Personal thoughts…

Tech, Hockey, and random thoughts…

Maurice on Blake and other thoughts

Quote of the Week: Paul Maurice (Leafs Head Coach) on the Jason Blake: “What I like about Jason is that I really didn’t like him.”

No Maurice, that’s Tucker. You hate Tucker, everyone hates Tucker.  That’s why Leafs fans love Tucker, and that’s why Tucker is so valuable. When your an agitator hatred is the epitome of success.
Blake is Tucker, just less physical not as good of an agitator. Slightly more offence, and much more defence. I like Blake, but you’ve got someone already that deserves that statement much moreso then Blake.

On another note- I wish people would stop calling Blake a 40G scorer. He’s broken 30 once in his career, at age 33. What are the odds Blake became a dramatically better player at age 33?   Pretty small.
What are the odds he had a career year? Awfully good.

Note #2: Blake takes Tucker’s place on the PP. Tucker’s goal totals drop. I’m betting low 20’s. 18-23, without Blake I’d have said 26-31. And even without Blake, no way in hell does Tucker score at a 35+ goal pace over a full season next season, last year was definitely a high water mark for him.

Note #3 : Blake’s never put up huge numbers ES. Don’t expect that to change.

Note #4: Everyone get’s overpaid in UFA, you never get a bargain. The question is how much you overpay, and for how long. If you go into UFA and say you won’t sign player X unless you get him at a fair price…. then you better realize you’ll sign one player every 5yrs or so.
Blake at 4M/yr is pretty nice under those conditions. Blake for 5yrs isn’t so nice. He’s hear for his age 34-38 seasons. A semi-young 34, since he made his NHL debut at 26, but he definitely isn’t going to be worth 4M long term.

Note 4: Ryan Smyth was the best player available in UFA.

Note 5: Either Colombus made the second good move in team history in signing Jan Hejda for 1M/yr for 2yrs, and made by far the best signing in UFA. Or I massively over rate him, he’s not a 4th D-Man and is in reality ECHL fodder. Odds are I overrate him. I loved, absolutey loved Gilbert Brule. He hasn’t exactly done anything at all yet. He was drafted by Colombus. I had Brassard ahead of Kessel in 06′ Colombus drafted Brassard, Brassard may have had an excellent season last year but he will fail to live up to my expectations. As will Hejda. They hired Ken Hitchcock, that exhausted their quota of logical and intelligent moves for the next 25yrs.

Note 6: Very glad we got a top 6 LW.

Note 7: Bell is a poor man’s Jeff O’Neill. We didn’t want O’Neill at 1.5M, we now have Bell at 2M/yr for 2yrs. San Jose is laughing that they actually got value in return for him. Toskala has always played the easy oppisition in San Jose, Nabokov the tough opposition.
Toskala’s Shot Quality Neutral SV%?  Never quite as inspiring as his unadjusted SV%.
Take the two together? Toskala in Toronto = .900 SV%.
To add to the stupidity JFJ signs his latest unproven starter to a 4M/yr deal. Why the urgency? He’s under contract for next season, you can wait a few months into the season to see if he deserves it… instead of signing him ASAP and hoping he justifies this deal.
For this JFJ took Bell’s dead weight, and gave up a 13th overall pick a 2nd rounder and a 4th rounder.
Florida gave up two 2nd rounders and a 1st rounder for a borderline elite (not quite there) starter in Vokoun.
Slightly more then JFJ gave for Toskala, and didn’t even have to take dead weight salary like JFJ did.
Vokoun is a far better goalie then Toskala is even in a best case scenario.
Thanks JFJ for overpaying for mediocrity again, it’s not like the Leafs as a team without a lot of youth and litte immediate hope of going anywhere in the player could USE those draft picks your so desperate to give up.

Sorta like Raycroft last year. Gave up an elite goaltending prospect in Rask for Andrew Raycroft…. our overpaid backup that no one wants to take off our hands. Hated it then, hate it now.
Wonder what mediocre to bad goalie JFJ will give good value for next season?
Could have had a legitimate starter in Legace for a cheaper price then Raycroft last season without paying anything. Could have had Vokoun this season for marginally more then he gave up for Toskala.

We desperately need to add an addendum to JFJ contract that prohibits him from touching a goalie, else he agrees to be shot by a firing squad.

Meanwhile Peddie continues to search for an advisor for JFJ. Since he doesn’t have faith that JFJ can be a good GM on his own he doesn’t bother firing him. No replacing crap with something better would be too logical.
Instead he hopes people like Poile and Burke will accept a demotion to come to Toronto and advise JFJ. To no one’s surprise they declined. Much like Scotty Bowman did.
Now he’s after Muckler. Why? Probably because it’s stupid.
Muckler’s great why? He stuck around the legendary 80’s oilers but was in no way respondisble for their success. As the neverending parade of “friends of Gretzky” in Phoenix have proven being around Gretzky when he was playing doesn’t make you absorb hockey genius by osmosis. His tenure in Buffalo was pretty decent albeit unremarkable.
His time in Ottawa? Well, he took on a very young and very cheap elite team and…. they got much more expensive, and older… and marginally better which was expected with development of their youth anyway. Now his replacement is trying to dump Muckler’s costly mistakes in qualifying Saprykin and overpaying Corvo and Gerber.
For this we apparently want Muckler to advise JFJ.

Ah, they eternal torture of being a Leafs fan. Fun isn’t it?
Welcome to Leafs Nation, leave your common sense at the door.


July 8, 2007 Posted by | NHL Trades, Toronto Maple Leafs | 1 Comment