Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One down...but the other won't go

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

The news Leaf Nation was waiting came Tuesday morning when TSN reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs had fired GM John Ferguson Jr. and would name former Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher as an interim GM who would stay on as a consultant with the team once a permanent GM (cough cough Brian cough Burke cough cough). The announcement was good, bad and scary.

The Good
While some members of the Toronto media, most notably (but not surprisingly) Damien "the donkey" Cox were quick to call the hiring of Fletcher a mistake. This was a banner day for Cox - pointing to Fletcher's previous tenure in Toronto as proof positive as to why Fletcher is the wrong man. Cox was up to his usual tricks, pointing out how Fletcher often traded youth for established veterans as a quick fix for what ailed the Leafs. Of course, Damien doesn't mention that it was a different time, a different era, when there was no salary cap; he also neglected to mention that most of the "young guys" Fletcher traded didn't go on to outstanding careers. Never mind.

Hiring Fletcher was the best move Toronto could make at this point in time. Fletcher has proven that he can put together big trades involving a number of players switching teams - Fletcher is the one guy that can put a trade together and get the Leafs some cap relief. While everyone points to trading Sundin - don't be surprised if Fletcher manages to unload one of the overpriced, underachieving free agents JFJ signed. The most important thing for Leaf Nation is that Fletcher was pretty clear that he would make a decision within the next two weeks about what the Leafs were going to do - either look to make the playoffs or start looking to move bodies. The events of the last few days should give Leaf Nation hopes that this team can make the playoffs - if they do...who knows?

Just wondering - is JFJ's firing a sign from Hazel that she is still a member of the Nation? Was that Hazel Karma at work? Relax was just a joke.

The Bad
Maple Leafs President Richard Peddie (who should also be removed from hockey operations) announced that the organization would be looking for a GM to come in and also assume the role of President. Of course it would be too much to hope that Peddie would given the incoming President/GM full control of the team - Peddie will stay on as CEO of the team, meaning he has ultimate control. Small victories I guess...

The Scary
Peddie announced that he and sports lawyer (and grossly overtanned) Gordon Kirke would handle the search for the Leafs new GM. This is akin to Dumb and Dumber conducting the search - Leaf Nation can only hope that Larry Tannenbaum gets involved in this one and forces these two clowns to give the incoming guy the Bryan Colangelo deal. Brian Burke, Brian Burke, Brian FREAKIN Burke.

The final verdict on Fletcher will be determined in a few months - today though, it is a good day for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Under his watch, the Leafs enjoyed the prestige not seen since the days of Conn Smythe (that would be before Hazel was born) - the players liked him, the coach liked him and the city (except for Damien Cox) loved him. All he has to do to make his abbreviated tenure a rousing success is dump ONE big contract (preferrably Bryan McCabe).

Just wondering...

The Bruins dropped their sixth consecutive game to the Montreal Canadiens - the same Canadiens that lost to the Penguins minus Crosby - by an embarrassing count of 8-2 . Can any Bruins fans seriously say that the Bruins are not the Habs bitches?

The SenaTards welcomed their captain/inspirational leader/god Krusty the Klown (Alfredsson) back with another lackluster performance. The Tards were out-skated, out-worked, out-hit and were absolutely dominated by the Panthers - this time going down by a count of 5-3 loss. The people's choice, Ray Emery, was beaten five times - Martin Gerber...COME ON DOWN!

Seriously, when Tim Thomas is named as a replacement for Martin Brodeur - it ceases to be an All-Star game. Just call it what it was when it was conceived to help former Leafs forward Ace Bailey - call it a Charity Game. Every year it seems like more and more players are opting out of the showcase game.

Why is TMZ breaking news on Tom Brady's foot cast? Why is it even news TWO weeks before the Super Bowl? Are the sports books in Vegas having Brady tailed? As an aside, for those of you that watch TMZ's half hour show - doesn't one of the blonde girls sitting behind a desk remind you of Muddy Mudskipper of Ren & Stimpy? So much for the notion that only beautiful people make it on television.

A sign of the apocalypse - Eli Manning winning a Super Bowl.

The abbreviated Fletcher Era starts tonight with the Leafs hosting Ovechkin and the Caps - a good 10 game stretch would do a lot towards making the playoffs.

Florida Panthers G Tomas Vokoun made 40 saves in a 5-3 win over the Tards.

New Jersey Devils D Johnny Oduya had a goal and three assists to lead the Devils to a 7-3 pasting of the Flyers.

Nashville Predators G Dan Ellis stopped all 38 shots he faced to lead the Preds to a 4-0 win over the Avalanche in Colorado.

Vancouver over St. Louis - the Canucks have dropped a couple in a row at home, they should get things turned around against the Blues who have been struggling. Lay $100 on the Canucks - $165.

Toronto over Washington - No excuses now for the Leafs, they've got two weeks to prove they deserve to be playing in Toronto. Lay $100 on the Leafs - $125.

The three play will be updated later - thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, here's hoping things are groovy in your world.



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