Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Smolinski? D-Man? Kicking Tires?

“I always turn to the sports pages first, which record people’s accomplishments. The front page has nothing but man’s failures.” - Justice Earl Warren

This is a really great quote, but I have to wonder what Justice Warren would say in the age of blogs.

I too always read the sports pages first and today the Globe just left me shaking my head. No, not because they're recording failure, but because they're failing to provide any discerning insight.

I thought print media was supposed to be one format that had a bit more room for analysis and nuance, not falling into the either/or camp: you're either with us or against us; for fighting in hockey or opposed to fighting; a trade deadline buyer or a trade deadline seller... I guess I was wrong.

Shoalts says, given the prices:

The best thing for the Toronto Maple Leafs would be for John Ferguson to return from the general managers meetings in Florida this week empty-handed.
Really? Wouldn't the best thing be for JFJ to identify his spare parts and sell them at these high prices? Shouldn't Shoalts editor have helped him out here a little, I mean he almost completes this thought with this observation:
There is another reason to hold off on a trade: The Leafs are playing their best hockey of the season since the injuries began to pile up in January.
Based on that, and the fact that some of the Leafs "best players" are out, how much of a mental leap is it to conclude that the strong play of late may be the best reason for the Leafs to look at moving Tucker or Peca, especially if they're looking for an experienced D-man as he claims. Or does that fall too far out of the buyer/seller dichotomy?

I also found his observation that the Leafs might move a 3rd or 4th round pick for Smolinski to be straight out of the blue...on a team with 117 centres, that's fifth in the NHL in offense why would adding another offensive centre to the mix make any sense? Unfortunately, Shoalts doesn't offer a rational for that trade...he just leaves it hanging there.

His colleague across town Damien Cox filed the report I was looking for - giving us the context of the market, listing what the Leafs are looking for: experienced, skilled, big forward (although the question still remains, why? What is it that Maurice and Ferguson see in this club that a big forward would add) ; what the Leafs are willing to move (excess young D like Bell, Woz, Kronwall) and when they'd like to get a deal done (ASAP).

Can the MLSE PR department not get better head shots of JFJ out to all of the media outlets? I'm no fan of JFJ, but it would be nice to see the media run a shot of this guy where he isn't frowning, scowling or furrowing his brow...there must be a neutral, or heaven forbid, happy shot of this guy somewhere that the papers could run.

1 comment:

  1. I had the same reaction when I read Shoalts' piece. Is he too young to be senile?

    It's funny how these things work because my buddy HATES Shoalts and I never really thought of it until this morning. It's like not noticing all of the yellow cars until you start looking for them.

    And Cox has been good for the past month. I feel like the Apocalypse is nigh.