I’m as big a fan as the next guy….and remember fondly the great playoff games that Joseph delivered during his first tour with the Leafs. But is anyone out there like me…a bit embarrassed for the guy? It’s too easy to say that Curtis made a mistake by signing up for another NHL season…many players before him have said it’s very tough to know when to call it quits. And who could blame Cliff for bringing him back to close things out with his favorite team…
In an aricle by Steve Buffery in the London Free Press (yes, there are papers beyond the Globe, Star, Sun and Post) Joseph said he has to rediscover “an edge” to his game. “There’s something you have to find there, a rhythm or an edge or something, some piece of equipment, whatever, a glove. But it will go, I’ve been able to find it before,” he said. “I wouldn’t have played this year if I didn’t have a good year last year. So that’s all I can go on.” You can’t blame the guy….at 41 and a back-up on a team that is in year 1 of a re-build, finding “an edge” is likely near impossible. If on a team gunning for the Cup maybe a guy like Cujo could have ramped it up one more time.
I may get roasted for this suggestion but…perhaps over some eggnog on the 25th Curtis should consider packing it in…I know, I know, he wont want to be labeled a quitter and I’ll probably look stupid when he turns in a few good games in the New Year but I think I’d rather see him make the decision to retire now and go out as gracefully as possible. Many will say they’d rather see him play it out so that the team does not feel compelled to bring up Pogge to merely sit on the bench. If Burke agrees than I’m sure finding an adequate back-up would be a non-issue. For me, I’d be fine with a decision to bring up Pogge now….maybe 15-20 games in the bigs will do more for his development? At the very least, we’ll see what he can do now that he is in his 3rd pro season.