"I never thought I wouldn't stay a Maple Leaf," Roberts said yesterday before the 39-year-old forward hit the ice against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. "I believed up to the last minute that I would be, but unfortunately [Leafs GM] John [Ferguson Jr.] never gave me the opportunity.Well he offered you a contract, Gary. Where I come from, that's called an opportunity. But the Injured One prattles on:
"He [Ferguson] played the `Gary'll-always-want- to-be-a-Maple-Leaf' card too long.This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the word "offer". Do those protein shakes kill brain cells?
"By the time he decided to change his mind Florida had already offered me a two-year deal, so it was too late."
I wouldn't have any hard feelings with Roberts if he'd just admit that he left for more dough and now regrets it. But instead he seems to want to outsource the blame for his Floridian ennui:
"You can't compare the environment in Florida and the environment in Toronto," he said. "I miss that part of walking into the Air Canada Centre, and you know it's game day.That must be nice for Panthers fans to read, eh? Two-and-a-quarter million for 13-or-so goals in 50-odd games from a 39-year-old, and the promise of two-and-a-quarter million more for the same from the 40-year-old version of the same player — and he's not even happy to be there.
"In Florida, it's not like that. I have a tough time getting in that rink unless I have ID. I get stopped at the door without my pass, and they are like, 'Who are you?' "
(Cross-posted to Tart Cider.)