Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We are not the kids we used to be

(stop wishing for yesterday!)

Alright, so this offseason is winding down with Kaberle's trade window looking to expire once again without movement on our part on Saturday.

I recently read a post about an Edmonton fan wondering how many people actually remained on the team since the lockout. I think the answer came out to 4.

Assuming we don't move Tomas Kaberle, we'll also have 4 Leafs remaining on the team who played at least one game in 2005-2006:

Kaberle
Ponikarovsky
Stajan
White

That's it.

Now, is this unusual for clubs across the NHL? Both Toronto and Edmonton have been on playoff-barren streaks these past few years. So I decided to go check out the other teams in our division (these are players that played games at the NHL level in 05/06):

Montreal - 3:
Markov
Plekanec
A. Kostitsyn

Ottawa - 8:
Alfredsson
Heatley (maybe)
Spezza
Fisher
Neil
Kelly
Volchenkov
Schubert

Boston - 4:
Bergeron
Sturm
Stuart
Alberts (thanks Cornelius)
Thomas

Buffalo - 9:
Connolly
Vanek
Roy
Hecht
Gaustad
Lydman
Paille
Paetsch
Miller

Not even double-digit holdovers on any team in the Northeast. It's pretty obvious that turnover is the norm in the NHL, not the exception, and that it can happen in a surprisingly short amount of time. This is 4 seasons, noting that the 4th has yet to even be played at this point. Kind of reinforces the idea that all these long, cap circumventing contracts are generally a bad idea.

What does this mean to a Leafs fan? For one, think twice before buying that next jersey.

Seriously though, it's that one can't look at their current roster and then project the next 3, 4 seasons on it. Will Schenn be with the team forever? Ask any Bruins fan that has an '05 Thornton jersey what they think about "franchise players". Do Komisarek and Beauchemin anchor our D for the length of their contracts? Remember that Kubina was a highly touted high-cost free agent signing of similar age.

Steen, Colaiacovo, and Wellwood sure looked like future bright lights for the team back on 05, didn't they? When Pascal Leclaire set the NHL on fire for the Blue Jackets in 07, could we really guess that in a year he'd be supplanted and then become a Senator? How about when Wade Redden and Zdeno Chara/Joe Corvo were part of a threatening Ottawa power play?

Only two goaltenders have actually stuck with their team in this sample, All Stars Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas. Toronto managed to run through 3-4 guys, Montreal at least 4, Boston parted ways with promising young goalie Hannu Toivonen, not to mention a goalie a year removed from a Calder in Raycroft.

The NHL's a crazy place, players come and go with incredible frequency, doesn't matter if they're young, expensive, or a "sure thing". Just a little perspective for all us future-crazed sports fans.

5 comments:

Cornelius Hardenbergh said...

You can turn that Big Dumb Jumbo Joe jersey into a bitchin' Shawn "Sugar" Thornton sweater.

Alberts is on his second team post-Bruins.

Boston should be 5 with Axelsson, but your example cuts him out since he's playing in Sweden.

Scott Baker said...

Thanks, I don't know how I missed Alberts, I even made a mental note to check him.

And I'm making those rosters as of yesterday, so Axelsson was omitted on purpose. It's not who played last season, but who's under contract for this season.

general borschevsky said...

Interesting post. Not only are Kaberle, Poni, Stajan, and White the only Leafs who have been with the team since the lockout, all 4 have only ever played for the Leafs and no other team. Last season there were 3 others, Antro, Steen, and Colaiacovo, but now they're gone. I wonder how many will be left at season's end, and I wonder how many team's have more then 4 players that have played 3 or more seasons exclusively for that team and no one else?

JD. said...

I plan on getting a full 5 years (100 goals, 100000 shots on net, and 17 fights with Grabovski) out of my Blake Jersey.

kidkawartha said...

I plan on getting a full 7 years (225 goals, 1500 shots on net, and 17 fights with Blake) out of my Grabovski Jersey.