Breaking The Leafs


Thank you, Toronto.

As holders of the Toronto Maple Leaf’s (already the 3rd worst team in the NHL) 2010 1st round pick, that might be what Peter Chiarelli and the Boston Bruins were saying yesterday when they saw this.

Is it me or did Brian Burke Just completely gut his offense in order to acquire a defenseman and a goalie? Granted, an All-Star calibre d-man in Dion Phaneuf but, potentially, a fairly mediocre goaltender in J.S. Giguere. He’s posted goals against above 3.00 for the past two seasons and a saves percentage hovering right at .900.

Headed out of town are defenseman Ian White, goaltender Vesa Toskala and a shitload of points from the forward position. Niklas Hagman, 20 goals, Matt Stajan, 41 points and 26 years old. Jason Blake has under performed and Jamal Mayers is a role player but that now leaves 4 regular slots at the forward position that Toronto will need filled, either from the minors or other transactions.

Hello Jay Rosehill.

Head Coach Ron Wilson unintentionally spells out the problems for his team in the near future.

“In one fell swoop, we’ve made ourselves the youngest team in the league,” head coach Ron Wilson said. “Instead of looking back, we’re looking forward.”

Yes, Ron, by necessity. Because half of your roster is about to be populated by Toronto Marlies.

Wait, wait. You also got Fredrik Sjostrom from the flames. 46 games, 1 goal. Take a quick peek at the Toronto Roster following these trades. Looks to me like your second line right wing is now Colton Orr.

Don’t get me completely wrong, I think Dion Phaneuf is an excellent defenseman, someone the team can build around. J.S. Giguere was once an excellent goaltender and perhaps can be rehabbed. Perhaps you’re thinking you can build a team around defense and goaltending, though, if that was the case why would you center your offense around Phil Kessel and have Ron Wilson as your coach? Chances are better that they want to unleash Phaneuf as an offensive force and not worry about his shortcomings in his own zone.

One thing is certain, at $6 million a year, he better be good. Oh, yeah, Giguere makes $7 million. A lot of cap space taken up there, now, which makes this move all the more of a gamble when you think about it.

All I’m certain of is that, in the short term, this is the Leafs throwing in the towel for this season, and who can blame them? Mired at the lowest levels of the entire league all year and nowhere to go but up, Burke must be in total why-the-fuck-not mode. The best player of all ten who changed teams yesterday ended up on the Leafs. A lot of folks will say that’s how you win trades.

I’m not sure the 2010 standings will show that, however.

All to the Bruins benefit, of course.


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4 Responses to “Breaking The Leafs”

  1. Ken Socrates Says:

    P.S. Bob McKenzie briefly suggests that Dion Phaneulf might not be the best defenseman who switched teams yesterday. Ian White’s offensive numbers are comparable and he’s a +1 on a horrific team. Interesting.

  2. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    I dunno Ken. The Marlies have some fine talent waiting to make their mark in the NHL. And the Leafs stomped the Devils last night. Giguere and Phaneuf looked good. I agree that Burke is in panic mode, trying anything to make things better, but I believe that’s his only hope at this point. Toronto is a ruthless city when it comes to their Leafs being a bad team. The pressure must be brutal. I think Burke is shaking the bag and just seeing what falls out. I really hope it works.

  3. Ken Socrates Says:

    Well, there was bound to be an emotional bump from the shake up but I maintain it won’t last more than a week or so. In the long run, the team will struggle to score goals more than ever and remain at the basement level. I give full credit to Phaneuf for this, however. That’s a bit Old School right there. How To Make An Impression With Your New Team 101? Get in a fight 6 minutes into the game.

    Then again, scrapping with a shield on is about as Candy Assed as it gets, eh?

  4. Ozzy McGurt Says:

    Trust me, I’m not saying Toronto is going to make a run to the playoffs here. Like you said though, they can only go up from here. My gut (and you know what a gut I have) tells me that Giguere has plenty of game left in him. I expect a much better team finishing out this year and going in to next year.

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