In a recent interview Darren Dreger asked Mike Babcock a very interesting question. When the two were talking about the Leafs looking into the free agent market and Darren asked “Does it tempt you to look outside, … to add a piece here or there … a goalie or a defenseman or what have you …?”. Babcock answered the question with “Those big pieces that the fans and media fantasize about …. are usually added when your team is ready – not when your team is growing … and we are in the growing phase.”
This answer to Dreger’s question is so intriguing because it seemed quite obvious to me that what Babcock meant by “big pieces” was Steven Stamkos. This is interesting because there has been talk all season that Stamkos could be coming back to his hometown and play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
I also understand that in the end Babcock isn’t the person who gets to make the final decision on whether or not Stamkos becomes a Leaf, but he will definitely have a big part in the decision.
This seems like a case of just bad timing for the Leafs and Stamkos to make a deal. I believe that if Stamkos were a free agent two years ago and had interest in coming home and playing for the Maple Leafs. The Leafs would have done anything possible to acquire him.
Now, I understand what Babcock is saying and completely agree with his statement that “you don’t usually add big pieces while you are still growing”. But, these opportunities to sign superstar players don’t come up everyday.
What if Stamkos does really show interest in becoming a Leaf and is willing to give up some money to play for his home team. Will that change Toronto’s management and Babcock’s mind? All of these questions regarding Stamkos and the Leafs are very tough to answer, and the only people who really needs to answer them is the Toronto Maple Leafs management.
But, whether they sign Stamkos or not I fully believe in Toronto’s management and believe they are continuing to go in the right direction.