How Hard Is Hockey? [Updated!]

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It’s that time of the year again. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in the midst of yet another playoff run, while the Stanley Cup is back in its usual place, hanging off the mantlepiece in the hockey-loving home of the Toronto Blue Jays.

But now that the Toronto Raptors have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, there’s a significant gap in the lineup. With the exception of Frederik Andersen and a few other starters, most of the Leafs’ roster is either hurt or suspended. That has left a lot of open spots for other teams to exploit. One potential target for the Maple Leafs is Carter Hart, their starting goaltender who many feel is a good fit for the backup role.

Hart has a respectable 3.13 goals-against average and.882 save percentage in his first year as a professional netminder. He’s also a proven playoff performer, having backstopped the Windsor Spitfires to a Memorial Cup championship last year. So if the Maple Leafs think they can get something in return for him, they may have to make a trade to make it happen.

But what exactly are they getting in return for their netminder? Let’s take a quick look at the different categories Hart could be put in for sale and what they mean. (more…)

Power Forwards

If you’re looking for a gritty two-way forward who can chip in some goals and some assists, then you might want to take a look at Carter Hart. The six-foot-two, 190-pound center has 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points in 66 games this season for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. He also has five goals and two assists for seven points in 11 playoff games.

Hart is a natural hat-trick scorer. He can be used in a variety of ways by a hockey club, including as a top-six forward, a bottom-six center or even a top-nine forward. In other words, he’s a versatile power forward who can contribute in many different ways.


One of the primary purposes of a prospect would be to provide additional young talent to a team in exchange for something of value. Teams sometimes will negotiate a contract extension with a player’s parents or guardians prior to a trade being completed, especially if they perceive the talent to be reaching the end of their respective junior careers. In that instance, the player would become an additional piece in the deal rather than a prospect who can eventually take the place of someone in the lineup.

Many believe that the NHL will expand its current group of playoff teams by one or two teams in the near future. If that’s the case, then there will be a significant amount of uncertainty as to which teams are going to be in and out of the playoffs. As a result, there will be lots of opportunities for GMs to make deals that can help them in the short term, but perhaps more importantly, in the long term.


If you’re looking for some reliable defensemen who can contribute in a variety of ways and take some of the stress out of the coach’s lineup decisions, then you might want to take a look at Carter Hart. The Spitfires’ 21-year-old blueliner has proven to be quite the all-round defender this year, finishing with 13 goals and 45 assists for 58 points in 66 games. He also has 20 goals and 43 assists for 63 points in 67 playoff games. (more…)

As mentioned above, many teams will be vying for the right to go to the playoffs, so there will be lots of opportunities to acquire quality defensemen who can help in a variety of ways. Moreover, teams are always looking for additional defensive support, particularly in the playoffs, so make sure you don’t miss out on a chance to grab one of these valuable assets.


As is the case with defensemen, many teams will be looking to upgrade their goaltending, either through free agency or via a trade. Although the Toronto Maple Leafs have Andersen and Curtis Joseph, who finished the season between the pipes for the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins, respectively, the position has been a sore spot for them. (more…)

Andersen has been the subject of considerable trade rumors this year, including being linked to the San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames. Joseph finished the season between the pipes for the Penguins and the New York Islanders, appearing in 41 games (35 starts) with a 3.16 goals-against average,.899 save percentage and six shutouts. (more…)

Hockey Intelligence

If you’re looking for an intelligent hockey executive who can find the best possible deal for you in a trade, then you might want to take a look at Ross Gorczyca. The 27-year-old Gordie, as he is known in the hockey world, is the vice-president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers. As the former general manager of the Owen Sound Attack, he helped the team win the 2001 Calder Cup championship. (more…)

Gorczyca was instrumental in bringing Connor McDavid back to the Attack for the 2016-17 season. McDavid, the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, had requested a trade to the Oilers after the Chicago Blackhawks cut him from their training camp. He ended up playing for the Attack that season, totaling 49 goals and 94 points in 47 regular season games, and 27 goals and 47 points in 24 playoff games. (more…)

Power Play Scorers

If you’re looking for a sniper who can add some extra oomph to your power play, then you might want to take a look at Carter Hart. The centreman recorded 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 66 regular season games this year for the sixth-place Windsor Spitfires. He also had three goals and five assists for eight points in 11 playoff games. (more…)

Hart is one of the best pure scorers in the OHL. His dad, Keith, is the former head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, while his brother, Dylan, plays for the Calgary Flames. So it’s no surprise that scoring is in their blood.


One of the main purposes of a prospect is to provide additional young talent to a team in exchange for something of value. Much like defensemen, many teams will be looking to make a deal and upgrade their forward group with a bit of prospect depth. (more…)

Some of the top prospects include Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Charlie McAvoy, Mathew Barzell, Kevin Labanc and many more. The Toronto Maple Leafs have accumulated a lot of talent in their system over the years, and it’s paid off with Matthews’ and John Tavares’ recent successes. Keep an eye out for these players as they reach the end of their respective junior careers and see what kind of offers you can get for them.

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