And now, no Nash.
After efforts by the Maple Leafs to land the Sedin twins and Richmond Hill native Mike Cammalleri fell short earlier this week, there were hopes throughout the city that Brampton's Rick Nash might somehow be wooed to Toronto when he became eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010.
Columbus Blue Jackets officials were said to be well aware of the chatter north of the border -- talk spearheaded by FAN-590/Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean, the man who drafted Nash first overall in 2002 -- suggesting a marriage between Nash and the Leafs would make perfect sense down the road.
So much for those aspirations.
Barring a trade, Nash will not be going anywhere for a while after agreeing to an eight-year, $62.5-million US deal with the Blue Jackets last night, ensuring he likely will be in Ohio for many seasons to come.
The deal, which translates to an annual cap hit of $7.8 million, includes a no-movement clause over the first five years of the deal. A modified no-trade clause also is part of the pact.
The deal keeps Nash under contract with the Blue Jackets through the 2017-18 season.
Jackets general manager Scott Howson actually flew to Toronto on Tuesday to meet with Nash and his agent, Joe Resnick, explaining his short- and long-term plans for the franchise.
Obviously that blueprint now includes Nash, a smart move on the Jackets' part.
Nash, 25, was the fifth-highest scorer in the NHL last season with 40 goals. Back in 2003-04, he shared the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league's leading goal-scorer with Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk with 41 goals.
Another player the Leafs had discussed in trade talks, forward Ryane Clowe, was inked to a four-year deal reportedly worth just over $3.5 million per season by the San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks had approached the Leafs about any potential interest in Clowe during the recent entry draft in Montreal but there was no way Toronto general manager Brian Burke was going to give up the seventh pick.
After watching their beloved Canadiens actually get smaller up front (something many didn't think was possible), a group of disgruntled Habs fans have started referring to their club as "Team Smurf."
It is easy to see why.
Newcomers Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta, who will combine to chew up $18 million of cap space this season, bring a lot of skill and not much beef to the table. Gomez is the giant at 5-foot-11; Cammalleri is listed at 5-foot- 9; and the diminutive Gionta stands just 5-foot-7.
Chip off the ol' block?
Peterborough defenceman Barron Smith, who was drafted 188th overall by the Leafs, is the son of former NHL defenceman Steve Smith. Asked about that selection, Leafs GM Brian Burke could not help taking a light-hearted shot at Barron's ol' man, stating he hoped the kid did not shoot pucks off the legs of his teammates and into his own net. That, of course, was in reference to Steve Smith's bank shot off the back of Grant Fuhr's leg during the 1986 playoffs, the deciding goal in Calgary's elimination of Smith's Oilers.