Eric Lindros wanted to end his career as a Maple Leaf.
He didn't want to end it while waiting for an offer, having an injury that may have been misdiagnosed, leaving a promising beginning unfulfilled.
He was hoping for one more year, one more chance: It just didn't come, leaving Lindros hurt and apparently angry.
While he hasn't said much publicly about his season with the Leafs, don't expect him to be quiet for long. Lindros may be more famous than most, but he is another player who leaves the Leafs truly wondering about the direction in which the team is heading.
This hurt, like so many of his injuries, will take a while to heal.
THIS AND THAT
The micro-manager, John Ferguson, must be softening. How else to explain the fact he actually allowed Paul Maurice to select two of the three assistants on his Maple Leafs coaching staff? ... What's next? Allowing players to pick their own seat locations on team charters? ... We knew Ed Belfour was running out of time. We just didn't know he was running out of teams ... As its currently assembled, the Maple Leaf roster scored just 222 goals last season. Only one team made the playoffs with as little as 242 goals. The average playoff team in the Eastern Conference scored 269 goals and the top contending teams, Carolina, Buffalo and Ottawa, scored 291, 281 and 314 ... There's no truth to the rumour that Mikael Tellqvist is a candidate to be the next GM of the Leafs ... The week has gone by and not single Leaf trainer has been fired ... Michael Peca, who took off the regular season in Edmonton, played his best hockey on a line with Fernando Pisani and Raffi Torres in Edmonton. If I'm Maurice, I might start him on a line with Darcy Tucker and Chad Kilger.
HEAR AND THERE
Now if someone had written "This ship is sinking" on the Argos' dressing room board, who could have argued? ... A CFL promotional firm has determined that Anthony Calvillo to Ben Cahoon is the greatest receiving duo in Montreal Alouettes history. Which begs the question: Did they did happen to forget Sam Etcheverry throwing to Prince Hal Patterson? ... Turned off the TV after Jason Tucker scored a touchdown the other night. Woke up to find out about Milt Stegall's 100-yard score ... You can't count to three in naming CFL receivers more accomplished and more fun to watch than Stegall ... It's official: Any Joe Smith can play running back in the CFL ... The best choice to replace Greg Marshall with in Hamilton is the Greg Marshall from Winnipeg.
SCENE AND HEARD
If the Islanders were going to hire a former goalie with no experience to be general manager, wouldn't it have been wiser to choose Glenn Healy? ... Garth Snow's best chance of success on the Island: Oversized suits ... Brendan Shanahan's decision to sign with the New York Rangers was based partially on his future: Shanahan wants to work in television when his career is over and all the major networks are based in New York ... At the top of anyone's list of squandered talent: Serena Williams ... Mouse Davis is not involved with the football team at the University of Miami but apparently his run and shoot is still in vogue ... The good thing for Shea Hillenbrand: With Barry Bonds around, for now, nobody will even notice his act in San Francisco ... Now this would have been weird: The Jays might have been able to get Cesar Izturis back from the Dodgers in exchange for Hillenbrand. Izturis is in the Dodgers bad books for -- guess what? -- taking too many days off after a child was born.
AND ANOTHER THING
Strange. Last year Canadians Kerry Carter and Jesse Lumsden competed for running back spots on the Seattle Seahawks. This year, they're both in camp with the Washington Redskins ... Upon further review, wouldn't the Islanders have been better off hiring Lonie Glieberman as their general manager? ... This week in WNBA: Sun 86, Sky 72 ... Last year, David Ortiz apparently lost a tight MVP vote because Alex Rodriguez played the field and he didn't. It seemed wrong then, and worse now than A-Rod has become E-rod ... Big break: Rafael Araujo won't be playing for Brazil in the world basketball championships. Wish the Raptors had been that fortunate the year before ... Everybody you talk to about new Blue Jay reliever Jeremy Accardo says he's exactly what this team needs. Somebody to handle the seventh or eighth inning and pass the baton to B.J. Ryan ... If Rob Babcock had botched the John Salmons deal, he gets ripped for it. But until further notice, after finding someone who actually wanted Araujo, Bryan Colangelo remains a genius ... And hey, whatever became of Prince McJunkins?