Looking at the 2011/12 Offseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs (Part 1)

By Jeff Zeffer

It is hard to believe that the summer is almost done and pre-season hockey is just around the corner. The Toronto Maple Leafs have made some significant moves this offseason. Just to give you a brief overview of them; we signed Tim Connolly to a 2 year deal worth $4.75 million dollars per year. Clarke MacArthur was resigned to a two year deal worth $3.25 million per year. A 2nd round draft pick was traded for defenseman John-Michael Liles. Lastly we trade Brett Lebda and a nobody prospect for the services of Matthew Lombardi and youngster Cody Franson.

Now I will give you a look at was Brian Burke and the Maple Leafs will be facing next offseason in a two part blog.

Jonas Gustavsson – His 3 year deal runs out at the end of this coming season. Now in my opinion Gustavsson will never amount to the role of a starting goalie, so I’m predicting that Jonas will not be resigned by the Maple Leafs. Therefore depending on how James Reimer performs in is #1 starting role this season, will depict whether Brian Burke needs another goalie who can carry 50% of the work load, or signing someone who is a pure backup goaltender.

Nikolai Kulemin – Kulemin will be the most coveted player for next off season that Brian Burke has to sign. Lucky for us fans, Kulemin is an RFA which means it is almost certain that Kulemin will be playing with the Maple Leafs for the 2012/13 season. What made Kulemin such a coveted player for the Maple Leafs were his 82 game performance last season, where he improved on his sophomore numbers by scoring 30 goals and recording 57 points.

Mikhail Grabovski – Grabovski came back for a disappointing 59 game, 35 point season in 2009/10. To a much improved and impressive 81 game, 58 points in 2010/11. If Grabovski can put up a 60 point performance this season, this should force Brian Burke to go into the bank and give Grabovski more than $2.9 million per year.

Next blog I will be looking at all the Maple Leaf defenseman who will be a UFA or RFA after the 2011/12 season.

Make sure to follow me on twitter @thejazlive

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