Dubas enters a Brave New World. " No guts, no glory! "

During the Lou Lamoriello reign Toronto played a very conservative trade game not taking any real chances in order to preserve our prospect pool and to avoid some of the past mistakes of trading away high picks and then living to regret it. Tukka Rask, Russ Courtnall, Alex Steen, Scott Niedermayer  and even Roberto Luongo all went on to have great careers after being traded and so Lou played it very cautiously only giving up 2nd rounders to get Tomas Plekenac, Dan Boyle and giving up a late first rounder to get Frederick Andersen.In the end his cautiousness cost him his job and wasn't enough to get Toronto past the first round. During that time Toronto went from worst to 8th best in the league and still it cost him his job. A first round elimination simply won't do next year and could even cost more jobs should it happen, perhaps even Mike Babcock or who knows Shanny himself may feel some major heat. Toronto is an odd town and rightly so. They haven't seen a cup in over half a century and even the Cubs have ended their long drought.

Enter Dubas' Brave New World because  as was once said ," No guts, no glory!" Dubas inherited a team in good cap shape with a team full of young players and a few decent prospects still left in the cupboard after it had been pillaged over two years. The team has way too many wingers and when players like Grundstrom, Engvall and perhaps Jeremy Bracco arrive there simply won't be any room. Last year players with size played a major role with Washington re-signing Smith Pelly and perhaps signalling a new era back to impact players with some grit and size. Let's look at some of the other teams Toronto may face in next year's Stanley Cup Playoffs. Thanks to OVO16 of Hockeysfuture:

Capitals: Tom Wilson, Smith Pelly, Oshie, Orlov, Bowey
Blue Jackets: Josh Anderson, Foligno, Jenner, Dubinsky, Savard
Bruins: David Backes, Mcquaid, Chara, Miller
Lightning: JT Miller, Killorn, Paquette, Callahan, Andreoff, Coburn, Hedman
Penguins: Aston-Reese, Hornqvist, Rust, Letang, Oleksiak

What can Toronto respond with now that Matt Martin is gone? Kadri ? Didn't he just get suspended ? Can Kadri play his game and take that chance next year ? The answer is no. Toronto is stacked with talent with star John Tavares willingly jumping on board but those players need role players to chop wood for them and wear down other teams behemoths such as Chara. It wouldn't be wise to lose next year due to a lack of those type of players who seem to be coming back into style again, just look at the hulking Winnipeg Jets who Toronto could one day face in the finals. Late last year Winnipeg thumped Toronto soundly as many announced Winnipeg the best team in Canada. So, what does Toronto need to beat such teams in next year's playoffs ? In my opinion some size to do their dirty work and a top 4 defenseman who can help Frederick Andersen, who I think is a very good goalie. Sure the Leafs were nervous the first 2 games in Boston last year and they have added a star but does Toronto want to lose over a 7 game series because of a suspect defense again ? No, they don't. I can't prove a top 9 power forward would have changed the outcome last year but I fail to see how it would hurt. Some Leaf fans are in love with the idea of just outscoring every team but in the playoffs many teams have talent and sometimes role players get hot and make a huge difference in a series. Play the wrong team and one can get worn down, injured or in the case of Kadri, suspended. We can't let that happen.

Enter the trademan. Dubas has the assets, some of which we may never use. Does Jeremy Bracco have a future in Toronto ? Perhaps but is hard to see whose job he will steal. Toronto Marlies Carl Grundstrom may help but the jury is still out on whether he is ready to play fulltime in the NHL yet. While Zaitsev may get another year to prove himself due to injury last year, Gardiner needs to be upgraded. He is an offensive defenseman some teams may covet to help their powerplay etc. but some sacrifice must be made to get what we need. No one is giving away defenseman anymore. Some speak of Vancouver's  Tanev but he is injured too often and over valued by the Canucks who seem to think he will land Nylander. They can dream as Tanev  represents too much risk and will never land such a prize. I'm not even sure The Leaf's would do Gardiner straight up for him in a trade. One player they might look at is Winnipeg's Trouba or perhaps even Tyler Myers. No one knows what the price would be but it would be at least Gardiner and Brown with the possibility of Bracco or even our 2019 first rounder as sweetner. That player won't play for 4 or 5 years, if ever. If one looks at players taken from 26th to 30th in the last 10 years or more, the pickings are very slim, so you can stop howling at the moon. Dubas needs to make at least one more bold move and hope a useful Smith Pelly type player becomes available on the market before the trade deadline. He owes that to Toronto's long standing loyal fans as the horror of losing in the first round again will haunt him, Shanahan and Babcock if they don't. I just dread what could happen should we collapse in game 7... again. After all there is more to hockey than just statistics.