Sunday, November 05, 2006

Memo to Dave Perkins

Dave Perkins has an interesting article in today's Toronto Star (05/11/06) commending JFJ for keeping the young kids at last year's trade deadline.

I originally wrote a very long piece on this, but I'll cut it back to two essential points:

  1. The Leafs were pretty much capped out at the trade deadline. I would love to know how JFJ could possibly have traded away youth (who make no money) for veterans (who make lots of money). It simply couldn't be done.
  2. Was anyone, anywhere, pushing JFJ to trade any youth at last year's deadline? No. The pressure was for him to deal all of the UFA spare parts for something (anything!) before they walked. Instead they walked, the Leafs got nothing for them and the team still missed the playoffs.

Perkins commends JFJ for doing the only thing he could do (keeping the kids) and is absolutely silent on JFJ's real shortcoming at the trade deadline. Nice work, I look forward to future columns from Mr. Perkins like:

  • Starting Brodeur: Julien's Brilliant Coaching Mind
  • Wilson's Decision to Keep Joe Thornton Paying Off
  • Riccardi's Choice of Retractable Roof Good Move for Jays


  1. You hinted at it before, but how about Ferguson failing to recognize the talent oozing from his kids last year - and not playing them until all his UFA acquisitions went on the shelf? And then...almost put them into the playoffs.

    I wish I could have been a bug on the wall of the MLSE boardrooms last March. That was a golden opportunity to clear the decks for picks and prospects, and nothing happened...why? Yargh!

  2. Anonymous9:06 am

    I don't know why MLSE thinks that Leafs fans won't stand for a rebuilding process.

    Every Leaf fan I know would be willing to go through the pain of rebuilding if they knew that it would move the Leafs towards a title.

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  4. I think MLSE is convinced that they have a unique way forward where they can build a championship club without undergoing the typical or standard rebuilding process.

    Rather than lose-lots, stockpile high draft picks and let your young kids develop together, JFJ seems to have some other plan (other than overcommitting to three of his top 4 D-men; however, I'm not quite sure what that plan is).

    I think Leafs Nation could certainly withstand a typical rebuilding process with lots of losses if (and this is a big if) the upside is the team would emerge flush with top talent like the Penguins have. As a long-time Leaf fan, my concern would be withstanding the awful cycle of losing only to come out looking like this year's Blue Jackets.

  5. Anonymous5:22 pm

    Haven't we been in a rebuilding process since 1967?

    The problem is that MLSE is concerned first and foremost with profits, not championships. Despite not making the finals in 39 years the Leafs are the most profitable team in hockey and one of the most profitable in all of sports. Where is the impetus for change?

    When Peddle says, "The fans of Toronto won't stand for a losing product", he really means, "The Teacher's Pension Fund won't stand for the possibility that the product will become less profitable". And so we remain where we are, with a team that might someday possibly squeak out a championship (if the planets all align and we have a return of the 1918 influenza epidemic everywhere but in Toronto) but more likely won't win a Cup in our lifetimes.

    However, given the Leafs' history of poor drafting (Gary Nylund anyone?), can you blame Peddle et al. for not having the confidence to invest in such a plan?

  6. Anonymous9:17 am

    I agree where you are coming from. Some short term success such as beating the Sabre or a modest win streak does not mean that this team is out of the woods. They still rely on older players who are either overpaid or minor league reclamation projects. Team defense is poor and goaltending unproven during pressure situation (playoffs).