Glorious Leafs Trades, Freaky Timing and My Thoughts

LeafsI slept in this morning. My son's early morning practice was cancelled due to a video shoot at the rink, so I didn't wake up until 9:30 or so.

The moment I got online, I learnt something big was going down. Brian Burke had a press conference scheduled for 11:30 and the announcement was to be "major". The more details that leaked, the better it all got. In my humble opinion, this was a fantastic day for fellow fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Before I dive into the nuts and bolts, I've got to comment on the freaky timing. Three days ago, the PR person for Ford Canada contacted me and asked me if I'd like to watch a Leafs game from the third row this coming Tuesday. I actually hesitated before saying yes. That's when an alarm went off in my head. The result was this entry entitled "I Hate My Favourite Team".

I wrote that late Thursday night. My ticket for Tuesday night's game arrived on Friday. I watched last night's game and didn't give a flying fig that we blew a 3-0 lead in the third period. I awoke this morning caring as little about the Leafs as I ever have in my lifetime. I felt complete apathy.

Suddenly, with a couple of strokes of his mighty pen, Brian Burke has me very much looking forward to watching Tuesday's game from the third row. Today, we sent six players and got four in return. Let's take a look at what we gave up.

Leaving Toronto My Thoughts
Matt Stajan He's just a guy, a 3rd liner. Nice player, but no major loss.
Ian White I really liked White. I'm very sorry to see him go.
Jamal Mayers Who cares? I sure don't.
Nik Hagman Hagman was a decent player, but no all-star.
Jason Blake Overrated, overpaid, don't let the door hit ya on the way out.
Vesa Toskala See above - I'd have given both Blake and Toskala away for absolutely nothing.

To summarize the above, I'm sorry to see White and Hagman go, but you've got to give up something to get something special. Let's see who's joining Toronto in today's trades.

Joining Toronto My Thoughts
Dion Phaneuf I love this addition. He's a former and future all-star who got serious Team Canada consideration. He's only 24-years old. I'd have traded the 4 Leafs for him alone.
Fredrik Sjostrom I'm not sure what Sjostrom adds, but at least he's only 26.
Keith Aulie I'm surprised we got a bonafide prospect in this deal. He'll join the Marlies and has great promise.
Jean-Sébastien Giguère Sure, Giguere might be overpaid, but he's only 32 and we need goaltending. And besides, we got him for Blake and Toskala, two players I'd have traded for nothing.

I'm very, very happy with today's deals, and very much looking forward to Tuesday night. The Leafs are a better team today, and more importantly, there's reason to care again. And dare I say, even a glimmer of hope.

burkes law2

Thanks, Burkie.


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Comments (22 - click here to join in!)

dale

Matt Stajan you had enough time to prove yourself & being on the team for years you never stepped it up. Jason Blake - you were are a trooper but your $ made difference.
Jamal Mayers no loss, but worthy in the room.
Hagman had nobody to play with & sorry to see him go.

To me Toskala & Giguere are a wash.

Phaneuf - has to mature - may be worth it long term.


January 31, 2010 @ 5:27 PM

CQ

Tues. nite free Tix, courtesy of someone else staying home to watch the Lost season premiere instead? :)

January 31, 2010 @ 5:34 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

That's what the PVR is for. :-)

January 31, 2010 @ 5:36 PM

Brian S.

Couldn't agree more with your assessment here Mike. As an added bonus, the holes left in the roster will now be filled by kids from the Marlies and management can really take stock of what we have.

I hate to sound hyperbolic, but this feels like the best day in leafs land since a certain 10 player trade so many years ago.

January 31, 2010 @ 6:12 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Brian S.

I've been thinking about the Gilmour trade a lot today. Two trades with Calgary, 17 players involved. That's got to be a record.

That Gilmour trade was the best trade in Leafs history. We gave up a bunch of players for a star. This one could be similar in that it's a bunch of guys landing one star. The big difference is that Gilmour was a little older and more of a guarantee than Phaneuf. But the upside is huge.

I'm still pinching myself because today seems too good to be true. We unloaded a lot of junk and landed a star, a good prospect and a possible goaltending solution. And yes, we're now very thin up front, which means lots of Hanson, Bozak and Stalberg. Bonus!

January 31, 2010 @ 6:18 PM

Irvine

Funny Mike but TSN seems to think we got the best of the deal. AND, look around in the Calgary comments/blog scene notice that most of the comments are glad that Phaneuf is gone.

Congratulations on your 6 million dollar slacker. LOL. And ego to boot

But what we FLAMES fans know anyways?

Thanks for the scoring though. Put on a line with Bourque and Iggy, the Flames will be back on top in no time.

It feels good to shaft Toronto.

January 31, 2010 @ 7:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Irvine

You guys gave up on Phaneuf awfully quick, don't you think? We're happy to give him a whirl at 24... the only real loss, IMHO, is White, and Phaneuf's upside trumps White's.

I'm sure you thought you won the deal for a certain 50 goal scorer named Gary Leeman back in the day. Gilmour, after all, had peaked.

January 31, 2010 @ 7:19 PM

Irvine

You see Mike, what you don't do is watch Phaneuf play. I do about 75 times a year. Nor do you realize the big arrogant ego the guy has. Did you watch the press scrum? He was clearly pissed off and NOT happy to go to Toronto.

I mean, he compared himself to Gretzky during the scrum.

This guy CAN be talented but his ego gets in his way. And NO way is a big ego going to be happy playing for bottom feeders like the Leafs.

Now, Hagman and Stajan, they get to come to a team and play with Iggy, Bourque, Bouwmesiter and Kipper in net (top goalie).

So the Leafs get a bitter, 24 year old egotistical dick who makes nearly 6 mil a year. That's a good trade? Phaneuf has a bigger ego than Dan Heatley just he's much less talented.

He's a poison in the dressing room and I can only imagine what he'll do to the Loser Leafs.

My Blackberry, Facebook, etc is abuzz with 'hooray, he's gone". All Calgarians. Maybe we know something.

You still won't get to the playoffs.

January 31, 2010 @ 7:24 PM

Irvine

No, we signed Phaneuf to a massive deal a couple years of ago and he went soft.

Good to see you pay attention to the Calgary hockey market.

THANK YOU TORONTO!. We love you.

January 31, 2010 @ 7:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I do not think Hagman and Stajan are the players you think they are.

Time will tell, but I'm feeling very good about this deal.

January 31, 2010 @ 7:37 PM

James

I'm impressed by the Phaneuf deal. Even if he is an egomaniac at least he has the potential to be a real impact player. I don't think any of the guys going to Calgary do.

Having said that - I hate to be a huge downer - but even with this deal, I think the Leafs are still screwed for another couple years at least.

A major lack of young talent, no draft picks, and now they're pretty much at the cap. Unless Kovalchuk or Marleau come here in the offseason I think they've still got a really long way to go.

January 31, 2010 @ 8:06 PM

Irvine

Stajan has 41 points playing on a bottom feeder team with NO talent. What happens when he actually has someone to play with (like Bourque or Iggy). Hagman and White contribute another 60 points to this teams roster. Did you ever consider how Stajan might perform next to Iginla or Bourque?

You know what I love the most Mike? It's your arrogant "center of the universe". Until this trade you knew dog sh*t about the Flames and the only Phaneuf you know was the one we knew 2 years ago.

Enjoy your ego and his poison in the dressing room. Oh, and when ARE the Leafs actually going to beat the Flames anyway?

Toronto. Rebuilding since 1967. LOL.

January 31, 2010 @ 8:11 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Irvine

Which give you a one cup advantage over the past 42 years.

January 31, 2010 @ 8:13 PM

Jim

How dumb is Darryl Sutter? He wouldn't make the trade until Jamal Mayers was part of the deal. That's how dumb.

Gilmour flourished in Toronto because the spotlight was finally on him. We're figuring that Phaneuf, with this "ego" (like that's a bad thing...) will repeat history.

January 31, 2010 @ 8:57 PM

Brian S.

@Irvine

Phaneuf didn't compare himself to Gretzky, he said "if Gretzky can be traded anyone can, it's part of the business". Try listening for comprehension next time.

I think both teams did well in this trade, each got something they needed for the positions they are in.

January 31, 2010 @ 10:18 PM

Irvine

Yeah Mike, cept the Flames only been in Calgary since 1980. You knew that tho right Mr Hockey LOL. So I guess that's 27 years and we're not a "rich team"

This blog is just proof that the only good thing that comes from the East is the sun and an empty Greyhound bus.

February 1, 2010 @ 12:18 AM

Irvine

I have too much fun harassing you dudes though. You get upset so easily.

Anyways, I gotta get back to work. I need to create wealth to send to East to support your rotting economy

February 1, 2010 @ 12:21 AM

LEW

I'm just happy the Canucks don't have to play him in Calgary anymore. He may have been shit for a lot of those 75 games you watched Irvine, but he was tough against us every time...

February 1, 2010 @ 8:46 AM

A.R.

Irvine, you should be embarrassed. You've come on here so frustrated that we in Toronto are happy about this, suggesting that we're arrogant.

You're being nasty and seem to be full of hate. Get over it already.

February 1, 2010 @ 11:32 AM

Wayner

I'm in favour of the trades. I just hope that any coming trades are geared to building a stronger team and not just for a play-off run

February 1, 2010 @ 11:58 AM

Brian S.

Let me get this straight. Irvine comes to this blog and makes a pretty emotional post about the terrible Leafs and the mighty Flames, and when we respond (calmly I might add), we're the ones who are upset?

Looks to me like another cry for attention from a Calgarian with an inferiority complex. I understand, we would barely notice you down here if it wasn't for all the whining and crying.

February 1, 2010 @ 12:32 PM

Sara

@Irvine

Calgary fell out of love with Phaneuf. What is there to cry about?

Toronto is ready to begin their love affair with the stud.

Stajan is a wash. Hagman isn't what everybody thinks he is. Mayers wanted to go - and I'm glad. White was a soldier, and we'll miss him.

As for a Calgarian who visits a Toronto blog to "brag" about the trade... see how good it looks? Not very.

Go back to the cave you crawled out of, and love your mediocre players good and hard. You need some hope to cling to, after Calgary's recent performance.

Sara

February 1, 2010 @ 1:03 PM

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