I have to admit I’m really impressed by what the Leafs have accomplished.
I thought the Phil Kessel-Dion Phaneuf-Dave Clarkson troika of contracts would be around their necks for years, millstones they couldn’t shake. Instead, in little more than one season, they’ve unloaded all three, with only a million per year retained from Phil’s contract.
They outbid the Sabres and Wings extravagantly for the putative best coach in the business, showing that money is really no object, in this cap-less area anyway.
They were resolute in their tank manoeuvering, didn’t blink, went straight to the bottom, shamelessly. And then they got lucky in the lottery, winning it with their paltry 20% chance.
They are amassing picks and prospects, have a wealth of options at the draft table this season, and have spent some of that capital on a steady goaltender already, acquired relatively cheaply.
The Leafs are not a circus anymore, and even better, they seem to be going away from the Colton Orr-Wade Belak truculence philosophy, Mark Hunter and Kyle Dubas picking many smallish but very skilled players in the last draft.
I’ve always said I don’t hate the Leafs, my real rivals are the Nordiques, Bruins and Flyers, in that order, the Leafs are just like any other North Stars or Barons or Golden Seals, an adversary that we play occasionally. I also said that if they got rid of their Darcy Tuckers and Tie Domis I’d even cheer for them to do well in the playoffs, as long as they weren’t playing the Canadiens.
Well, their job is almost done. All that remains is for them to unload mega-douche Nazem Kadri and they’re all set for my affable respect and relative support.