The NHL betting experts know that the Toronto Maple Leafs are thin at center. The team’s top scorer, Phil Kessel, is a right winger who needs a center to set up plays for him. Without a quality center, Kessel is having a horrible season and the Leafs are following right along. The NHL schedule still has the Olympic break before the trade deadline, but the online betting experts know that the Leafs cannot wait that long. Toronto needs a quality center now, and there are options out there for the Leafs to explore.
Mike Ribeiro is currently with the Phoenix Coyotes, but he is probably not going to be there by the time the trade deadline comes around. Ribeiro really flourished in his days with the Dallas Stars and the Washington Capitals were looking forward to adding Ribeiro to their line-up. But things did not pan out in Washington, probably because of the presence of Alex Ovechkin, who tends to dominate the play with the Capitals. Ribeiro had a good season in 2012-13 and he could be re-energized if he were to get paired up with Kessel. The biggest knock against Ribeiro is his small stature, but he knows how to play big and he could be an asset for Toronto in the middle.
The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to have a thing for signing former Buffalo Sabres and Derek Roy has been looking for a stable home since he left Buffalo after the 2011-12 season. The betting sites think that Roy would be a good fit for the Leafs because of Roy’s ability to play aggressive in front of the net and distribute the puck to his wingers. He has a lot of speed and he can make plays when he has the room to skate. In Dallas, Vancouver and St. Louis, Roy has been relegated to the third and fourth lines where his speed is not being used to its fullest potential. As a first or second-line center in Toronto, Roy may be able to finish his career with a few productive seasons and get a chance to hear the boos of the Sabres fans a few times each season.
There is a lot of upheaval in Buffalo and there are a lot of people who think that major changes are coming to Buffalo’s roster. Some fans insist that current Buffalo captain Steve Ott is exactly the kind of gritty player that interim head coach Ted Nolan likes to have on his team, while others think that Ott’s offensive production could be an issue when it comes to signing him to a long-term deal in Buffalo. Ott could be a huge asset to the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially as a second or third-line center. If the Sabres are serious about trading away yet another captain, then Toronto should think about getting in line to pick up Ott.