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Count–Up Clock Since The Last Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup Victory.

Oh, the shame of it all, it’s been  since the Leafs last Stanley Cup victory on May 02, 1967.

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« on: December 24, 2006, 06:12:44 AM »

In many circles, a movement is afoot to try and force MLSE to dismantle and reconstruct the team using youth and selected veteran talent with the expressed intend of finishing in the bottom 1/4 of the league for a better draft position.  While this is one method of rebuilding, I don't believe it is the only method or the route that the Leafs should be taking. 


Each and every year 29 teams spend the summer at the draft and July 1st looking over free-agents in an attempt to rebuild because they did not win the Stanley Cup. Throughout a season, 30 teams are in a constant "retool" mode wondering whether to pull "the trade" in an attempt to put their team over the edge as a champion or dismantle for a run at it next year. No team ever says, "well, looks like it's time to rebuild" ... it's a process that is always in constant motion. The teams that have a better scouting department or an ambitious GM are able to minimize the downtime from playoff appearances to only 1 or 2 seasons ... or if you're Montreal you win a Stanley Cup in every decade. The playoffs are a tournament. There is no guarantee that the best team in the regular season will win the Cup, or last past the first round. So all 16 qualifying teams have an equal opportunity at the big prize, it's the team that peaks in all areas of their game that find themselves with the 16 wins needed to earn the Cup.

Some teams just got fortunate.   Buffalo and Pittsburgh are 2 teams that went bankrupt and didn't trade superstars for picks to rebuild, they did it out of necessity. The Sabres tried to put the cheapest possible team on the ice during the troubles with the Rigas family. They were always a good, tight defensive team through coaching, but luckily some key free agent signings and trades to fill out the cheap roster turned to gold with the "new NHL rules" and the powerhouse they have now exists. Granted the Sabres do have a steady diet of homegrown talent, but again it was a necessity to survive with a cheap roster to throw the players on the roster not by a rebuilding choice.  Otherwise they'd have likely been traded.

The Penguins, while no longer for sale have been in a constant state of upheaval since Mario Lemieux bailed them out. Trading Jagr for 5 picks that I don't even think are in the Pens system anymore was a desperate trade from a desperate hockey club. This wasn't a set model of rebuilding. It was survival. That the Penguins have so much talent now is a testament to futility not good rebuilding skills. It's awfully hard to mess up making a top 5 draft pick year in and year out.

Just because we as fans disagree with a method of rebuilding doesn't make it wrong or our views right.  If that were the case the NHL would have their GM's and Central Scouting polling armchair critics before drafts and as consults on blockbuster trades.  It's one thing to be a General Manager of a Fantasy League team and win your division or conference versus being a GM of an NHL franchise and working with real players and their agents.  Just because you want a trade to happen doesn't mean that another GM shares your same passion in getting a deal done.  Afterall, Pittsburgh won't be sending Jordan Staal north in exchange for Nik Antropov or Sidney Crosby for Mats Sundin.

Well I don't feel that MLSE has allowed it's general managers carte blanche to create whatever team they feel is needed to compete within the NHL during any given year.  I also don't think they've been doing that badly.  Yes, it's been forty years since the last finals appearance let alone a Cup win.  But other than the Ballard years (they've been systematically blocked from memory) the teams usually competed hard each and every night, were entertaining and the season started and ended with visions of being Cup champions.  Those are lofty goals considering a team like Columbus has aspirations of a playoff appearance.
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2006, 02:05:45 PM »

Nice, very nice write up capn...

Love the avatar...
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 04:29:52 AM »

Nice, very nice write up capn...

Love the avatar...

Thank you.   Cheesy

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Through a plethora of injuries to the Leafs core players over this season, (Sundin, Tucker, Peca, Kubina, Ponikarovsky) it would appear that MLSE is on the "rebuild with youth movement" that some are so ready to embrace.  The question now remains, it was asked for, but are they happy?  Playing just well enough to give the facade of being competitive, but not well enough to bury the win is a frustration unto itself.  So how are the fans, the fans that actually demanded this form of futility actually enjoying the games now?

A team that ices a lineup with most of, Steen/ Stajan/ Suglobov/ Wellwood/ White/ Colaiacovo/ Bell/ Newbury/ Ondrus  and rounds out the lineup with the likes of Devereaux/ Battaglia/ Pohl/ and Belak can hardly be thought of as doing anything but rebuilding. 

A team that decides to make a 4 or 5 year commitment to it's top 4 defense core with the intention of building around them on a 5 year plan can usually be considered as being in a rebuild mode.  Money aside, the 4 defensemen in question are top 4 defensemen.   Kaberle and Kubina being 1-2 in my books and McCabe and Gill being 4's.  Their age also has them still fairly young when compared to Nik Lidstrom or Chris Chelios.  Why they aren't doing better as a unit is beyond me, miscommunication is what appears to me to be the biggest problem.  Miscommunication and poor knowledge of whatever system Paul Maurice is trying to run. 

When the trade deadline looms I expect Darcy Tucker and Jeff O'Neill to be gone.  Mats Sundin will likely remain and be given the opportunity to Captain the good ship Maple Leafs through the next 4 - 5 years with the intention of his retiring a Leaf at the end. 

What MLSE does to right this ship will go a long, long way to describing once and for all to Leaf fans what they're intentions as owners actually are.  Money grabbing gate reapers or bonafide championship builders.  Time will tell.
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 05:30:47 AM »

In many circles, a movement is afoot to try and force MLSE to dismantle and reconstruct the team using youth and selected veteran talent with the expressed intend of finishing in the bottom 1/4 of the league for a better draft position.  While this is one method of rebuilding, I don't believe it is the only method or the route that the Leafs should be taking. 


Each and every year 29 teams spend the summer at the draft and July 1st looking over free-agents in an attempt to rebuild because they did not win the Stanley Cup. Throughout a season, 30 teams are in a constant "retool" mode wondering whether to pull "the trade" in an attempt to put their team over the edge as a champion or dismantle for a run at it next year. No team ever says, "well, looks like it's time to rebuild" ... it's a process that is always in constant motion. The teams that have a better scouting department or an ambitious GM are able to minimize the downtime from playoff appearances to only 1 or 2 seasons ... or if you're Montreal you win a Stanley Cup in every decade. The playoffs are a tournament. There is no guarantee that the best team in the regular season will win the Cup, or last past the first round. So all 16 qualifying teams have an equal opportunity at the big prize, it's the team that peaks in all areas of their game that find themselves with the 16 wins needed to earn the Cup.

Some teams just got fortunate.   Buffalo and Pittsburgh are 2 teams that went bankrupt and didn't trade superstars for picks to rebuild, they did it out of necessity. The Sabres tried to put the cheapest possible team on the ice during the troubles with the Rigas family. They were always a good, tight defensive team through coaching, but luckily some key free agent signings and trades to fill out the cheap roster turned to gold with the "new NHL rules" and the powerhouse they have now exists. Granted the Sabres do have a steady diet of homegrown talent, but again it was a necessity to survive with a cheap roster to throw the players on the roster not by a rebuilding choice.  Otherwise they'd have likely been traded.

The Penguins, while no longer for sale have been in a constant state of upheaval since Mario Lemieux bailed them out. Trading Jagr for 5 picks that I don't even think are in the Pens system anymore was a desperate trade from a desperate hockey club. This wasn't a set model of rebuilding. It was survival. That the Penguins have so much talent now is a testament to futility not good rebuilding skills. It's awfully hard to mess up making a top 5 draft pick year in and year out.

Just because we as fans disagree with a method of rebuilding doesn't make it wrong or our views right.  If that were the case the NHL would have their GM's and Central Scouting polling armchair critics before drafts and as consults on blockbuster trades.  It's one thing to be a General Manager of a Fantasy League team and win your division or conference versus being a GM of an NHL franchise and working with real players and their agents.  Just because you want a trade to happen doesn't mean that another GM shares your same passion in getting a deal done.  Afterall, Pittsburgh won't be sending Jordan Staal north in exchange for Nik Antropov or Sidney Crosby for Mats Sundin.

Well I don't feel that MLSE has allowed it's general managers carte blanche to create whatever team they feel is needed to compete within the NHL during any given year.  I also don't think they've been doing that badly.  Yes, it's been forty years since the last finals appearance let alone a Cup win.  But other than the Ballard years (they've been systematically blocked from memory) the teams usually competed hard each and every night, were entertaining and the season started and ended with visions of being Cup champions.  Those are lofty goals considering a team like Columbus has aspirations of a playoff appearance.

First of all I have a confession... I signed the petition to rebuild  Cheesy.  I'm not so sure that's the right answer but I do think that something has to be done!  I don't even care if they always win or not I just want to see some consistancy in how they play.  I don't get how they can be on fire for the first couple periods of a game and then in the third come out as a completely different team and throw away any chance of a win.  We have some skilled players but it seems like they're not trying very hard..maybe that isn't actually the case but that's definetely how it seems!!! 
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2007, 05:51:45 AM »

I think the current Leafs are a walking advertisement for why it's so important to draft your franchise players, especially now in the new NHL.

Star players cost a lot of money. They can tie up as much as 20% of your cap, leaving you little room for other support players of top quality. Look at the Leafs, they've blown so much money on keeping their top players, it has left them with very poor depth.

They key to building a successful (read: Stanley Cup winner) in the new NHL is to take advantage of your star players while they are young and subsequently, cheap.

The Anaheim Ducks have the luxury of lining up two Norris Trophy defencemen on their blueline because a vast majority of their forward group, players such as Getzlaf, Perry, Kunitz and Penner are young and very cheap compared to what they contribute on the scoresheet.

Likewise, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have limited time to put together solid, Stanley Cup teams before players like Crosby, Malkin & Ovechkin start to take up large amounts of cap space.

In the new NHL, you have a handful of years to go for the Cup and then your key young players start to get too expensive. That's the time to start over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs feel it is their obligation to go out and spend to the cap on players whom may not be worth the dollars they are given, or fill any sort of weakness on the team. This results in poor depth and lack of flexibility.

I will say this, the Leafs won't win a Stanley Cup until the drop down and re-surface with a future franchise player in tow. Their budget management is simply too poor to put together a solid team from top-to-bottom.

Until they learn to stop handing out overpriced contracts to popular players (Bryan McCabe and probably Darcy Tucker soon), until they keep draft picks and develop those picks into NHL players and until they learn that winning often means losing first, then they will not win the Stanley Cup.

What they are doing right now is spinning the proverbial tires. They aren't good enough to compete and don't have the prospects or cap space to move up. They also aren't bad enough to drop low in the draft to get a star player in the making. They have players who will show up from time to time to win a game to keep them out of the basement, but that's about it.

The only direction to pick right now that is responsible and practical is to rebuild.

It is time to get what they can for Tucker, it is time to allow Sundin to go and win a Stanley Cup and it is time to stop building almost exclusively via the free agency market. They have to stop trading bluechip prospects like Brad Boyes and Tuukka Rask for stop-gap solutions. It is simply not the way successful teams operate. Even if they had no plans to keep Rask, developing him into a valuable NHL asset would benefit the Leafs more via trade than shipping him off at 18 years old for an average goaltender.

Doing what the Leafs are doing is a recipe for an average team, and that's what we have. It's not good enough to be a contender and not bad enough to get the jewels of the draft. It is the worst possible position a hockey team can be in.

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« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2007, 05:00:44 AM »


Doing what the Leafs are doing is a recipe for an average team, and that's what we have. It's not good enough to be a contender and not bad enough to get the jewels of the draft. It is the worst possible position a hockey team can be in.



Generally, I would have to agree.  But better teams have shown that a strong scouting department can usually find gems that can be plucked from late in the draft and they don't necessarily need to tank it to succeed from year to year. (Detroit)  The Leafs have shored up their scouting department and I'm assuming with the intention of finding more of those gems.  One of those late round gems may actually already be in the system with young Anton Stralman being potentially hailed as the next Nicklas Lidstrom.  High expectations for a 21 year old defenseman who has yet (to my knowledge anyway) to try his game on the NA ice surface, but high potential nontheless.
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2007, 02:43:41 AM »

In many circles, a movement is afoot to try and force MLSE to dismantle and reconstruct the team using youth and selected veteran talent with the expressed intend of finishing in the bottom 1/4 of the league for a better draft position.  While this is one method of rebuilding, I don't believe it is the only method or the route that the Leafs should be taking. 


Each and every year 29 teams spend the summer at the draft and July 1st looking over free-agents in an attempt to rebuild because they did not win the Stanley Cup. Throughout a season, 30 teams are in a constant "retool" mode wondering whether to pull "the trade" in an attempt to put their team over the edge as a champion or dismantle for a run at it next year. No team ever says, "well, looks like it's time to rebuild" ... it's a process that is always in constant motion. The teams that have a better scouting department or an ambitious GM are able to minimize the downtime from playoff appearances to only 1 or 2 seasons ... or if you're Montreal you win a Stanley Cup in every decade. The playoffs are a tournament. There is no guarantee that the best team in the regular season will win the Cup, or last past the first round. So all 16 qualifying teams have an equal opportunity at the big prize, it's the team that peaks in all areas of their game that find themselves with the 16 wins needed to earn the Cup.

Some teams just got fortunate.   Buffalo and Pittsburgh are 2 teams that went bankrupt and didn't trade superstars for picks to rebuild, they did it out of necessity. The Sabres tried to put the cheapest possible team on the ice during the troubles with the Rigas family. They were always a good, tight defensive team through coaching, but luckily some key free agent signings and trades to fill out the cheap roster turned to gold with the "new NHL rules" and the powerhouse they have now exists. Granted the Sabres do have a steady diet of homegrown talent, but again it was a necessity to survive with a cheap roster to throw the players on the roster not by a rebuilding choice.  Otherwise they'd have likely been traded.

The Penguins, while no longer for sale have been in a constant state of upheaval since Mario Lemieux bailed them out. Trading Jagr for 5 picks that I don't even think are in the Pens system anymore was a desperate trade from a desperate hockey club. This wasn't a set model of rebuilding. It was survival. That the Penguins have so much talent now is a testament to futility not good rebuilding skills. It's awfully hard to mess up making a top 5 draft pick year in and year out.

Just because we as fans disagree with a method of rebuilding doesn't make it wrong or our views right.  If that were the case the NHL would have their GM's and Central Scouting polling armchair critics before drafts and as consults on blockbuster trades.  It's one thing to be a General Manager of a Fantasy League team and win your division or conference versus being a GM of an NHL franchise and working with real players and their agents.  Just because you want a trade to happen doesn't mean that another GM shares your same passion in getting a deal done.  Afterall, Pittsburgh won't be sending Jordan Staal north in exchange for Nik Antropov or Sidney Crosby for Mats Sundin.

Well I don't feel that MLSE has allowed it's general managers carte blanche to create whatever team they feel is needed to compete within the NHL during any given year.  I also don't think they've been doing that badly.  Yes, it's been forty years since the last finals appearance let alone a Cup win.  But other than the Ballard years (they've been systematically blocked from memory) the teams usually competed hard each and every night, were entertaining and the season started and ended with visions of being Cup champions.  Those are lofty goals considering a team like Columbus has aspirations of a playoff appearance.
Nice write up, cap'n but there's a few things that I must respectfully challenge.

Firstly, you say that teams don't intentionally rebuild and I say they do.  Not all the time but every trade deadline, a team must decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers.  Teams at the bottom of the standings, such as St. Louis Blues, definitely were planning on rebuilding which is why they traded away Keith Tkachuk and Bill Guerin.

Secondly, you are correct about Buffalo and Pittsburgh and how they had to rebuild out of necessity, however, how does that really change anything?  Does it matter whether rebuilding is done accidentally or by design?  The bottom line is that they rebuilt their teams and are now reaping the benefits.  If MLSE had had any foresight, they would have done the same thing by trading McCabe at last year's deadline and trading Tucker at this year's deadline.

Leafs have had more or less the same core of players for about six years.  All they have proven is that they cannot win.  Why then, must we keep them together?  Next year will be a repeat of what you saw this year.  A roller coaster season with Leafs most likely missing the playoffs again by a point or two.  This team cannot compete with the fast, young, skilled teams in the league and that is painfully obvious.  They need a transfusion of talent and they need it at all positions.  The only way to do that is to rebuild.

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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2007, 02:57:17 AM »

Thank you.   Cheesy

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Through a plethora of injuries to the Leafs core players over this season, (Sundin, Tucker, Peca, Kubina, Ponikarovsky) it would appear that MLSE is on the "rebuild with youth movement" that some are so ready to embrace.  The question now remains, it was asked for, but are they happy?  Playing just well enough to give the facade of being competitive, but not well enough to bury the win is a frustration unto itself.  So how are the fans, the fans that actually demanded this form of futility actually enjoying the games now?

A team that ices a lineup with most of, Steen/ Stajan/ Suglobov/ Wellwood/ White/ Colaiacovo/ Bell/ Newbury/ Ondrus  and rounds out the lineup with the likes of Devereaux/ Battaglia/ Pohl/ and Belak can hardly be thought of as doing anything but rebuilding. 

A team that decides to make a 4 or 5 year commitment to it's top 4 defense core with the intention of building around them on a 5 year plan can usually be considered as being in a rebuild mode.  Money aside, the 4 defensemen in question are top 4 defensemen.   Kaberle and Kubina being 1-2 in my books and McCabe and Gill being 4's.  Their age also has them still fairly young when compared to Nik Lidstrom or Chris Chelios.  Why they aren't doing better as a unit is beyond me, miscommunication is what appears to me to be the biggest problem.  Miscommunication and poor knowledge of whatever system Paul Maurice is trying to run. 

When the trade deadline looms I expect Darcy Tucker and Jeff O'Neill to be gone.  Mats Sundin will likely remain and be given the opportunity to Captain the good ship Maple Leafs through the next 4 - 5 years with the intention of his retiring a Leaf at the end. 

What MLSE does to right this ship will go a long, long way to describing once and for all to Leaf fans what they're intentions as owners actually are.  Money grabbing gate reapers or bonafide championship builders.  Time will tell.
Again, I must respectfully disagree.

Every team brings along young players in their lineup (more so these days due to the salary cap) so simply because Leafs have a few kids in the lineup does not mean they are rebuilding.

Rebuilding teams do not give out ludicrous contracts to 30-something players.  The only reason JFJ locked up McCabe, Kaberle, Kubina, and Gill is because he thought this team can compete for a Cup in the next 4-5 years.  He didn't do it as a rebuilding move.  A rebuilding move would have been to trade McCabe at last year's deadline.  A rebuilding move would have been to forego signing big name free agents over the summer and let the kids fight it out for spots on defense.  A rebuilding move would have been to hang on to top goaltending prospect Tuuka Rask instead of trading him for a gamble.

Sorry cap, the definition of "rebuild" (according to Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary) is as follows:
1 a : to make extensive repairs to : RECONSTRUCT <rebuild a war-torn city> b : to restore to a previous state <rebuild inventories>
2 : to make extensive changes in : REMODEL <rebuild society>
intransitive verb : to build again <planned to rebuild after the fire>

Did Leafs make "extensive repairs"?  No
Did Leafs "reconstruct" anything?  No
Did Leafs make "extensive changes" or "remodel" their team?  No
Did Leafs build their team again after a fire (sale)?  No

How then can anyone say they are rebuilding?  They are not rebuilding.  They are simply following due process with the young guys in the lineup and locking up veterans for a fantasy Cup run.  In reality, they are neither rebuilders nor contenders.  They are neither here nor there.  They are stuck in the middle of nowhere without a plan and without direction.  Mediocrity at its finest.   Sad
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2007, 03:21:51 AM »

Don't make me think of a response!   Grin


Again, I must respectfully disagree.

Every team brings along young players in their lineup (more so these days due to the salary cap) so simply because Leafs have a few kids in the lineup does not mean they are rebuilding.

Rebuilding teams do not give out ludicrous contracts to 30-something players.  The only reason JFJ locked up McCabe, Kaberle, Kubina, and Gill is because he thought this team can compete for a Cup in the next 4-5 years.  He didn't do it as a rebuilding move.  A rebuilding move would have been to trade McCabe at last year's deadline.  A rebuilding move would have been to forego signing big name free agents over the summer and let the kids fight it out for spots on defense.  A rebuilding move would have been to hang on to top goaltending prospect Tuuka Rask instead of trading him for a gamble.

Sorry cap, the definition of "rebuild" (according to Merriam Webster's Online Dictionary) is as follows:
1 a : to make extensive repairs to : RECONSTRUCT <rebuild a war-torn city> b : to restore to a previous state <rebuild inventories>
2 : to make extensive changes in : REMODEL <rebuild society>
intransitive verb : to build again <planned to rebuild after the fire>

Did Leafs make "extensive repairs"?  No
Did Leafs "reconstruct" anything?  No
Did Leafs make "extensive changes" or "remodel" their team?  No
Did Leafs build their team again after a fire (sale)?  No

How then can anyone say they are rebuilding?  They are not rebuilding.  They are simply following due process with the young guys in the lineup and locking up veterans for a fantasy Cup run.  In reality, they are neither rebuilders nor contenders.  They are neither here nor there.  They are stuck in the middle of nowhere without a plan and without direction.  Mediocrity at its finest.   Sad
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It's one thing to carry along a few kids on the roster ... it's entirely another thing altogether to comprise most of your team.  I realize this was not by design either.  It kinda happened, but how old do you think  Stajan, Wellwood, Steen, Raycroft, White, Colaiacovo, Newbury, Ondrus, and Williams are?  That is almost half of a roster that only maybe saw a handful of games ... if that ... together.  But in the flurry of games to the end ... it was the kids that were eating up the ice time and providing the scoring.  It was Stajan and Steen leading the way.   Don't be blinded .... if all you see is Ovechkin and Crosby no Leaf will ever be good enough.  Don't blame me as having Blue and White goggles on either ... if someone sucks ... I agree they suck ... but I also give them their credit when it is due.

Why did Pittsburgh trade for Gary Roberts and resign Mark Recchi?  A veteran presence combined with youthful exuberance is a key to success.  Too much or too little applied at the wrong time and it all blows up. 


Now,

Did the Leafs make "extensive" repairs?  you say NO ... I say yes ... a goalie was obtained, a core of defense that WAS to be the envy of the league was signed on a 4-5 year plan, a new coach and vision was brought in, scouting department upgraded.... just because the repairs weren't the ones you wanted doesn't mean they weren't done.

Did the Leafs "reconstruct" anything?  you say NO ... I say yes  ... the scouting department was reconstructed, the coaching department was reconstructed .... moves that take time to show any significant differences

Did the Leafs make "extensive changes" or "remodel" their team? you say NO ... I say yes  .... Tie Domi was bought out, Ed Belfour let go, Aki Berg gone.  Tie was the face of the Leafs in Toronto along with Mats ... letting him go means pushing the youth to be the face of the team.  That's a remodel job ... maybe only a little drywall and taping but it was done ... and again, maybe not what you were looking for but the moves were there.

Did the Leafs build their team again after a fire (sale)?  you say NO .... I say ...... no ... I agree with you there.   Wink  .... but did they need to?  You alluded to St. Louis  ... a decision based on a cap related issue and not what to get nothing for a player that just sucked you dry on a (hot)dog of deal isn't a rebuild either. 

You mentioned Tuukka Rask .... he was drafted by us ... but have you talked to his agent?  Was Rask willing to sign with us, was he willing to come over and play for the Marlies to learn the North American game?  I don't know the answer, but Pogge did sign and did play for the Marlies.  While Rask was traded as an unsigned prospect, who to the best of my knowledge ( I can't find record of it) has yet to sign a contract with the Bruins.  Failure to do so puts him back in the draft this summer.  For ALL we know, the Leafs saw this coming and traded him away for something instead of losing to the draft (or wonky fax machine)

"The Leafs need a transfusion of talent":  I can agree somewhat to that ... but what you are calling mediocre now may be called worse if they finish dead last to obtain a much coveted top 5 pick.  But why can't they try trading up?  A team that has so many UFA's and RFA's this season, again, that they don't have to resign.  We don't know what moves will be made ... but it's the assumption of nothing that has be determined.  Maybe so,  ... so you play with the hand your dealt. 

A winning poker player isn't necessarily holding the best hand.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 06:19:49 AM by Capncrunch44 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2007, 06:52:54 PM »

It's one thing to carry along a few kids on the roster ... it's entirely another thing altogether to comprise most of your team.  I realize this was not by design either.  It kinda happened, but how old do you think  Stajan, Wellwood, Steen, Raycroft, White, Colaiacovo, Newbury, Ondrus, and Williams are?  That is almost half of a roster that only maybe saw a handful of games ... if that ... together.  But in the flurry of games to the end ... it was the kids that were eating up the ice time and providing the scoring.  It was Stajan and Steen leading the way.   Don't be blinded .... if all you see is Ovechkin and Crosby no Leaf will ever be good enough.  Don't blame me as having Blue and White goggles on either ... if someone sucks ... I agree they suck ... but I also give them their credit when it is due.
It's not only about age, it is about quality.  I am not looking only at the Ovechkins and Crosbys, I am looking at the Parises, the Lecavaliers, the Higgins, the Savards, the Spezzas, the Staals, the Malkins, the Vaneks, the Stastnys, the Bergerons, the Gagnes, the list goes on and on and on.  Young guys that can carry their team on their backs.  Every team seems to have at least one except Toronto.  The Leafs you mentioned above are not that type of player.  Stajan is going to be a career 3rd/4th liner, Wellwood has a chance to be a good 2nd liner, Steen has the most potential and can see him on the 1st/2nd line.  White and Colaiacovo are top 4 defensemen and that's great but we need more than that.  Raycroft?  Are you kidding me?  What you see is what you get with Razor.  He didn't steal one measly game for Toronto last year, and without a guy that can do that, no team wins a Cup, or even gets close.  Newbury and Ondrus are career AHLers and will play a very limited role with the big club.  Williams has an outside shot at being a 2nd liner but will he get that chance in Toronto?  Doesn't seem that the current coaching and management have enough faith in him.
Why did Pittsburgh trade for Gary Roberts and resign Mark Recchi?  A veteran presence combined with youthful exuberance is a key to success.  Too much or too little applied at the wrong time and it all blows up. 
Of course a veteran presence is required.  I never said it wasn't.  You need a good mix of youth and veterans but you have to start with the foundation.  A foundation is a core group of youngsters that can grow together la Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Malone, Whitney, Fleury, etc. The vets are there for guidance and leadership.

Now,

Did the Leafs make "extensive" repairs?  you say NO ... I say yes ... a goalie was obtained, a core of defense that WAS to be the envy of the league was signed on a 4-5 year plan, a new coach and vision was brought in, scouting department upgraded.... just because the repairs weren't the ones you wanted doesn't mean they weren't done.
Aren't repairs supposed to fix the problem?  LOL  Their defense and goaltending did not improve much from last year (if at all).  Those aren't repairs, those are band-aid solutions (and a leaky band-aid at that!).

Did the Leafs "reconstruct" anything?  you say NO ... I say yes  ... the scouting department was reconstructed, the coaching department was reconstructed .... moves that take time to show any significant differences
I'll give you that.  The scouting department was reconstructed as was the coaching department.  Now, if the ownership, management and on-ice product can get reconstructed, we can finally get somewhere!   Wink

Did the Leafs make "extensive changes" or "remodel" their team? you say NO ... I say yes  .... Tie Domi was bought out, Ed Belfour let go, Aki Berg gone.  Tie was the face of the Leafs in Toronto along with Mats ... letting him go means pushing the youth to be the face of the team.  That's a remodel job ... maybe only a little drywall and taping but it was done ... and again, maybe not what you were looking for but the moves were there.
Domi was well past his prime and even under Quinn, was not playing a significant role with the team.  Belfour too, had fallen out of favour in Toronto and looked like he was on his last legs (kudos to him for bouncing back in Florida - it's amazing what the sun and a few nudie bars can do for a 41 year old!).  Berg?  Wasn't he kidnapped or something?  Leafs would have been better off with some of those Belak clones playing defense than Aki.

All kidding aside, I wouldn't call those changes "remodelling" as much as "tinkering", or due process.  Every team makes small changes like that every year.

Did the Leafs build their team again after a fire (sale)?  you say NO .... I say ...... no ... I agree with you there.   Wink  .... but did they need to?  You alluded to St. Louis  ... a decision based on a cap related issue and not what to get nothing for a player that just sucked you dry on a (hot)dog of deal isn't a rebuild either. 
I can go for a hot dog right now.

You mentioned Tuukka Rask .... he was drafted by us ... but have you talked to his agent?  Was Rask willing to sign with us, was he willing to come over and play for the Marlies to learn the North American game?  I don't know the answer, but Pogge did sign and did play for the Marlies.  While Rask was traded as an unsigned prospect, who to the best of my knowledge ( I can't find record of it) has yet to sign a contract with the Bruins.  Failure to do so puts him back in the draft this summer.  For ALL we know, the Leafs saw this coming and traded him away for something instead of losing to the draft (or wonky fax machine)

"The Leafs need a transfusion of talent":  I can agree somewhat to that ... but what you are calling mediocre now may be called worse if they finish dead last to obtain a much coveted top 5 pick.  But why can't they try trading up?  A team that has so many UFA's and RFA's this season, again, that they don't have to resign.  We don't know what moves will be made ... but it's the assumption of nothing that has be determined.  Maybe so,  ... so you play with the hand your dealt. 

A winning poker player isn't necessarily holding the best hand.

You have a point. No one knows all the reasons behind the trade and I was even supportive of it at the time because I thought Leafs would continue making changes like that.

The old guard needs to go and a new guard has to be found using those players as assets.  That "new guard", however, cannot be constructed through free agency.  It can only be drafted or traded for.  I like the idea of trading up but that will cost Leafs one of your prized youngsters (Wellwood or Steen).  Are you willing to make that move?  It's a gamble but as far as Leafs should be concerned, they have nothing to lose because next year will be a repeat of this year.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2007, 06:55:38 PM by spinner » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2007, 02:50:48 AM »

I'll give you that.  The scouting department was reconstructed as was the coaching department.  Now, if the ownership, management and on-ice product can get reconstructed, we can finally get somewhere!   Wink

I can go for a hot dog right now.    Tongue

You have a point. No one knows all the reasons behind the trade and I was even supportive of it at the time because I thought Leafs would continue making changes like that.

 Shocked

We almost have an agreement .... lol

Maybe Keith Tkachuk should have had a few less of those hotdogs.

Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur are rare goaltenders ... meaning they were good from their first game in the league and maintained it throughout their careers.  You could even add Ed Belfour to this mix as well, but he had several "off" seasons where Roy and Brodeur were good throughout.

Domenic Hasek entered the NHL as a 27 year-ol goalie with the Blackhawks ... and he was terrible.  Terrible enough to be traded to the Sabres where he was terrible there his first season ... but then at the age of 30 he found his game.

Curtis Joseph started his career as a 22 year old with St. Louis.  He also started off slowly and at 25 found his game after his 3rd season of pro and went on to do really well.

Mikka Kiprusoff joined the SJ Sharks as a 24 year old and spent 3 seasons as a back up losing as many as he won.  Traded to Calgary he found his game at the age of 27 and has played very well the last 3 seasons as a Flame.

Andrew Raycroft played his first full season of pro as a 23 year old.  Missed a year due to lock-out and spent his 2nd year of pro recovering from injuries and confidence problems.  Traded, he spent the first half season as a Leaf learning new teammates and coaches and played really well down the stretch.  Fatigue showed through in the final week as Maurice worked him like a rented mule.  Andrew will campaign next season as a 26/27 year old ... the age at which "average" goaltenders mature and find their game to become "better" goalies.

Both Hasek and Joseph didn't fare too well in the first season after a trade.  Hasek to Buffalo and Joseph to Edmonton.  Whereas Kipper was the opposite in that the trade sent him to a team that played better defensively so he was able to make more saves and win more games so therefore become better. 

I believe we will be just peachy with Razor tending the twine. 
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 01:05:51 AM »

Shocked

We almost have an agreement .... lol

Maybe Keith Tkachuk should have had a few less of those hotdogs.

Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur are rare goaltenders ... meaning they were good from their first game in the league and maintained it throughout their careers.  You could even add Ed Belfour to this mix as well, but he had several "off" seasons where Roy and Brodeur were good throughout.

Domenic Hasek entered the NHL as a 27 year-ol goalie with the Blackhawks ... and he was terrible.  Terrible enough to be traded to the Sabres where he was terrible there his first season ... but then at the age of 30 he found his game.

Curtis Joseph started his career as a 22 year old with St. Louis.  He also started off slowly and at 25 found his game after his 3rd season of pro and went on to do really well.

Mikka Kiprusoff joined the SJ Sharks as a 24 year old and spent 3 seasons as a back up losing as many as he won.  Traded to Calgary he found his game at the age of 27 and has played very well the last 3 seasons as a Flame.

Andrew Raycroft played his first full season of pro as a 23 year old.  Missed a year due to lock-out and spent his 2nd year of pro recovering from injuries and confidence problems.  Traded, he spent the first half season as a Leaf learning new teammates and coaches and played really well down the stretch.  Fatigue showed through in the final week as Maurice worked him like a rented mule.  Andrew will campaign next season as a 26/27 year old ... the age at which "average" goaltenders mature and find their game to become "better" goalies.

Both Hasek and Joseph didn't fare too well in the first season after a trade.  Hasek to Buffalo and Joseph to Edmonton.  Whereas Kipper was the opposite in that the trade sent him to a team that played better defensively so he was able to make more saves and win more games so therefore become better. 

I believe we will be just peachy with Razor tending the twine. 
I hope you're right but my gut tells me otherwise (or is that just another hot dog craving?).
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2007, 03:40:32 AM »

Hmmm .... I've switched to cheeseburgers.
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2007, 03:12:21 PM »

No professional players should have "confidence problems" especially at this stage. A year or so maybe but thats it. He is doing nothing prove that he is not a stinker.

The problem is the plan, long and short term. What plan do the Leafs and JFJacker have? They have shown no signs that they want to rebuild, or at least do it well with trading good prospects and trading draft picks. and they have shown no sigs of making this team a current contender for anything- the cup, the conference, the division- take your pick....they sound like the Leafs of the last how many years that just float around the middle all ho hum. And then all we get is "drink tea" "everything is fine" "we might make the playoffs". Now theyve reduced Leaf nation into thining that making the playoffs alone is a great accomplishment and that that is all we should be looking forward to. Screw these head office guys and JFJacker, Mr. I don't know what I'm doing as a GM if my life depended on it. Washed up goalies, drunkards, trading away 1st rounders, trading away top prospects and at the same time not addressing current needs at the  moment?  Evil Evil Angry Evil I thought this organization would've learned after bums like Babcock.
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2007, 02:17:19 AM »

I'm not sure if you said anything there.   Undecided  .... certainly nothing to facilitate a discussion  Huh
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