Friday, June 15, 2007

Time For JFJ To Step Up

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

My man Tilt is back from Barcelona, so what better way to welcome him back than initiating a discussion about the rumour du jour from Toronto. Earlier this week, the Toronto Star reported that Captain Mats Sundin had signed a one year deal with the Maple Leafs - I'm sure Tilt is down with that signing - the story talked about possible free agents the Maple Leafs would be looking at...all good. The story also mentioned a rumour/suggestion/wish that the New York Islanders, having jettisoned under-achieving center Alexei Yashin, might be interested in talking to John Ferguson Jr. about the availability of defenceman Bryan McCabe. According to the Star, the Islanders have expressed interest in acquiring a veteran defenceman to bolster their blue line, especially since Sean Hill will start the season by serving a 20 game suspension.

This is John Ferguson Jr.'s chance to show that he is capable of making tough personnel decisions in order to improve his hockey team - I have talked at nauseum about my man-love for the way Brian Burke operates his hockey teams, its time for JFJ to take a page of out Burke's book and improve the Leafs through addition by subtraction. Trading Bryan McCabe makes sense on a number of levels - not the least of which being that adding $5.7 M in cap room in one of the best free agent markets in recent memory would afford him the opportunity to sign two big name free agents and turn his team's fortunes around. It is time to correct the horrendous mistake he made last summer in signing McCabe to an outrageous contract, making McCabe one of the most overpaid players in the league. Last summer, McCabe was coming off his best season setting a career high in goals scored - however, most of those goals were scored in the first half of the season and on the power play. Once teams clued in to the fact that McCabe couldn't distribute the puck from the point, they played him tight in order to neutralize his cannon of a shot - the result was that McCabe finished off the season in a scoring drought.

It is time to see McCabe for what he is:
  • an average defenceman who would be a number 3 or 4 defenceman on most teams,
  • a guy who is a defensive liability as a result of misreading plays or not anticipating them,
  • an undisciplined, selfish player who takes bad penalities (especially for retaliating) at the most inopportune times,
  • a one-dimensional player who struggles five on five and below average on the penalty kill.
When it comes to Bryan McCabe, the reality is that by season's end he was Toronto's number four (more like number 5 defenceman) - you can't pay that much money for a guy that brings so little. Toronto found out last year that defencemen like Ian White and Carlo Colaiacovo are going to be players in this league - and they have enough depth on defence to find someone to fill the role of a number six defenceman. Trading McCabe would also send a message to the rest of the team, that no one player is untouchable.

Now, the rumour has not been substantiated, but JFJ owes it to Leaf Nation to fully explore that option; at the very least, he should be exploring trade possiblities with every team in the league. Its ok to make a mistake, what is NOT ok is not attempting to rectify it. Check your ego at the door JFJ and MAKE THIS HAPPEN.

Tilt, I'm sure we'll discuss at some point today...welcome home ISH.

The NHL Awards ceremony took place last night - we'll recap them next week on Monday's edition of The Hazies. Look for Duante Culpepper too - you know he'll be there

Not much to talk about last night - chances are most of you are Red Sox fans, so the news is not worth saw it last night. Look on the bright side - at least you get to boo Barry "the asterisk" Bonds this weekend.


Texas Rangers P Kameron Loe picked up his second win of the season, pitching eight shutout innings against the Pirates in the Rangers' 6-0 win. Loe gave up five hits and three walks while striking out seven. I know its only the Pirates, but if you are 1-6 going into the game, it qualifies as a great start.

New York Yankees P Andy Pettitte pitched eight strong innings yesterday in a 7-1 win over Arizona, giving up one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Most of you probably don't like the selection - but we're taking into account that he beat an NL West team.

Boston Bruins Rookie Phil Kessel was awarded the Bill Masterton trophy yesterday, presented to the player who exhibits perserverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey - well deserved considering what the kid went through this year.

Well, we blew it last night - the day started off well with two wins, but the Sox and O's killed us last night. The total for the week stands at - $30 (not enough to make a trip to your bookmaker if you bet them). Today's suggestions:

Toronto over Washington - enough is enough...its time for the Nationals to remember that they are the Nationals - Roy Halladay goes for the Jays. Lay $100 on the Jays - $255.

Oakland over St. Louis - we'll go with Dan Haren who has been lights out this year over Looper. The Cards aren't scaring anyone this year - so you can bet Haren won't be intimidated by Pujols and company. Lay $100 on the A's - $180.

Red Sox West over Los Angeles Angels - former Sox P Derek Lowe has been great at home this year and gets the nod over Ervin Santana...the Dodgers have had their share of problems with the Angels, but we like them tonight (we always like them). Lay $100 on the Dodgers - $130.

Cleveland over Atlanta - Sabathia at home vs Carlyle...need I say more? Lay $100 on the Indians - $220.

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

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world - enjoy your weekend.

I'm Out.


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