Peca: Take 2

Chris Says:

The Peca rumours just won't die. Apparently JFJ has made more than one phone call to Peca expressing the Leafes interest in having him back. Again, the problem being that the Leaf cap space is negligible right now and that the team would have to move\trade some bodies in order to free up the cash. First up on the chopping block? Stajan.

There' s no point in trying to figure out what's going to happen here. We're not the only team in the hunt for this guy so our (in)ability to tender a competitive offer may be moot if another team (Rangers) is able to plunk down the right amount of cash. Things can change in an instant and we're all outsiders trying to peer behind the curtain.

Peca's feisty and great on the penality kill but I don't think it makes sense to get rid of Stajan just to keep him around. It smacks of trading developing talent for established age and that's a sucker's bet the Leafs keep falling for year after year.


Peca back?

Chris says:

Prescient comment Steveo. Apparently the Leafs are kicking Peca's tires.

Would Peca be a good fit for the Leafers? If the price is right. I never felt like I got a great opp to evaluate Peca as a player. When he took that hit last year I knew he'd be out for awhile. (Althougth I never figured on the rest of the season)

Bottom line. If you look at the Leafs roster as it stands now there's not a lot of money to go chasing after Pec without moving around some other people. I'd be interested in bringing him back, but it all depends on his price tag.


Goalie moves

Steve says:

Emery re-signed with Ottawa...word on the street is that L.A. wanted Emery, but would look to Raycroft should Emery re-sign...now that that has happened (3 years @ 9. something stoopid mill), what can L.A. offer us....? and is it a good idea...I think perhaps not...some competition and less games played this season could be a positive thing for Raycroft...that and a new catcher!

Chris says:

Ahhh. Here we go. Apologizing for Raycroft. I have nothing against the guy but after his inaugural season with the Leafers I no longer feel secure with him anchoring the net. I've lost faith in him and that says a lot.

Where Rayzor falls short, in comparison to other recent Leaf goalies, is that the man is only as good as his team. If the D in front of him is porous you never felt that he would make up the difference. Cujo and Eddie were not the be all and the end all of Toronto goalies but occasionally, when the chips were down and the rest of the team were playing ragged, they'd steal a game by completely stonewalling the other team.

I've never felt that presence or seen that brilliance from Raycroft.

Steve says:

and steal a game or 2 is what teams need these days. I think that Toskala can certainly steal a few games for us...and maybe this will be what Raycroft needs...he is young still...so I am willing to give him another season...but if his glove hand still looks week a few weeks into this season..trade him!

OR...if we can get Peca back, we should lose Raycroft to open up cap space to allow that to happen...unless Peca signs for 1.5m...which is a possibility....


Nathan Perrott

Chris Says:

Winger Nathan Perrott has re-upped with the Marlies. Perrott had a couple brief stints with the big club a couple years ago.

sickness and JF Senior

Steve says:

I have not been posting because I have been sick...and I think my sickness is being caused by my rotted basement floors! I started tearing them up yesterday with my father-in-law. We were hoping top be able to use a circular saw to cut sections, but the wood is so rotted, that we ended up having to use the claw side of our hammers!
my basement is now a pile of ripped up wood and tiles, with a lot of dampness and water which is not helping my sickness at all.
But I did manage to find some time late last night to watch some of a vintage game between the Leafs and habs from the JF Senior days.


Chris Says:

Um. I haven't been posting because of it's the Offseason and for once, not much is happening. At least nothing Leaf related.

Fergie's memorial service takes place this Saturday in Windsor. He was 68 when he passed on. It says something about the state of modern medicine when you can genuinely claim that 68 is far too young.


more O for less D

Steve says:

another Leaf rumour...(woo hoo)...is that Leafs are speaking with the Avs about Hejduk and Svatos....in exchange for some help on their blue line...

I imagine that for us to get Hejduk, we would need to give up a pretty decent player...the rumour has Cola attached to the trade...which I hope does not end up being the case...but we will have to lose someone more than half decent for this to happen...

Hejduk - Sundin - Blake

that's a sweet line!

Chris Says:

Ahhh the rumour mill.

Its always, ALWAYS, one hundred percent correct. Of course this is the same rumour mill that had Sundin unhappy with Toronto last summer when he put his posh digs up for sale on the market. Or the one that sees him jumping ship after this year if the Leafs don't do something truly cup worthy.

Either way, I'll believe it when I see it.

*Althought I will say this, we've got more depth on our blue line than anywhere else. I'm just sayin.


watching the banner raising...

Steve Says:

edited post***

actual sched shows Leafs at home on Oct. 3rd hosting the Sens
yes...at least our first game doesn't start with that banner crap!


Chris Says:

Only a 40% premium to see the Leafs\Sens games.

I guess "premium" is legalese for "cornholing your fans".

Sid the Kid

Chris Says:

It's not Leaf talk, but who cares.

Sid has re-upped for five more years with the Pens at a price tag of 45 million dollars.

That sound you heard was me crying quietly into my morning cup of coffee.

This guy isn't even twenty years old yet, which means he's barely been able to (legally) drink in Canada and can't yet (legally) imbibe in the city he's playing for.

Yet now he's worth 45 million dollars.

God. Damn.

Steve says:

I know...I told my kids that news last night and they asked me why I didn't play hockey...iI wept on the inside.

Chris Says:

"Daddy, can Sidney Crosby be our new Dad?"


Scott Clemmensen (and then there were three)

Chris Says:

So. We've signed Scott Clemmensen.

Which means we've got three goalies now.

If this keeps up pretty soon we'll be icing a squad of goaltenders for every game.

Clemmensen was the guy NJ put in net last year for the last game of the season, instead of Brodeur. He's the guy who cost the Leafers a playoff spot. Now he may cost Raycroft his job.

Granted Clemmensen is on a two way contract which means he could find himself backing up Pogge in the Mariles. But I think it's pretty obvious that the Leafs goaltending sitch is far from played out.

Because in my eye now we've got one starting goalie, one backup and and one third wheel.

One of these things is not like the other...

Steve says:

I'm pretty sure that Clemmensen is Marlies bound...putting Raycroft in the minors would not only kill his career, but also lose serious $ value for the guy.
No, ... if anything happens in our nets between now and Oct., it will be a Raycroft trade and maybe a Cujo signing.

Chris Says:

Woah. Where did I say we were going to stick Raycroft in the minors? Would his contract even allow it?

No, Raycroft is slowly being delievered the not-so-subtle message that his time with the organization is over.


On rivalries

Chris Says:

For my birthday present last year my gf bought me ticks to see the Sens play the Habs.

Now when I opened the present up I should have been insanely happy (which I was). But you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Because I was in a silent quandry.

Who the hell did I cheer for?

The Habs with whom the Leafs had a decades old rivalry?

Or the Sens. The dirty stinking Sens. (nuff said.)

I threw my support behind the Habs. Because hey, they don't live in the same province as me and the last time there was a truly memorable rivalry between them and the Leafs my father was probably still in short pants. Now the Sens on the other hand have been thorn in my side for the last ten years. And when your nearest and dearest, despite all your pleading, is determined to continue cheering for them...well...it builds a powerful hate in a man.

To complicate matters the Habs were running neck and neck with Leafs at the time for that last available playoff spot. So cheering for the Habs would, by extension, be me cheering against the Leafs.

So I just sat on my hands and watched the game. Actually it was almost more fun to watch the various fan factions goad each other. Did you know that even Habs fans do the "choke" symbol when playing Ottawa? I thought that was just a T.O. thing.

Now besides Leaf's games the only other Hockey I watch is when Canada as a whole is repped (think the Olympics or the Juniors). I catch a lotta flack from people that I'm not a true hockey fan. A true hockey fan would continue to watch the playoffs for the love of the game once their team was eleminated.

Maybe they're right. Maybe I'm not a hockey fan, just a Leafs fan. And I'm all right with that. I'll watch other games if they're on the tube, but I sure won't seek em out.

Because when you throw all your support behind one team it starts to feel dishonest to cheer for another.

Steve says:
BUT, by cheering for the Sens to win, you are really cheering for your team better it's chances to make it into the playoffs...how is that dishonest in any way?
You knew the standings when we went to that game and you knew what the different outcomes would do to the Leafs chances. So where was your Leaf jersey?!!!
ps. to anyone reading this, NEVER take your car to the palladium, or Scotiabank place or whatever the frik they are calling it these days...it took me 2.5 hours to get out of the parking lot! and then the traffic was soooo stupid on the highway, it was basically another parking lot...
take the bus...

Chris Says:

I wore my Leafs cap into the den of the beast which is more than I can say for you!


Steve says:

Today MLSE is meeting with John Muckler to interview him for a babysitting position. He is quite the experienced babysitter. 50 years of experience and 5 Rings (not marriage rings, the other kind).
I think this might become a new trend in the NHL if it works out. You know,...management really likes a guy as GM, but he needs some fine tuning so they bring in a dinosaur to kick his ass for a while until the GM develops a thick enough skin to properly deal...that sorta thing...
I saw was speaking with some Sens fan about the situation and he said that it would be an admittance (is that a word..i think it is...) by Leafs fans that the Sens are a better organization...I asked him then if that meant that the Sens were admitting that they were inferior to the Rangers, to the Sabres, and the Oilers...he had nothing to say...

know ya hockey before ya try to brag!
Chris Says:
Oh for frig's sake...
We already have a GM.
S#%t or get off the pot already. If you don't want JFJ then at least do him the honour of treating him like a human being and fire his ass. It's bloody clear to all of us watching on the sidelines that for whatever reason you don't trust him to do his job without some kind of hand holding. Don't screw around with him and his job, muddying up some already pretty dirty water. Who the hell would want to come and work (much less play) for the Toronto Maple Leafs with this kind of nonsense going on?
It's like the dying days of the Roman senate at the MLSE board. Everyone wants to get their hands into whatever pie they can. Everyone wants power. With such a byzantine power structure who is really in control of the front office?
Is it JFJ?
Is it Peddie?
Is it Tanenbaum?
Will it be Muckler?
What we really need is clear sense of the organizational chart for MLSE. Who reports to who and who's in charge of what. Right now the left hand doesn't even know we have a right hand, much less what it's doing.
I don't want Muckler and more importantly we don't need him as it stand right now.
Enough with the backroom politics. Let's put a hockey team together already.

An email conversation...

This is a typical email conversation between Steve and Chris...

Locals are trying to buy the Preds apparently.

really...how is that gonna work...the only reason the sale didn't go for Balsillie is they wanted to keep the teams in the US

Well, The sale isn't dead technically.I wouldn't bet money on it succeeding, but it's still alive.Now if JB threw more money at it.

he threw more than $50 mil more than the other guy, and showed that Hamiltonians would buy tics!...what the heck does betteman want

A Hummer.

as in oral sex or the gas guzzling vehicle?

Whatever one gets the job done.


Toskala's New Contract

Chris says:

So the Leafs have resigned Toskala to a two year extension on his current contract.

Just in time for Pogge to take over the reins.

Which means, by my count, we've got one to many starting goalies. At best, we're in a platooning scenario with Toskala and Raycroft splitting the duties. Realistically? Someone is warming the bench.

I think the Leafs are going to give Raycroft a very short leash this year. The first goalie to go on a hot streak has won himself the starter's role and the other guy is officially backup. I think this may be the Leaf's way of letting him know his days are numbered. Great White Hope in 06, Yesterday's man in 07.

S'gotta be a tough blow when you're dealing with million dollar salaries and the prestige of being a number one starter.

They jury's out for now. I haven't seen Toskala play enough to make a call on him either way. But I do know that I watched Raycroft let in enough soft goals over the stretch to wear my loyalty to him pretty thin.

Steve says:

Raycroft will be traded. We will get rid of his 2mil cap hit and replace him with Cujo at 800K.
If JFJ keeps Raycroft around, it will be a mistake. That's way too much to pay a bench warmer, and with Toskala in place, that is exactly what Raycroft will be.
Cujo has expressed an interest in returning to Toronto even if it means a reduction in salary. As much as I don't like Raycroft, his #'s are slightly better than Cujo's and when it comes down to it, that means more. The fans want Cujo. His price is better. He has experience. But I can't help but wonder if Raycroft is designed to be a platooning goalie. Maybe we just played him too much last year.
I don't think we'll get the chance to see..I bet he'll be gone by summer's end.


Bates Battaglia re-signed.

Chris says:

Battaglia has resigned with Leafs

650k a year for two years.

Bates did a great job stepping up last year when the Leafs were reeling from all their injuries. He showed a lot of grit and a lot of heart. I don't know if he'll be playing with the big club to start, but I certainly think he has the potential to crack the roster. Either way he's a good player to call up if we lose someone over the course of the season.

Overall, I'd say the signing was a good thing.

Steve says:

I mostly agree, but I don't think he'll even make the big team unless there is an injury. We have better players who will force him out of the line....Unless he has a fantastic season with the Marlies, I think he'll be part of a trade later in the season....maybe something with Raycroft as a package deal...

Great Signing by JFJ

Steve says:

I think the Jason Blake signing is not only great for the Leafs on the ice, but in the bank account as well. Of all the UFAs out there, Blake is the top scorer! and his price tag is decent for the Leafs. There is still some room to dump a bit of blueline and maybe get one more depth player, but I must say that this lineup looks pretty good.

Chris says:

I agree. Value for money here. Considering what the big guns where getting in terms of dollars as well as the lengths of some of their contracts we came out ahead on this deal.

Jason Blake 20 million over five years.

Blake is coming off his best season ever, 40 goals plus last year. I don't expect that we'll be seeing that kind of production out of him this year. But it's nice to know that he has that kind of potential in him. In that respect I hope to be pleasantly surprised. He'd certainly make an excellent Captain if Sundin follows through with his rumblings about "retirement".

Blake's biggest downside? At 33 years old he's getting a little on in hockey terms. A five year contract at this stage in his career could easily be his last.

But what I really got a kick out from all the signings is how our division rivals are now mere shadows of their former greatness.

Remember how tough Buffalo was? No more.

NYI? Gutted.

Devils? Sans Gomez.

The balance of power has changed and the Leafs look to reap some of the rewards.

Steve says:

He is getting older, but he started late (25) so he is actually approaching a peak.
I see no reason why you would expect less from this guy. He will most likely be on a line with Sundin...and that cant be anything but good for both players, and the team, and of course, us.

I don't know that he is "Captain" material as the initial reports are that he is a bit selfish with the puck sometimes and sometimes whiny in the dressing room. I don't where these "reports" originate so I suppose we will have to see how he reacts after moving to Toronto.

It's true that a lot of the "better" teams in our division have lost a lot of punch, and some like Montreal lost most of what they had to begin with....even Ottawa has lost more than it has gained...and they cant find a coach who wants to go in there under Bryan Murray...wonder why...

I think we will see the Leafs closer to the top of our division than where we ended up last season.