Once you told me long ago, to the dance with me you'd go. Now you've changed your mind it seems, someone else will hold my dreams...
I have to say I’m really tired of all the talk surrounding Mats Sundin. If people want to blame a player for not waiving a no trade clause, look no further than Pavel Kubina.
Kubina allegedly agreed to waive his NTC, only to renege after the Senators game. Fletcher speaks to it in his news conference (available here) and again during his phoner with Bob McCowan, Steven Brunt and Neil Smith on the Fan590 (available as an MP3 here - full warning, this link has crashed my computer so please proceed with caution).
Kubina has since come out and claimed it was all a misunderstanding - perhaps he thought Fletcher was talking about a fantasy hockey trade in their keeper pool...gotta think Kubina is the first man traded when the window opens in his no-trade clause on July 1.
Want another black hat or two to vent on? I'll see that Kubina and raise you a JFJ and MLSE. I’m not sure who was the architect and who was the general contractor of this mess (and I’m not sure that it matters) but if either had an ounce of competence the re-build would have started as early as the end of the lock-out and certainly no later than last year’s trade deadline.
Had Tucker and McCabe been dealt when they were impending UFAs, Leafs Nation would be talking about the up and coming kids in the system and whether or not Mats would be sticking around to play with the emerging young talent.
Instead, Sundin’s reputation has been questioned, the team is still saddled with four NTCs, four more years of 11 goal scorer Jason Blake at $4M a year and nearly $5M tied up in Raycroft and Bell* never mind the number of picks that have been burned to find a competent goalie.
Bottom line: managerial incompetence, not Sundin, is the real issue here and Leaf fans shouldn't lose sight of that.
Best trade deadline print coverage is hands-down in the Globe. Brunt files a great piece on the absurdity of JFJ, and Shoaltsy follows with a good summary of Fletcher's remarks and what it might mean for the Leafs.
With the trade deadline out of the way, I thought I’d address what’s really important for the Leafs – the Odds of winning the draft lottery.
As per Exhibit 4 in the CBA, the NHL holds a lottery for all 14 teams that do not qualify for the post-season. The lower a team places in the standings, the greater their odds of winning the lottery.
Team 1 (Last place overall) has a 25.0% chance of winning the #1 pick
Team 2 has an 18.8% chance of winning the #1 pick
Team 3 has a 14.2% chance of winning the #1 pick
Team 4 has a 10.7% chance of winning the #1 pick
Team 5 has an 8.1% chance of winning the #1 pick
While all 14 teams do have a chance of winning the lottery (the 14th team has a 0.5% chance of being selected) teams can only move up four (4) places in the draft and can only drop one spot.
So if the #6 team wins the lottery, the draft order would be:
1st pick to the team in last place overall
2nd pick to the 6th team (lottery winner)
3rd pick to the 2nd worst team
4th pick to the 3rd worst team
5th pick to the 4th worst team etc.
Currently, the Leafs are 26th in the NHL, which gives them an 8.1% chance of winning the first overall pick in the draft lottery.
*Here's the big question: will Raycroft and Bell be waived the day after the Leafs regular season ends - that's the last day to waive a player; Or will they be waived in mid-September when the waiver wire re-opens? I'm going to guess Raycroft goes on the last day of the year and Bell is left twisting until that whole prison-thing is sorted out (there's a sentence I never thought I'd type).