Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Still "Heart" You Man

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

It didn't take but a few hours for the Toronto media, lead by that stinkin' curmudgeon Damien Cox, and a rather vocal faction of Leaf Nation to criticize the Silver Fox for doing exactly what he was criticized for not doing at the trade deadline - get it?

Cliff Fletcher was ridiculed for not being able to persuade any of the "Muskoka Five" (boy, that Cox is one witty guy huh?) - Sundin, Kubina, Tucker, Kaberle and Bryan McCabe - to accept a trade that would give the Leafs some much needed cap room and perhaps bring back some youth to start the rebuild. Fletcher was all but labeled a failure by Cox and his counterparts in Toronto - the prevailing "wisdom" was that the game had passed him by.

Fast forward a couple of months - Fletcher got rid of Tucker and Raycroft AND fulfilled what most of the nation felt was his mandate, trading Bryan McCabe and his $5.75 million cap hit. The pressure from the media was subtle, but tangible - Cox and company were no doubt snickering about how moving McCabe would be next to impossible and the Leafs surely wouldn't get anything of value if they did.

Well, Fletcher not only got rid of McCabe (and a fourth round pick in 2010), but he brought back a 29 year old defenceman in Mike Van Ryn - a former first round pick of the Devils - with much more upside than McCabe and cleared almost $3M in cap room.

This just wouldn't do for Cox - he had to find something wrong with the deal (he always finds something wrong). Cox first criticized Fletcher for giving up a pick when he should be stockpiling them AND today tries to justify his criticism of Fletcher by comparing the McCabe trade for what Tampa received when they traded Dan Boyle to San Jose.

I won't get into how much of a donkey Damien Cox is - but this comparison is beyond asinine. Cox knows full well that Fletcher was not dealing from a position of strength in this matter - he was one of the people that felt McCabe's contract couldn't be moved - he SHOULD also know that Dan Boyle, while a bit of a defensive liability, has MUCH more offensive upside than McCabe. Boyle is a puck mover and a great skater - Bryan McCabe is not.

Cox also offers his opinion on Van Ryn, all but dismissing him in this deal. Cox didn't bother to stop for a second and consider that Joe Nieuwendyk might just have had some input on the deal since he played with Van Ryn in Florida. Cox writes editorials and opinions - as such, he rarely if ever has a source or a quote from anyone connected to the Leafs - but you would think that before writing a piece, he might want to look at the bigger picture.

Cox has managed to rile up some of the more mentally challenged members of the nation (aren't there a few in every fan base) who know think that Fletcher made a bad deal and should have gotten back much more for McCabe. I'm sure when he hit "publish", he took a sip of his coffee, patted himself on the back and told himself that he was great.

For all his smugness - Damien Cox is, for all intents and purposes, a blogger just like the rest of us.

To Cliff Fletcher - I "Heart" you did the right thing. Crazy...crazy like a fox!

Leaf Nation waits to hear word of Mats Sundin's intentions - with many predicting he will announce his retirement or state that he won't be coming back for opening night. We'll see.

NFL tonight - WOO HOO

Pick of the night - New York - 3.5 over Washington. Book it.

The rest of the NFL picks tomorrow.

That's it for today gang - thanks for taking the time to check in.

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

I'm Out!


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