I 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.