Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Bag of Pucks You Say?... Well, We Can Always Use More Pucks

The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone for another year - and I'm very glad I didn't take that sick day. Although I guess I could have got some cleaning done around the house, because there sure wasn't much else going on. What where there, about 20 trades... and about 4 interesting ones. Sure glad we had 127 hours of breathless TV coverage today.

I would like to take this opportunity to jump all over Leafs' GM Cliff Fletcher though. As I understand it, he was brought in to be the saviour of that franchise - or at least the guy who righted the ship.

And what where his moves to improve the team today?

Trading Chad Kilger and Wade Belak to Florida for a 3rd round draft pick and a 5th round pick, respectively. And also trading Hal Gill to Pittsburgh for a 2nd and 5th round pick.



And that's it.

Well I'm sure they'll be contending for the Stanley Cup next year with that pair of 5th round picks in their pocket.

I really can't kill Fletcher for the Gill trade, getting anything for Gill is a huge steal - never mind 2 picks. Gill skates like a phone booth. He is the one player in the NHL who skates worse than I do - and believe me, that's hard to do.

And yeah, yeah - all of the Leafs' marketable assets had no-trade clauses but that's really all Fletcher could do? At least if John Ferguson Jr. was still there you know he would have traded 17 consecutive first-round picks for Jeremy Roenick and the DNA of Michel Goulet reconstituted in a cadaver.

And now that Marian Hossa is in Pittsburgh we're suddenly handing them the Stanley Cup? Spare me. Atlanta absolutely fleeced Pittsburgh in that trade. You want to know what Hossa's career playoff stats are, I did too - so I looked them up: 55 games played... 35 points... and a minus 9.

Well I'm convinced.

Remember that this was a guy that got shipped out of Ottawa because they couldn't win with him in the playoffs. Ask anyone who had Hossa in a playoff pool last year how they feel about him... 1 point in four games. You'll forgive me if I'm skeptical.

There were a couple of other interesting deals:
Brad Richards to Dallas (has to be the most over-rated player in the league, or at least in the top 3)
Brian Campbell to San Jose (Buffalo fans are wondering why they even bother any more)
Cristobal Huet (don't understand it and Montreal didn't get enough back)

But the last thing I'm going to do is crush a deal that didn't happen - the much talked about Mats Sundin gong-show. Mats... I'm going to be blunt, as a recovering Maple Leaf fan I still have a soft spot for you, but this is bush-league. As the kids say, what's your deal?

You profess to love the Leafs' and want to win a cup there? Well, guess what - that ain't happening any time soon. So if you love the team, wouldn't you want them to get better - even if that meant you had to move on for 3 months? Now the team gets nothing for you... and who knows, maybe you don't re-sign in the summer?

Mats, you had a chance to not only go to a contender but also give Toronto a excellent chance to improve itself. And you could have had the opportunity to go right back to Toronto after the season was over.

I understand not wanting to leave Toronto but do you think Ray Bourque wanted to leave Boston? I guarantee you he didn't. But you know what he did want to do? He wanted to win. And I promise you nobody in Boston hates Bourque because he won his cup with the Avalanche instead of the Bruins... ok, it's Boston - so maybe some of them do hate Bourque.

So what do you want to do Mats?

You obviously don't want to win more than anything. And I think that's pretty telling about a guy who's the captain of a hockey team. Loyalty is one thing - but blind loyalty to a lost cause is something else.

Now I guess you play out another year or two in Toronto and ride off into the sunset as one of the most-loved Leafs' of all time.

But they don't measure the greatest players of all-time by how many teams they played for - they measure them by how many rings they have on their fingers.


Trebor said...

I don't know much aboot this game you call hockey, but I did watch the ticker to see what some of the teams did, mainly the west.

So my canucks picked up some big guy from deadmonton (born, not playing in) and ?? doubt he'll have mcuh impact but their Def. is getting helathy and when you have luongo....greay skies are going to clear up...

Calgary from what I saw did nothing...keenan must be happy with what he has ..for some reason ?? I thought tanguay, however yous spell it, was on the next train out ???

Maybe it's an alberta thing, cause Deadmonton didnt do anything either....I can only hope that this is because of what Lowe did last year and the league banded against him and refused to even pick up the phone... ha your stuck with roloson riding the pine.

Anonymous said...

Deadmonton has nothing to sell, and no playoff aspirations. Plus I don't think other GM's have any respect for Kevin Lowe, nor do they want to deal with them.

I'm kinda glad the Flames did nothing. They're starting to gell and perhaps have some chemistry. Tanguay has been lighting it up since the trade rumours.

I agree that montreal dumped Huet, for essentially a bag of pucks. WTF. Sure it was a salary dump, but this is a team with playoff aspirations. There's gotta be someone looking for a #1 goalie that has a playoff performer for sale.

Jay Onrait's annual trade blog is a pretty good read for those interested in this great sport. It's fun to see a TSN reporter continually make fun of TSN's 24 hour a day trade coverage. I especially enjoyed his likening of John Tortorella to Barry Zuckercorn.

Good to have you back Mr. Editor.



Luke said...

Onrait's blog was pretty entertaining - I was following it most of the morning. Of course there wasn't really anything happening then.

I too am glad the Flames didn't really do anything - aside from the Jim Van Dermeer blockbuster. They do seem to be getting better at the right time - aside from last night's result.

Mitch said...

Has anyone realized that sports highlights are only available from 5am to 11am? If you work all night, such as myself, you miss the highlights each and every day. I was able to catch the last of the deadline. What was with the slow reporting this year? Seemed worse than most, the deadline was over for hours before they knew about most trades.

The penguins were the big losers this year. I was thinking a couple days ago about how well they were doing with their young, unnoticed talent like Armstrong and Christiansen. Brutal trade. I understand that the Pens must be worried about their cap space in the future with all of this talent, but I think they jumped the gun on this one.
I still can't figure out the Canadians? Lately they have been one of the hottest teams around, and suddenly they're faith lies in someone who was 'playing great,' in the AHL last week.
Would you be embarrassed to get drafted 12th overall, to be traded later for a 5th rounder, like Belak. Ferguson should be the one who is ashamed though. Good job setting up all those no-trade clauses. They are going to light up the fifth round next year though

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back Mr. Editor...did you run out of tinned peaches in the bunker?

Ummm...I was going to try and defend the whole Huet trade as a salary dump, but I can't. You are all correct, they are hot, hot, hot right now. Why would they trade their number 1 goalie and put all that pressure on Price? I boil it down to ego, Montreal thinks they can put anyone in net and win (or perhaps Huet wasn't happy and wanted out?). What did you do Montreal, what did you do?