March 7, 2009
Kuba...ya? Good deal?The roundtable welcomes Sportsnet's Ian Mendes to discuss defenceman's signing, Martin Gerber, as well as a 'cultured' Brennan and his Pho
TIM BAINES: First, a big welcome to Ian Mendes. With Chris Stevenson gone, we need to add some cerebral clout ... and we're not going to get that from my oh so personable friend, Don. Second, why is nobody talking about the Filip Kuba signing? As in, have the Senators lost their minds? How can you pay a guy that at best is your second defenceman, $3.7 million? Do the Senators plan to have him as their blue-line kingpin again next year? Geez, welcome to the draft lottery again.
IAN MENDES: I'd like to say it's a big thrill to join your digital roundtable after seeing Jim Cuddy in this space last week. Was the lead singer for 54-40 unavailable -- so you turned to me?
BAINES: Actually, Ian, we tried to get Mike Reno from Loverboy, but he was Working for the Weekend. Sorry, another shameless reference from the Canadian rock-and-roll heyday of the early 1980s.
BRUCE GARRIOCH: Could somebody please discuss whatever it is we're talking about today. Enough of welcoming Ian to the roundtable. This usually doesn't make any sense. Your thoughts, Ian?
MENDES: The Kuba signing surprised a lot of people, but when you look at the market for defencemen, he's not overpaid. Would you rather have Mike Commodore or Filip Kuba at that price? I'll take Kuba.
BAINES: The market is changing, though. The telling sign is that the lowly Leafs have at least two defencemen better than Kuba. You'd take Kaberle or Kubina over Kuba in a heartbeat. The economy dictates guys aren't going to get contracts as lucrative. Add up the numbers. The Senators will not be able to pay for a No. 1 defenceman. Too many guys on this team make too much money.
GARRIOCH: The worst thing about them signing Kuba is I'm going to have to listen to Don complain about him for the next three years. Actually, that's not true, I stopped listening a long time ago. I think they were better off to keep him. A lot of teams would have taken him.
DON BRENNAN: I actually was talking to Kid Rock about joining us, but he said we have All Summer Long to get him on the roundtable. And what a long offseason it's going to be. Looking like it might be the first time in 11 years I won't be covering the NHL playoffs. Bryan Murray shoulda traded for a rental. The Senators are an Olli away from being a contender. And I'm not Jokin-en.
BAINES: Well, well ... it's Don Brennan weighing in. You've really gotta lose that man-crush on Mike Comrie. Great guy, hot girlfriend ... but Don, quit stalking him! Maybe the Senators will start charging the media more for the pre-game meals to pay for Kuba's inflated paycheque.
BRENNAN: A lot of teams are stupid too, Bruce. How do you hockey-wise Sportsnet guys -- Ian and Bruce -- not see Kuba for the stiff he is? Tell me what he brings to the table? Don't say size, because he plays like he's 5-foot-5 and 160 pounds. And don't say offence because for all the opportunities he gets, he's got two goals and what, 28 assists? I think Brendan Bell is a better power-play quarterback. And he's making $3 million less. I could do a lot with $3 million to improve my team.
MENDES: You've got to excuse Don for his crazy deadline comments. He's too excited about the thought of Martin Gerber rolling into town wearing a Leafs jersey on Monday. And just because Kuba isn't a great quote for Cheapseats doesn't mean he can't play in the NHL.
GARRIOCH: Like I said, Kuba falls on deaf ears when it comes from Don.
BRENNAN: He isn't a great anything, Ian. The best thing about Kuba is that he only has a no-trade for the first year of the contract. No way he gets through Year 2 as a Senator. Nofreakinway. Everybody will be sick of him by then. I have always been a step ahead of the crowd. Speaking of being good, it's tough to keep up with Lenny, I mean Ian, on this table talk. The guy seriously is the best BlackBerry typist I have ever seen. Fastest thumbs in the league. Must be from all that video playing. What's your favourite game of all-time, Ian?
MENDES: Top defencemen just don't grow on trees. The Sens are hoping that within two years, we're talking about Erik Karlsson as one of the best young D-men in the game. But for now -- with the market being what it is -- would you rather have Andrej Meszaros or Filip Kuba AND Chris Campoli? (And Don, don't answer: I'd like one Jay Bouwmeester instead).
BAINES: C'mon, Don ... you're saying very little. You must have some sarcastic, bombastic comments to make. Surely, you're not short on opinions or rants today?
BRENNAN: Sorry I'm not just blurting out nonsense, Bainsie. One of us doing that is enough. Besides, I'm elbows deep in a pre-game meal of Pho, with my son. Any smart-ass remarks to that?
GARRIOCH: What is Pho?
BAINES: I think it's spelled poo.
MENDES: It's Vietnamese soup. I can't believe Brennan is more cultured than you guys.
BRENNAN: They are phools, Ian.
MENDES: By the way, Bryan Murray made a bold move for Pascal Leclaire at the deadline. Let's be honest, he had to address the goaltending at some point and if he waited until the summer, it would have been like his never-ending search for the puck-moving defenceman. The jury is out on Leclaire, but I think most fans are happy with the fact there is a new goalie in the mix.
GARRIOCH: That's a major risk reward. If he stays healthy, then they will be fine. If not, it's another victim of the goalie graveyard.
BAINES: Wouldn't it be crazy if Gerber shut out the Senators on Monday? That'd give you something to write about, Don.
MENDES: Best video game is original Super Mario, featuring a nimble Martin Gerber.
BAINES: He looks like Pacman.
BRENNAN: Definitely Super Mario, Tim.
GARRIOCH: Thanks for coming, Ian.
MENDES: Thanks guys. If the drummer from Glass Tiger ever backs out of a roundtable, you have my e-mail address.
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