Saturday, June 23, 2007

Maple Leafs Better Today - But At What Cost?

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

Big day for Maple Leafs fans at the NHL Draft yesterday - John Ferguson Jr. did it again, pulling off another draft day trade sending a package of draft picks to the San Jose Sharks for G Vesa Toskala and LW Mark Bell. There are plenty of ways to look at this trade - the reaction has been swift and vocal; Hazel, if you are checking in (we hope) and you haven't had a chance to check it all out is a sample of what's being said:
  • the Maple Leaf haters like Steve Simmons and Damien Cox gave JFJ thumbs down; for those of you in New England who may not know these two - they are wanna-be Dan Shaughnessys, trying to make their living on hating the hometown team. Both have been vocal in their complaints about Ferguson trading away the future for a 30 year old goaltender who may or may not be a number one and an under-achieving winger who has off-ice issues. No surprises here - these two have been on a campaign to have Ferguson fired under the guise of "what the Leafs need to be better".

    - our view on this one is that nothing could possibly satisfy these two jokers. Going into the draft, the consensus was that outside of number 1 pick Patrick Kane and Alexei Cherapanov - this was a very weak draft with very few potential impact players. That didn't stop either of them from professing the merits of building through the draft and how JFJ mortgaged the future. Simmons and Cox talk about JFJ's lack of vision - they want him to build for the can he when they are leading the charge to have him fired? Toskala is 30, with goalies playing into their late 30s now he has 5+ good years ahead of him; Mark Bell is only 26, so he is hardly a grey beard.

  • other Maple Leafs haters are talking about how JFJ got fleeced, giving up a first and second round pick for a couple of guys San Jose wanted to get rid of anyways.

    - you can look at it that way, and it may have some merit. But let's face is what happens when you are dealing from a position of weakness.

  • some members of Leaf Nation are trumpeting this as a great move - getting a guy who can be a number one goalie and a winger who can be a 20-30 goal scorer (provided he gets his act together) for a reasonable price.

    - the thinking here is that the Leafs are much better than they were yesterday morning without giving up anyone from their roster; they are giving up a couple of players that might never make the NHL. That thought may have changed by this morning - the Sharks flipped the Leafs first round pick and got Ottawa 67s C Logan Couture (who we REALLY liked) and will be a very good player in the NHL.
Where do we stand on this one? We like the deal, and will give JFJ the benefit of the doubt. In Toskala we get a potential number one or at the very least a very capable (not outstanding) tandem which gives coach Paul Maurice an option every night - its not the best scenario, but its better than we had last year. Toskala will make $1.3M this year, when combined with Raycroft $2M+ - it is what you would pay for a decent number one it works. We'll see what kind of extension JFJ negotiates with Toskala...either way, the Leafs can afford to be patient with Justin Pogge.

This deal will hinge on how Mark Bell evolves - if he gets his off-ice issues resolved and focuses on hockey - he can be a legit 25+ goal man on Sundin's wing. We are going to look at it from a glass half full point of view - our goaltending is better, we have a potential bargain in Mark Bell at $2M/season and we gave up two players that likely would not have suited up (Leafs wouldn't have gotten Couture - and didn't have anything substantial to trade up to get him).

Now, we would really be feeling the man-love for JFJ if he managed to trade Bryan McCabe before July 1st, and find a taker for Andrew Raycroft (maybe the Flyers?) though that is doubtful, and sign Curtis Joseph as Toskala's backup. We want to think he will pull off another trade or two before training camp...if he doesn't, we'll see how this all shakes down, but we expect a better Leaf team in 07/08.

Texas Rangers RF "Skinny" Sammy Sosa hit his 601st career home run and drove in four, in an 11-3 win over Woody Williams and the Astros.

Former Dodger and current Cincinnati Reds C Dave Ross hit two home runs and drove in five, in a 16-1 romp over the Mariners on Ken Griffey Jr. night in Seattle.

Detroit Tigers P Kenny Rogers made a triumphant return to the lineup yesterday, pitching six shutout innings in a 5-0 win over the Braves in Atlanta, giving up two hits and striking out five.

One of those frustrating nights where a big favourite (Brandon Webb of the DBacks) blows it and kills the night. We wound up going 2-1 and adding $30 to the total for the week - now at +$430. Today's suggestions:

Colorado over Toronto - the Rockies lost last night, despite "Josh being Josh" (5R, 11H, 2BB in 4IP); they've been tearing the cover off the ball which doesn't bode well for Ty Taubenheim this afternoon. Aaron Cook goes for the Rockies. Lay $100 on Colorado - $120.

Houston over Texas - the Astros got smoked yesterday, so expect them to rebound with Roy Oswalt on the mound. Lay $100 on the Astros - $155.

Detroit over Atlanta - we don't expect another no-no from Verlander, but he definitely has enough to overpower the Braves...especially after they spent last night being mesmerized by Kenny Rogers off-speed stuff - Verlander's fastball will look like its coming in at over 120. Lay $100 on the Tigers - $165.

Seattle over Cincinnati - see explanation for Astros v Rangers, factor in Washburn facing Kyle Lohse and you have a Mariners' win. Lay $100 on the M's - $174.

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps, enjoy your Saturday.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

I'm Out.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Website Counter
Website Counter