Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sundin: Deadlines? What is word?

Mats is waiting for a shirt to be printed with his contract demands on it

So Cliff Fletcher gave Mats until today to come up with his decision. Stay in Toronto, sign in Montreal and give the team some assets, or go to free agency knowing that the Leafs would be moving forward without tagging space for him in their cap should he decide to return later on this summer.

Mats has the right to decide his future, and he's earned his right to take his time without being strong-armed by any hockey club. Mats' decision making isn't in question, what the Leafs will do now with this knowledge is.

Hopefully, and sadly, this means that they'll go out and sign some guys to flesh out our roster without Sundin. There's some decent names out there, Radim Vrbata, Michael Ryder, Jason Williams, Brooks Orpik, Ron Hainsey, Niklas Hagman, Antii Miettinen.

Fletcher's in the market for regulars on D, as Schenn won't be ready, Stralman really should be in the AHL, and he's banking on Carlo's injury problems. Combine that with the hopes of trading McCabe or Kubina next year and we've got at least one D slot open. He's also looking at a top 6 impact forward (not like we haven't been looking for one for years) and apparently some guys to round out our bottom 6.

Now, I really think we should be getting our young guys some experience, but loading up our lines full of them probably isn't a great idea. I wouldn't mind Glen Metropolit if he wasn't so old, but please Cliff, no more than a couple FA's for the bottom lines. The "liability on skates" versions under Maurice weren't great, but we're not trying to pull a Detroit and sign Tie Domi out of retirement.

That leaves backup goaltending. Ty Conklin's available and good, but may be looking for a better pay-day or more ice time with the performance he gave last season. Alex Auld is available, and did well with Boston, but he may (will) struggle unless Wilson gets the Leafs defensive act together shortly. Curtis Joseph is a name that's been shuffled around and why not? We've got Cliffer in here, let's bring back Roberts (though it looks like he'll be signed by Tampa) too! Seriously though, if we sign him I hope it's so he retires in his first game and we get him a front office job.

Whatever happens Tuesday, I know I won't be leaving the house.

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