Monday, October 1

Leafs Cut Ondrus, Williams, Harry Neale

The meaningfully meaningless pre-season is over, with the Leafs silt settling down for a record of 3-3-2. You get a sense of how precarious the season success for the Leafs really could be. When the go-to guys (Sundin, Blake, Kaberle) were in, the Leafs clicked and found success. When they weren't, and coupled with the losses of other important parts (Wellwood, Bell, Raycroft's glove hand), we looked like trouble. What this means is if the Leafs stay healthy and people produce as they should, we make the playoffs, and well at that. If they don't...oh wait, my phone's ringing

With the injury situation already chafing at the Leafs genitals, many of the guys took advantage of the opportunities given, and ran with them, most notably, Andy Wozniewski. He looked great in September, as he has at two other Leafs camps/pre seasons, and he's made the team. Chad Kilger, a guy I'm a fan of, scored 4 times and is someone I look forward to having on the ice. He can score, hit and really crank the puck. Here he is shooting a puck harder than anyone else ever, 105 MPH:

Here is a picture Judging by the sepia tone of the video, I think it was shot prior to the 1910/11 season. But don't mind me... all's I know is that I like the look of those Kenora Thistles, with the unstoppable O-L-D line of Donnie "Rubberboots" O'Malley, Jackson "Table Top" Lonsberry and Mortimer "King" Donnagen. The Kaiser better watch out, I tells ya!

Leafs cuts include Clemmensen, Gamache, Harrison, Ondrus, Salmelainen and Jeremy Williams who were all put on waivers. Jiri Tlusty is going to the Marlies and should have a great year of development and will make the team next season. Of these guys, I think Harrison is the most likely to be picked up, followed by Williams. I'm not saying it'll happen, but Harrison is on the wrong end of a Defensive logjam with the Leafs, and could step in and play for a team now.

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Sad to say that Harry Neale is leaving the Leafs broadcast booth he's shared with the best play-by-play man anywhere, Joe Bowen. The two have such great chemistry and seem to have fun working with each other. Quite unlike Neale's chemistry with his still HNIC partner Bob Cole, who allows Harry to talk every 30th whistle, or 4 times a game, whichever comes first.

Neale is joining the Sabres game call team who just lost somebody to retirement, or something I'd find out about if I cared. He lives in Buffalo anyway, so his work commute will now rarely involve a possible full body strip search. Hold on, I did say, rarely.

Greg Millen is with Bowen now. I like him, too. He knows a lot, as he's one of those goalies-turned-color men, and isn't afraid to criticize players, Leafs or otherwise. I can't stand broadcaster homers as I've written about before, and Moose and I have spend many games together spitting epithets at people like Jim "GREAT SAVE BY CLOUTIER!" Hughson, and the infuriating Boston based Andy Brickley who's biased-bile commentary and "Pahk Yah Cah and Pay a Dawla" accent make me wish my tinnitus was worse. There's nothing better than watching a well called game, and few things less fun than watching a guy call a game like he has money on the line. Money on the line and a Boston accent.

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