Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fergie Does It Again

Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell are Maple Leafs. Cherepanov or Esposito could have been.

This would seem to be the trade that determines whether Fergie is gainfully employed in Toronto come next draft.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hockey Scribbles

- Mats Sundin is back for another year. All is right with the world.

- Next year one of Danny Briere, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Ryan Smyth or Scott Hartnell will be a Leaf, fer sure.

- Micheal Landsberg asked Fergie if he would consider signing newly freed agent Alexei Yashin. Worryingly, the Leafs' GM did not immediately say "No way in hell".

- Sidney Crosby is only a year older than me. This will never ever cease to amaze me.

- Nashville won't have the Preds much longer. Hamilton might very soon. This worries me, not only because the Leafs would have to play this very talented team at least eight times a year, and really having to play against the Sens that much is bad enough already, but seriously, Hamilton? Canada's half-hearted answer to Pittsburgh? Moving them to wilds of Kitchener is even worse, mainly because the Kitcheloo Blackberries is a name too ridiculous to talk about. Move them to the 905, I could live with that. Call them the Toronto Toros or whatever and give the rich refugees in Toronto's sprawl something to cheer for. Toronto needs another team, is what I'm saying. Sympathies to Nashville fans, who have a legitimately good team on their hands but none of the ties that kept the Penguins grounded in Pittsburgh.

- Mike Keenan is a coach again. What? Insert joke about NHL coaching jobs being like a game of musical chairs but when the music stops, nobody takes away a chair. Or even better, insert joke comparing Keenan to promiscuous girl at college frat party. Everybody gets a turn. More confusing is that it's Calagry that has dipped into the communal coach pool, a team that is good enough that they shouldn't have to make such desperate looking moves.

- Keenan's mustache is also kinda creepy, in a pedophile kinda way.

- Back to the Leafs. Here's the problem. I want the Leafs to make the playoffs because that is something they haven't done in too long now, but on the other hand, the only way Fergie will ever get fired is if the Leafs tank the season. So... make the playoffs and curse ourselves to another five years of ineffective weak-kneed GMing, or take a deep breath and hope for the worst on the ice in order to ensure the best in the boardroom.

Lates peeps,


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Oh Yeah, That Stanley Cup

Call it the Stanley Cup Final that Toronto forgot. Ottawa versus Anaheim will do that.

I'm a little late here, so you know how the story ended, and nobody should be surprised, except for Ottawa fans who were probably already planning ahead to next year when they would finally have a definitive piece of evidence to prove their superiority over the Maple Leafs - it's hard to argue with a Stanley Cup.

I think we should all agree that the better team won here. Anaheim deserved it, and now we really do know that Brian Burke is a hockey God.

Also, don't rag on Ray Emery too much, if anything he proved that he is capable of taking a team to the Stanley Cup finals. Ottawa needs to resign him.

And finally, I have a feeling that Ottawa won't be in the finals again any time soon. They had their shot, the last decade was practically building up to it in fact, and then they blew it and is this team good enough to repeat? And will the upper management be able to resist blowing up this team?

Free agency is less than a month away,


Endnote - I can't seem to reliably spell Anaheim. Thank goodness for the Google spellchecker

I Love You Dreger

Best free agent signing of last year? Darren Dreger going from Sportsnet to TSN, easily. The 'Net wasted him as a babysitter for Kypreos and Big Bill Watters, but TSN realized his true potential and gave him a megaphone to voice his previously hidden thoughts. Wouldn't you know it, the man knows what he's talking about.

Anyways, that all leads to
this. According to the Insider, there is actually a team out there crazy enough to take Bryan McCabe's contract. Crazy hockey team? We're talking about the Islanders, natch, who all of a sudden find themselves with a hella lot more cap space now that Alexei Yashin can call himself a free agent. McCabe was el capitan on Long Island once upon a time, and word is, he might be willing to waive his ironclad no-movement clause to return there (in twenty years, John Ferguson Junior won't just be remembered as the warm body who filled the Leafs' GM spot after Pat Quinn and before the man who finally ended the cup draught, no Fergie will also be remembered as the man who gave hockey the no-movement clause. Let's all say thanks for that guys).

If there is a team silly enough to want McCabe at the almost 6 mil per the Leafs are paying him, it's going to be the Islanders. Buying out Yasher with four years left on his contract might be the sign of a team finally getting its act together, or it might be be a sign of business as usual.

No offense McCabe, but you might not have noticed that there are a ton of young ankle biting blueliners in Leaf jerseys just waiting for a chance to prove themselves, and as long as long as you continue to clog up a roster spot with your sustained mediocrity, it is just that much harder for them.

Go home Bryan.


Oh wait, while we're on the topic of Fergie and the Islanders, let's mention Sean Hill. It's Fergie's contention that because the NHL let Hill play even though they knew he was juicier than a Florida orange that my Buds missed the playoffs. Don't scapegoat Hill here. If he had maybe scored the game winning goal in their last regular season meeting, well maybe there would be an argument. But as it stands, Hill is a journeyman defenseman who does not tip the balance in anyone's favour. I just wanted to make that clear.