Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I hate you, Dany Heatley

just look at him

I've never been a fan of good ol' Dany, in fact in this post I do believe I advocated death by Bell before last season started.

Except this time I can't hate on Heater for anything he's done on the ice, the Senators were down right inoffensive last season (and not just because they didn't score a whole lot), and as a Toronto resident with relatives in Ottawa I can empathize with the desire to leave the our nation's capital as soon as possible.

No, this time I've got my knives out because Heatley's whining, petulant unprofessionalism might actually be good for the Sens. A team that became top heavy, without the high draft picks to fill their roster with ready-made talent, I was looking forward to the team languishing under the weight of high-price NTC contracts and the lack of overall depth that came with them.

After all, none of Ottawa's stars would want to leave the city that loved them and gave them so much, right? The Leafs had to pay people to get off this team, and to kickstart the rebuild had to tell the face of the franchise for over a decade he wasn't needed anymore. Even when a couple of losing seasons had piled up, all anybody wanted to be was a Leaf.

Unfortunately that's not the case, and the Heatley trade has the makings of a move that could add more youth and depth to a Senators team that was floundering under their own efforts to provide it. As with the Yashin deal, the Senators can benefit from their childish stars having no attachment to their franchise, and reap the benefits of adding people to their team that want to give their fans the finger.

So I hate you, Dany Heatley. I hate you for not making the Sens pay for their mistakes, and I hate you for hating Ottawa. I hope today you realize that no team wants a quitter, at least not for a price Ottawa's willing to pay.


As I'm writing the rumour going around is Penner, Cogliano, and Smid for Heatley. Not world breaking, but certainly adding respectable roster bodies.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wait, there was a draft this weekend?

Back from cottage country, I had to listen to AM 640 on the radio, then rely on text messages when that cut out.

Some thoughts:

We actually managed to have a draft where we didn't give up any picks during or directly before the day. Regardless of who we picked, that's a huge step in the right direction for the franchise. I know there was a lot of talk of moving up, but we need quantity period.

If Burke didn't make a move, I fully believe it's because there was no good one to be made. The Flyers were definitely the most active team in terms of trade talks out there, and once they made the Pronger deal before the draft started there was no other real player movement.

There's still potential out there. A load of teams are still in cap hell, and (apparently) Burke's intention all along was to wait until the big names in free agency were gone to unload some of our guys. Considering that somehow the Flyers managed to trade and not lose any salary in the process while actually losing two players that made up their roster last year, desperation is going to set in some time.

I'm disappointed we didn't pick up a single goaltender, if history is anything to go by it's worth taking a flyer on someone; if the draft is a crapshoot then drafting goaltenders is like trying to fish from the CN Tower. Maybe the lack of a goalie is an indication of his expectations regarding Gustavsson, though I doubt it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Say hello to... Wade Redden? What?

I'd kind of like to know what Tim Wharnsby is smoking in this article right here.

"There is belief the Maple Leafs have been zeroing in on New York Rangers defenceman Wade Redden and forward Peter Schaefer of the Boston Bruins"

This is why I hate offseason coverage, by the way. "There is belief by my son Zack and his Buzz Lightyear doll that the Leafs are coveting PJ Axelsson, in an effort to become more Swedish."

But seriously, Redden? We're talking about possibly one of the worst defensive contracts in the league Redden? The Redden who has been steadily depreciating in value since the lockout Redden?

If we're going after him, it better be because we're getting New York's 1st and Evgeny Grachev with him.

And on another note, Peter Schaefer? A 31 year-old who peaked when the Sens did, he spent all of last season buried in the minors because Boston can make better use of Shawn Thornton. The Leafs need many things, but if we need 30 year old checkers to put up 30 points why don't we just hang on to Devereaux and Hamilton? At least with Boyd we're supporting Toronto's indie music scene.

Is the logic there that Boston would love to get rid of Schaefer's 2.1 million (good lord who would pay him that much? Right, Bryan Murray) salary ? Because they didn't seem to have a problem just burying him in the minors ala Mark Bell.

The article goes on to talk goaltending, mentioning Burke's interest in JS Giguere. I hope he means he's interested in asking how his son's therapy is going, because there's no way we're paying 10 million for goaltending next year if Brunnstrom doesn't work out. Apparently the Leafs are on the list of teams that Giggy would accept a trade to, despite being about geographically as far away as you can get from his family (and son's medical needs). I guess making the teams you'd accept a trade to public is now de rigueur for players with a no trade clause.


Filtering out all the BS, it's pretty obvious that these deals are being postulated because they help cap-tight teams shed salary. But the Redden deal would break Burke's previous statements about not wanting to carry salary past two years from now, as he's getting paid until 2014 (lol) and is of questionable value. The Giguere deal would work great... if we could sucker anybody into paying for a constantly injured and often average goalie in Toskala.

What I will say is I will be greatly surprised if the Leafs are still picking 7th come draft time. Burke has mentioned moving up, he's mentioned moving down, and someone out there will be willing to move with him. It's Burke's big chance to really put the pressure on other GMs and change the face of this team, and I can't believe he'll allow it to pass by.