Last week, I suggested the Maple Leafs should trade star blue-liner Tomas Kaberle if they want to speed up the rebuilding of the franchise.

But Kaberle isn’t the sole member of the current roster who should be shipped out.

In fact, with 10 players scheduled to be unrestricted free agents this summer, Toronto GM Brian Burke will face a slew of difficult decisions on who to keep past the March 3 trade deadline.

Here’s one soul’s opinion on what the Leafs ought to do with their prominent pending free agents:

Alexei Ponikarovsky:
He’s second on the team in goals and could set a new personal best in that regard this season. But he’s also one of Toronto’s streakiest players — he’s gone goalless in at least four straight games on four different occasions this season — and other than Kaberle, he could get the best return of any Leaf.


Matt Stajan:
Stajan also is streaky —he had a 10-game scoreless skid and a 12-gamer before that — and simply isn’t the front-line centre team management hoped he’d become. Time to cut ties.


Lee Stempniak:
One of the Leafs’ nicest guys, Stempniak takes heat mainly for his whopping $3.5 million annual salary. If Burke could re-sign him for a million or two less than that, that would be reason to keep him. But Stempniak could also help a playoff team’s scoring depth.

KEEP HIM, but only if the price is right.

Wayne Primeau:
He’ll be 34 next year, but Primeau is a pro’s pro and won’t be expensive to re-sign. If Burke is clearing out many of the worker bee types from the roster, Primeau is one he should retain.


Vesa Toskala:
What, you think there’s any hope the Leafs are keeping the inconsistent, injury-prone Toskala? Silly rabbit.

In case you missed the sarcasm, TRADE HIM — if you can sucker another team into taking him.