Monday, March 30, 2009

A few afternoon thoughts:

1. Ping Pong Balls
While some fans in some hockey cities are chewing their nails off wondering if their team can squeak into the 8th playoff spot, the remaining of us scroll down the standings for our drama.

22. Ottawa, 76pts - GR 7
23. Dallas, 75pts - GR 7
24. Toronto, 75pts - GR 6
25. LA Kings, 73pts - GR 7
26. Atlanta, 70pts - GR 6
27. Phoenix, 69pts - GR 7
28. Tampa, 65pts - GR 6
29. Colorado, 64pts - GR 6
30. New York, 59pts - GR 7

2. Martin Gerber
One wonders what the future might hold for Gerber whether it's in Toronto or somewhere else. Talk this morning in one Toronto paper has suggested he should be considered as a back-up to Vesa Toskala next season at a huge discount on the $3.7M Ottawa has paid him for the past three seasons. It wouldn't surprise me if Burke and Co did throw $1.2M/year at him. He showed more passion in one game in Toronto than he ever demonstrated in Ottawa and he would be one of the more experienced back-ups available on the market once Toronto throw a retirement party for Cujo. He has five games left to seduce the Leafs management team.

3. Brian Burke
There are three exceptional free agent NCAA players available this summer (Bozak, Gilroy, Hanson), and Burke is already talking to all three. Burke was in talks earlier than most GM's, speaking with the players "family agents" (NCAA players are not allowed to have paid agents, only family members speaking on their behalf) for months now. Good to hear that Burke, along with Nonis, Niewendyk and Fletcher are doing their homework and at least getting their foot in the door on some good young players. Maybe this rebuild won't have to take half a decade after all?

4. Cryin Bryan
How do you take a playoff team off of Mucklers hands and turn them into a basement dweller in a few seasons and still have your job? Easy, throw a bunch of coaches, players and Martin Gerber under a bus to cover up your own mistakes. Keep trading players on and off the roster until something sticks, and then, with a little luck and a long leash, last until something positive happens. Seems like hiring Clouston along with the Comnrie/Campoli deal have maybe saved his job for now. Credit where it's due, good moves, but in most other hockey markets he would have been fired long ago.

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