The 2008 Toronto Maple Leafs: Where are they now?

I couldn’t help but giggle a bit when I read Danny’s post on the difference between the 2008 Leafs and the 2011 version. By all measures, the 2011 version is a much better hockey team and Burke built a team was scattered short on talent to a respectable club that appear to have a shot at the playoffs at the end of November despite a slew of injuries to key players.

By looking at the roster that was posted, I had to ask, where did all these people go?

Well, I had an hour to kill, so I looked through cap geek, Hockey Reference and a few other interweb resources to find out where all the members of the 2008 Toronto Maple Leafs ended up after their tenures ended in Toronto.


Antropov is actually a pretty good player, putting up some good numbers in Winnipeg this season splitting time between their first and second lines. He was shipped off at the 2009 trade deadline for a second round pick, that the Leafs turned into Kenny Ryan, who has just a goal in his first 13 pro games with the Toronto Marlies. Antropov went to Atlanta as an unrestricted free agent, and moved with the team to Winnipeg.


Who? Needless to say, Deveaux was probably a guy ho was never going to stick. He’s only played 22 games since the start of the 2008 campaign, and was let go as an unrestricted free agent. Deveaux finds himself with the New York Rangers now, splitting time this season between there and the Connecticut Whale.


This was an ill-advised signing by Cliff Fletcher on the first day of the 2008 free agency period. Finger signed a 4-year deal worth $14M, which, in today’s terms, is known as a “Dale Tallon special”. The Leafs have been unable to move Finger, with the team deciding to eat his salary as he plays for the Marlies. His contract expires this summer.


Hagman was one of three Leaf forwards from the 2008 team involved in the trade with the Calgary Flames that brought Dion Phaneuf to the Leafs. Not much needs to be said here, because the Leafs obviously got the better of that deal. Hagman has scored 17 goals since, and the remainder of the 4-year, $12M salary that Fletcher signed him to is now being eaten by the Anaheim Ducks, after they got him on waivers earlier this season.


How on earth… either way, Hollweg never amounted to much in Toronto and, after a brief stint in the minors, now plays in the Phoenix Coyotes organization.


Brian Burke got maximum value for Tomas Kaberle at the 2011 trade deadline, trading their all-time leading defensive scorer to Boston for Joe Colborne and a pick. Colborne leads the Marlies in goals with 10 despite currently being on the Maple Leafs roster. With the pick, the Leafs traded up to take oversized American winger Tyler Biggs, so that side of the deal has yet to be considered a steal for the Leafs. However, the Bruins got nothing out of Kaberle, who was pretty invisible in the Bruins Stanley Cup run, despite his 11 assists in 25 playoff games.

That said, for Leafs fans, it was probably pretty cool to see Kaberle lift the Cup.


Kubina was one of the “bad” deals Burke made, in the sense that a trade that earned the Leafs 51 games with Garnet Exelby cost them not only Pavel Kubina, but also the rights to Tim Stapleton, who has since become a productive two-way player with the Thrashers and Jets organization. Colin Stuart, who came over with Exelby, was later traded to the Flames for Wayne Primeau.

Either way, Kubina is now with Tampa Bay, making $3.85M to play on their third defensive unit.


Mayers was also involved in the Phaneuf deal. He finds himself in Chicago after San Jose let him go after they decided Mayers at $600K wasn’t worth it.


John ****ing Mitchell, in all his profanity-laden nickname glory, was traded for “future considerations” at the 2010 trade deadline, which has since become a seventh-round pick in this upcoming draft. Mitchell was signed to a one-year, two-way contract by the New York Rangers organization and actually has 7 goals in 14 games with the Whale this season.


Ah, I liked Dom Moore. He was on a very strong third line for Tampa Bay last season that has since struggled this season. After being traded to Buffalo by the Leafs, he bounced around Montreal and Florida before finding a home with the Lightning. What did the Leafs get for him? A second round pick in 2009, who became one of the top Leafs defensive prospects in Jesse Blacker.


Formerly a first-line winger with Toronto, “Poni” was shipped off to Pittsburgh for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula at the ’09 deadline. “Gym Tan Luca” Caputi remains in the Leafs system while Skoula has since ditched to Russia. Ponikarovsky, to his part, after a one-year deal in Los Angeles resulted in five goals, now has six so far in 25 games with the Carolina Hurricanes.


Lol. Calgary.


After being traded at the ’10 trading deadline, Stempniak was coached well enough to shoot 29.5% in Phoenix for 14 goals in 18 games before scoring no goals in 7 playoff games with the Coyotes. After scoring an admirable 19 goals last season, Stempniak now finds himself, like most former Leafs forwards, in Calgary, and has scored five goals through 22 games there.

As for who the Leafs picked up in the Stempniak trade, they got Matt Jones, who doesn’t appear to have done anything in hockey since the trade, and a pair of picks, who have since become… Petter Granberg, Daniel Brodin and David Broll. 


…There’s a Stralman 
Waiting in the sky…

Unfortunately, the best thing I could find about this one-time defensive hopeful is that I could substitute his name into a very catchy David Bowie song. Stralman was part of the “package” that picked up Wayne Primeau, but that wasn’t a huge loss for the Leafs. Seems that Columbus, who he ended up with after ditching Calgary, also didn’t want him, and he’s played a single game for the Rangers this season after signing a one-year deal worth $900K.


Remember when, at one time, there was a logjam in San Jose at the goalie position? The goalies included Evgeni Nabokov, Vesa Toskala and Miikka Kiprusoff, who I believe are all considered below replacement level just five years later. Isn’t that odd?

Toskala was traded with Jason Blake for Jean-Sébastien Giguere in what is probably considered a salary dump for both sides, and Toskala later ended up with the Calgary Flames (duh) in a trade for Curtis McElhinney. After a season in the Swedish League, Toskala now plays for his hometown Ilves. If I am reading my Finnish tables correctly, Ilves is the second to last team in the league, and Toskala is 17th out of 18 qualified goalies in save percentage (.896) ahead of just Marek Schwarz.


Ian White has sort of bounced around since the Phaneuf trade, but has found a home at least through 2013 in Detroit where he mans the second powerplay unit (he has four goals to his credit this season, not bad). White failed to stick in Calgary and Carolina and was traded to San Jose at last season’s trade deadline. At just 27, however, he is still a serviceable NHLer, one of the few on this list who still is.