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

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

  1. Marky2Fresh says:

    Don’t forget Lindros. But I still think you are going to bashed by omitting some of the trades Quinn did make…he did give us Berg. Anyways was Quinn the GM when they traded Modin?

  2. WLFHCommishJava says:

    i remember the guerin signing, i think i argued with every stars fan there was that this was a bad signing among others. i knew he had a history of disappearing in the playoffs. he did very little for the oilers when the oil played the stars in the playoffs. if i was the oilers i would have been happy this bum was sent to boston. he should have stayed in boston. i remember the oilers fans griping because they had to let go guys like guerin and weight to “big” market teams and that because teams like dallas could afford guys like guerin that suddenly the oilers were headed for the basement and the stars would win the next 20 championships. obviously this was a foolish arguent and at this point the oilers are a better team with out them with a better future out look and the stars are headed for rock bottom.

  3. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Amonta wasn’t signed by Philly, he was signed by Phoenix and traded to Philly.

  4. wingerxxx says:

    omg, I remember staying up til midnight and refreshing both this site and in regards to the reported signing of Tony Amonte by the Rangers. For a while, no one could tell for sure if he had been signed or not. Then out of nowhere, Phoenix grabbed him. It’s amazing how much the landscape changes in so short a time. I think that the Holik signing has taken a lot of flack….but….if Holik had not signed with the Rangers, someone would have paid him close to what he signed for anyway. That’s a flat out guarantee. Kasparaitis had a horrible start to his Rangers career, but he’s been ok as a blueshirt. Of course, he’s not worth his contract, but at the time, the Rangers needed someone like him on the blueline. Problem was, he did not get enough minutes to make much of a difference. Speaking of him, if NYR had better buy him out. The only thing I want this offseason is Leetch and another stable defender. That’s it.

  5. ranger_fan says:

    Why do you judge everyone by points?

    Its not all about points, but sometimes character, toughness, and leadership.

  6. zdeno_duchesne says:

    i wanted to say this, but you got to it before me..

    why has scott stevens been such a successful player during his career? because i know it isn’t points.. put it together.

  7. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    He’s a Rangers fan, he’s sticking up for his teams losers.

  8. Shevy says:

    Just on the whole Cujo thing….im by no means a leafs fan and the redwings can die for all i care (typical avs fan haha), but seriously he cannot be blamed for his preformance…he had no defense to help him and he was obviously rattled not getting the starting nod…hes a pretty good tender that he did prove with the leafs and oilers..this season im sure if hes injury free and the clear #1 that he’ll regain the form that he had in his previous years

  9. wingerxxx says:

    Nothing wrong with sticking up for your team. Besides, what he said is true. It’s incredibly short sighted to measure a player’s worth in terms of only points scored.

  10. nordiques100 says:

    you are right but when it is a leaf player that someone is sticking up for they get creamed no matter who the player is

  11. nordiques100 says:

    the stats prove your point. in the last playoff the starting goaltender who led the playoffs in GAA and save percentage was none other than Cujo.

  12. Ace_Bailey says:

    Oh come on, stop acting like the victim. We’re just as bad as everyone else.

  13. Ace_Bailey says:

    You have absolutely no right to say that. You’re putting every leaf fan on your bandwagon by saying this, because now we’re pegged even further as fans who are assholes. I don’t understand why people never practice what they preach. If us Leaf fans want respect, we need to give respect back, and this isn’t the way to go about earning it.

  14. Leafanatic says:

    His D in Detroit couldn’t have been worse than what Toronto has been icing the last few seasons. Cujo actually seemed to thrive on a lot of shots when in Toronto. I still think he’s a good tender either way and would take him over Belfour in this new NHL simply for reliability and possibly less money.

  15. JeffBurnz09 says:

    I thought signing Guerin was a good move. Sure, he’s a drain on the salary cap right now, but at that time, $8 million was a fair price for him. He helped turned Dallas around right away, as they went from missing the playoffs to 1st in the West. They were the best team in the West that season, and I still can’t understand why they played so terrible against Anahiem in the playoffs. Guerin can’t really be blamed for that, as his injury pretty much ended his season and he wasn’t 100% in the playoffs. I don’t really blame him for the pathetic display of their 2004 playoffs, as the whole team played terrible, not just him.

    It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford to keep Hatcher, he wanted a longer deal than they’d give him with the new CBA comming up. Guerin’s contract might cost them Zubov, and, I hope not, but Modano now though.

    I wanted Amonte in Dallas that year. They signed everyone else on the market they wanted that year, so why not? I don’t think he really would have made a differance, but still, it would’ve been another great player. Him going to Phoenix never made sense to me, as he was the biggest name left on the market and he chose there? Of course they traded him before the season was over, which shows how well that signing worked out.

    I can’t blame Cujo for wanting to leave Toronto at the time. He said he wanted to win, and felt the Wings offered a better chance at doing that…who can say he was wrong? Detroit had just won the Stanley Cup, while the Leafs were doing their usual 2nd, maybe 3rd round exit. It didn’t work out in Detroit, and I think they treated Cujo horribly, blaming him for the failure of a team that just too old…but the Leafs did their usual with Cujo, losing the the Flyers back to back years. Cujo didn’t expect things to go the way they did in Detroit, but he wasn’t wrong about the Leafs.

    Oh, Eddie wasn’t there when the Leafs played the Hurricanes, that was Cujo’s last run with Toronto. Eddie lost in 7 games to Philly in 2003, beat Ottawa on his own and then lost to Philly again in 2004.

    Also, it wasn’t ‘Quinn’s decision’ with Guerin. Guerin didn’t want to go to Toronto, it was either Dallas or New York. I’m sure if they offered him a huge amount of money to go there he’d have considered it, but Quinn himself said that Guerin just didn’t want to come to Toronto.

  16. NemiNA says:

    Hey, great article Rock. It was nice to see an article about how the leafs won’t get everyone. Great thought too. The only misshap was the Amonte thing, other than that, well done.

  17. masarume says:

    I don’t think Quinn was the GM when we gave away all that talent but he did have a major influence when it came to who played and went. Mike Smith couldn’t take Quinn’s power as a coach and bolted.

    But I can load on him about the negatives

    -got us leetch for around 25 games (playoffs included) and gave up a 1st and 2nd rounder

    -got us nolan while giving up a holybaker winner in boyes and a selke candidate in MacCauley

    -genius thought Berg was worth a 2nd Rounder

    -though he didn’t pull the trigger, he had heavy influence on the departure of Steve Sullivan, Fredrick Modin (not so much him), and Jason Smith

    Some of the positives not mentioned?

    -didn’t pull the trigger on the Lindros deal when even I wanted a shot at the big E

    -I think he was the one that got us McCabe for Karpotsev (sp) (I don’t care what you say about McCabe, he might be overrated, but I would take him over Karpotsev anyday)

    Ummm that’s about it

    Btw, to those who said Oneill wouldn’t come to T.O… speak up now….

  18. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Giving up MacCauley was a bad move, but it’s hard to fault them for wanting Nolan at the time. I’m sure they’d love to have MacCauley right now though. I might sound crazy for saying this, but I’d have got rid of Sundin and made Nolan captain. He’s hurt now, and is probably finished in Toronto, but Sundin can only get the Leafs so far, and while he’s still a great player, it might be time to go in a differant direction.

    Leetch might have cost more than he was worth, but at the time, they were trying to load up for one last shot at the cup before the new CBA rolled in. The Leafs have always been able to throw money around to make up for throwing their draft picks away, so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary at the time…In today’s NHL, prospects and draft picks will mean alot, but they were trying to win the cup at the time.

    I wasn’t someone who didn’t think O’Neill would go to Toronto….but he didn’t really ‘go’ to Toronto, he was traded. I know he said he’d be interested in playing there regardless, but still, he was traded there…

  19. Ace_Bailey says:

    Berg is the absolute worst defenseman I have ever seen. Why don’t they replace him with Coloiacovo??

  20. wheresthesoda says:

    what bothers me, im a big rangers fan, and when the rangers traded leetch to the leafs, i rooted for the leafs in the playoffs.

  21. wheresthesoda says:

    also meant to say, is that there were probably a lot of other rangers fans doing the same

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