Thursday, May 17, 2007

So what do the Leafs do now?

Leafs management is going to have some difficult decisions to make this summer in order to turn the teams' fortunes around. Is it time to hit the rebuild button? Do the Leafs even know how to rebuild? Or are they going to continue their gluttonous ways in the free agency market? Something has to change. If I was the owner of this organization, here is what I'd do:

1. Fire John Ferguson Jr. Then bring back Cliff Fletcher, or a GM that has balls and brains. Or, a GM who doesn't piss away young talent on aging veterans.
2. Do everything in my power to trade Bryan McCabe and shed myself of his $5.75 million salary. Leafs are currently stuck with the mindless tit for 4 more years.
3. Resign Michael Peca, and forgive him for writing checks with his mouth that his butt can't cash.
4. Resign Ponikarovsky (done) and Antropov, but not for any more than 2 million each.
5. Keep Raycroft. Second chance Motel.
6. Have one of my henchmen take Hal Gill out back and shoot him. (He takes up $2.1 million of salary space and he is sluggish.)
7. Let Jeff O'Neil retire. If he doesn't want to, let him go to UFA.
8. Definitely resign Ian White, but not for anything more than $2 million per season. Great upside to White.
9. Let JS Aubin go to UFA.
10. Resign Mats Sundin, of course. If he wants to go to a Cup contender, then I want three 1st-round picks for him.
11. If Maurice doesn't start benching the bums more often, then his ass is fired as well. I can't believe that Maurice has a Crawford Complex.

TSN put the Leafs' constant problem into perspective:

Since the Leafs were oh-so-close to making the playoffs last season, they can easily convince themselves, if not all of their fans, that tweaking their existing core is all that is needed to get right back into the playoffs where anything can happen.

That kind of sales pitch has been going on for some years now, and any shift in direction will be a departure from the tradition that has resulted in a Cup drought that now exceeds 40 seasons.


T Tags:



At May 17, 2007 at 4:06 p.m. , Anonymous Doobie said...

Meh-heh. As a Bruins fan, I snicker sarcastically at #5 & #6.

At May 17, 2007 at 4:29 p.m. , Blogger James said...

Bruins fans do not get to laugh. Any Leaf trade/UFA gaffes pale in comparison to what the Bs pulled off with signing Zdeno "Adams Apple" Chara for Lidstrom money and letting Jumbo Joe go for a bag of pucks.

Sorry, I hate to rub salt in the wounds there.

As for the who to sign/who not, personally I'd be happy if McCabe was gone forever. Gill may be slow, but he doesnt seem to the fits of idiocy that McCabe does. Plus he's cheap.

On the whole, unless there is some magic done by JFJ this off-season I think we can expect more of the same and his inevitable firing the following postseason.

At May 17, 2007 at 5:40 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

"Gill may be slow, but he doesnt seem to the fits of idiocy that McCabe does. Plus he's cheap. "

I'll give you that I suppose. In Gill's defence, he did improve drastically as the year went on.

Gad I hate McCabe. In a lot of ways he remids me of Ed Jovanovski: moments of brilliance followed by periods of brain farts and dumb penalties.
The Canucks shed themselves of that overpaid lump and brought in guys that would play Vigneault's system and PRESTO! Teamwork!
The Leafs need to go the same route somehow someday. Not since the early days of Pat Quinn and Pat Burns has the Leafs looked structured and a threat to go deep into the playoffs.
This is perhaps why it would be great of them to absolutely suck rather than barely miss the playoffs so that something drastic gets done.

At May 17, 2007 at 7:59 p.m. , Anonymous Temujin said...

Amazingly enough, the Leafs do have a good group of young players they could build a core around. Steen, Stajan, Wellwood, White... heck, even Coliacovo and that Ondrus kid make me think that the Leafs have a solid future, if those guys continue to develop.

But there are still plenty of dead weights. Much like the Canucks, it's gonna take some tough decisions before the Leafs make that next step. I wonder what the Leafs could get for Ponikarovsky and Antropov. Their values are probably as high as they are going to get.

And did you know O'Neill is only 31 years old? Yeesh, he sure plays like he's a lot older :-)

At May 18, 2007 at 12:31 a.m. , Blogger James said...

O'Neill is definitely done, sad really because of the death of his brother and all that, but this isn't a therapy group here. It's a hockey team and he can't skate worth a damn and his hands have turned to cement.

The most infuriating thing about McCabe is his ability to take a penalty at the absolute worst, dumbest, most pointless time. Gad I screamed at him the most of any player this year when watching games. His total inability to score off the point anymore makes him an utter waste of cap space. And the whole no-trade clause given to him by JFJ makes me want to tear my hair out. Rage!

I do agree the youngsters show considerable promise. Especially Wellwood, he is a treat to watch and has some excellent playmaking skills.

I guess if they get Peca back (at a decent price) Perreault will be redundant.. I like Yanic, but his goals seemed to stop after he came over from Phoenix. He has some great faceoff skills though..

At May 18, 2007 at 9:15 a.m. , Blogger jimbuff said...

Who would trade for McCabe?
He is not even worth half of what he makes.
Not even The Bruins would be that stupid ... would they?

At May 18, 2007 at 10:22 a.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Oh yeah, the Bruins would be that stupid! Maybe not as much now with their Chara commitments.

James, I feel your pains. Peca should stay, yes, but Perrault does have to go. I was watching some old Leafs games when Perrault played with them in the past and wow, he was much better back then.

I like Peca because he plays a great 2-way game. That is something the Leafs in general need to do more of.

At May 18, 2007 at 10:33 a.m. , Anonymous Doobie said...

zzzzzzzzzzz...huh? Wha? Someone say McCabe was available? We'll take him!

At May 18, 2007 at 10:36 a.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

Please take him! Please!

There are plenty of other teams out there who would take him and pay his salary.
But we'll see someone take him for more when he becomes a UFA years from now.
So JFJ did include a no-trade clause in his contract huh? FUCK!!!!

At May 18, 2007 at 12:56 p.m. , Blogger James said...

Alas, no trade, no-waive even.. 4 years to go!

We're so boned.

At May 18, 2007 at 12:58 p.m. , Blogger PPP said...

One can dream Zanstorm!


1. Already won't happen. To be fair, he has really kept from trading young talent except for the Bell deal which did not matter that much because Bell was not going to play for the Leafs.

2. In two seasons we can trade McCabe.

3. Peca has to take a huge pay cut and really, it would be stunting the development of either Stajan or Pohl.

4. Thank God that someone besides me like the Soviet Bloc.

5. Yes.

6. No, Gill is a huge reason for why the PK was not worse and he is actually probably the team's second steadiest defenceman.

7. yes.

8. White is a young Corvo. Good with the puck unless being pressured. The sooner he is out of the top 6 the better for the Leafs.

9. Yes, get someone that can take 20-30 starts.

10. Yes.

11. He played 3 lines a lot depending on who was playing well. He is about 100 times better than Crawford. I would say that his real weakness is putting the lines in the blender too often.

At May 18, 2007 at 2:14 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

"Peca has to take a huge pay cut and really, it would be stunting the development of either Stajan or Pohl."

Good point. I guess Stajan is ready for 2nd line center duty. But I'd put Peca in on the 3rd line over Pohl at this point.

"he (JFJ) has really kept from trading young talent except for the Bell deal which did not matter that much because Bell was not going to play for the Leafs."

At least the cap about forces JFJ to develop their young talent. Otherwise he'd be overspending still.

"Thank God that someone besides me like the Soviet Bloc."

That depends on the price that he will be demanding. If he wants to be a whore it wouldn't hurt my feelings to see him go.

"He is about 100 times better than Crawford. I would say that his real weakness is putting the lines in the blender too often."

I agree he is about 100 times better than Crawford, but was he really benching the fools that weren't bringing it? Or at least demoting them to the 3rd and 4th lines? I like that strategy.
I like Vigneault's style. Viggy would put Kilger on the top line on most nights the way he was playing. I like coaches that reward the good players.
Other than that I may have overshot my opinion of Maurice.
Were the players just tuning him out? I wasn't seeing a Maurice-style system out there on most nights. And giving them a day off here and there to go golfing in between losses seemed lame.

At May 18, 2007 at 3:30 p.m. , Blogger James said...

I think the best thing about Maurice is his emphasis on improving the physical endurance of the players. Sounds like their practices were beastly. Unfortunately it seems it only really helped the junior guys and the grinders - McCabe and O'Neill must have figured out a way to sneak out for a smoke during practices or something.

At May 18, 2007 at 4:23 p.m. , Blogger The KEMPNER's said...

You are correct...the Leafs need more than tweaking. They are in trouble. Raycroft needs another year. McCabe for sure over paid but that is the leafs fault...and no one would take him for that kind of $. Just like Naslund making $6 mil.

Jesse showed me this site...I have a sports blog too. I am going to add you to my blog links.


At May 18, 2007 at 4:29 p.m. , Blogger Zanstorm said...

And I will add you to mine. Thanks for dropping by!


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Waiting For Stanley was created in June 2006.