“We’re spending like drunken sailors right now…maybe I shouldn’t say that, but ah well.”
It’s probably even more fun to be a member of the Oilers right now than it is to be an Oilers fans.
A consistent media theme in Canada surrounding yesterday’s trades was the idea that the players coming to Canada, along with the action last summer with free agents coming to Canada, shows that the new CBA works for Canada. I’ve finally run out of gas on the CBA myself (although if the rumours I’ve heard are correct, I’ll have the opportunity to ask Ted Saskin next week when a copy will be publicly available, which might rekindle my interest), but I think it’s a little early to be making this call.
The Alberta teams were the big Canadian players in the summer (Pronger, Peca, Amonte and Hamrlik) and, in the case of the Oilers at least, at the deadline (Roloson and Samsonov). They were particularly well suited to take advantage of the new CBA though, as they both had low payrolls while many teams were already close to maxed out. As the cap goes up and some of the bad contracts expire, the unnatural advantage enjoyed by the Albertan teams will disappear.
Myself, I’m enjoying what we’re seeing right now, but I’ll wait and see what happens in the summer of 2007 when Horcoff and Smyth have to be paid whatever the open market will give them, with the salary cap at $46MM or so, before I decide whether the new CBA is better for the Oilers or not. I’m still undecided on whether capping your competition at (for example) $46MM when you’re $8-10MM below while at the same time your guys become free agents at 27 is a net positive. At least if the Oilers do end up losing one of Smyth or Horcoff due to budgetary constraints when other teams have more cap space, the Canadian media can take comfort in knowing that NHL franchise values are up $400MM as of a couple of months ago according to Bloomberg.
Courtesy of Sisuhockey, this delightful piece of insanityfrom Peter Worthington. I take back everything I said about Terry Jones yesterday…everything. Worthington is crazy and illustrates everything I hate about Leafs fans. His big idea:
If I were running the Leafs, I’d mortgage the farm to get Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals.
Really? If I were running the Leafs I’d just phone up Washington and Pittsburgh and tell them that I’d decided to take Ovechkin and Crosby. That foolish Worthington wants to trade talent-why bother when we all know that the NHL is operated for the greater benefit of Toronto Maple Leafs fans?
I’d trade any four or five Leafs for Ovechkin. He’s that awesome. But would it benefit either the Leafs or Caps to enter into such a deal?
Go back to 1947-48. That was the year the six-team NHL went to a 60-game season in which the Art Ross Trophy was introduced — the player scoring the most points during the regular season. It was the year the All-Star game was started.
Six games into the season, the Leafs pulled off the biggest trade in NHL history – Gus Bodnar, Bud Poile, Gaye Stewart, Ernie Dickens and Bob Goldham to last place Chicago Blackhawks for centre Max Bentley — breaking up the lethal line of Bill Mosienko and Doug and Max Bentley.
I remember at the time how “experts” shook their heads. Great as Max Bentley was (Hart Trophy in 1946), the trade meant that the Leafs were sacrificing needed depth for one superstar.
Hap Day was Leafs coach, and the trade was brilliant for both teams. For the Leafs it resulted in three Stanley Cups in the next four years. The start of a dynasty.
So not only is Worthington arguing against a strawman (the “We can’t trade three or four Leafs for Ovechkin” position) but his facts don’t check out. The Blackhawks went on to miss the playoffs 10 times in the next 11 seasons. Yeah, that sounds like a Billy Beane style “fucking a!” trade alright.
As for Ovechkin, would the Caps trade him for, say, Sundin and any three others? They’d be crazy not to.
No doubt. It worked out so well for the Blackhawks…
After 40 years, radical innovation is needed. The Leafs are one of the richest NHL franchises, and management should have the pride to spend money to ensure a contender.
Does this guy even know what year it is? Is he aware that money isn’t the issue here (Ovechkin is cheap; the guys he suggests dealing in Sundin, Kaberle and McCabe are expensive)? Does he remember the lockout last year, which would prevent the Leafs from spending a pile of money if it was the issue?
Again, back to that Max Bentley season. The Leafs who went to Chicago helped the team score more goals (195) than the other five teams, but ended in last place.
Actually, they ended up in last place for eight of the next eleven years. This really begs the question though-if he knows they ended up in last place the year they traded him, what makes it such a brilliant trade? Scoring so many goals?
In fairness to Peter Worthington, writing about hockey isn’t his usual beat. This is still the stupidest hockey column I’ve ever read though-it’s like a well written posting from a Maple Leafs fan forum.