March 28, 2015

2012 GAMES


What should the Leafs do?
Tue, January 8, 2008

The Maple Leafs felt like throwing a hockey stick through the television following last night's 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, preferably at the big HD screen at National Hockey League headquarters in Toronto.

But angry Nik Antropov took the team's anger at a costly overtime penalty and three video replay reversals the hardest, hurling his stick towards referees Mike Leggo and Don Koharski after Rod Brind'Amour netted the game-winner.

Forget about throwing hockey sticks. What about throwing in the towel on the season? What should the Leafs do before the trade deadline? Have your say in our forum.

Upon further review


This comment is FULLY MODERATED.


Tucker out indefinitely .....bummer....there goes the Leafs' chances for a cup this year. Leaf sniper Tucker was on pace to score..what? 8 or 9 goals? Bummer eh? Leafs have no luck at all.

I hear that he slipped on a bar of soap while practicing his menacing grimace in the mirror. Tuff luck Tucks
Steverino, 2007-10-23 13:40:21

Too early to write off the Leafs? No way. They shouldn't be required to sacrifice themselves to the rest of the league for the full season -- just pay them to go golfing now and we can watch some real hockey. I was cursed to grow up in a town that produced a Maple Leaf captain, and being a Leaf fan was never a question. Now it is grounds for divorce, insanity, bankruptcy, whatever. I just hope that my grandchildren may live to see a decent team in Toronto.
steve, 2007-10-19 14:45:56

Note to JFJ and the board of the Leafs.

Take a page out of Paul Holmgrens rebuild of the Flyers from the trade dead line to the summer of signing free agents. He turned them around over night. The Flyers will make the playoffs this year and quite possibly win the division. But then Holmgren has a clue how to be a GM, and how to judge players talents and how to negotiate contracts.

Holmgren showed us it can be done quickly if you know what you are doing.
James, 2007-10-18 23:27:08

It is not often that I would wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of "my" team by a Habs fan. However, when you're right, you're right ... and George has hit the nail on the head as far as summarizing the problems of the Leafs.

Jeff, a Sens fan, says in an earlier post "a rivalry is not interesting if the opponent is unworthy".

I appreciate the good sportsmanship exhibited by these two true fans of hockey who realize there is no joy in defeating an "unworthy" opponent.

Do you see what is happening here? Even fans of the Leafs two most bitter rivals want the team to get better. If for nothing else, Leaf management / ownership should endeavor to improve so that Leaf opponents can feel a sense of real accomplishment in their victories.

The problem is not how MUCH is being spent on player's salaries, but HOW it is being spent. McCabe's contract is not McCabe's fault, neither is the amount that is paid to any other player. Value for dollar does not seem to exist in this franchise and that is primarily a management issue.

The time is NOW to tear down this team and start to rebuild for the future. Give your long-suffering, loyal fans something to cheer for and your rivals a team they can feel good about defeating.
Festus, 2007-10-18 20:26:29

Darcy Tucker on the McCabe situation: "Don't get me wrong, we appreciate and love (the fans). They are the seventh man out there. For some people, we're the first thing they wake up thinking about, what they talk about at the water cooler and what they watch at night."

This underscores what I have been thinking and saying for years, i.e., if this team were located anywhere else, and thereby lacking the adrenalin rush driven by an unmatched media scrutiny and fan adoration, they'd be down around the nether regions of the LEAGUE standings. They are a collection of players whose talents were seriously overrated by a GM whose own skills at assessing a situation, including available free agents, effectively places him at about the same level once owned by Mad Mike Milbury and Bob Pulford.

It doesn't matter how often they shove microphones under the noses of Maurice, Tucker, Raycroft, Sundin et al - they will always say the same positive things. They HAVE to. And the media knows it. So why do some persist? I realize it's their job to conduct such scrums and then write a story, but it seems to me that, knowing what the answer is going to be 99.9% of the time, it becomes an exercise in futility. Perhaps they're hoping to catch someone off guard, or maybe hope that the player becomes brutally frank himself. But let's face it, there are no Jeremy Roenick's or Brett Hull's among this bunch.

I think the saddest part is, these guys are doing their level best each time out, and that's what makes the situation so bleak. None among them are going to get any better than they are showing right now. Not even the youngest members and certainly not on a consistent basis. Oh, they'll have their moments as in that 8-1 thrashing of the Islanders as the season rolls along. But that won't be enough. Nor will they get too many more situations where they meet a team coming off the emotional high of beating their closest rivals the night before, and who were starting a goalie whose name can be pronounced only by his mother.

Will the Leafs be "battling" for that 8th spot again come next spring? Probably. Along with seven other clubs. When it's all over you will likely see about 12 points separating 7th from last. But to what end? To be blown away in the first round of the playoffs? And then pick, once more,somewhere in the middle of the next draft? Because believe me, the quality of the opposition takes a quantum leap from about 5th up and no amount of tweaking will bridge that gap.

You don't build a solid foundation that way. Nor by ridiculous haste in signing a UFA like Kubina to an asinine contract, or trading away part of the future (Logan Couture could have been a Leaf pick) to get a goalie whose stats, although marginally better than Raycroft's, also were accumulated with a much much better team in front of him. And even there he couldn't win the # 1 job.

The contract thrown at Tucker was also idiotic. So he's a "fan favourite." Big deal. He'll never become a scorer equal to the money they're paying him, which is way too much for a 3rd or 4th line forward. McCabe is another. So he has a "big shot" especially on 5-on-3 powerplays. Again, big deal. So too does Souray and he never helped the Habs go anywhere with his sieve-like play back of his own line. Is JFJ so blind to two-way talent that he thinks all you need to do is outscore your opponents at an average of 5-4 over a season to qualify?

So Sundin wants to retire a Leaf? Another even bigger deal. This is a business where the end result counts and they will never be able to muster the kind of talent he needs around him to take them anywhere in the playoffs, let alone make them, before age finally catches up to him. So he should have been dealt, probably two season ago, for the best collection of young talent and/or draft picks available. Of course, if JFJ had been making the deal he'd have come up with a collection of stiffs, so in retrospect it was probably the best deal he never made.

I think the biggest part of the problem with the team lies in ownership. There's no one individual here with deep pockets and a burning desire to win like, say, Eugene Melnyk. Rather, they have an anonymous totally faceless bunch making up the Teacher's Federation or Association or whatever the hell they call themselves, and whose only concern is profit. Something they are assured of as long as the fawning sycophants keep flocking to the rink - those "GO LEAFS GO" and "I bleed Blue & White" paint-your-face blue and white yabos who think screaming at the top of their lungs will somehow turn a farm plug into a racehorse.

The structure needs to be rebuilt from the foundation up, including the scouting staff whose recommendations have been nothing short of dismal. Five picks after they took Brad Boyes in 2000 Detroit got Niklas Kronwall, and 21 picks later Ottawa took Antoine Vermette. In 2001 the Leafs picked Colaiacovo 17th and, to be fair, not a bad pick at the time as no one knew he'd have all those medical problems. But Colby Armstrong went 21st, Derek Roy 32nd, Mike Cammalleri 49th (this after the Leafs took Pilar 39th), followed by Jason Pomminville at 55th and Peter Budaj 63rd.

Right now coaching is the least of their problems.

George O'Leary, 2007-10-18 16:54:33

This one is for Roy. No Roy we're not all thick but we do have something called commen sense. You keep dreaming that little dream you dream little buddy.
Pete, 2007-10-18 13:26:10

Sure...write them off now, why wait? The intelligent people with clear heads know they will not amount to anything this year again. Three years in a row without a playoff berth - perfect reflection of the team they are and will be - nothing
Mike, 2007-10-18 07:58:41

I agree with Larry (10-10-07)if the fan base woke up and realized that Maple Leaf Sports is basically playing with their head's (and wallets), and just stop showing up, somewhere within the Leaf organization would listen. Until that time, you will get another 40 years of mediocre (at best) performance. Enjoy the pain as it's here to stay.
Steve, 2007-10-18 05:07:55

Hey I know... why don't we cut off all the blades of the Leaf's players sticks and have them play with a rubber ring? On second thought.. let's not do that cause the Loaf's would suck at that game too!!!
Scott, 2007-10-18 01:05:53

Bring back Eddie the Eagle or Cujo and the Leafs might make something of themselves

In the meantime, GO SENS

JD Oshawa, 2007-10-18 00:18:17

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