Should the Leafs take a risk and go after Demitra or Frolov??
Toronto fans are still waiting to see what else Brian Burke can pull off to make the Leafs better upfront. Yes he brought in Kris Versteeg who averaged 20goals a season while playing in Chicago. He also brought in gritty winger Colby Armstrong who is a solid pickup and can average around 15-20 goals a season and be a great penalty killing specialist.
It got me thinking that what is Toronto is still missing is a centerman. That is the #1 concern for all Toronto fans and also maybe a consistent scorer upfront to add to Kessel. I was looking at the available free agents left and one guy came to my mind in Alexander Frolov. Frolov has the potential to be a 40goal scorer. Twice in his career he has scored over 30goals. If you take his 7 year average in the league it comes out to 24goals a season. Frolov is only 28yrs old and still has many yrs left in him and I feel he needs the right team to go to for him to be successful and take the next step to be a great player. The knock on him is sometimes he is a bit of a slacker and goes through periods where he is invisible out there.
Frolov isn’t the typical Brian Burke player. Burke likes hard nosed gritty players, but you need a mix of gritty guys and goal scorers. As we saw last season, you just won’t win with all gritty players. I think if you are worried about Frolov and how he will produce give him a 1 year deal and see how he does. I would offer him a 2yrs deal. Now the problem that arises is there are reports out there that Frolov’s asking price is too high. He is looking for $5 million a season, which he may be able to get in the KHL. I think that the max he is worth is $3 million a year until he can prove he is a consistent, top line player. I personally would have left Armstrong and went after Frolov, offered him 2 years and offered 3.5 million a year to come to Toronto. I think putting him upfront on the 2nd line would be perfect for the Leafs.
I know Leafs would never sign this player I will be talking about but maybe they should look into it. Pavol Demitra only averaged about 70 games a year, but last year he was injured and only played in 28 games, recording 16 points for Vancouver. If you look at his stats since 01-02 season he has averaged over 30 assists+ except for this past year where he was hurt. In the 08-09 season with Vancouver he had 33 assists playing with the Sedins, recording 53 points in 68 games. Demitra was a force for Slovakia at the 2010 Olympics. He can still be a solid centerman even though he does get hurt. He might not be a gritty forward, but he has the offensive skills the Leafs need, even at his age of 35. If you put him beside Kessel, Phil could easily score 40 goals with Demitra being the perfect set up man for him.
I guess Burke isn’t going to take a chance on these kind of players which to me is not the right way to go. He needs some of these play making guys upfront to go with the grit he already has. A good mix is what the Leafs need. Right now they are still going to have trouble scoring and to me these two guys would be a perfect fit in Toronto.
I guess we will keep waiting and see what center man Burke can bring in, that’s if he brings one in at all.