In defense of JFJ!!!

This article is an attempt to defend JFJ and his moves as G.M.

Ill start with the players that remain from the starting roster that he inherited: Sundin, Stajan, Kaberle, Kilger, Ponikarovsky, McCabe, Pilar, Antropov, Tucker.

In my opinion he has identified and addressed the players that deserve to still be on this team.

Now the players that are gone from the team he inherited: Leetch, Roberts, Niewendyk, Berg, Johansson, Francis, Nolan, Fitzgerald, Renberg, Klee, Belfour, Reichel, Perrot, Marchment, Kidd, Mogilny.

Im sure all will agree that these players were past their prime or not very good.

His additions to the team: Aubin, Gill, Lindros(probably), Kubina, Oneill, Raycroft.

JFJ has always insisted that he had a plan and I think he does. Sometimes its not just what you add, but what you take away. He identified the players to keep, got rid of the ones that didnt belong or cost too much (although sometimes it hurts (Roberts)) and substituted them with the capable young guns.

JFJ has done a lot of behind the scenes kind of stuff also:

-restocked the farm by signing prospect free agents

-doubled the scouting for more accurate drafting

-grabbed Paul Maurice while he was available and put him on the farm to coach the kids that he would eventually be coaching in the NHL.

-and most important-he kept the kids that will make the team competitive in the future.

Im not saying he hasnt made any bad moves (Khavanov, resigning Berg last year) but he was still assessing the team and trying to stay competitive to keep you animals at bay..

Just one guys opinion, but a couple of years into service for JFJ and the future is starting to look pretty bright!

Now go ahead and bash me!!!

7 Responses to In defense of JFJ!!!

  1. Toonces99 says:

    No Bashing…you article isn’t too bad of an assesment…As a Hockey Fan and TO supporter l look around the league and hear and see things that other GM’s have done and say why can’t JFJ do that…then l try and take a step back and it all seems to makes some sense…As much as l think JFJ lacks in some ways you have to commend the guy for not selling the farm to get 32-35 year old players here. I think he may make an additional trade or move, time will tell and things like Peca and Lindros will come to fruition, just wait and see. From all the reports and all the articles l have read, JFJ is known as a very intelligent guy, Brian Burke states that he is one of the smartest people he knows, and the same sentiments were conveyed by team owners….

    As far as moves he missed, Samsanov, will score about 20-25 goals this year….other than that, forget it, does not have a centreman in MTL to play with (a la Joe Thornton), the pronger deal, the ducks gave up the farm to get Pronger…too much especially Lupul who will be a superstar in a very short while along with the a great d-prospect and picks….crazy…..Shanahan 4 mill per year for a 37 year old enough said (40 goals or no 40 goals, will be a bust in NY, (and NO he will not be playing with Jagr as they are both finishers and not set up men)…..Luongo…TO just didn’t have the assests the Keenan wanted…Jovo cop..6.5 per year, no money in the buds war chest for that…McCabe is a better deal…Chara…no chance he comes to TO….As far as this Gomez deal that may be in the works..l’m glad JFJ is waiting, Lou will have to trade him as he will not have the cap space to sign him, especially after he wins his arbitration hearing…will be trading for nothing as NJ cannot take on more salary as Gionta isn’t even signed yet…Might happen, doubtful though….Let’s be patient and see what happens, lots of time left and it seems more and more that teams will get better via trade not as opposed to UFA signing (unless it’s a superstar)…

  2. the_word says:

    In fairness, JFJ brought in Leetch, Johansson, Francis and Kidd. He also brought in Gilmour, Wesley and Housley which were fairly lack luster patch ups heading into a playoff run. The execption being Leetch who was great in Toronto, the Leafs IMO should have kept him (he signed for what 2 million a year in Boston). Francis was a good pick up for the PP, so that wasn’t a bad deal either.

    But that’s old news, the relevant factor was the post lockout NHL, where intially his hands were tied. What should have happen was the board caugh up some of the 30 million plus they make off reduced payrolls so that the Leafs could buyout some contracts (i.e. Nolan, maybe even Sundin) and have a clean slate to build a new core via free agency. JFJ wait and see who is available this year didn’t quite work out (I doubt Gill and Kubina were ‘The Plan’). His signing this year aren’t terrible but they could blow up in his face, its too bad he is given such a short leash, he is to a significant extent a victim of cir*****stance.

    Unfortunately for JFJ alots of players underachieved this year and last season was pretty much ruled by Murphy’s Law. The fact that JFJ is trying to clean up this mess by getting younger is refreshing.

  3. Toonces99 says:

    Broadly l agree, the only thing that l will see people jumping on you for will be the Sundin Comment, this guy here seems to be a god in Leaf land…? Personally l would try and trade him for some additional talent as he will probably request a trade should the Leafs be out of it by the Deadline, don’t get me wrong he is a great talent, but just hasn’t been able to deliver here for some reason, put him on the international team and he turn into supersundin…maybe it’s all the superstars around him, but no team could have that many studs on one team, Maybe the additional ice time will prove me wrong and l certainly hope it does…..? Just my thoughts.

  4. the_word says:

    You can’t trade Sundin now, nor should they, the only reason they maybe should have was to change the core of this team just after the lockout (they could have gone after say, Thornton). I like Sundin in the playoffs, I can recall a year he lead them in scoring while the Leafs were active. He’s great in international play because he has other talent on his line (no offense to Steve Thomas or Darcy Tucker). At six million per year, after seeing what players are signing for now, he’s a bargain.

  5. I-BE-LEAF says:


    finally, someone with some common sense.

    nevermind bashing, I’d rather raise a glass and make a toast in your honour. many thanks for a great read, Hoondog2!

    please bare with me while I go a little deeper with regards to this offseason’s moves:

    1) quinn: sad, but 7 years is 7 years.

    2) maurice: was guaranteed to happen. already knows what he has and what will be coming to work with = brilliant.

    3) mccabe: bleeds blue and white and deserves to make what he makes.

    4) pohl: earned it. plain and simple. maurice knows and anyone who thinks ferguson and maurice are not working closely together is nuts.

    5) domi and belfour: sad, as they were both amazing and bled blue and white for us but change had to happen.

    6) raycroft: sweet potential and peanuts compared to what other teams paid for UFA goalies. (patience folks – it’s gonna take years before we’ll see what rask can do and we still have pogge.)

    7) kubina: has won the cup and scored 17 goals that season. is kaberle’s partner when playing internationaly. wants to play in toronto & other teams were willing to pay more than what he signed for. check our depth – we’ve been drafting a lot of talented Czech kids thanks to our increased scouting.

    8) gill: has played with raycroft. will clear the net. used to playing a load of minutes and won’t have to now. blocks a lot of shots. peanuts compared to what some defensive defensemen went for.

    9) ondrus: crash and crash some more. why play someone in their late 30s for a third of the season to do what ondrus will do all year?

    10) antropov: loads of potential but sadly is injury prone. if he could have been traded by now, he would have been.

    11) battaglia: maurice loved what he brought last year. enough said.

    12) westrum: say what you want but anything negative is a stab at pohl as he was in the same position before a chance was taken on him last year. pohl and westrum have also played together.

    I understand experienced players bring a lot to a team. however, picking up UFAs that have always wanted to play for T.O isn’t the answer. in fact, it may create a kind of “hero” syndrome as they haven’t just dreamed of playing here, they’ve dreamed of being heroes here. we already have our own heroes. one of which is a freaking viking and sundin deserves as much ice as he wants. let our youth fill out the other lines and allow them the opportunity to grow and develope at a level where they need to be.

    okay. thanks for your patience in getting this far. maple leafs rule!

    keep up the great job, JFJ. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you too!

  6. Hoondog2 says:

    WELL SAID!!!

  7. Hoondog2 says:

    Nicely said!

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