Thursday, 6 March 2008

For Toronto Maple Leafs it's Do or Die Again!

The unwanted players of the Toronto Maple Leafs are hot in a dash to make the playoffs. Management plans to unload them were thwarted when the players with no trade clauses refused to waive them. The one prized player Nik Antropov who would have gotten some value in a trade was considered untradeable by management. The team under the new again direction of Cliff Fletcher wanted to unload its high payroll and pick up some top draft picks as part of a rebuilding plan. Now the unwanted stars are playing for their careers and if they can make the playoffs anything can happen. This has been a trend for the past few years and has been a barrier to major change for the team. John Ferguson Jr. as General Manager tinkered to get the right combination while locking in big salary players such as Brian McCabe while they were on hot streaks with no trade clauses. Now Matts Sundin is having a great year on his year to year contracts. Will Fletcher dare to let him go at his peak to free up salary cap room?
Cliff Fletcher plans to buy out the contracts of the no trade clause players so he can rebuild now with young up and coming free agents and others he may be able to get by trading, who will change the face of the team. All of this will be thwarted if our heroes are able to make a strong playoff run this year. They know that the team will certainly be dismantled if they do not make the playoffs. Many fans are hoping the team will not make the playoffs so that the message will remain clear that major change is needed.
Now to the Poll: I am not asking if the Leafs will make the playoffs or win the Stanley Cup this year or even next. We have been suffering for over forty years so the question is more of a long term one. Will things change in the forseeable future? In three years will the Toronto Maple Leafs be a team we can be proud of? Do people care anymore? Will there be significant improvement by then? I was first to vote (as an optimist I voted yes). How do you vote?

No comments: