Jiri Tlusty and John Tavares

LeafsJiri Tlusty, the only teenager in the Maple Leafs farm system, will make his NHL debut tonight against the Penguins. He was selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and, other than Justin Pogge, is the only half-decent prospect we have. This fact leads to a rant.

Why does every team in the league have promising youngsters except our Leafs? Tlusty is hardly tearing things up in the AHL, but here he is because he's the closest thing we have to a future star. I'm willing to bet my bottom dollar that he ends up being closer to an Alex Steen than a Jonathan Toews, and Toews isn't even a Patrick Kane. I don't mean to pick on the Blackhawks, but they're a good example of a team that had to get sucky before there was a chance for hope. When will we bite that bullet and hit the bottom so we can bounce our way back to competitiveness?

Remember a week ago when I went off on stupid Facebook groups demanding the Leafs get John Tavares? I'll bet John Ferguson, Jr. is a member of that group. The Globe has a piece of fantasy today. Dave Shoalts is suggesting Ferguson has offered up-and-coming superstar John Tavares the opportunity to play for the Marlies. Oh, boy...

The entire article upset me. There is no magic pill that will cure what ills us. If Fergie thinks there's some secret door that will take Tavares to Leafland, he's dumber than I thought. The fact is, Tavares will enter the entry draft like every one else and the team with the first pick will grab him. Our only hope is that Tavares pulls a Lindros and refuses to play for any team but the Leafs, and I can't see that happening. Besides, it's not like we're a John Tavares away from winning the cup, but it would give us something we haven't had in years. It would give us hope.

Right now all we have is Tlusty.


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