First, from the department of lunacy, Sportsnet’s Gare Joyce brought up the rumors about the Toronto Maple Leafs moving up to the first overall pick. However, he brings up a deal that I had not heard of until yesterday. Instead of the more rumored Dion Phaneuf, Nazem Kadri and the 8th overall pick package, Joyce replaces Phaneuf with Jake Gardiner. What’s worse is that he thinks that the package is not enough to pry the No. 1 overall pick from the Florida Panthers.
So, lets’ see. If the Panthers keep the first pick, they get one blue-chip prospect. If they make this trade, they would get three. Kadri and Gardiner might not be prospects but they’re still pretty young. It would be plain lunacy for the Leafs to offer this, but if they did, the Panthers would be dumb not to accept it.
Speaking of Gardiner, there has been rumors of the Leafs moving him to forward. This is what general manager Dave Nonis had to say about it.
He was a forward, he started as a forward. He played more of his formative years as a forward. There’s been some talk of it, but I think he gives us an element at the back end that would be hard to replace. He can skate the puck out, pretty good on the power play. So I think right now, we would keep him back there, but …
Some offensive defenseman have made good forwards in the NHL, Brent Burns being the most recent example. With all the defensive depth the Leafs have in the pipeline, moving Gardiner to forward might something the Leafs do in the future, but not necessarily this season.