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VSN Presents: Trading Toronto


Doomsday
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Two short weeks ago, I covered trades made over the off-season, including one by the Toronto Legion, who were gearing up for a run at the Continental Cup behind General Manager Rylan Peace @Peace. At first, it certainly seemed to be working well. The Legion were near the top of the conference, in spite of the fact that seemingly most of the VHL is making a run this year. Yet, it appears that instead of breaking out of the funk Toronto has suffered through this decade, Peace decided once again to pull the plug early in the season, trading their way back to the bottom of the North American Conference. What happened? Why is Toronto rebuilding again, just after making a push to contend this off-season? Perhaps by reviewing the transactions, we can find the reason for Trading Toronto. 

 

But first, let's take a long at the quality content being produced here at VSN! The newest addition to the VHL family, Victory Hockey League Europe, is almost here! Join @Bobo as he sits down with the new commissioners and general managers of the VHLE for an interview you won't want to miss! @Alex_J32 is back with an updated power rankings tracker for the VHLM, and he recaps the award races in both the VHL and VHLM in what was a very busy week for him! Lastly, if you missed the Season 79 Off-Season Trade Reviews, which are mentioned throughout this article, you have some required reading to do!

 

A Sit-Down With the New VHLE GMs and Commissioners | S79 VHLM Power Rankings Tracker | VHL and VHLM Mid-Season Awards Race | Season 79 Off-Season Trade Reviews

 

August 3rd, 2021 marked the day in real time that the Toronto Legion made the first step towards their rapid re-entry into rebuilding, as their first trade flipping the current roster was announced:

 

:tor: Toronto Legion Receive: :tor:

 

S81 MAL 2nd

S80 MAL 2nd

S81 MAL 1st

 

:mal: Malmo Nighthawks Receive: :mal:

 

Scotty Kaberle

 

 

Drafted by Toronto with the 11th overall pick in the Season 75 VHL Entry Draft, Scotty Kaberle @fromtheinside has been a dependable presence for the Legion over his career, now in his final season before regression. If Rylan Peace decided that contention just wasn't going to happen, moving Kaberle in his prime makes a ton of sense. He's meant a lot to this team, but wouldn't fit into the timeframe of a rebuild at this point. For the Malmo Nighthawks, who have gone from sneaking into the playoffs to running away with the European Conference, it's a big acquisition. Kaberle immediately became the top defenseman on the roster, and he's signed for the rest of his career, giving Malmo tremendous security. If Kaberle can return to his previous activity, this is a trade that Christopher James @hylands will never regret making. Toronto, on the other hand, begins the overhaul by adding Malmo's S80 2nd, along with their first and second in S81. All three of those picks should yield quality prospects, or at the very least, provide valuable capital on more trades. Exactly where you want to start on a rebuild. 

 

The next day, August 4th, saw Toronto completely commit to the rebuild, making four trades to cement their new direction. The first move saw the Legion move one of their newest acquisitions over the off-season:

 

:tor: Toronto Legion Receive: :tor:

 

S80 MOS 1st

S81 MOS 2nd

 

:mos: Moscow Menace Receive: :mos:

 

Aurelien Moreau

 

 

Toronto paid quite a substantial sum to the Helsinki Titans in a trade this off-season that brought in Aurelien Moreau @Frank and Vick Fairchild @GreenGato, the biggest part being Toronto's S81 1st round pick. That's hardly a desirable position for a now-rebuilding team to have, as it now seems very likely that pick will be a lottery selection, albeit for someone else. However, in a surprising development, Peace is able to acquire picks from another team, the Moscow Menace, who are a young team themselves. With the European Conference being as tight as it is, Euron Leonidas @Spartan decided to roll the dice and trade his S80 1st and S81 2nd for Moreau, giving his defensive core a massive boost. Moscow is currently eleven points out of a playoff spot, and very possibly could lose out on a lottery pick, but it's no issue to Leonidas, who feels he's added the last piece to his roster in Moreau. All this Menace team needs now is time for some of their younger players, such as goaltender Papa Emeritus @Beketov, to develop. Toronto gains a potential lotto pick for the upcoming draft, and another useful 2nd round pick in S81, but they're just getting started:

 

 

:cal: Calgary Wranglers Receive: :cal:

(looks like the new logo needs a forum emoji)

 

Sirkants Klamasteris

 

:tor: Toronto Legion Receive: :tor:

 

ClapbombsRUs

S80 CGY 2nd

S81 CGY 2nd

 

 

Franchise netminder Sirkants Klamasteris @hedgehog337 is on the move to the Calgary Wranglers, as they acquire a goalie capable of keeping them in the playoff hunt. In his last season before regression, Klamasteris doesn't fit into Toronto's new plans, and they're able to grab some draft capital in the process. Two second round picks isn't a bad price to pay for an aging goaltender for Kris Rice @Ricer13, and Peace is able to get a goaltender in ClapbombsRUs @ClapbombsRus to bravely suit up for the tough season ahead of them. Calgary has Alex Parise @Joker_TM down on the farm, which sets them up nicely for when it's time for Klamasteris to hang em up. Toronto now only has ClapbombsRUs as the only netminder in their system, and with a deep crop of goaltenders in the Season 80 VHL Entry Draft, Peace will certainly make a play for one of them now. With three S80 first round picks, Toronto has the capital to do so, but they're not done yet:

 

 

:dav: HC Davos Dynamo Receive: :dav:

 

S81 TOR 4th

Addison McLaren

 

:tor: Toronto Legion Receive: :tor:

 

Jakub Brozik

S81 DAV 1st

S81 DAV 3rd

 

 

Jerry Garcia @GustavMattias and the HC Davos Dynamo are on their way to reaching the playoffs for the first time since Season 73, and their first series victory since Season 66. To help their odds, they've taken advantage of the situation with Toronto and added Addison McLaren @tcookie, a dangerous scoring threat the Legion acquired through a trade with the Riga Reign last season. His work ethic appears to have majorly dropped off, and he's signed through Season 80, but for a team that needed players to compliment Taro Tsujimoto, McLaren definitely fits the bill, especially if he can return to form. For Peace and the Legion, they now have two S81 first round picks, and they also added a prospect to keep an eye on in Jakub Brozik @Viper, who could certainly become a big part of Toronto's rebuild if he continues to develop down on the farm. The Legion do have one last trade to cover, however:

 

 

:nya: New York Americans Receive: :nya:

 

Phoenix Dawson

S81 DAV 3rd

 

:tor: Toronto Legion Receive: :tor:

 

Aldwin Craig

S80 WAR 2nd

S81 NYA 2nd

 

After being acquired in a trade with the Seattle Bears in Season 77, Phoenix Dawson @Toast appeared to be breaking out in Season 79 for the Toronto Legion, playing by far the best hockey of his career as Toronto looked to be on track to reach the playoffs. Instead, he'll be looking to help the New York Americans regain their former glory after being traded for the second time in his career. The play-making forward seemed to have found the scoring touch, with 11 goals in 24 games with Toronto, but has scored just four with New York, although he has assisted on 19 goals for the Americans at the time of print. Toronto gets two more second round picks, Warsaw's for the upcoming Season 80 VHL Entry Draft, and New York's for Season 81. They also added Aldwin Craig @Eldredman, whose development has been inconsistent, but could still factor into Toronto's future plans. He has scored more than double the points he did in New York in four less games, but he still has a long way to go before Craig can be considered a reliable option for Toronto. With General Manager Esso Drunkmann @Esso2264 stepping down following the season, the direction of the Americans is very much unknown, and ultimately so is Dawson's future in New York. He is signed through Season 81, so if the incoming general manager wants to retain him, it's a viable option. 

 

With the trade deadline looming, Toronto could have even more trades on the horizon. Lester Green @Smarch is the most glaring option as a S74 player and could be an attractive rental option for a contending team. However, Green has a no-trade clause, and ultimately holds all the cards with where, or if, he will be traded. Asher Reinhart @rjfryman is the most valuable player Toronto has to trade, and despite only being a third year player, I wouldn't be surprised to see Reinhart moved. He'd command a high return, and he's only signed through Season 80. It's hardly a guarantee that Reinhart would decide to re-sign with the team that gave up on a Cup chase built around him to enter another rebuild, and the Legion can basically decide to cut their losses and truly commit to the rebuild by moving a franchise player for even more picks. Vick Fairchild, who was acquired from Helsinki in the same trade that brought in Aurelien Moreau, is another quality rental option. He's signed only through Season 79, and Fairchild would be a quality depth forward for a playoff run. I get the feeling Rylan Peace will have a busy off-season in spite of all the previous trades made so far. 

 

Regardless of your feelings on whether or not it should have been done, it's happened. The Toronto Legion are rebuilding again, but how well did they do with setting up their next team? First, let's take a look at what they moved:

 

Scotty Kaberle

Aurelien Moreau

Sirkants Klamasteris

Addison McLaren

Phoenix Dawson

S81 DAV 3rd

S81 TOR 4th

 

 

Four quality players for sure, but would they have brought a Continental Cup to Toronto? It seems as if Rylan Peace thought that while they may have been able to compete, they didn't have what it took to beat the top teams consistently enough to realistically challenge for the Continental Cup. That's not to say that these are not players who can compete with a contender and one day be a VHL champion, but it would not have come assembled together as they were in Toronto. So, in order to potentially build a contender, they were shipped out to bring in the following pieces:

 

Jakub Brozik

Aldwin Craig

ClapbombsRUs

S80 MOS 1st

S80 CGY 2nd

S80 WAR 2nd

S80 MAL 2nd

S81 DAV 1st

S81 MAL 1st

S81 CGY 2nd

S81 NYA 2nd

S81 MOS 2nd

S81 DAV 3rd

S81 MAL 2nd

 

With these trades, Rylan Peace has given himself an absolute wealth of draft picks for the next two seasons. In the upcoming Season 80 VHL Entry Draft, for instance, Toronto now has three first round picks, two of which would be lottery picks if the season ended today. On top of that, however, the Legion also possess seven second round picks, meaning if they decide to stand pat with the capital they have, ten of the first 32 players selected in the Season 80 Draft will be going to Toronto. They have even more on top of that, holding two first round picks in the Season 81 VHL Entry Draft, along with another five second round picks and one third rounder. With wise drafting, the Toronto Legion will be absolutely loaded with young talent in short order, although the cap crunch that comes with building a team in this manner will be no easy task for Peace to manage. Additionally, Jakub Brozik, Aldwin Craig, and ClapbombsRUs have the opportunity now to work their way into Toronto's long-term plans, and potentially become leaders on what could potentially be a powerful cup contender... if they can manage to stay together.

 

When I first saw that Peace was blowing up another talented Toronto roster, I was skeptical at first. Seeing the moves to compete, then just suddenly give up and rebuild again... it didn't seem right. But after analyzing all the moves, all the pieces and decisions made to flip their current roster, it's become much clearer, and there is definitely a method to the madness. Peace apparently had no delusions about whether or not this team would be able to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the Continental Cup, and instead of creating a deeper hole to try to make it happen in vain, he flipped the roster and created a future that is shining ever so brightly in Toronto. Simply put, over the next two off-seasons, the Legion are going to become utterly loaded with top young talents, and will be able to develop into a powerful contender. But at this point, the only question left is, can Rylan Peace keep this next chapter in Toronto history together long enough for all this work to be worth it?

 

:vhllogo:

Edited by Doomsday
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I thought we had a good roster to start the season, and we did, that's why I made the moves I did to acquire the people I acquired. Toronto started off hot -- just like S78 -- and tumbled through the middle, and eventually I just got tired of having decent rosters [especially our S78 roster] just to play inadequately. It truly felt like the sim engine just had decided 'Fuck Toronto' suddenly, no other team in the league had worse RNG/'Sim Luck' than TOR in 77, 78 and the early stages of this season. I'd argue it as a fact!

Edited by Peace
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14 minutes ago, fromtheinside said:

Another reason why Dooms is the best wordsmith in the community. Such a detailed breakdown of everything that happened in Toronto, very well done my friend!


 

I can break it down quicker. Scotty fucked everything up with god damn social club. That cancerous bum I tell ya. 
 

 

 

all jokes aside hope things doing well for ya man! 

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