Give it a rest Leaf fans and media

The Toronto hockey media and Toronto Maple Leaf fans are quite amusing if you follow them closely like myself. It is completely rediculous how much Toronto GM John Ferguson Jr is getting scolded for trading a 5th round pick for Luke Richardson. Chris Selley of Battle of Ontario criticized the deal. Ninja at Raking Leafs didn’t have too many positive thoughts on the deal either. And callers into and hosts on the Fan 590 are almost outraged at the deal. Come on guys, it’s a 5th round draft pick. That 5th round draft pick has somewhere between 5-10% chance of being a mediocre player in the NHL and maybe a 1% chance of being a good one. More than likely it will amount to absolutely nothing. Now, I realize that Luke Richardson isn’t the player he once was but if a 5th round draft pick keeps the Leafs hopes of a playoff spot alive (and yes, they still have a chance) then I don’t have a problem taking that low risk, low cost gamble. Give it a rest guys, it’s just a 5th round pick.

Then there is Steve Simmons who is about as clueless about hockey matters as anyone in the media. Today his insightful article criticized Ferguson Jr. for a having a plan that Simmons doesn’t know about or understand and this believes doesn’t exist. But what does Steve Simmons know? Last summer he advocated buying out Belfour, Klee, Kaberle and McCabe and not offering contracts to Kilger, Ponikarovsky and others. So let’s get this right. If Simmons was GM of the Leafs Kaberle, McCabe, Kilger and Ponikarovsky, all key contributors to the Leafs this season, would not be on the team this year or in the future. Instead he would probably have had the Leafs paying Khabibulin, Foote, and Gonchar upwards of $15 million so we could have been out of the playoffs on December 1st. Oh, and we could be doing that for the next 3-4 years as well. So I want all Leaf fans out there to tell me who you would rather have running the Leafs. John “Simmons thinks I have plan” Ferguson Jr. or Steve “I have a plan” Simmons?

This article has 16 Comments

  1. Personally, I like the Richardson deal. A 5th rounder is nothing for a guy who can play in his own end, lay out some bodies, and is a leader. Add to the fact that the guy would love to play in Toronto.

    The Klee deal is a good one considering the type of player we got in return. He has potential guys. Scouting reports have Suglobov as a future top 6 forward and I’ll take that potential for Klee any day of the week.

    Good post David

  2. I wonder if Patt Quinn knows what to do with defensemen?

    David: What else is the public going to do if not dissect and get upset at every little thing the Leafs do?

    At least they still care. What are Islander fans supposed to do as we watch our out the door after the season GM trade away good players? If you take a look around the NHL at all the good players who used to play for the Islanders it’s really depresssing.

    What we have left is Yashin and Satan, who without question, two of the most heartless players in the NHL.

  3. I am not a leafs fan but I will say that your correct in this situation…5th round isn’t much for a guy with his cal. they needed a defence they went out and obatained a guy with a lot f ex. and it didn’t cost much salary wise and they didn’t give up much….So why not…It’s obvious t.o is has made their decision to try and make the playoffs with the team they have and being 6 points behind they can’t afford to go spaend tons of money to do so with only 20 games left…So it’s do ro die with what they have….they filled in a gap with the accusition and it didn’t cost much to do so…If it happens that they don’t make the playoffs they will deal with that later….which is a smart move i believe.


  4. John:

    Wrong, TO is a good receiver.

    You know how former players never publicly criticize other players? Well, Bill Clement was on XM radio the other day and said he played with Yashin and the only thing Yashin is good for is a 2 point game in garbage time during a blowout.

    The guy wears the C for the Isles and has no leadership skills, shows no heart, and just one time I would like to see him go get a puck in the corners. Hell, even gis girlfriend is a used up ex-Ranger floosy, Carol Alt.

  5. Sorry, they are married, she’s not his girlfriend.

    From Wikipedia:
    In 1983 she married Ron Greschner, a professional ice hockey player with the New York Rangers. They divorced in 1996 and she remarried in 2002 to Russian-born Alexei Yashin, also an ice hockey player with the New York Islanders and a man thirteen years her junior.

  6. Bill Clement never played with Yashin. It’s been more than two decades since Clement played in the NHL.

  7. David:

    You are right, now I have to go find out who the guy on XM radio being interviewed was. I’ll post it here, it shouldn’t take to long.

  8. i think this is the best and most knowledeable thread i’ve ever been on….

    David – Simmons is definately an idiot, mind you his job is to criticize, and never compliment!

    Tom – I like the Richardson deaal as well. The Leafs want to just make it to the playoffs, not win the cup! So they made a deal at a position that they need improvement – DEFENSE! Richardson is big, tough, smart, a leader, and doesn’t take stupid penalties! For a fifth/fourth rounder…that’s fine!

    Klee sucks! A leading scorer on an AHL team for Klee is a good deal any day of the week!!!!!!!!!

  9. I agree with you on Simmons. Controversy sells so Simmons stirs the pot. But some sense of sanity, or even a sense of reality, would be appreciated.

  10. Steve Simmons or JFJ? Are you joking? That’s not the choice here. It’s between JFJ and all other qualified applicants.

    JFJ really hasn’t done anything. It’s almost like he’s not allowed.

    He should’ve shipped McCabe out of town yesterday. What’s McCabe going to do now? Sign for a longer and wealthier contract than Kaberle? JFJ, I think, has shown that he desires a puck mover like TK more than McCabe. Tough call though. But that TK contract shows just that. No way does JFJ now sign McCabe to more than that . . . at that length.

    They’ll lose him. For nothing I’m betting.

    Lindos – lost the gamble
    Allison – lost the gamble because he hits most of his bonuses . . . 4.3 this year
    Belfour – Buyout of 2 mill is going to be charged against a cap, albeit increased next year

    Luke Richardson – a 36 year old over eveyone else out there? Ugh.

    Their future forwards – I like Steen. No question there, but everyone else is so overrated. Wellwood. Stajan.

    Not the forwards that pop in your head when you think of the future NHL.

    Not even Ponikorovsky (not bad though – big and a good skater).

    Woznewski? Harrison? Come on. Their experienced defencemen read, arguably worse than those tow.

    Pogge and Rassk won’t be full time in the NHL for another 2 years at least.

    And their reluctance to find someone to play with Sundin is embarassing.

    JFJ hasn’t done anything wrong. If that’s his ‘plan’, then great. But he’s not doing anything right. I figured his plan would involve correct and wise decisions, but I’m convince he’s not even allowed to make decision

    He had a chance to improve. He didn’t. He hasn’t done a god damn thing. Hasn’t convinced anyone he has a one year plan. A three year plan or anything.

    He’s a GM with training wheels. Would Simmon’s be? Who knows.

  11. Yes, it is about Simmons vs JFJ. How can Simmons fairly evaluate JFJ if he is completely clueless himself? Simmons will criticize JFJ for not signing someone but if they did sign someone he will criticize JFJ for signing the wrong guy or for too much money. If the Maple Leafs had the Senators roster and were in the Senators position in the standings his article this morning would be bashing the Leafs for not getting another defenseman because Pothier just isn’t good enough as the #6 guy and should there be an injury Schubert isn’t experienced enough to play. Unless the Leafs go 82-0 and win 16 straight games in the playoffs I think Simmons will find something wrong with the Leafs.

    Lindros/Allison – These two guys were low risk gambles and they sort of worked. Anyone can get injured and it was Lindros’s wrist, not a concussion, that was the injury. You can’t blame him for that. Allison is getting paid too much but he has had a solid year and since it was just a 1 year deal there is no long term impact.

    The big benefit of those 1-year deals is that this year when Philly, Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, New Jersey, etc. all have zero cap room to sign players the Leafs will have $20-25 million to spend.

    Belfour – I think it is only $1.5 million. The $2 million was something that the Sportsnet guys seemed to claim but they are clueless. It was $2 million but when you factor in the 24% rollback it is just over $1.5 million. Don’t be surprised if they find a way around this. They could pick up the option and then send him to the minors. If he chooses to go to the minors (which I doubt he will) they Leafs will be on hook for his full salary but will not take the salary cap impact. More likely though you will see him retire and they won’t be on the hook for either the salary or the cap space.

    Richardson – Not for a 5th round draft pick you couldn’t get anyone.

    Wellwood/Stajan – Who over rates them? The fans and media are the ones that drool over the young guys and demand they be played more over the useless old veterens.

    Pogge/Rask – I agree. They need to find a goalie to fill the 2-3 year gap before one of them is ready. This is one of JFJ’s jobs in the summer.

  12. Im off to work so im in a hurry here. Here are my thoughts on a few players:
    -I think the Leafs will re-sign Lindros to yet another incentive filled, low based salary…low risk…why not right?
    -I have a feeling the Leafs will pick up the option on Belfour for next year, as suprising as it sounds. I dont think Belfour is the problem for the leafs. Yes, .891 save pct is terrible, but a goaltender is only as good as his defensemen.
    -I think McCabe will sign a huge 4-5 year deal with the Leafs worth something like 5 million a year. I personally like the guy….possibly the next captain in Toronto after Sundins gone. I say sign McCabe to what he whats…he’s worth it. Wont find another player of his caliber in the off season who wants to play in Toronto.
    -Biggest deal i believe over the summer will be….. FIRING Quinn. Yup, I think JFJ will opt to see Quinn in his last year in Toronto and give him the boot.
    -Paul Maurice, head coach of the Marlies will be hired as full time head coach of the Leafs. It’s about time! I love this guy personally. He’s a hockey wizard.

  13. Simmons, Cox and most others are being hard on JFJ for a reason. No the reason isn’t that their ‘tools’ or ‘morons’ or ‘amateurs’. They see and say what the Leafs are, dissappointing.

    It’s tough to find some good stuff here.

    I should have said that Wellwood and Stajan are over played. Not overrated. But if you hear that someone says that the Leafs are looking good in the future, you can bet that somewhere in that argument, they’re referring to Wellwood and Stajan. 3rd Liners by most comparison. Future first liners in the Toronto Media. Which happens to be the provincial media. And being Ontario’s provincial media . . . you can bet you’re nation wide . . . you see where I’m going. Once Toronto get’s a hold of it, you know you’ll have a lot of pride mixed with the right amount of bullshit to get a silly explosion of optimism.

    Sundin is getting top dollar. Well deserved too. Great player. But what’s the point if you’re not going to get anybody to play with him?

    But that has been said to death now.

    The problem is, is that JFJ seems to be too proud to admit he has built a shitty team for the new NHL. He didn’t have the foresight to figure out how things would be.

    Many good GMs, coaches have. Many fans even.

    I know Lindros was a cheap gamble. Fine, he lost. Big deal. But there is no way Allison performed well at all for his money.

    And keeping Antropov around? Ouch. Domi? That was coming from the top I guess. Brutal. Even worse that it was ‘coming from the top’.

    We can argue the little moves JFJ has made, and we could both be right, it is the moves he didn’t make that has supplied Simmons and Cox as well as others with a ton of ammunition to blast the leafs.

    They’re journalists. You want them to keep saying shit like JFJ? ‘Yes, we’ve got a team for the playoffs.” “Yes the Leafs are great”, “Yes we’re a force to be reckoned with.” Come on. They’re calling a spade a friggin’ spade.

    I think Quinn is the only reason the Leafs aren’t closer to the bottom. And Eddie Belfour of course, but it’s only a matter of time that Leaf fans demand he’s dumped. Or was that last week? And Quinn? Well Leaf fans would love to see him gone and Maurice in place? Why Maurice? Because he’s not Quinn. Ridiculous.

    Leaf fans seem to never know what they have. And what they don’t have.

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