Toronto Maple Leafs: Ian White, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Deserving of New Deals

November 21st, 2009 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter

The first quarter of the NHL season for the Toronto Maple Leafs has been sad. With a record of 3-11-6, the Leafs occupy the 30th and final spot in the NHL standings, leaving no doubt that 2009-10 is yet another in a long line of rebuilding years for the terminally ill Leafs.

As the season progresses, Leafs general manager Brian Burke will have to make some tough decisions as to what he wants to do with some key unrestricted free agents, namely defenseman Ian White, forward Alexei Ponikarovsky, goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, and, to a lesser extent, forward Jiri Tlusty, who currently plays with the Leafs AHL affiliate, Toronto Marlies.

White has been one of the Leafs' best defensemen this season. His all-out play and steadily increasing hockey sense makes White a good bet to get offered a contract extension.

Through 20 games, White has mustered four goals and 12 points and his plus/minus rating of +5 leads a Leafs team that is chalk full of minus players. While not the flashiest defenseman in the world, White plays a consistent game, one that warrants a two- to three-year extension.

Ponikarov ...

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