Today is the trade deadline in the NHL, so teams have until 3:00 this afternoon to decide whether they are going to make a run at the playoffs, or trade away players that will become free agents at the end of the season, thereby getting something for them, instead of getting zilch later. This, traditionally, is the most frustrating day of the season for Leafs fans. This is the day when the Leafs management decides that they are going to take a run at the playoffs, so they need some kind of veteran help, and they trade away prospects and/or draft picks for someone past his prime. This year, there have been rumours of Gary Roberts returning to Toronto, and I love Roberts as a player, but the Leafs need to realize that they have no chance of winning the Cup this year, so adding someone like Roberts would serve no purpose.
There are also rumours about the Leafs getting Bill Guerin, but to do that, they’d have to give up — guess what? — prospects and draft picks. Once again, if this happens, the Leafs will be trading away their future for a hopeless shot at winning the Cup this year. All that giving up the prospects and picks will do is guarantee that the Leafs will be in the same situation next year, and the year after that, and the year after that…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — the Leafs need to blow up the team and start over. Signing the formerly somewhat-overrated and now vastly overpaid Bryan McCabe was a mistake. I like Kaberle, so I don’t have a big problem with signing him long-term (especially since he’s not getting McCabe-type money), and they just re-signed Darcy Tucker, but for only $3 million a year, so that’s not bad at all. I love Sundin, but I think they need to trade him now, while they can still get something for him, and start stocking up on the aforementioned prospects and draft picks, rather than trading them away.
Heard on the radio this morning — the Leafs would like to trade Pavel Kubina back to Tampa. They don’t want anything back for him; they’d just send him back to Tampa, with a note saying “My bad”. :-)
I’ve only been really following basketball for a year or two, but it seems that Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo is very well respected in the league, and with good reason — in less than a year, he’s turned the Raptors from a laughing stock into a conference-contending team. They’re not likely to win a championship this year, but they could be a serious contender within the next few years. Whenever I hear him being interviewed, he gives an air of not just confidence, but control. He is in complete control of the team, and has a plan for it. When I hear the GM of the Blue Jays, J.P. Ricciardi, talk, he gives me the same impression. The Leafs GM, John Ferguson, however, always gives me the impression that he’s doing whatever he can to just stop the bleeding. He’s not trying to make the team tangibly better, he’s just trying to keep it from getting too much worse. Unless the Leafs turn it around in a big way this season (i.e. make the playoffs and win at least one round), they really need to get rid of Ferguson.
Update: The Leafs made one deal today — trading away 23-year-old prospect Brendan Bell and a draft pick for 35-year-old veteran Yanic Perreault. Same ol’ same ol’. Sigh.