Toronto Maple Leafs in Need of a Player of Substance

November 21st, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
When Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke began the re-tooling of his club, he promised to bring in a group of players that would play with an element of testosterone, truculence and pugnacity.

The additions of Dion Phaneuf, Kris Versteeg, Colton Orr, Colby Armstrong and Mike Komisarek were a move in the right direction but collectively, this group has failed to put the fear of God in the opposition.

Now don’t get me wrong: the additions Burke made are a big improvement on perimeter players such as Nik Hagman, Matt Stajan and Jason Blake (to name a few), but you get the feeling that the Maple Leafs are still in need of another player of substance/grit.

There is a fine line between a player of grit and a player who simply fights (think Colton Orr). There is also a fine line between a player who plays with grit and a player who plays with stupidity (think Sean Avery).

Burke has a couple of players in the system who could potentiality bring the qualities he is looking for. Luca Caputi comes to mind, as does highly touted prospect Brad Ross (who will likely be ready in 2012-13) and, of course, Keith Aulie looks to be a player who may evolve ...

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