Rocks Report: Remember that oh so busy '02 offseason?

Judging from all of those articles about how Player X and Player Y are coming to the Leafs, and how people are becoming fed up with both the rumors, and the leafs lack of jumping on those rumors has led me to remember that crazy ’03 offseason, where tens of high profile players were rumored to come to toronto, but they balked…where are they now? and did Quinn make the right decisions?

Highly touted Bobby Holik…Signed for $8 million plus multi year deal, hows he doing? 91 points in 146 games, not near anything close to the $8 million he is being paid. In hindsight, Quinn was right to balk at this “highly touted asset”.

Que in Tony Amonte, the player who was the closest linked to the Toronto Maple Leafs…Signed in Philly, multi year deal…$5.5 million and up. 68 points in 93 games. Looks like Amonte pulled a Holik and promised more than he gave. Was it worth it not to bring him in? For $5.5 million it cannot be argued that he did a great job now can it?

Darius Kasparaitis, the most overrated (and frankly not the best looking man) player in the 03 free agent pool, and unfortunately the most sought after defencemen…why…because of his checking? because of his ability to scare Michael Jackson away with his mug? Im as confused as any as to why he deserved to get $4 million+ for 124 games and a dismal 24 points. The guy has never scored over 24 points in a season, and has always been one prone to streaks. Please, convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is worth $4 million, please.

Bill Guerin. A player who I would have LOVED to see in Toronto, a very good fit for the organization. But was he really worth the money? A Salary of $8 million, a multi year deal, 119 points in 146 games. Perhaps Quinny missed the boat on this one, as far as pre-lockout financials go. As of now, Guerin is one of the top overpaid players, and due to the uncontrolled spending of Dallas, he hampered the resigning attempts of Darien Hatcher, and now with Zubov. For bringing such turmoil to the financial state of the Stars, imagine what he would have done to the Leafs? It might be argued that bringing him in, with Sundin and Mogilny might have gotten the Leafs far, but thats not for sure. Looked what happened to the Red Wings a couple years ago?

In my humble opinion, its tough to decide whether it was worth it, but I would agree with Quinns decision. (bring on the arguments)

Eddie Belfour vs. Curtis Joseph. One of the toughest decisions Pat Quinn had to make in the history of his tenure as GM of the Maple Leafs. Curtis was a huge player in Toronto, bringing them from Rags to Riches in just a few years. But when it came to money, not enough could have kept him in Toronto. Instead, Quinn opted for Ed Belfour. A multi year deal, $6 million per season. Was it worth it? Well Belfour played 121 games and collected 71 wins and 39 losses and 17 shutouts. Curtis Joseph, on the other hand, played 92 games, collected 50 wins and 29 losses, and 7 shutouts. Oh yeah, he was also sent down to the Red Wings affiliate Grand Rapids of the AHL. Oh yeah, he was also paid an exorbitant $8 million to loose to the Ducks in 4 games. Even Eddie gave the Canes and the Phillys a run for their money. Quinn, +1

I know its going to be debated as to whether quinns decisions really made sense at the time. Im basing my decisions both on their impact if they were to have stayed in toronto, and their impact on the roster TODAY. Its impossible to say that they wouldnt have put up record numbers, but its more possible to say that they would have been the same as they were away from the Leafs, give or take. In my opinion, Pat Quinn earned his nickname “stand Pat” really well. What he did for the Leafs organization was block hype from overpaying overhyped players. Sure he, and JFJ brought in some good players and some bad, but what they did was block out any Long term nuisance that comes with the players afformentioned.

It sort of makes me wonder whether or not 2 years from now in 2007 if we will be looking back on the Leafs and thinking, wow they brought in some really high profile players, or wow, they didnt spend anything. It will be interesting to see how the decisions the Leafs make now will look in 2 years.

Thanks for reading


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