Friday, April 04, 2008

The big payback

As much as I like Toskala, I always thought JFJ gave up way too much in that trade. The tipping point for me was the inclusion of Mark Bell. His price-to-performance ratio coupled with his off-ice troubles (and a surprise 15 game suspension to start the season) made it seem that JFJ had been taken once again*.

But if you break that deal down into its component parts, Toskala is proving to be worth a 1st and 2nd round pick and I'm pretty sure most Leaf fans would gladly give up a 4th round pick for this:

As for the game itself, it really couldn't have gone better.

Yeah I know, the Leafs might have been destroyed 8-2 giving up three short-handed goals in the process (that's some damn fine special teams work by Coach Maurice) but Leafs Nation needs to think about the big picture: losing improves the odds of a better draft pick; crapping the bed in their final home game confirms the need to completely change the composition of this club; and the softest team in the NHLTM may have sent a few Sens to the IR.

All in all, I'd call that a very successful night.

*The shame of the Toskala, Bell deal isn't the cost of Toskala and Bell, it's the price paid for Raycroft just one year earlier. I guess I can try to console myself by reading about sunk cost fallacies (or more likely, getting some rugelach from Harbord bakery).


  1. excellent post. i think i would have been cool giving up a first rounder for that hit!

  2. I look at it this way. The Raycroft deal was a band-aid solution, the wound wasn't treated properly and got infected.
    The Toskala Deal was a Stitches solution. It may have hurt more (because of the previous deal and the inclusion of Bell) to start, but at least the wound got proper treatment and can heal now.

  3. I'm surprised that you of all people would get such a thrill from that hit. Sure Leaf fans hate Alfredsson but Bell has been a bust all year. So he made a big hit in the 81st game of the season, a game that meant nothing. Where was he when the team needed some physical play - sucking wind. Oh and he had 4 paltry goals for the year. Makes Jason Blake look like a scoring machine. All that for $2.1 million. He so much represents ineptness of this team. And last night the CBC announcers had the gall to suggest the Leafs bring him back (at $2.5 million) for another chance. God forbid!!!!

  4. Jared - I think of the Raycroft and Toskala deals more along the lines of JFJ as an incompetent surgeon. Sure, he cut off the wrong limb the first time, but the second time his surgery was a bit more successful.

    Pseudonym - Don't get me wrong, I may have loved that hit but I'd still be tempted to waive Bell faster than you can say, "How many fingers am I holding up Mr. Alfredsson?" I say tempted because Bell is a UFA after next year. If you're GM of the Leafs, do you bring him back, hoping that he can regain some modicum of form, just so you can trade him at the deadline for more picks? If he stinks it up, he can still be waived...not sure of the risk/reward equation on this one, but something to consider.

  5. You don't bother bringing him back because he was never good enough to deserve that contract in the first place. No question the only option for Bell is to waive him down to the Marlies and trade him after Christmas for a middle round pick. He is a big boy and someone will be looking for some depth for a playoff run.

  6. Anonymous12:22 am

    Bell has either been mired in a slump for a number of seasons now or simply isn't a good NHL player. I think it's the latter. Assuming he serves all 6 months of his sentence, he will once again come into the season next year having missed training camp. Worse, I doubt he'll be able to train on a NHL calibre level in prison. Too bad he's not a goalie, the practice he'll get in prison dodging shivs might improve his lateral movement.

    Bell was a clear example of JFJ's ineptitude. Either he was such a poor judge of talent that he actually believed Bell could be a useful addition to the team, or he simply didn't have the ability to negotiate a deal for Toskala without being forced to also take on Bell's contract.

    For a team as cap-strapped as the Leafs are, there can be no question that they need to send Bell down to the Marlies.

    Love the hit, though!