Big changes are in store for the Maple Leafs.

That’s the opinion of ex-NHL player and coach Steve Ludzik, who thinks it’s almost time for a dramatic fire sale.

“Honestly, the Leafs aren’t going anywhere with the players they have right now,” Ludzik told me yesterday. “They’re going to have to blow this team up.”


Ludzik, a tell-it-like-it-is analyst for The Score TV network, feels the Leafs must trade for youth.

“Are you really going to win with (defenceman) Bryan McCabe?” he asked rhetorically. “Mats Sundin is still the Leafs’ best player, but he can’t win a Stanley Cup alone. These guys have to go.”

“This team isn’t close to good enough and I think (coach) Paul Maurice and (general manager) John Ferguson will sit down soon and start blowing the thing up. They need new players. Even Darcy Tucker could be traded. He’s playing well, but he wants $5 million US. Every goal he’s scoring now is probably an extra $100,000 for him. Wouldn’t you be better off to trade him for a group of less expensive, younger players who can win for you in the future?”

Ludzik also suggested the Leafs may deal goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

“They have (B.C.-born prospect) Justin Pogge in their system,” Ludzik said. “Maybe it’s time to bring him up. It would be pressing him into action, but, like I said, drastic changes definitely are needed.”

For more of Ludzik’s views, and other hockey nuggets, check out my new

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