Leafs: The Whole Thing Stinks

As Leafs Nation waits for the outcome of Fletcher’s bid to start turning this team around, I’m starting to wonder if all Leafs fans want to see the Leafs win a cup or just merely win some games. Either way, the whole thing stinks!

I hate being one of the fans still pounding on this issue but I don’t get why so many people are still satisfied with the current Leafs mess. Why are the stands packed (but everyone is silent at the game)? Who are those people in the stands with blue and white on their face (Sen’s fans?)? Why are media personalities getting pounded on when they talk about the Leafs trading Sundin or others? Why does Sundin and the Leafs believe they can still make the playoffs? Why is Richard Peddie still the President of MLSE? I’m trying not to be impatient. I simply would like to get a taste of the future and this won’t happen unless big change is made.

It is obvious that fans and media can help create change in MLSE. I believe that is why JFJ got fired! Peddie found a way to appease us. That is why I continue to give my opinion: to promote through the masses that the Leafs must change to be a contender again, at any costs. But, is this it for the 2007-2008 season?

All the hubbub about no trade clauses and this player can’t be traded for that player and buyout the contract, etc, etc, is old, but is leading me to believe no major changes will be made by February 26.

Many of us saw the spark the Leafs had when they beat Ottawa on Saturday with some young guns in the line up. This spark came from players that are late round draft choices and pick-ups and not all stars (yet anyway). How would the Leafs fair if they actually had any young top guns and not have Sundin, Tucker, etc? Can anyone say the Leafs would do much worse than 21 wins at this point?

We’ve seen the reemergence of teams like Pittsburgh, Philly, and even Chicago, because of their young guns. It’s not because they have a Mats Sundin, Marion Hossa, or Oli Jokinen (awesome players, poor team leaders). It is because they have energetic, talented, and hungry young guns that have something to prove.

Even Montreal, who is led by Koivu and other elders, are a much younger and more effective team this year than last.

Every fan that believes Sundin, Tucker, McCabe, etc, should not be traded, are saying they do not want to see the Leafs win a cup. These are the players who can bring back young top guns in a trade. Why can’t some of you other fans get this!

I was in attendance of the Oshawa Generals vs. Owen Sound Attack on Sunday, February 3. The Gen’s won 7-5 coming back from a 5-2 deficit. Brett MacLean and John Taveras, 2 of the top 3 OHL scoring leaders, performed admirably. The Gen’s went through years of hard times before they got Taveras. Even at the OHL level, hard times are a requirement for any team who wants to win. This game plus the Leafs win over the Senators, was some of the most exciting hockey I have seen this year. All of it happened because of the young guns.

I will be sad to see Sundin or any of the vet’s go but I know I’ll be happier if the Leafs even make an attempt at getting younger and more talented, hence getting better.

Please Mr. Fletcher, make the stink go away! Or maybe yet, Go Gen’s Go!

62 Responses to Leafs: The Whole Thing Stinks

  1. morrissey says:

    Zetterburg: drafted by Detroit in the 7th round
    Datsyuk: drafted by Detroit in the 6th round
    Lidstrom: Drafted by Detroit in the 3rd round

    Well that's the argument for holding onto your draft picks – that is the core of their team. But Detroit is an exception, they've had the unusual good fortune of finding top talent in the later rounds of the draft. By all rights they should have been in a rebuilding phase (and likely in the same position the Leafs are in now) in the post Yzerman/Federov era. Detroit got lucky – very, very lucky to pick up top talent later in the draft. Most teams will only ever get such players in the top 3 rounds. Don't bank on luck, keep your top picks, they will be the cornerstone of your franchise. Now the cap era brings a new dimension to this argument and adds even more reason to keep your draft picks: Entry level players are cheap. You could have a guy performing very well, paid only 1 million $ yet the same level of performance would cost you 4 million $ to replace with an established player. If you have a couple of those young players (Staal/Ward, Getzlaf/Perry) then you are in business, because you'll have a ton of cap room left to spend on the more expensive veteran talent. You could try and build a team now with established players only, but you won't get as much talent for your money. Your also less likely to get more in return for them after a few years than what you initially gave up; invariably, your overall assets will decline, leading us back once again to the current day Leafs.

  2. arigold says:

    Thats 3 players.

    They have spent a lot of picks over a lot of years adding players to their team to be as successful as they've been.  I'm not saying the draft isn't important, but the number of duds compared to the number of allstars is pretty one sided.  Every year at the deadline they part with picks to beef up their team to be competitive.  You can't trade them forever, and they do a good job drafting when they do use them.  But once again, thats only 3 players in how many years?

  3. morrissey says:

    That's only 3 you are right, forgive me if I don't have the patience to go through their entire roster and see who drafted each player, let's say there are more than 3… But coming back to those 3, a franchise winger, an all star centre and a 5 times norris winning defenseman. It's the core of the team, frankly those guys would be the core of any bloody team, that's who you build around, it's the focus of your team. The 3 biggest impact players on that team were drafted by Detroit.

    Look you could say Detroit and Toronto followed the exact same model of trading picks for veterans and you wouldn't be too far off. Detroit got lucky to find those guys in the later rounds, Toronto did not. But it remains that the key difference between the 2 is the talent that was acquired in the draft. And getting a lucky pick is much easier in early rounds than later on.

  4. arigold says:

    So I guess the best thing to say is, run your team however you want, just do it well. 

  5. morrissey says:

    No unless you are lucky, constantly trading away high draft picks will hurt you eventually and take years to recover from. Not every draft pick will pan out, but the more picks you have the more chance you stand of landing ones that do. the draft is about the only way you will ever get a franchise player in his prime on your team, because teams do not trade guys like that.

  6. lafleur10 says:

    the samueli's could buy mlse for petty cash !mlse is in over it's head bidding against this family!!henry samueli was in toronto when bruke was there during the all-star break and he said that bruke's got a job for life and will pay him whatever he wants!to keep him there!i think you guys will ultimately end up with jim rutherford as your g.m. at the end of the day!

  7. Armstrong67 says:

    I never said the most offensively or defensively gifted player should be captain.  These skills help make a good captain though.  Yzerman, Brindamour, and Messier were amazing two way players with offensive skills.  Neidermayer and Stevens were defensively awesome with an offensive upside. 

    You can pick on Armstrong all you want, but he was the heart that brought all the players together to win 4 Stanley Cups.  All the other players were important, but Armstrong was their Leader (not necessarily offensively or defensively). 

    Stajan a great player how?

    Steen is the wanted man around the NHL.  No one is reportedly calling for Stajan. 

    What has Stajan done that makes him "excellent?

  8. Armstrong67 says:

    The captain of any hockey team must bond with each team member.  Like a supervisor or crew leader in a business.  The team must respect the captain and follow his passion.  That is the purpose of the C.  A good captain will have 50% boss-like respect from his team and 50% friendship with his team.  It takes a special captain to get their players to destroy their bodies for 4 rounds in playoffs.  A good coach helps but it is the Captains desire (and each players desire) to go through this pain of winning a cup.  It's mind over matter.  Sundin is all matter!

    As for Iginla, great player, appears to be a good captain, but he is young and still has time to prove himself by winning a cup in Calgary.  I belive he is a good captain based on a simple thing.  All he really wanted to do at the all star game was to beat Dion in the skills competition, he said this on TV when he was wearing the headset.  Wow, what a way to motivate a member on his team!

    I simply make no sense because you have obviously never led any kind of team especially to any moral victory.  You're the one that is all about the most offensively gifted player being the team leader.  Why else would you support Jagr to Toronto? 

  9. mojo19 says:

    I captained my team 4 straight years, sir. Twice to the finals but we never won…..Still you can't say I was a bad captain cuz you don't know.

    Next, I agree with the things you have to say, and maybe some of it can be true about Jagr, which is probably why he turned down the C in his first year with the Rangers before the organization insisted he wears it.

    But what you said about Sundin isn't true at all. He is the definition of a heart and soul player which he proved down the stretch in 2005-06, where in the final quarter of the season no one scored more pts than him except for Joe Thornton, and even though it appeared the Leafs season was over, they went 15 games without a regulation loss with Mats leading the way, blocking shots, winning draws, killing penalties and leading his team. Everyone followed and we had guys going through the wall for Quinn and Sundin's team.

    Or How about in November of 2003, when the Leafs were struggling, not in the top 8 in the East and Sundin held a players only meeting where he gave a speech that sparked a run of (can't remember exactly) 12 or 13 wins. Joe Nieuwendyk expressed how impressed he was with Sundin's leadership at that time and the Leafs climbed to the top 4 in the East and never looked back.

  10. Armstrong67 says:

    And this is all great but isn't there 82 games in a schedule.  If at any point, in 99, 03, or 06, Sundin did that for 82 games or whatever, the Leafs at any point would have gotten farther.  Wouldn't they?

    Sundin is a heart and soul player, I don't ignore that.  He is their best player on a talent thin team and has been even with a good team like in 03. 

    This conversation just makes me wonder about when Roberts was complaining in 03, about Mogilny and Sundin speaking Russian (Sundin speaks Russian) while they were on the ice.  How can non Russian speaking players support that?  That would make me feel like they are talking behind my back.  If when you were a captain and some players were doing this, how would you feel?

    Even this year, Sundin still believes they have a good team that will make the playoffs and compete for a Stanley Cup.  He has said it again and again.  Is he delusional?  As a captain, shouldn't he give advice to management on how to improve the team?  Shouldn't he be calling out players who are underperforming?  Can't he attract Forsberg or other star Swedes to sign with the Leafs?

    Naslund gave Forsberg a call trying to get him to Vancouver.  What has Sundin done.  He is an arrogant introvert who can't even look at the camera when he speaks.  Well respected but doesn't seem to have many friends!  Why is this and can you prove me wrong?

  11. mojo19 says:

    There was a big problem in the Leafs dressing room when Berezin, Danny Markov, Igor Korelev etc. Would speak russian to eachother all the time and distance themselves from the rest of the team. Sundin complained about that and its the main reasno Quinn traded Markov. So I'm pretty sure what you're saying about Roberts complaining about Mats speaking russian to Mogilny is false. Even if he did, I'm sure it was just to help out with Alex on the ice. As for the wondering if Mats and Alex were talking behind Roberts back… I'm not even going to respond to that, I hope you realize how stupid and invalid that arguement is. Roberts always had good things to say about Sundin.

    In response to your opening sentence, about Mats doing that for 82 games. He did. And the Leafs did well for years when he had a decent supporting cast, but there were always better teams out there. Even in '04 when we had great leaders like Nieuwy and Francis there to support Sundin, we ran into another amazing team in Philadelphia. The truth is, only 1 team can win the cup, despite having one of the NHL's all time great players for over a decade, the Leafs couldn't do it, but nothing should be taken away from Sundin's leadership qualities or ability. Everyone has always said he's a great captain and a great leader. Anyone who's played for him has said that, and he's been the automatic captain for the Swedish team every year and has been elected captain in an All-Star game, an honour always given to the leagues best captains.

  12. Armstrong67 says:

    Sundin is a God in Sweden, this is well known.  He grew up there.  That is where his heart is.

    If you read closely regarding Roberts, I said that is how I feel.  Why would Roberts even make that comment if he didn't feel awkward.  Roberts would not dis Sundin because Sundin is their best player, I haven't denied that.

    You have missed the most important thing here.  Outside of getting points, what has Sundin done to improve this team during his tenure.  He puts up points, period.

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