The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Kyle Wellwood and Andrew Raycroft on waivers today. One of these moves was a no-brainer and the other is a little surprising but probably a good thing. Let's start with the no-brainer.
Two years ago tomorrow, I wrote about the trading of Tuukka Rask for Andrew Raycroft. Here's what I wrote that day in 2006.
When I first read about the deal, I hated it. Rask is only twenty years old and was named the top goaltender of last year's World Junior Championship. Raycroft, on the other hand, had a dismal .879 save percentage last year with a 3.71 goals against average and just eight wins in 30 starts. Yuck.
Can we call a mulligan and get Rask back? Although Raycroft set a franchise record with 37 wins in 72 games two seasons ago, I never felt comfortable with him between the pipes and pleaded with Maurice to start Vesa Toskala on opening night last October. Raycroft had a brutal year, going 2-9-5 the past season with a 3.92 goal-against average and .876 save percentage, last winning a game in November. He had to go and now he's gone.
Wellwood, on the other hand, was supposed to be one of the few bright young lights on this team. He actually had a little skill and showed a great deal of promise, but then his stock plummeted quickly. There were plenty of injuries and a lack of desire on his part. I thought they'd give him another year to turn things around but Uncle Cliffy must be getting emails from Bryan Burke because this is a bold move that actually makes sense.
We need to shake things up around, make drastic changes, and it's nice to see we're not coming back with the same pathetic players. We'll come back with different pathetic players and make a serious run at Tavares.