Dryden to be demoted? Shvela retired…again?

Spotsnet.ca is reporting on their website that current President Ken Dryden has been considered “superflerous” by the new Leaf upper management and could be either reassigned to a lesser position, or released altogether. The article states that the new incoming board of directors will likely keep Quinn in his dual role of coach/GM, and seeing as quinn never reported to Dryden, but rather to the board, Dryden’s position will be eliminated.

Also possibly on the way out is Maple Leafs executive Bill Waters, whom has yet to be offered a contract by the organization. Watters came under heavy fire last summer from media and fans alike, for the Leafs percieved “lack of action” on the Free Agent market.

It looks like Shvela is set to retire…again. His agent, Ritch Winters, sent the organization a fax stating that Shvela has accepted a position with Dukla Trencin, a club team in Slovakia, as vice-president of player development. The Leafs hold a one year option on Shvela’s contract, and plan to exercise it by June 15, eliminating any chance of Shvela playing for any other team than the Leafs.

Shvela is known for these actions as a means of demanding more money in his contract.

What do the Leafs do now? The defense corps is looking pretty thin. Shvela threatening retirement, Wesley most likley to resign with the Hurricanes, Housley (who was a no show in the Playoffs…) probably not going to be offered a contract by the Leafs, and a slim to nothing chance of landing Hatcher or Desjardains off the Free Agent Market. There’s always Lumme and Berg! (ugh!)

Should the Leafs swallow their pride and pay Shvela the 5 million he’s asking? Personally, I fell he’s worth it. His stats speak for themselves, and he’s always been regarded as a warrior. Wesley also deserves a superior offer from the Leafs. As for the rest of Free Agent market, I’m not holding my breath. We saw what most players thought of Toronto. However there will be extra money available. Hoglund will not be given a qualifying offer, making him a free agent, it was reported that Lumme would be bought out of the remainder of his contract, and Corson is gone. (Healey and Ponikarovsky will likely be given a crack at the starting line-up to replace Corson and Hoglund).

And as for Dougie…well, it won’t be until next season until anything can be speculated there. (The Leafs have until July 1st to pick up his option worth 3 million)

What do you guys think? Will Dryden stick around in a reduced role? Do the Leafs have a prayer on the Free Agent market? Will Shvela return to his native Slovakia? Will Dougie play hockey again? Is this begining to sound like “Days of our Lives?” I sure think so….

TML51