Give JFJ a Break. Goalie Musical Chairs. Where are the Caps? Sens No. 1

5 days have passed since the beginning of the most wildest off-season in NHL history. And we fans have not been disappointed. This has been great for the game to see all this movement and get every place excited about hockey again.

Once place that has not been quite that excited and moreso enraged has been Leaf Nation. Some of the League’s best players became available on August 1st but 5 days in the Leafs have pretty much been on the outside looking in. The new cost certainty NHL is quite the different animal than the free spending ways of just a year ago. The Leafs had taken away their biggest trump card over other teams. Now with economic balance, it appeared that the Leafs were caught flat-footed.

The face of the supposed ineptness is John Ferguson Jr. The poor guy has been ripped repeatedly. It often appears that whatever he does is completely wrong. He makes a run for the cup trading youth for vets and he gets raked over the coals for stripping the team of young assets. He stands pat and starts to procur his assets rather than go for broke on veteran talent and he gets blamed for not wanting to win.

His most repeated phrase has been that he has a plan. We do not know what that plan is but quietly, he has done the right thing. You have to give the guy credit for having a plan considering the kind of bosses he has to work with. Things and opinions change by the hour at MLSE it appears. I am sure buyouts were on his mind, but not on the mind of the shareholders who would frown on giving away money for nothing. I am sure that with Belak and Perrott in the fold, there was really no use for Tie Domi to return to Toronto opening a roster spot for a youngster, but Tie’s ties with upper management, specifically Larry Tanenbaum, made his signing a necessity.

JFJ’s hands are tied on many fronts and to do what he has done, bring in Jason Allison for 1 year only on the cheap, possibly bringing in Eric Lindros the same way, and surrounding himself with top end hockey guys in scouting, coaching and management positions, has been admirable under the cir*****stances. The poor guy has had to change philosophies overnight from free spending to rebuilding and it will take some time before we finally see the fruits of his labour. So Leaf Nation should take a step back, look at the big picture and have some patience. Rome was not built overnight and neither will the Maple Leafs.

The free agent signing of Nikolai Khabibulin by the Blackhawks may start a chain reaction of goalie movement in the NHL. There are several teams who have yet to address their goaltending concerns heading into next season. It will be an interesting year for goalies with the new rules and reduced equipment. This group is going to have the biggest adjustment in the new NHL. The teams right now in need of goaltending help are the Wings, the Lightning, the Coyotes, the Canucks, the Pens. There are some interesting goalies who may become available at the right price. Currently there is available the likes of Curtis Joseph, Sean Burke, Chris Osgood and Felix Potvin via free agency. but also available via trade are guys such as Jocelyn Thibault, Martin Biron, and Marc Denis.

The Wings have brought back most of the veteran crew they went with in 2003-04. The likes of Chelios, Yzerman, Shanahan, Lidstrom (if he returns to Sweden) could be done after this season. So the time to win is now and in order to do that, they will need to find a way to shore up their goaltending. Legace is a solid backup, but not the guy who can put them over the edge. An interesting possibility for Detroit would be Jean Sebastien Giguere in Anaheim. at 4 million per, his price tag is high, but it would be hard to write off a former Conn Smythe Trophy winner. The wings know him well getting swept by him a couple of years ago and Mike Bab***** the new Wings coach knows him well also being his former coach in Anaheim. The Ducks need some more scoring and could attempt to pluck a guy like Hendrik Zetterberg away from Detroit. They have a young goalie in Ilya Bryzgalov on the way and could fill Giguere’s spot with a veteran.

In fact, that veteran could be Dan Cloutier. Still without a contract in Vancouver, he could find his way to Anaheim. new GM Brian Burke is a big Cloutier fan and if he could land him he would be pretty happy. In turn the Canucks could find a veteran to hold the fort in net until Alex Auld or top prospect Cory Schnieder can take over the reigns.

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12 Responses to Give JFJ a Break. Goalie Musical Chairs. Where are the Caps? Sens No. 1

  1. Tweek says:

    I agree about the sens, they only have one question mark and that is hasek and I think he just needs to be average for them to compete. The problem was that although they could beat the flyers they were never able to beat the leafs for whatever reason and with the leafs in a rebuilding mode they now can open up on the east, they have beaten all the east big shots in the playoffs before except toronto and this year should be the sens year.

  2. 92-93 says:

    as i stated in the last Leafs thread, this article should provide the other side (finally) to the JFJ debate:

  3. skidragoon says:

    sens suck they are never going to win a stanley cup, they don’t have the heart and the grit and never have had a goalie who has been above average and yes if you guys can continue to insult belfour then hasek is no better… So let him beat a player with his stick and let hossa poke eyes out and let alfredson make cheap shots.


  4. Basf93 says:

    Great article. Finally somebody that makes a bit of sense and is behind what the Leafs are doing. Nice to read a article that isnt garbage. As opposed to anything from Simmons, Strachan and 99% of the rest of the Toronto Media

  5. Ace_Bailey says:

    This is why other teams hate us.

  6. Ace_Bailey says:

    Pretty decent article. For years the Leafs have been raped as business and not truly run like a sports franchise. The Teacher’s Pension Union is another huge reason the Leafs aren’t willing to go the extra mile. Why risk losing money by signing players when they can still reap a huge profit without?

    I can only blame us loyalist Leaf fans. It’s because we support our team no matter what that the shareholders dont think about wanting to put together a Stanley Cup winning team.

  7. BigShow says:

    The Sens DONT suck, and this IS their year. I dont expect any Leafs fan to agree with me, mainly because they cant look at things for what they actually are.

    Yes, the Leafs have beat the Sens in the playoffs on multiple occasions but those days are now over. I still feel that the last time they met in the playoffs the Senators beat them in every area except wins versus Losses and it was in a game 7 when Patrick Lalime didnt show up to win.

    The problems of the past have been adressed and change will follow, so many things are now in the Senators favour that theres no way they CANT win the cup this year.

    Lets look at the issues:

    Goaltending: Lalime is a great goalie, but for whatever reason always came up short. I wish him all the best of luck with St. Louis and he will probably have a decent season there. Hasek is here to save the day, and lets wait and see how that plans out before everyone bashes his groin or his final season with Detroit. The man has something to prove here, why would he want to come back and do anything else but win? He can only go up from here and earning the respect of everyone before he finally retires (for good) is what he came back to do. He didnt pick Ottawa out of a hat, he knows theyre a contender and that he is a perfect fit and possibly the missing piece of the puzzle. Muckler and Hasek are good buddies and Dom knows Muckler is taking a risk on him, but he is here to show the world he’s not what you think he is and he’s here to win.

    Coaching: Bryan Murray may not have alot to put down on an all-star resume, but he doesnt nessecarily need to. Jacques Martin was a great coach but he lacked the fire to pump into his team when they needed it, and Bryan Murray is here to do just that. He has an amazing team to walk into and he is just enough to shake things up and get these guys going.

    Rule Changes: (specifically two line passes) Whether anyone wants to admit it or not, Ottawa has one of the best if not the best Right wings of any hockey team as it stands right now. To back that up they have some of the best defencemen the league has to offer. Take a second and think about this combination and how other teams compare and how the two line pass will help Ottawa more than others. I dont know how many times Ive seen Ottawa in their own end with some pressure and then Redden laces one up the ice to a streaking Hossa or Havlat flying down either side of the rink. That was in the old NHL where the furthest you could go was center and countless times that play has been whistled down as a two line pass. That isnt going to happen anymore and I think youre going to see more breakaways than ever.

    To sum up my Sens rant, I just want to say as much as you may hate them, the Senators are one of the best prepared teams for this season, and are one of the best teams to be affected by rule changes. We will have to wait and see what actually happens in the new NHL, but I think the Senators are going to be in great shape!


  8. CBA says:

    On the play where Hossa hit Berard in the eye, he just missed the puck on a shot. It was an accident. It wasn’t as if he went in and shoved his stick up Berard’s eye.

    Also, if you want to talk about cheap shots, look at your own team. Domi, Perrott, Belak (can you say slash-in-the-head?), Tucker…the list goes on.

  9. patty0707 says:

    Good article. I totally agree with you. The Sens definetly have the best right wing in the league , along with the best defence in the league. I think they need a second line center and a left winger woulld really look good to. But this is the Sens year (aside from what all the Leaf fans are saying (read the article on the best canadian team this year- actually dont, it will only get you mad and possibly alot dumber)

  10. nj814 says:

    haha yeah domi is the dirtiest player i have ever seen, elbow to the head

  11. nj814 says:

    yeah the sens were definetly one of the best transitions teams in hockey if not the best with redden feeding it to hossa and havlat and no two line pass is only going to help. i wish the devils would have signed neidermeyer because him and rafalski will probably dominant because they are good transitionaly and are offensively talented

  12. LeafsBeyondDoubt says:

    I might be wrong but last time I checked the Sens didn’t have Chara or Hossa signed, that supposed to make the team a contender?

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