June 21, 2008

The Leafs Are Turning



With the Swede Wings winning the Stanley Cup, another NHL season has officially ended. We can add another year without a cup in Toronto and there's no hope in sight. The Leafs have started to clean house big time and I'm happy to see some of the useless assholes given their pink slips.

I was caught off guard with the draft being held on a Friday night instead of the typical Saturday afternoon. I was grateful as the Versus channel - a backwater network geared to the outdoors crowd hooked into the TSN feed. I missed the first four picks and noticed that Toronto was on speed dial with the Islanders. The Islanders took the offer and allowed the Leafs to move up from 7 to 5. Since the draft was being held in Ottawa, the loser Sens fans showed the Buds brass their hospitality with a shower of boos. The Leafs selected Luke Scheen from the Kelowna Rockets. I was happy to see the Leafs trade up and get him.

This is the first time in a long time that the Leafs selected this high in the first round. In past years, the Leafs brain trust were out on the golf course on draft day because they traded all of their first round picks. Scheen was the last of the must have defensemen. He's not flashy and won't get more than 5 goals a season, but he's solid, smart and hits like a train. The Leafs ended up drafting a lot of big players as teams are following Anaheim's and Detriot's success that big players bring home the cup.

After the draft, GM Cliff Fletcher started to clean house with a power vac. Gone were Tucker, Raycroft, and Wellwood. Not far off is Mats Sundin who is more than likely heading for the Habs. Then there is Bryan McCabe - who made Todd Gill look like the second coming of Bobby Orr. The Leafs are trying to strong arm him into accepting a trade and I'm all for it - even if it's for a bag of pucks and tape. There is still some fat left to trim and I think the Leafs days of band-aid solutions are over. They're in it for the long run.

It's possible that the Leafs could end up with the number 1 pick and everybody in Leafs Nation is thinking - John Tavares. Tavares is slated to be the first pick overall and the NHL would love to see a local boy playing in one the NHL's biggest market.

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