I haven’t been following the Maple Leafs this season, conspiracy theories aside. It’s just not that much fun watching a team with no stars lose a month worth of games. Ok – that’s not entirely true. We have a couple of semi- and would-be- stars in Kaberle and Kessel. And we do manage to win a game each month.
This past weekend has been exciting. Brian Burke pulled off a couple of surprising and unexpected trades. The trade I am most impressed about was getting rid of two Leafs that fans universally hated – Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala. Getting rid of one of them would be a dream, but both is a miracle! I smell a conspiracy here because Burke shipped them off to his old team, although in exchange he help the Ducks get rid of their goaltender quarrels and loosened up their salary cap.
The second trade was sending a bunch of spare parts in Jamal Mayers, Ian White, Niklas Hagman and hometown-boy Matt Stajan to the Flames for Dion Phaneuf, a prospect and a third-line winger. The Leafs were going nowhere with the players they traded, but Dion Phaneuf is a bonafide star in the NHL. He was even on the cover of NHL 2009! It’s not every day that a star is traded in the NHL; even better it’s a young star, it’s to the Leafs, and we didn’t really give up much.
The last few days were exciting for a Leafs fan, but also as a hockey fan. Calgary is re-constructing their roster in the middle of the season. They followed up their Leafs trade by trading the “first-line” center to New York for a few overpaid and not-that-great players. This leaves Calgary with a surplus of mediocre wing players, which can’t be the intention of the GM.
I’m expecting any minute, that Calgary will pull off another major trade and send all their new, spare parts off to some other team for a superstar. In fact, it makes me refresh TSN every couple of hours! I wish there was some technical way to automatically check when a site is updated. Hrmm…