am ET
Panic move so that the Leafs can beat the Senators Thursday.

Keep sinking the blue and white tugboat, Cliff.

Posted by: Hockeynutz | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 9:48 am ET
You gotta love Cliff man... Who else can convince the GM of a pro hockey team to trade a young former 27 goal scorer who's currently producing at a point-per pace for a dude with 4 points and another who's just been called out by his coach for his conditioning?

I like the direction the team is heading but I still say the real success should be achieved at the draft table.
Posted by: Prider | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 10:31 am ET
Prider........VERY WEll SPOKEN!!!!!!
Posted by: loudvalkyrie | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 11:42 am ET
What is with all the hating on Antro anymore? He's really been coming along the last couple years. Leave Antropov alone, there are MANY players more deserving of the derision than he is. IE - Blake, Tlusty, Finger, Van Ryn until the last little while.
Posted by: Cyrakhis | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 2:01 pm ET

Maybe you haven't been paying attention, but NOBODY needs help beating Ottawa. The Leafs certainly don't.
Posted by: Badge | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 3:25 pm ET
well said badge...the leafs already one the first game without this trade. Sens are jealous their gm cound't do a trade like this. You can bash the leafs all you want, but as hockey fans you know that Stempniak is young and skilled and will definitaely do more than what steen has done this season.

btw here's a trivia question...which toronto player has more points than spezza?

If you don't know well its STAJAN! lol that is pretty sad, tells you how bad the sens are playing.

yee the grabovkski trade was a steal...this kid is blossoming into a star playing on the line with nik hagman.

What happened to the sens fans who said their " One Line Team" is going to produce more than the entire leafs team...check again the leafs are top 5 in league scoring with a " No Line Team" LOL. and the sens well bottom 5 lmao.

Sens fans make me laugh because they can't beat the ISLANDERS...who look like an AHL team lol

and then they think they can beat the Leafs...nahh Hockeynutz King Fletch is doing more than Murray is doing. Yes bring on the Emery rumours lol! Now they start blaming it on spezza because he isn't playing good defense.ohh ye what ever happened to Mike Fisher...he's playing like a third or fourth line center LOL
Posted by: Leafs.Schenn | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 4:44 pm ET
not sure why everyone is so stoked about brian burke possibly coming to be the manager of the leafs. He had one good and very lucky year with the ducks.. What else has he done?????????????? I say keep Fletch as long as he will do it!!
Posted by: 93bryan93 | Tuesday November 25, 2008, 10:13 pm ET
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