Leafs Cupless due to bad GM's

This is not going to be an article saying the Leafs will win the cup this year and every other year. Instead, I am getting to the root of Leafs woes.Alot of you will disagree with me here, but the fact of the matter is that Toronto IS the centre of the hockey universe. We have in the top five payrolls and the top five profits, and it has the deepest pockets. They make more money then any other team, of course they spend more money then almost any other team. So why haven’t they won a cup in nearly forty years, then?

Everyone loves playing in Toronto, like it or not. Every player loves the atmosphere, the attention and the love that Toronto fans give them. In the Toronto Sun last summer they named a huge groupe of free agents that said playing in Toronto, however unlikely, would be a great experience. These players included Joe Nieuwendyk, Adam Graves, Dmitri Yushkevich, and I believe Sergei Fedorov. In 1997 even Wayne Gretzky wanted to play here, but the Leafs at the time were too cheap to sign him so he opted to sign with the New York Rangers. We even had one of the largest fan base in 1985… when we finished LAST!!

The problem with the Leafs is that they’ve had bad GM’s over the years. We’re the team that could have any one, and yet we have a bunch of aging ex-superstars past their primes.

So knowing that we could almost get any one, who would you go out and get if you were the Toronto Maple Leafs’ GM? Please note that it has to be realistic. When I say we could get almost any one, I mean when they’re available. Jarome Iginla in his position or Martin St. Louis wouldn’t become Leafs, and Daniel Alfredsson doesn’t count. So who would you sign to turn around this franchise?


82 Responses to Leafs Cupless due to bad GM's

  1. simplyhabby says:

    I don’t know why but certain teams in the NHL for years have followed the same model when creating a team. Of course there are some exceptions but its a general rule of thumb.

    For instance, the habs have always relied on superior goaltending and speed up front.

    The Flyers go for the big, tough, mean and veteran experience.

    The Devlis (for the last 15 or so years approx) have relied on a stong defensive system.

    As for the Leafs, well they like signing old vets. Its been a long time since the Leafs have actually matured a young core of players. Now there is nothing wrong with this model as it does work now and again but for the Leafs….its time to wipe the slate clean and start over.

    What the Leafs need to do is have a fire sale, round up as many draft picks as possible, improve their scouting staff and keep guys like Stajan, White and Carlos C.

    There will be a few painful years but for the greater good its definately worth it. The way I look at it, whats a few more years for a team who has not won since 67. At least its a change of the game plan that has not worked for all these years.

    I would really not say that the Leafs have had bad GM’s. Over the last 15 years, te GM’s have made the Leafs a cup contender almost every year. To be honest, if you refute my idea about the model the Leafs have used over the years, the curse definately has something to do with it.

  2. hockeyhead says:

    on another thought, i have a shirt that says leafs 67…the year they were instated…what does that mean? they are original six.

    team identity? the leafs have only been good for the last 5 6 years and they have been playing more of a fast paced hard hitting game.

    before, they were door mats in the norris. they only had a handful of stars…vaive, potvin, clark. no real dominating defenseman like bourque.

    the bruins, in the same boat but have come closer to a cup than the leaves on several occations in the past 30 years but have had “bad luck”.

    the bruins have always had an identity and i think the leafs are starting to play a certain brand of hockey and they need to draft and trade according to that mold.

  3. cgolding says:

    i think a combination of coaching and GM work has been their major problem the last few years. they’ve been a very good team, but come playoff time they just can’t get the job done to go all the way.

    they’ve knocked the Sens around — clearly the strategy with them — but have struggled against teams that are bigger with good coaching, meaning teams that can stand up to them while playing smarter. the leafs are one of my favorite teams to watch and whenever they get a game on espn i try and sit down to watch some of it (getting harder to do while working and taking classes), but the style of play is also not the best suited to the playoffs when the game becomes more technical.

    what makes the leafs such a strong regular season team is that they have a few very dangerous offensive players with a group of guys that are more than willing to run people through the wall. they fly around the ice and play “old school” hockey, which isn’t surprising since their coach has been around forever. they beat up on teams that aren’t prepared for this style of play — since sadly it isn’t played in the NHL anymore — and get a good regular season out of it.

    then they get into the playoffs and have drawn the flyers the last couple of years and simply get out coached in my opinion. last year they came in a bit banged up… which is where the GM making the team older and older is a factor. however, both of those series were obviously close and i think it is safe to say if you simply go through the lineups superficially they are pretty even teams, but when push comes to shove and Hitch has 7 games to get to you… the flyers have gotten the job done.

    whenever there is hockey again the league is going to be a completely different landscape and the leafs are going to lose their major advantage in payroll. what does that mean? it means they are going to have to get younger and start to develop talent in order to remain competitive. quality veteran players will not move from team to team as much (whatever the union says this isn’t true… the cap world will allow teams to keep cornerstone players much easier… while letting lesser veterans walk). given that i was just reading an article about the lack of leaf prospects in the WJC the immediate future for young talent isn’t a good one for them.

    for the leafs the future isn’t “who would you sign?” the future is “who should we draft?” “who should we let walk for a younger player?” so on and so forth.

    say what you want about clarkie, but if you look at the flyer’s moves over the past few years they’ve been developing for this situation. he’s stockpiled picks and drafted a ton of players, many of whom are looking solid (Pitkanen, Richards, Carter, Ruzicka, etc…), and the lineup down here is peppered with younger players that will be the stable to play in the new world order whenever it comes about.

    home grown talent is what the leafs as a management group need to start worrying about… not quick fixes found on the UFA wire.

  4. habsoverserver says:

    The Toronto Maple Leafs are a business first and a hockey team second. Every ownership group in team’s recent history has put the bottom line ahead of winning.

    Don’t confuse spending with winning. Spending has a lot to do with entertaining. The Rangers spend a ton of money but really don’t care about winning. They just want to show that they have a team of stars. The same can be said of Toronto. Torontonians love to see “veterans with grit”. So management stocks up on them to make the fans happy.

    If I was GM of Toronto, I would quit and go to work for an organiztion committed to winning. Teams like Colorado, Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit are win at any cost. Totonto is not in that category and every free agent knows that.

    That having been said, I think the best line you could make by combination of trade and free agent signing would be Gaborik, Palfy and Arnot. If you can’t trade for Gaborik, I’d go for Kovalev.

  5. Aetherial says:

    I definitely think part of the problem the last couple years is that the leafs have to leave it all out on the ice to get past the Sens who are, let’s admit it, a better team.

    Then they have to face the Flyers (Ugh). I simply could not envision them beating the Flyers after that Sens series.

    I agree with everything else you said.

    I also think that a close look at last year should make people stand up, take notice, and change the playoff seedings.

    The Leafs had more points than the Flyers in a TOUGHER division. Yet, the Flyers get ranked higher, they get the Devils vs. the Leafs getting the Senators.

    No knock on the Devils, they are always tough, but come on, take a reasonable look at the two teams. The Senators were MUCH tougher competition.

    So, the Leafs get more point, in a tougher division, and their reward is a much tougher first round opponent and then they don’t even get home ice advantage.

    Even if you are a Flyer’s fan, even if you hate Leaf bashing… you have top admit there is something F’d up about that scenario.

    Before anyone freaks out… I am not convinced by any means that they could beat a more disciplined Flyer’s team even had the teams played in the first round!

    The difference in what the teams went through in the first round, and home ice advantage made huge differences.

  6. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    The leafs need to embrace and develop young talent. The best teams in the game do this and end up better than the Leafs. Detroit, Philly, NJ, AVs. Trading top picks and or prospects for Brian Leech isn’t the kinda move TO fans should be looking for because Leech wasn’t anywhere near enough (at this point in his career) to get past the Flyers in the East.

    The kinda move TO should be looking for is signing RJ Umberger (a former 1st round pick) when Glen Sather brainlessly passed him over when he was asking for a big rookie salary. The Flyers knew they had no low first round picks thus why not just spend money on this kid? Make sense.

    Another kind of move would be to look for players on the outs who are still young. steven Weiss in FLA seems to be a good player to look into. Keenan hates him and that is BAD when Keenan doesn’t like you but it doesn’t mean the kid can’t play. He CAN and he can be had for a song.

    Another player I would look to in TO is Paul Kariya. I know he will be expensive but he is worth it at his age. He will sell a lot of sweaters and is bankable talent that isn’t 38 years old.

    In the event of a season, if you want to see the Leafs retooled, expect to see JFJ have to go to Tennebaum for LOTS of money to buy out players. My guess is the Leafs and Flyers (the 2 biggest payrolls in the NHL as of this year) would be your 1 and 2 to win the cup in a short season. If I were the leafs I would do what I could, pay what taxes there are to be paid to land Lindros and Karyia and make a run for it. In a short season Lindros is a MAJOR gamble but he is a point per game player. I would sign him for that one year and base his $$$ on games played. He’d do it to go to TO.

  7. simplyhabby says:

    You make an excellent point about those possible diamond in the rough guys (in these cases, known but not excelled) like Umberger and Wiess. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to jumpstart these young guys and make them consistent players. John LeClair being the biggest example that come to my mind when he went to the Flyers from Montreal.

    Lindros is a major gamble but like you said he is a point per game player and can have a huge impact.

    I think kariya would be a great pick up for the leafs but I just can’t see him in the blue and white. Its a tought Eastern Conference in an even tougher division. If he comes, he needs some protection on his line.

  8. cgolding says:

    i’m sick of the complaint about the seeding simply because the Flyers got screwed by it more than once in the 90’s — the Flyers and Devs were consistently at the top of the conference. the league has placed a premium on winning your own division, go out and win your division and don’t wine if you don’t. you think you got screwed this year, look at the good teams in the West that have gotten raw deals in recent memory.

    it is the way it is in EVERY other sport at that. they have three divisions you can’t just make that meaningless, it’s a division title and it earns you a top 3 seed. maybe if the leafs hadn’t been splattered by the flyers earlier in the season it wouldn’t have been an issue. it isn’t as if this was dropped from the sky on them… they are the rules, you know them in advance.

    more to the point, it happened to the flyers in ’03 and ’01… not going to bother looking at the standings back into the 90’s, but know it happened on multiple occasions during those years. were you arguing that the changes to the system were necessary in those years?

  9. simplyhabby says:

    As much as I hate Bobby Clarke and do not always agree with he money he throws around but the aspect he has on most GM’s in the league is if there is a player that he wants, he gets. Not many GM’s have that luxury or prowess for that matter to get what they want.

    9/10 times most GM’s settle on the next best available player to what they originally wanted.

  10. habsoverserver says:

    Chris,

    What about the bullocks?

    The Flyers had six draft picks who played 50 or more games for them last season. The Leafs had five. I think the only “homegrown” organizations in hockey are the Devils, Avs, Habs and to a lesser extent the Bruins and Stars. For each of these teams, the majority of current top players came from within the organization.

    Many teams can win without drafting homegrown talent. The Flames and Bolts developed strong teams by trading for young players. I think Minnesota will do the same over time.

    The Flyers have some good young players in their system (esp Carter). They are also prepared to dump some of their veterans. However, the Flyers have not used much homegrown talent for the past five years and, like the Leafs, they have traded away draft picks to get veterans. Remember Adam Oates?

    I have to agree with you that Hitch is a major difference.

    Hockey is a true team sport, a player needs to have the right style linemates. The coaches and GM’s who understand that dynamic get the right players.

  11. cgolding says:

    fine… lets view the flyers from a mercenary/non-mercenary perspective of how Clarke built this team by looking at the current roster.

    Handzus – stolen in a brilliant trade.

    Primeau – picked up for Brindamour

    Roenick – mercenary

    Sharp – draft

    Brash – good trade

    Fedoruk – draft

    Gagne – draft

    Leclair – excellent trade and been with the team since the last lockout.

    Somik – draft

    Amonte – Coyote dump trade… got him for nada

    Kapanen – excellent trade

    Radio – trade

    Johnsson – Lindros deal

    Markov – great trade

    Joni Pitkanen – draft

    Ragnarrson – trade

    Seidenberg – trade

    Timander – trade

    Desjardins – w/ Leclair

    Burke – trade

    Esche – amazing trade with zeus

    i mean… look at that. the only “old” guy they traded for of any weight is Amonte… the only UFA signed from another team there is Roenick. i mean they have been guilty of taking on some trades from weaker teams, but they aren’t nearly the merc squad that the leafs have thrown out there over the past few years.

  12. habsoverserver says:

    You were talking about the Leafs’ need to draft better. My point was that the Flyers were built mostly through trades and not through the draft.

    I agree with you entirely that Clarke does a good job trading for talent.

    How many picks has Clarke stockpiled?

    He traded two picks for Amonte (3rd in 03, 2nd in 04)

    A fifth in 03 for Lapointe

    A fourth in 03 and 7th in 04 for Yuskevich

    A conditional 03 for Warriner

    He got a conditional in 04 for Ranheim

    He got back an 8th round in 04 and a 3rd round in 05 for Therien.

    He gave up a second round in 05 for Malakhov.

    He gave up a second round in 04 for Zhamnov and got back a fourth round pick.

    He sent Edmonton a first round pick in 04 and a third round pick in 05 for Comie.

    In 02 Clarke traded his first three picks for Oates.

    So that’s 11 picks traded away for three picks coming back.

    Looking at it again:

    02 – gave up 1,2,3 rounds (had a 1 from trade)

    03 – gave up 3,4,5 (had 4 3’s from trade/compensation)

    04 – gave up 1, 2,4,7 and a second 2 that he acquired in trade

    05- gave up 2,3 got back a 3

    Only once in the past seven years have the Flyers drafted more than two players of the first 100 to be drafted. The Leafs have drafted at least two players in the top 100 every year but one over that period.

  13. Aetherial says:

    As a matter of fact, yes, I have always hated the seedings.

    I am not claiming that the Leafs would have beaten the Flyers.. I have always been vocal about my opinion that the teams were quite evenly matched.

    I am only stating a FACT that a team that did better, against tougher opponents was given a much tougher path in the playoffs.

    I am quite certain, in teh past, that the Flyers were screwed similarly.

    It really does not matter to me who gets shafted, if it was your Flyers, I would still hate the system.

    I think it is stupid and not justifiable.

    By the way, yeah, the Leafs were beaten handily by the Flyers… on the other hand, what do you think your chances would have been had the Flyers played Ottawa? Honestly, no offense, I do not think they would have beaten Ottawa. We are all entitled to our opinion though.

    By the way, when the Flyers won the series, I came on here… stated they were the better team and was done with it.

    I cannot, AT ALL, say the same for the level of maturity and class you Flyer fans showed in the playoffs last year. My mentioning of the playoff seeding BS only started AFTER you guys whined about every imaginable thing…

  14. Aetherial says:

    Unfortunately the Leafs drafting choices have been absolutely awful.

  15. Aetherial says:

    I really don’t want Kariya or Lindros and their frailty.

    I also don’t think the Leafs are anywhere near a Stanley Cup, even in a short season, they are simply too old to survive the brutal playoffs. They proved that last year.

    I also don’t think the Flyers have what it takes to win the cup.

    I would put my money on Tampa again.

  16. Aetherial says:

    The bottom line is this.

    The Leafs suck as an organization off the ice, from top to bottom.

    They have sucked for many years. Their in ability to draft has bitten them in the ass for decades.

    They have not done poorly with free agents though. I cannot really think of too many that turned out to be horrible acquisitions. I haven’t really looked back though.

    They are just a pathetic organization and they are that way because

    a) Ownership doesn’t care and doesn’t have a clue

    b) They are lazy because they will be the richest team in the league, every year, no matter what apparently.

    Blame the Leaf fans!!! WE are the ones paying for this circus show.

  17. cgolding says:

    you said…

    “How many picks has Clarke stockpiled? “

    then…

    “In 02 Clarke traded his first three picks for Oates.

    So that’s 11 picks traded away for three picks coming back. “

    so he stockpiled picks and then used them to acquire talent?

    in that time he’s also drafted 3 members of the WJC champion canadian team. joni pitkanen, dennis seidenberg, patrick sharp, stefan ruzicka, antero nittymaki(3-0 last year in a short stint), etc…

    i would argue that clarke has used his picks pretty wisely.

  18. simplyhabby says:

    WOW. A Leaf fan finally admits it! I must say I am impressed! (Admitting its the fans fault)

    MLSE cares nothing more then the bottom line.

    Habsoverserve said it perfectly

    “The Toronto Maple Leafs are a business first and a hockey team second. Every ownership group in team’s recent history has put the bottom line ahead of winning.

    Don’t confuse spending with winning. Spending has a lot to do with entertaining……..Torontonians love to see “veterans with grit”. So management stocks up on them to make the fans happy.”

  19. cgolding says:

    whatever.

    I think it is stupid and not justifiable.

    i justified it. if you want to go to a conference system w/out divisions fine, but that isn’t the way it is. if you are going to divide it into divisions (which i like because it spawns rivalries), then you are going to give something to a team for winning their division.

    this happens in baseball, basketball, and football… so you have a WHOLE lot of people operating in an “unjustifiable system.”

    in theory the system is a protection mechanism for when you have a ridiculously unbalanced situation in terms of divisional talent. the reason you WANT the division winners to be assured of a top 3 seed is for the event when the top 5 teams in a conference all happen to be in the same division… thus butchering each others point total and allowing potentially weaker teams to rack up better point totals in weaker divisions.

    in reality there is no “perfect” system, but if you are going to have “divisions” and “division champions,” you should give those division champions something for accomplishing that. it creates much more excitement coming down the stretch as important seeds are still in play, and gives teams that could otherwise have nothing to play for down the stretch something important to accomplish.

    if you want to complain about the system, complain about the system. but don’t argue from the “leafs got hosed” standpoint when they didn’t. they knew what they had to do.

    and yes, the flyers — the way they played in the playoffs — could have beaten ottawa… the main reason the flyers got roasted by ottawa the previous two years was Checko doing odd crap at odd times (plus the beating taken in the 7 game series against toronto), and the fact that Barber didn’t know how to coach. they took the stanley cup champions to 7 games with most of their defensemen either out or playing with one arm.

    hell, if we’d gotten ottawa we wouldn’t of had Tucker taking runs at people (considering he dinged Kapanen and Malakhov), which would have improved our situation against Tampa.

    but that’s life… sorta like the rules for seeding.

  20. cgolding says:

    the NHL is not kind to defending stanley cup champions generally.

  21. guinsfan4life says:

    First, let me say I agree with your points about the Leafs, and I have been echoing the same sentiments about every time an article comes up on this topic for about the last 3 years. Yet, no Leaf fan realizes the flaws about his/her team.

    The first thing I would do is fire pat quinn. I don’t know who I’d replace him with but it would have to be someone who plays younger players (even though they make mistakes), and actually coaches the game. You mention in the article that many veteran free agents want to play in Toronto–can you then imagine how many young players would relish playing there??? And how much they’d give for the city and that team?

    Secondly, I’d take a long look at the Leafs’ minor league system, its’ coach players etc. Check the scouts and try to figure out why the Leafs have one of the worst talent among any team in the minor leagues.

    Finally, I’d stop throwing obsurd amounts of money at over rated veterans and only make the deals that you can afford to make…(not giving up too many prospects).

  22. Aetherial says:

    agreed, I just dont see where they have lost much. Of course it is tough to judge teams given the lockout.

    Who knows at this point who will even be back… if they ever start again!

  23. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I also dislike the coaching. Quinn is an ass hole. We lost the 03 Flyers series because one game in OT we only played three lines, the fourth was benched. We got tired, and Recchie scored.

  24. Aetherial says:

    Toronto also loves a loser.

    The fact is, as long as the Leafs don’t win, people will keep watching… just so they can say they were a part of it.

    It is not *just* the labour problems that killed baseball in Toronto. The Blue Jays won two world series… after that, the whole game seemed boring and anti-climatic.

    As long as the Leafs are not losing, and we play in your face, old-style hockey… I am not even sure the city cares if they win.

    We just love the Leafs 🙂

    It *is* our fault though.

  25. Aetherial says:

    I think Pat Quinn is a good coach. In some respects he is a GREAT coach.

    Having said that, it is time for him to go. The Leafs need a change.

  26. Aetherial says:

    You know half of us here love em and half of us here hate em.

    What you can’t say, is that they are boring.

    They are not boring on or off the site.

    They are not even boring on this site.

    That is the way Leaf fans want it.

  27. Aetherial says:

    Fine then, abolish divisions.

    You know, I have not heard ONE valid counterpoint from you to my original premise that the Leafs got screwed.

    All I have heard is “so do other teams”… which I have NEVER denied.

    You clearly think I am making excuses and you clearly take offense.

    You also are among all the Flyer fans with VERY VERY short memories apparently; exactly like I predicted you all would be.

    In more than 3 years on this site I have never witnessed anything like the whining and crying you Flyer fans came up with last year. It was absolutely pathetic. Be thankful that Hitch, Roenick and Co. are not nearlythe *****ing little girls that you candy-asses are.

    Now we are whining about Tucker.

    OMFG you are cracking me up!

    Send me your address; I’ll mail you a box of f*cking tissues.

  28. habsoverserver says:

    Your statement: “he’s stockpiled picks and drafted a ton of players”

    Facts:

    11 picks traded away for 3 picks back

    -> that’s not “stockpiling” that’s losing picks

    only once in 7 years has Clarke drafted more than 2 players in the top 100

    -> that’s not “a ton of players”

    Clarke is good at trading and he may have made good draft picks. But you are wrong in saying that he stockpiled picks and drafted a ton of players.

    I am not being critical of Clarke. He’s pretty good at trading and drafting. Overall he has a decent record from Minnesota and Philadelphia.

  29. cgolding says:

    THE LEAFS DIDN’T GET SCREWED!

    i repeat

    THE LEAFS DIDN’T GET SCREWED!

    did an official make a mistake? no.

    did something occur that shouldn’t have occured based on the rules of the game that EVERYONE else plays under? no.

    those are pretty much the only reasons you can argue they got “screwed” by what happened last year. what happened to them is what the guidelines for playoff seeding say will happen.

    did the teams that got placed in the Group of Death get screwed at the last World Cup? no. That’s how they decide the thing, it is the same for everyone, you play the cards you are dealt.

    neverminding that if you are going to win anything in the stanley cup finals, your seed is completely irrelevant. how many 5+ seeds have made it to the cup finals in recent memory?

    i’m sorry, was i “whining” about tucker? i said he took a run at kapenen and malakhov… can you deny this? am i making it up? did they not both recieve concussions from those hits? am i making that up? do i think those hits would have been avoided by playing the sens? yes. do i think if those players hadn’t been banged up it might have made a difference? yes.

    say what you want about the tucker hit. he led with his elbow to kapanen’s jaw, it’s EASY to see on the replay. it’s also a hit that will NEVER get called in OT of the playoffs… so that’s life. those are hits Tucker is known for around the league, and the reason he’s hated in pretty much every city but Toronto.

    fact of the matter is that hit ALMOST won that game for you, so it was a good team play by him.

    but here’s your “justification” for why division champs SHOULD have a right to the top 3 seeds.

    the leafs played 24 games against the NE last year… as did their fellow NE division members. in the theoretical world where you have five evenly matched teams they go 12-12 (get half the available points in those 24 games) against their division, but that is a good mark because the division is absolutely loaded (think ACC basketball). that means that they have 58 other games to play against the rest of the league. generally speaking a top 3 seed in your world is probably going to cost 103 pts min. (since everyone is in the boat for those seeds not the division champs). all of this means that there are 116 available points in play outside of their division that they can then get. in a world where the division champ gets nothing this means that 79 points are probably necessary to get that top 3 seed range… that’s 68% of the available points… against the best teams in the west… best teams in the east. that’s real tough.

    in any event, justifying it with the rather simple reasoning of: they won their division thus get the top 3 seeds. there is a “justification” for the logic of creating a reward system for divisions… in a large sense it is there to protect against unbalanced scheduling that can occur.

    it isn’t perfect. a perfect seeding format would be to throw out east and west and simply play the whole league and seed 1-16, however, that is unpractical with travel and an 82 game schedule.

    in any event. the rules are the rules. the players know it. the fans know it. everyone knows it. so strap on your friggin chin strap and go take care of your own division. better yet take advantage of the fact that in a 7 game series the better team usually wins regardless of who has home ice, and get the job done.

  30. habsoverserver says:

    Every year Leafs fans get exactly what they want, the chance to see if their brand of firewagon hockey can knock off the Flyers’ brand of firewagon hockey.

    For what it’s worth, it’s usually the best series of the playoffs and I am in NYC so it’s not like I have to watch the CBC/TSN 24/7 Leaf networks.

  31. cgolding says:

    and Florida.

    what is a draft pick?

    a draft pick is the ability to aquire a player in the draft. what is the difference between drafting a player and using that pick to aquire a player already in the league? not that much, unless you are using those picks for someone that is going to be gone in short order. clarke has consistently moved those picks for equal parts young talent, and in the case of oates, zhamnov, etc… shots at making a dent in the playoffs.

    at one point we had something like 19 draft picks for ONE draft… which was why he sent a lot of those picks elsewhere.

    1998

    22 C Simon Gagne – flyer

    168 G Antero Niittymaki – flyer whenever we play

    253 D Bruno St. Jacques – trade

    1999

    22 G Maxime Ouellet – oates trade (hasn’t done that much)

    2000

    28 R Justin Williams – traded

    171 G Roman Cechmanek – ugh, almost vezina

    227 L Guillaume Lefebvre – amonte

    2001

    27 L Jeff Woywitka – comrie

    95 F Patrick Sharp – flyer

    150 G Bernd Bruckler – Wisconsin’s goalie nominated for pre-season player of the year i believe

    172 D Dennis Seidenberg – flyer/phantom

    225 David Printz – phantom(pretty sure)

    2002

    4 D Joni Pitkanen – flyer

    105 D Rosario Ruggeri – in trenton(phantom when seids/pitkanen out of the way)

    2003

    11 C Jeff Carter – team canada

    24 C Mike Richards – team canada

    69 C Colin Fraser – team canada

    81 R Stefan Ruzicka – team slovakia

    87 F Ryan Potulny – tearing it up at U of Minn.

    108 Kevin Romy – team switzerland

    191 G Rejean Beauchemin – team canada

    and that’s obviously cutting out a whole lot of guys they’ve drafted… and leaving this year alone since who knows with most of them. that’s a lot of players… and he has had and used a lot of picks during his time in philly.

  32. cgolding says:

    mental edge… they don’t want it enough anymore… they need to watch someone else skate with it before they get the hunger back… unless they a vet team (which they aren’t) — so think it may be an issue with them. could coast to the playoffs and then get smoked by someone.

    hell… the devils missed the playoffs after winning their first.

  33. cgolding says:

    addendum – Fraser moved in the Zhamnov deal (the only reason we managed to win the division last year)

  34. Kraut182 says:

    In the NHL (should it ever return) there are 30 teams, only 1 can win the Cup. But ever year Leafs fans expect to win the cup, even though the odds are 3.3%, or if you want to double that as they have a high payroll then 6.7%. Every year for the past how ever many, though, the Leafs have had a realistic shot of winning the cup. I think they’ve lost 3 straight game 7’s, correct me if I’m wrong.

    That, IMO, is all a GM/coach can give a team. If the Flames had lost game 7 to the Canucks would Sutter be any less of a GM/coach. Not in my mind. He made a good team and gave it a chance to win, that’s all you can really do. Then it’s up to the players, and more importantly to chance. A good NHL team will only win around half its games against another good NHL team. Every year the Leafs have had a chance to win, something that can only be said about a handful of teams, and for that reason I think the Leafs have done a great job.

    With that said, I do wish they would draft better and do a better job of developing prospects (I hated the McCauley/Boyes for Nolan deal). Unfortunately they have a lot of pressure to win and had a few bad contracts that they finally got rid of (Renberg, Reichel), that clogged up the system. This should clear some room.

  35. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    No they haven’t.

    The last game 7 we played was Ottawa in 04, we won.

    In 03 we did lose to the Flyers in seven, but it prolly shouldn’t have even gone that far.

    Then Ottawa again in 02, we won,

    And the Islanders in 02, we won.

  36. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Actually now that I think about it, the Leafs have one of the best game seven records in the league, and are ussually knocked out in 6.

  37. nocuphere says:

    Disagree with you, but hey, this is what this site is all about.

    Pat Quinn isn’t bad. He’s had a competive team every year he’s been in Toronto, but to echo Goldings post above, his style is old school, hard knock intimidation that will get you two things; Wins in the regular season, and an early exit from the playoffs because of the toll that style takes on the geriatrics during the regualr season.

    Can’t really say anything bad about Ferguson. He’s expanded the scouting staff. He’s brought in a guy like Button to scout. He’s signed up all recent draft picks. He also worked in the Sens organation, and knows how important scouting has become. Just look at the sens.

    The AHL leafs look good for a bunch of apparent no talent prospects. I’ve watched them as much as possible. Obviously not the NHL, but talent is talent. They’ve got some quality youth in St. Johns, overseas, and throughout junior in Canada and the U.S.

    Bottom line is every GM wishes he could have a few do-overs. Quinn, at least brought some respect back, now it’s Fergie to take them to the next level, or a level.

  38. habsoverserver says:

    OK but he still trades away draft picks for veteran players.

    Obviously he only drafts good players. Nobody purposefully drafts lousy players. We will see how the 2003 draft group does in a few years. I think Carter (his only high pick in many years) has a solid NHL future. The rest are a crap shoot.

  39. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Pat Quinn is better as an international coach, he knows how to run the leagues best players. But when he’s got Antropov, and Poni on his second line… it’s kinda hard.

  40. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    I love it when my article causes so much contreversey.

  41. cgolding says:

    you may have noticed mike richards during the WJC… he’s the one that accepted the trophy from Gretzky when Canada won. if Carter has a “solid future” i’ll take the team captain with him.

    you will also notice that in many of clarke’s deals he gets younger players with the veterans. like with burke came radio and ben eager — who looks like he could be a tank on the third/fourth line — so that there is a stream of younger players into the system.

  42. Kraut182 says:

    Ooops, Flyers last year and Canes 2 years ago were both 6 but for some reason my brain had them for 7. Either way, not only have the Leafs have lost their last 4 eliminating series’ in 7,6,7,6. No series blowouts, definitely any of these could have gone the other way … but didn’t.

  43. Aetherial says:

    True that, it happens all the time where teams lose the edge.

  44. Aetherial says:

    Agreed that the better team wins.

    I never came out and said the leafs were better, even last year.

    There is one caveat… if a team gets dragged out to 7 against a tough component, I think they end up leaving a lot on the ice from the last series.

    There has to be a better system for seeding.

  45. Aetherial says:

    It doesn’t take much for Flyers fans and Leafs fans to start b1tching at each other 🙂

    Sadly, I actually respect the Flyers organization and even like a few of their players 🙂

  46. PayUpSucka says:

    On Tucks. 29 GM’s would love to have him on their roster, including the flyers.

  47. simplyhabby says:

    The leafs generally do have very exciting playoff matchups just because of their style of hockey. As much as I enjoy the Philly Toronto rivalry, its a good argument to indicate the Leafs Sens series are better.

    But I will never forget that crazy overtime filled series in 2002 (Leafs/Philly) with the worst game 7 the leafs ever played.

    I was so anxious to see that game 7 just to be so disapointed. That is one reason why I could never be a leaf fan! I know the habs have had their woes over the last 5 or so years but at least they do not build up my hope so much to to knock you down and kick you in the groin repeatedly like the Leafs do to their fans.

  48. cgolding says:

    maybe if he played the same on the road as he does at home.

  49. cgolding says:

    it’s pretty much been proven that seeding is absolutely meaningless in the cup playoffs. teams rise from the 5,6,7 seeds to reach the conf. finals and cup finals with regularity. sure a 7 game series hurts you, but an easy/hard series can occur against ANY seed in the playoffs. the flyers looked like they had a miserable first round this year and then took the devs out in 5. in reality, there was very little difference between 1-6 in the east this year going in… and then montreal came in and took out the bruins.

    seeding doesn’t matter. getting the job done is all you really have to worry about once you get in. especially if you can avoid a 7 game series which probability wise is about the only time the home-ice is an issue.

    there are other systems for seeding, but i am not sure they are necessarily “better.” as a flyers fan i absolutely love having the extra games against the devs and rangers (when they are actually good), pitt used to be a great cross-state rivalry as well. the divisions breed those things, and if you are going to have unbalanced schedules you cannot simply go straight down the point totals because that isn’t fair when teams schedules aren’t the same.

    does it suck when you get stuck in the 4 seed when you have a higher point total? yeah, it sux a lot. pretty sure one year point wise we were the 2 seed and didn’t miss the first seed by much, but dropped to the 4 seed because of the seeding rules. however, that is the price you pay for not winning your division and by placing a premium on winning your division it makes what could be a VERY boring 82 game schedule that much more exciting with games that are MUCH MUCH more meaningful than they would be if the division weren’t so important.

    i love flyer/leaf games, but they are just eastern conference rivalry games… important, but not a huge deal. flyer/devs games (tor/ottawa/bos) become huge because they represent 4 point swings in the divisional standings and in turn the eventual top seed that the division gives you.

    i like rivalries, thus i like the current system because it breeds them in a way a rather boring seeding system like what you are suggesting doesn’t.

  50. tmeyers says:

    The problem with the Leaves are the players suck.

    I dont believe this crap about players actually “Wanting” to play in Toronto. Give em enough money and they’ll want to play anywhere.

    Besides, who wants to deal with those “HOLIER THAN THOU” Canadians Who do nothing but sit on their asses and complain about everything but do nothing.

    Just look at how much help they’re are giving to Indonesia. The supposedly “Richest” G8 country (The only one in the Black) is giving measly $$. Then they sit back and complain about Americans.

    …just an example.

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