Thursday, February 21


As trade deadline day or trade deadline day (as it has come to be known round here) approaches, you have to ask yourself, is this gonna be worth it? There are two schools of thought here. There are the ‘the only players that we are going to be able to get rid of are Chad Kilger and Dominic Moore types’. Players notable for their contracts with 5 zero’s as opposed to 6. Then there are the hopeful bastards who think that the fire sale will include all the pieces that Toronto doesn’t want anymore. Raycroft for Francois Beuchemin you say…yeah that adds up.
The truth sadly is probably a lot closer to the former.

I have to admit when I heard the news that Forsberg wouldn’t be back in the NHL this season I felt something akin to relief. Not because I wish anything Marquis de Sade to happen to him…and not even because I would then care who he would go to. Quite frankly all the speculation makes for very good sit down reading.
Relief because now I believe we have to start thinking about what else gets thrown into any Sundin deal. With the possibility of Forsberg coming back…inexplicably it sent Mats down to (arguably) the 2nd most coveted player (potentially) available. I say arguably because there are those who want Hossa more. Correct me if I am wrong but is this not for the playoffs? I won’t even waste my Google privileges digging up stats for you. Let me just make this prediction: if Mats does waive his NTC then I promise you this, whoever gets him is going to win the Stanley Cup. Plain and Simple. Let me tell you why: Cos Mats Sundin…being the man and player that he is, with his sense of honor being what it is will kill for any team that picks him up. He will know what was given up for him and he will give you the A game every night, every shift. Because he knows, and everyone else does too that Mats Sundin is a Toronto Maple Leaf. The same way you are and the same way I am. Come the summer…Mats will re-sign. And whether it’s a one day contract so he can retire a Leaf or it’s a three year contract extension (which I would, without question, offer.) he will retire a Leaf. And I know that you know that I know that Brian Burke knows that too.

(Speaking of Noses….did Craig Button get a nose job?)
It’s that knowledge, and all of us who have gotten to watch him game in game out lo these many years can attest, that makes the bright star, trade wise, potentially, this year.
When I do hear what is being offered for him I think…good start…to me the pot needs to be sweetened something akin to a bong being dropped in the middle of sugarcane field. Hossa might score more goals (I would argue that Jonas fucking Hoglund surely isn’t Kovalchuk) but show me another Captain (save maybe Sakic) who has carried and continues to carry an entire team nay an entire city, on its shoulders. And now offense to the Burnaby kid but this is Toronto we’re talking about…not Denver.

I also hear that the trade the Flyers made for Modry was a scramble after an all that’s left to do is shake hands deal that saw Kaberle going to Philadelphia for Jeff Carter and a pick was nixed at the 11th hour by Kaberle himself. Besides the fact that it has all the makings of the best deal the Leafs never made, it’s gotten me to thinking 2 things. Number 1, apparently the last time we negotiated with Kaberle he accepted less money to be able to have a NTC. He has every right to say no to this trade. Anything else would be un-ethical. I am not yet thoroughly convinced of Jeff Carter and Kaberle 4.5 for the next 3 years is phenomenal. Here's what it comes down to folks...when Pavel Kubina becomes a 5 million a year player it makes the Kaberle's of the world 7 million a year players. I think I remember something from Economics class, a quick turn of phrase that sums that up, something is telling me that it’s the law of diminishing returns but I could be wrong. Regardless of the phrase it’s just what happens. It's really no different than the ubiquitous old person joke about back in my day beer was 15 cents and Cadillac’s were 25 dollars.

Secondly, and more pressing, what if Trader Cliff isn’t actually able to make any deals? What if? Just like my post here on HS/HS the night before the season started. This is still a team of ifs. What if Fletch, who was brought in because of his ability to make the situation better, isn’t actually able to? Not because those MLSE pig fuckers won’t let him but because, what if the best deals he is offered don’t make the team any better…and he doesn’t take them. This is a possibility. I don’t want Mats traded cos he is an underachieving cry-baby European no-show millionaire fuck-face; I want him traded because he isn’t.

You want the truth…if this was December and not February and the team was playing like we are now…then I would have no doubt we would be buyers as opposed to traders. Perhaps we would be standing pat guys. Not because I believe the team is any better than a 92 point team…I don’t…it’s because this is a team that wants to stay together, that like each other, that love the city the uniform the team. It’s easy to say as I sit here, greasy and bloated, handsome but essentially horrible, if I was a Toronto Maple Leaf at this moment…I wouldn’t want to be traded either.