Today the Toronto Maple Leafs traded forward Kris Versteeg to the Philadelphia Flyers for their first and third round draft choices. Versteeg has 14 goals and 21 assists, while playing on the Leafs third line. Versteeg was brought to the Leafs from the Chicago Blackhawks for Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico, and Phillippe Paradis. Stalberg has 8 goals and 9 assists with the 12th placed Blackhawks, but DiDomenico and Paradis are still prospects in Chicago’s minor leagues and have yet to develop. Versteeg was expected to be the winger that complimented Phil Kessel on the Leafs first line and score 30 goals this season. That was not the case as every line combination including Versteeg didn’t succeed until he settled into the third line with Darryl Boyce and Colby Armstrong. Armstrong is an overpaid free agent signing that was supposed to play on the Leafs second line.
The draft choices that the Leafs will receive sound good as they are first and third round picks, but in reality the first rounder will probably be in the bottom 5 selections in the first round and the third will be at the end of the third round as well. The Flyers are currently in line for the 29th pick of the first round and the second last pick in the third round, but with Versteeg adding depth to their third line the Flyers will likely climb into the top spot in the league, win the President’s Trophy, and get the 30th overall pick for the Leafs. The Leafs basically got a glorified second and fourth round pick.
Ron Wilson has to be fired because he can’t get highly skilled players like Versteeg and Kessel to score and perform to their full potential. If these kind of trades continue Brian Burke might also need to be out of the front office.