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

Anaheim GM Brian Burke logs entries

USA Today has a penned article by Anaheim GM Brian Burke emulating a diary of his trade deadline wheeling and dealings… (or attempted dealings as little happened for Anaheim). Very entertaining, and mildly informative glimpse at a seldom seen example of the behind the scenes discussions.

My favoruite part:
“I talk to Florida assistant GM Randy Sexton about Todd Bertuzzi, and he tells me “the guy we like is Perry.” I offer him profanity.”

March 3, 2007 Posted by | NHL Trades | Leave a comment

Luongo to Vancouver

Keenan is officially insane.
The Vancouver Canucks have dealt forward Todd Bertuzzi, goaltender Alex Auld and defenceman Bryan Allen to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Roberto Luongo, defenceman Lukis Krajicek and a sixth round pick.

How Keenan even considered this deal I haven't a clue. Absolutely horrible, this is beyond defensible.

I wouldn't want Bertuzzi if Vancouver offered him for nothing at all.
He's extremely talented but hasn't shown any of that talent in 3yrs now, even paired with Naslund (I still consider him a top 5 forward in the NHL) he's barely able to hit 70pts now, even in a season in which scoring jumped considerably.
He's a liability defensively his once vaunted physical game has compleyely disappeared last season. You can count on him to give a sterling example to the young Florida talent of how to get rich by never giving more then a 2% effort.
Not to mention the massive baggage that comes along with him, the media still hunts him daily over the Steve Moore hit, and that's bound to be a distraction to Florida as if Bertuzzi isn't enough of a lockeroom cancer.

On the off chance that Bertuzzi somehow proves to be a worthwhile acquistion they can count on having him for…. 1 season. How thrilling, Luongo for a soon to be UFA.

Ah yes, they also get Auld. A 1B goaltener, basically a below average starter. Adequate but definitely not a guy you want to rely upon if you expect to make any noise in the playoffs. Roughly comparable to Cloutier, but cheaper and younger.

Allen at least does hold value. A 25yr old 2nd pairing defensive D-man. No offensive abilities at all, and he appears to have peaked but still a nice guy to have.

What does Vancouver get?
Either the best or 2nd best goalie in the NHL (Depnding on how one feels about Brodeur), and elite netminder in his prime that can singlehandedly carry a team on his back.
He is unfortunately an UFA after this season and has made it clear he intends to sign with a contender, which Florida is not. Easy to see why Florida was dealing him…. luckily Vancouver should be a pretty good team with Luongo in goal, and I'd give pretty good odds he'll be willing to sign long term there.
A spectacular upgrade on Auld whose dragged them down for so long, they finally have the reliable goalie they've so long desired.

The 6th rounder means little, it's a small addition but very unlikely to ever amount to an NHL player.

Krajicek is a young 3rd pairing offensive D-Man with some upside. He hasn't developed as expected thus far, but he can prvide some offence from the blueline and while he isn't very good defensively he's not a disaster either. If he could bulk up a bit and improve his defensive game positionally he could be a pretty nice player but I haven't seen the development from him to lead me to believe he's likely to improve much.
Still, a decent enough young player with some upside.

As far as I see this massively improved Vancouver in the short term and very likely in the long term, meanwhilst Florida downgrades significantly in the short term with precious little here to get excited about long term. They should have been able to bring back MUCH more in trade.

Horrible, horrible deal.

June 23, 2006 Posted by | NHL Trades, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Fallout from Thornton deal

SOUTHCOASTTODAY.COM: Mick Colageo reports Bruins winger Sergei Samsonov is unhappy that Thornton was made the scapegoat for the club's struggles this season, leading to his trade to San Jose. "I don't think Joe should have been singled out. I don't think he's the one to blame," said Samsonov, who was neither cajoled into the statement, nor responding to a question. "There's 20 other guys in the locker room and we're all there to blame for it. Right now he's being made an example of, which I don't think is fair."

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports several Bruins veterans held a dressing room meeting yesterday with GM Mike O'Connell demanding an explanation for the Thornton deal, one that apparently got heated at times. Garrioch also reports O'Connell apparently had negotiations with five teams for Thornton but claims sources say the original deal was supposed to be Serge Samsonov for Stuart. Garrioch also reports that O'Connell's job, as well as that of the coaching staff, could be on the line if this deal doesn't turn the Bruins fortunes around.

TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie reported last night it'll be interesting to see what effect the fallout from the Boston Bruins trading away Joe Thornton will have on the club. Thornton's friend and now-former linemate Glen Murray signed a four-year deal last summer with the B's to return to the Bruins and play alongside Thornton, leading McKenzie to speculate how this will effect his play. McKenzie also reports team morale is very low, and the casting aside of free agent Dave Scatchard along with Thornton could make free agents wary of signing with the Bruins next summer. He also noted that defenceman Brad Stuart, obtained from San Jose in the deal, is eligible for UFA status next summer. McKenzie cites unnamed players as saying if this move doesn't turn the Bruins around soon, the club could go into full salary dumping mode.

December 2, 2005 Posted by | NHL Trades | Leave a comment

Thornton’s reaction….

Thornton's reaction to the trade:

"They had flown in for the Ottawa game. I knew absolutely nothing. I was totally blindsided. Obviously (the Bruins) believed in their coach and GM and I'm next in line."

Of course he's shocked. The team has been built around you as the focal point for about 4yrs now. You were just resigned to a very lucative 3yr contract, with a no-trade clause coming intp play on the 2nd yr of the deal.
You were expected to be the focus and Captain of a team that was thought to contend for the cup this season….
You've played your entire career there.

I'm sure this almost… not quite but almost ranks up there with Marian Hossa and Brian Leetch's reactions when they were shockingly dealt to another team completely out of no where. NO ONE could have predicted Thornton would be dealt anywhere.

Here's Bob McKenzie's reaction.

One thing McKenzie stated on TSN/Sportsnet that I find very surprising. (I put complete faith in McKenzie, perhaps the only journalist in any field I can say that of)….McKenzie said that he talked to other GM's around the league NONE of which new that this was happening…There was no shopping around, it was BOS and SJ exclusivley…He also gave the inclination that there were other GM's out there willing to offer more for Joe.

This makes little sense to me, why would there be such a desperate desire to get rid of Thornton immediately that he wouldn't even talk with other GM's?

I'm not inclined to guess whether Boston would have gotten a comparable/better deal from another team …. but there certainly would have been tons of interest and plenty of offers to consider. If your making a trade as major as this it seems to stand to reason you'd want to take your time and contact absolutely everyone to ensure you get the best deal possible.

Then again, this is Mike O'Connell. He's made a career out of not giving a damn about what the fan base thinks. Boston has long been in the 2nd teir of teams behind Chicago who's primary goal about all else is financial gain. NOT having a successful team.
They way they perennially screwed over and shortchanged Ray Bourque one of the gratest defencemen of all time and always wholly devoted and loyal to the Bruins to a fault speaks volumes on that tendency.
Any other player less loyal then Bourque would have bolted as soon as he was open for UFA… Bourque stuck around for almost 20yrs always playing for less then fair market value. Even when Boston had no hope of contending.
About the only good thing Boston ever did by him was deal him to Colorado for one last harrah and stab at that long awaited Stanley Cup in 99-2000.
Few players deserved a cup as much as Bourque.

December 1, 2005 Posted by | NHL Trades | Leave a comment