Maple Leaf Myths

There have been plenty of myths pointed out by fans who do not approve of the 2005-06 version of the Maple Leafs. Here I am going to try to clear some of these up.

1. The Leafs are too old and past their prime.

On the contrary. The Leafs have only 6 players over age 30. Sundin, Belfour, Lindros, Khavanov, Klee, Domi. out of the whole team, only Belfour and Domi are past their primes. But both can still contribute at a high level. Many of their players are in the prime of their careers.

2. The Leafs have no prospects.

Though there are no Crosby’s or Ovechkins among the group, that is the price paid for winning. They have some solid young blueliners who have a chance to make it. Coliacovo is the only blueliner with top 4 potential but Pilar, Bell, White, VOrobiev, Kronvall, Harrison all have a chance to be solid depth guys with the potential to surprise. who would have thought 9th round picks Tomas Kaberle and Danny Markov would turn into top 4 blueliners?

Like I mentioned, no star forwards coming but Stajan, Steen, Wellwood are not bad prospects at all, and Ponikarovsky and Antropov are ok NHLers. they are still young enough to be better players. and with Tukka Rask now the goalie of the future, the Leafs have some good potential at all positions.

3. THe Leafs will miss the playoffs

The only way they miss it is if the band aid brigade of Oneill, Allison and Lindros all miss significant time on IR. the potential exists but the same potential of them surviving and thriving also exists. if those players play anywhere close to the form they showed in the past, they will be a huge boost for the Leafs. it’s a two way street. they could get hurt leaving the Leafs super thin and missing the playoffs, or become stars again and maybe leading the team to a cup win. all 30 teams have a shot at it at this point (cept maybe the Caps).

4. The Leafs are an injury waiting to happen.

This is true, but in hockey, you can say that about many if not all teams. It’s a contact sport, people are going to get hurt. It’s not just the Leafs and Leafs alone who are going to get hurt. The Leafs have been able to live with injuries and still be competitive. Joseph got hurt, but Schwab stepped up. Sundin went down but MacCauley filled in, Mogilny, Nieuwendyk, Belfour and Nolan all missed significant time, but the Leafs still put in a 100 point season the last time they played. Nobody wants injuries. Fans want to see the stars. We’ve had to endure Forsberg missing time, Yzerman, Lemieux, it happens.

5. Leafs overpay their players

Not this summer. Maybe Belfour is overpaid but once we see him stealing games and hearing the fans chant Eddie! Eddie! then we’ll find him to be underpaid, especially compared to a guy like Khabibulin. But i have mentioned this before. the total contracts of Mccabe, Kaberle and Klee are equal to the total contracts the Devils dished out to Rafalski and Malakhov. I think i rather have the Leaf trio. The market this summer was good to blueliners. For example, the Jackets spent big to get Foote, but their next best guy was one whom the Rangers, Bruins and Hawks disgarded in Bryan Berard is their next best guy. And then things fall off drastically in terms of talent on defence. What Toronto is paying is really a bargain. And look at their forwards. Outside of Sundin, there is not a 2 million dollar forward around. And they have managed to get plenty of decent talent on the cheap. Lindros, Oneill, Allison, Tucker are all at the 1.5 million range. That is a bargain considering 40 year old vets like Roberts and Nieuwendyk are making over 2, one dimensional players like Satan are making over 4, and often injured players like Straka are hitting the 3 mil mark. For this year anyway, this is a myth.

6. The Leaf D is the worst there is.

The Leafs dont have the best blueline going. Some teams like the Sens have significantly better talent on defence than Toronto. But Toronto has 4 fairly solid guys. none of them are top end true number 1 defencemen but the two teams in the finals did not have a blueliner like that in their lineup. guys like Regher or Kubina are very solid players but are they like a Pronger, Blake or Niedermayer? The Leafs dont have one either but they have some decent guys. Look at Carolina, their blueline is led by a guy who couldnt find a team the last couple of seasons in the NHL. Look at Washington, Biron and Majesky are the 2nd and 3rd guys on their defence after Brendan Witt. And those two couldnt keep jobs on non-playoff teams. Look at the Pens. Gonchar is good but who is their next best guy? a journeyman in Tarnstrom who was waived by the Isles and Jackman who couldnt make the supposed terrible leafs D. There are plenty of teams in far worse shape on D than Toronto.

To be clear, the Leafs have work to do. Plenty of new faces means they will have to come together as a team and start to build chemistry. Players will find themselves adjusting to new rules and in some cases new positions. The hope is that the comeback players will come back and regain some of their old form. there is plenty of upside if that happens. but things could also take a turn for the worse. What I was trying to accomplish here was to let it be known that the Leafs, while maybe far from the top of the Standings, are far from the bottom as well. they have talent, they have youth and they have a chance to accomplish something. They just have to be allowed to play the games before judgement gets passed.


84 Responses to Maple Leaf Myths

  1. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Uhhh, ever been to http://www.hockeytraderumors.com?

    Kariya signs and the story is posted … 43 comments. Khabibulin signs and the story is posted … 61 comments. Leafs offer Aki Berg a qualifying offer … 152 comments.

    Love the Leafs, hate the Leafs, whatever, but the Leafs are a big story in every hockey market.

  2. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Hey shitface, this website wouldn’t exist if everyone thought like you. If you want to read about stuff that happened, might I suggest http://www.nhl.com, http://www.sportsnet.ca, http://www.tsn.com?

    You don’t have to come here. Leaf fans on this website are a reality so shut up or go home.

    And one more thing, Go Leafs Go! Hah.

  3. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Too … much … logic. My head hurts.

    P.S. To some of you people of the “Leafs suck cause they suck” articles, take note on how to write an opinion piece and … gasp … back it up with some factual and persuasive points.

  4. letsgoNYR says:

    no no shit face i wana hear about trader rumors and stuff but um lets see there were about 324839024 million rummors about the leafs and some1 coming there that didnt pan out to be true buddy so that kind of got me hating the leafs as it is and your leafs suckkkkkk fyi shit head go suck a dickk leafs aint going noooo where for years to come

  5. nordiques100 says:

    um i clearly do know my facts. tarnstrom was a castaway from the isles. he was claimed off waivers. to think he will reach those numbers again is pretty optimistic on your part. the team has gonchar now and he will be carrying the full load of hte attack. the pens were once a team that iced 5 forwards on the PP. i can see them going 4 forwards on the PP with gonchar and where does that leave tarnstrom? back to being a 20 point blueliner.

    jackman has shown potential for 9 years and has never reached it or come even close to reaching it. and he couldnt crack the leafs lineup, the so called lineup that has no defence.

    melichar is as soft as they come. and brittle too. he may never live up to any potential he had because he cant handle the NHL grind.

    orpik is solid but no bigtime scorer.

    whitney is a very good prospect….much like coliacovo in toronto.

    and the others you mention with “potential” well the leafs have plenty of those. hell so do the other 28 teams.

    you’re darn right the leafs D wont touch the pens. they will walk around them like the pylons like they are leaving them in their dust.

    i think the one with the false outlook is yourself

  6. nordiques100 says:

    um didnt the rangers miss the playoffs the last 7 years??

  7. nordiques100 says:

    back when he was a junior he did have a bit of a drinking problem but that was 10 years ago. well into the past and has no effect on him now.

  8. Ace_Bailey says:

    Remember Modin? Damnit…

  9. 89AlexanderMogilny89 says:

    titans you need to come over to the nhl.com chat sometime.FURBACK the hockey genius is there!.

  10. Ace_Bailey says:

    You dont get to comment until you team makes the playoffs sometime this decade.

  11. bj1234 says:

    Heres some proof for you: I have friends that work at the golf course that he plays at who have seen him wasted on a number of occasions. He has talked to them aboutI his drug problems. They all say hes a jerk and hes got a drinking problem. I also know the girl who he just married.

  12. Ace_Bailey says:

    I think this is a case of chicken little syndrome. The Leafs made it to the conference finals in 2002 based purely off adrenaline, we were practically playing as the farm team and our efforts were still relatively commendable. The only thing I truly worry about the Leafs is leadership. With Joe and Gary gone packing, the team has little leadership left to speak of in my opinion.

    And also to the comment of Roberts and Nieuwy making 1.25mil a year each, don’t you think they would rather stay in Toronto for that kind of money? Why the hell would they turn down an offer above $1.25 each by the Leafs? They were looking for multiyear deals worth MORE money. We spent 1.5 on Lindros, don’t you think we would’ve been able to spend that much on Roberts/Niuewy? I hate it when people make up stats and numbers like this when they don’t follow a team. I’m no expert on any other of the 29 teams in the NHL, so I won’t comment because I don’t have any information to make an intelligent arguement or debate. Having said that, I’ve been a Leaf fan for my whole life and follow the team as closely as I can without making it my sole priority.

    Anyways, as I said in another post regarding predictions for good teams:

    Even Communism looked good on paper.

  13. nordiques100 says:

    antropov and ponikarovsky will probably end up on the 3rd or 4th line with Belak. knowing how quinn rolls 4 lines, they will get some decent ice time.

    stajan, domi will play together. perhaps young wellwood would centre that line. stajan did play with him last year in the A and Domi would give the two kids some nice protection. if wellwood fails to make the squad then kilger and perrott will vie for a starting spot.

    if lindros and sundin are together, oneill would be a nice fit as the 3rd member of that line. but to spread the scoring around. allison, tucker and oneill should form the 2nd unit. that would leave the leafs looking for another top 6 forward.

    but then again, quinn has said he likes all 3 big guys at centre which could mean lindros lining up with antropov and pony. allison and tucker together and sundin and oneill together. that means that the Leafs still need a couple of forwards who can work on 2 scoring units. stajan might find work with allison and tucker and it would leave guys like kilger, domi, belak and perrott on a rugged 4th unit.

    druken is gone by the way. schwab is injury prone too. rather let tellqvist get a shot as the full time backup to see if he can be nhl calibre. kukemberg is one of those dackell/arvedsson euro vets who had plenty of seasoning over there and perhaps he could be integrated into the lineup.

    as for adding an additional forward, carter and leclair are big time longshots at this point with so little left to spend based on the leafs leaving some cap room left for mid-season moves and accounting for the allison bonus. steve thomas is another name floating around and he would at least come cheap. as for how well he could play, not too sure a 41 year old has lots to give. mikael samuelsson’s name has also come up, but he is not a scorer by any means.

  14. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Boooorrrrrrinnng.

  15. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    wow.. that one made me laugh. Step out of the land of fantasy. Every pens fan I talk to seems to be in denial about how poor their defense is this year.

    If you see a defense filled with 4 unproven players and Jackman as the #3 being good and somehow actually better than the Leafs defense, then you’ve really gone off the deep end. I actually can’t even think of a single team that has a more unproven and most likely poor defense.

    Do you have any idea how many games McCabe, Klee, Kaberle, Khavanov, Berg have played? Do you realize that McCabe got serious consideration for the Norris last year? Or that Kaberle has made the all-star team a few times and have represented his country many times at the international level. I could go on and on, but the point of the story is YOU have no idea of facts, so perhaps you should follow your own advice?

  16. nordiques100 says:

    cory cross did beat the sens in ot lol

  17. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    Boooooorrrrrrrrrriiiiiinnnnnng.

    At least try some creativity.

  18. rockythefinalchapter says:

    Druken is a free agent. His time in the Leaf organization was a publicity stunt to draw fans to Mile High Stadium in St. John’s. Replace Druken with either Leclair or Deadmarsh. Also, Harrison has no future in T.O. He is another Nathan Dempsey. Also don’t expect to see Belak sit as he signed a 2 year deal for over 700K per season. The contract is a one way deal so he will be staying in the NHL.

    As for Schwab, he is now an NHL goalie coach in the southern USA.

  19. rockythefinalchapter says:

    Guy,

    The Leafs are much younger without the ancient leadership of Roberts, Nieuwendyk and Francis. (119 years worth) These guys are way too old and grossly overpaid. Don’t kid yourself, Sundin, Lindros and Domi are great leaders. Plus we got rid of dead weight in Fitzgerald, Renberg and Reichel. The only loss is Leetch as he made McCabe into an All-star.

  20. letsgoNYR says:

    yea well leafs still suckk and the 15 yr old rangers are going to beat them this season in every meeting so go worship your gay team

  21. DTucker_16 says:

    “go suck a dick”

    “go worship your gay team”

    …grow up

  22. DTucker_16 says:

    and that Berg is the highest drafted Finnish player of all time (lmfao that is actually true too)

  23. DTucker_16 says:

    Yea, McCabe and Leetch on the powerplay was exciting to watch wasn’t it

  24. sirsly says:

    Joe Nieuwendyk UFA (Toronto) $2.25 million

    Gary Roberts UFA (Toronto) $2.25 million

    from tsn website…

  25. N25philly says:

    Grow up already! People on this site say these things mainly because they know that Leaf fans are a bunch of babies that cry and throw a hissy fit the second anyone says anything negative about the Leafs. Just ignore them and they’ll stop. As long as you all keep crying like little babies everyone is going to keep poking and prodding at you.

  26. leafy says:

    Excellent article. I approve.

  27. cgolding says:

    Lindros is most definitely past his prime… injury induced, but past it none the less.

  28. Leafnation9 says:

    People have to realize that in general, the good teams from last season are now okay and the bad teams except the caps and blue jackets are also now okay. The NHL is very open and if you actually looked at every team’s roster (even new powerhouse phili) you woudl realize that so many teams have terrible players. The Leafs can at least say that except for 3-4 forward positions they have a very similar team. Also, Allison when playign is a point a game player. Him in the playoffs gives the Leafs that second point per game guy besides Sundin. Also, if Lindros is put on a line with Ponikarovski and Antropov, that could be the biggest line EVER. Here is how I would do the lines…

    Tucker Sundin O’Neil

    Antropov Lindros Ponikarovski

    Stajan Allison Domi

    Kilger Wellwood Belak

    *4th line woudl obviosuly change often throughout season and an Anson Carter signing would change the lines as well.

    McCabe Kaberle

    Klee Colaicovo

    Khavanov Berg

    Eagle

    Telqvist

  29. LeafsLegacy says:

    Haven’t you noticed that the team is younger than it was last year, even if we have no prospects we have John Ferguson to give us key players, like Eric Lindros. How can you predict that they miss the playoffs, what about last season almost all of our key players missed 10-20 games and we handled it well, and why would you say they have the worst defence! It’s not October 6th is it! there is still plenty of moves Toronto can make, so I do not see your point

  30. wingerxxx says:

    Tarnstrom is actually a pretty good defenseman now. Not physical, but he doesn’t have to be. Makes pretty good reads. Have you ever actually watched him play? The only reason he was cast off from Long Island is because Milbury was intent on putting together a Fab Four blueline. It’s not like he played badly on the Island. He just wasn’t part of their overall plan. And Tarnstrom and Gonchar will get a lot of ice time on the PP.

  31. 93213 says:

    I think you’re crazy.

    Quinn has a reputation of deveping youth. He’s often gone too far and put rookies in awful position and ruined their confidence, it’s a gamble because it could go both ways.

    Like McCauley for ex. when Sundin went down he thrust this kid into the lime light and he stepped up.

    He lost him for Owen Nolan. In retrospect this was stupid, but really, does Toronto need more depth at center?

    And if Nolan’s knee wasn’t broken, in addition to a number of other issues they would have had a terific run in the playoffs.

    It was a gamble that didn’t pay off, but find me a team 3 yrs ago that wouldn’t have been overjoyed to get Nolan in exchange for their 3rd line center?

    The Markov thing is just so riduculous in retrospect because he’s exactly what they need right now.

    But the worst leaf mistake was giving away the draft pick that would have been Mark Bell. They also gave away a pick that would have been Theodore too. As well as Brewer, and Pronger.

    It all is easy to critisize today, but had they won a cup or two for these exchanges we wouldn’t care.

    The question is would they have won a cup had they kept these guys around?

    I don’t know…. what does it matter?

    Look ahead not behind.

    Sorry I’m really off topic…

  32. 93213 says:

    Yeah McCabe has a great point shot. Great, now who the F is covering the line while he’s up pinching?

    I like McCabe, but I wish he was our No.2. It’s not for nothing that Team Canada never calls him. They know, when it comes down to it he’s dangerous.

    What Leaf fan cna defend this guy? Two years in a row in a game 5 against the Flyers he less effective that a 5 yr old.

    Let me try this little fancy saucer pass in my own end while Handzus is up attacking in the open… oh better still I’m gonna give him the puck and then watch Eddie make a great save. Oooops! He missed it. Let’s try this again. Another goal? You can stop it this time Eddie. No? Shit! He’s yelling at me now. Quinn won’t talk to me. I better shave the blue mohawk.

    He did this two years in a row and we still sign the cheque? Meanwhile we sent Murphy to the Wings with no reason?

    Does this make any sense at all? Oh we need a stud defensmen every one’s whining… We had Leetch, we paid enough for him, let’s not keep him even if he is the best learning tool for our errant passer Brian.

    No let’s dump Leetch and keep Belfour.

    I don’t get it. I really don’t. And don’t get me wrong I love the Leafs and always will, but if we don’t make some more smart moves like O’Neil soon, we’ll never get that damn cup back.

    Unless it’s Murphy again (when he won with Detroit he was still so pissed at the Leaf fans he drove around downtown with the cup in his car)

    And don’t give me this cap operating costs thing, Philly and Detroit didn’t do too badly. It’s not as if this CBA came out of nowhere, it’s not as if they didn’t have ten years to plan things out.

    I don’t know maybe I’m bitter at watching Philly and Carolina kick our ass while we have $15 million in salery in the IR….

  33. 93213 says:

    Yeah McCabe has a great point shot. Great, now who the F is covering the line while he’s up pinching?

    I like McCabe, but I wish he was our No.2. It’s not for nothing that Team Canada never calls him. They know, when it comes down to it he’s dangerous.

    What Leaf fan can defend this guy? Two years in a row in a game 5 against the Flyers he was less effective that a 5 yr old.

    He’s thinking – Let me try this little fancy saucer pass in my own end while Handzus is up attacking in the open… oh better still I’m gonna give him the puck and then watch Eddie make a great save. Oooops! He missed it. Let’s try this again. Another goal? You can stop it this time Eddie. No? Shit! He’s yelling at me now. Quinn won’t talk to me. I better shave the blue mohawk.

    He did this two years in a row and we still sign the cheque? Meanwhile we sent Murphy to the Wings with no reason?

    Does this make any sense at all? Oh we need a stud defensmen every one’s whining… We had Leetch, we paid enough for him, let’s not keep him even if he is the best learning tool for our errant passer Brian.

    No let’s dump Leetch and keep Belfour.

    I don’t get it. I really don’t. And don’t get me wrong I love the Leafs and always will, but if we don’t make some more smart moves like O’Neil soon, we’ll never get that damn cup back.

    Unless it’s Murphy again (when he won with Detroit he was still so pissed at the Leaf fans he drove around downtown with the cup in his car)

    And don’t give me this cap operating costs thing, Philly and Detroit didn’t do too badly. It’s not as if this CBA came out of nowhere, it’s not as if they didn’t have ten years to plan things out.

    I don’t know maybe I’m bitter at watching Philly and Carolina kick our ass while we have $15 million in salery in the IR….

  34. 93213 says:

    I think we should seperate the two russians. Both of them together for too long and all the Sedin twin comments are going to come our way instead….

    I like Tucker on a line with Lindros and Kilger and I think we need a top line winger to apear from somewhere….

    Any one else think we should move Kaberle up to the third line wing? And keep wade in the rear?

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