Tag Archives: florida panthers

Jay Bouwmeester A Maple Leaf?

“The Panthers are looking a trade possibilities and hoping to get a first round pick, another top selection and a top, NHL -ready prospect if they move Bouwmeester. The Leafs don’t have the wherewithal to put that kind of package today, although its believed GM Brian Burke might be willing to part with the team’s first rounder this summer if he could first negotiate a long-term deal with Bouwmeester.” Damien Cox

Now you are starting to enter the realm of hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm… Bouwmeester will be 26 in September. He is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. This is an old fashioned game of poker. Let’s assume for one second that he isn’t going to resign in Florida. He has NEVER played a playoff game since being drafted. Also, if he is going to resign, this debate is over. If he isn’t going to resign, why would he agree to re-up with anyone until the free agency period begins. Jay Bo is a westerner, so I guess if Calgary came a knocking he may re-up early. Other then that why bother? So the question becomes do you take the chance. The answer is NO. If you can’t resign him you don’t make the deal. That’s easy. Then the question is, do you assume whomever he gets traded to he will re-up with? If the answer is yes, then if you want him……you have to trade for him. Not an easy decision. It’s easy to SAY we won’t trade for him without talking to him about re-upping. What do you do in that game of poker???

“Barring that, if Bouwmeester gets to unrestricted free agent status, you can expect the Leafs to be at the front of the line of teams vying for his services. Interestingly, the Leafs would be well-positioned given that they currently operate almost $10 million below the salary cap. There’s a threat the $56.7 million cap could drop significantly after next season, leaving teams with fewer salary committments – like the Leafs – potentially in a position to have far more flexibility over the next two years. Even if Bouwmeester is traded before the March 4 deadline, he might still become unrestricted July 1st, as was the case with Marian Hossa.”

This could be the hardest decision to face Burke. Bouwmeester is the type of player you build around. Him and Schenn would make for a pretty solid base for a defence core. If the Leafs are 2-3 years from the playoffs you have to wonder why he would agree to come here (granted they would say with him maybe it’s not that long)…..

So Leaf fans, you are Burke…If you can’t talk to him or guarantee you can resign him, do you roll the dice that he becomes an UFA or the other way and pull the trigger. If you deal for him (a number one plus anything) and he doesn’t resign you are toast!….What do you think?

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Silence On A Snowy Night In Toronto

Man, I thought it was quiet over the holidays, there is nothing but crickets tonight. Everyone must be gassing up their snow-blowers (look out mr. Sakic). It is dead tonight. Not one interesting thing in one paper, in one media outlet anywhere(it is 12:20 am right now)

So here are some random thoughts:

Leafs were lousy last night vs. the Panthers. I have no problem with the losing. This is the first time in a long time where they didn’t even bother to show up. I sense another long skate in practice coming up.

To boo or not to boo. I am pretty tired of this argument. With very little exception every player who returns to their old team should expect to get razzed a little. Is it right? Who knows. It sports. As Seinfeld said, we don’t root for a player we root for a jersey. When the player changes teams he who we used to cheer for we now boo. McCabe made a lot of dough here, and really made his career here. Others have been treated way worse.

One of the reasons he was a thorn in the public’s side is that he just wasn’t that bright. He would have done much better with a no -comment, ummmm whenever he was asked a question. For him to call out Leaf Fans who may boo Sundin is just another example of the lack of brains in his melon. To say it’s ok to me just not Mats is just dumb. Who do you think you are? You don’t need to take one for him anymore. Fans are going to do what they want to do, so mind your own business. I give him credit for this, he said that he waived his NTC clause because he didn’t want to hijack the team. He is the only player who last year said, if there is a deal there to be made bring it to me. The reality is no one wanted him.

Is it just me, or is anyone else out there really hoping the Buds honor not only Team Canada but also Pat Quinn. I know there is no Saturday home game for a bit. I hope, the next chance they get they really whoop it up for old Pat.

I loved the Winter Classic. The all star games excites me about as much as going to the dentist. Really, if you are doing one, why the other? I know, it’s a big sponsor event for the league… The debate about who should be on the team or not is about as interesting as the never ending debate about fighting in hockey. Someone a hell of a lot smarter then me (and that is a BIG group) has to be able to come up with a better format then the current all star bore.

The fact that the NHL Poster boy isn’t Alexander Ovechkin is just a crock. There is no better player in the game right now then AO. The race isn’t close. As good as some of the other younger guys are, AO is the man. I find it hard to watch non-leaf games, but I do to try to keep an eye on the younger talent and other on-goings in the game (sorry Howie). I really try to watch as many Caps games as I can to catch a glimpse of AO on the ice.

Anyone else been listening to Roscoe Toth on the fan this week? He is miffed at all the attention the WJC’s get. He goes to a ton of junior games all season long (good for him) and feels that the folks who rave about junior hockey for these 2 weeks aren’t real junior hockey fans. Guess what? He is right. Compare if you will the NCAA basketball tournament. Those of you reading this from work, turn left, now turn right, how many people around you enter some sort of NCAA basketball tourney pool? Of those, how many are die hard fans all season long??? Fans get caught up in the hype, and we Canadians have such an inferiority complex that we will really pay attention in those areas where we may actually excel. I think it’s great Roscoe goes to a couple of junior games a week. If the local GTA area teams want to drum up support, look at this little gem. My son is in 3 different hockey programs right now. We get all kinds of stuff in the mail as a result. We have never, ever seen or heard a thing from any of the teams in our area. If those teams want to increase their fan base there is a huge hockey market they don’t tap into right in front of them.

Former Detroit Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli had his son in-law on his coaching staff for the past 0-16 campaign. After a loss on Dec 21, Rob Parker an eight year vet with the Detroit News, asked Marinelli in the post game press conference if Marinelli “wished his daughter had married a better defensive coordinator?” As a result of that question, Parker was demoted from from columnist to general assignment reporter. Parker, as a result of that demotion resigned. I, as you may recall lived in the burbs of Detroit for several years. Mrs. TSM was born and raised there and both little TSM’s were born there as well. I have never been a Parker fan (surprised? I love sooooo many columnists…)I will say this, Parker has written and said a hell of a lot worse things then this. To lose his job, in this economy, in that market for this comment is so thin skinned it is hard to believe. Parker has said that he will remain in Detroit. That whittles his writing options down to 1 (the Free Press is owned by the same company as the News), The Oakland Press at least as far as local papers go. He does do some work on ESPN. Here is hoping that he finds work really soon….

Since I started this blog I have had the good fortune to chat with some folks who cover the NHL. I asked one today to assess for those of us up here the seasons of Mr. Tucker and Mr. Raycroft in Colorado thus far. His response:

“Tucker has looked slow and taken lots of bad penalties. Raycroft is
6-1, maybe the most deceptive won-lost record of all time so far, but
wins are wins.”

Hope you all have an easy commute tomorrow. Sounds like the roads in the GTA are going to be hell

McCabe Returns- Canada Wins and more

Canada won gold at the WJC…yadda yadda yadda. Congrats to all the kids and to good guy Pat Quinn. I really hope this lands you back in the NHL to a team of your choosing. Personally, I would love to see you in Pittsburgh Pat, a box of Cohibas if you go there and not Ottawa (but that is illegal jerry!)

Our old friend Bryan McCabe returns to the scene of the crime tomorrow night. Amazing how quickly the guy turned south. Acquired for Alexander Karpotsev and a 4th rounder, McCabe quickly became a fan favorite. Then 3 things happened. One the league rules changed, one change banned his favorite move, the can opener and two the guy got a BIG contract. The rest as they say is history. Someone out there will remind me of another player who fell from grace so quickly, but I can’t name one. To me, McCabe lost my respect when during the lockout he stated that he would rather retire then accept a salary cap, and that the PA would never, ever accept one (that is not a direct quote by the way). Of course, Caber didn’t have to waive his no trade clause that JFJ gave him but his unwillingness to do ensured his place in TML fans hearts forever.

It’s nice to see that Mccabe still has the brains “”The only thing that kind of stinks [in South Florida] is there aren’t too many people in the building,” said McCabe, who mostly has been paired with the shot-blocking Skrastins. “You miss the buzz, the sold-out, loud building for every game. But I don’t miss 30 people in the media scrum every day.” I am sure the 2 people who read Florida papers are gonna love that (even though it is true). No offense to Panthers Fan, but, ummm, when $17 buys you a ticket, parking, food and a gas card and you can’t fill a building the writing is clearly on the wall. At 80.6% of capacity on average, the Panthers are above only the Trashers and Bluejackets as the worst drawing teams (based on % of capacity).

So, there I was watching the NBC pregame for the big NFL tilt over the weekend and whom do I see in the studio??? Matt 0-16 Millen. Come on folks. This has to be a joke. Did he offer to do the gig for free??? How does a guy who’s record as GM was 31-97, the worst 8 year tally since World War II, get a gig on national TV. This isn’t the WFL, or the Arena league, this is the NFL. How does he have any credibility? Shame on NBC for putting him in the box and my sincere apologies to those who had to work with him. That crew’s credibility just nosedived.

Then on my drive home from cottage country I got to listen to one Jonas Siegel in studio hosting a show. The guy certainly is trying hard, I will give him that. Man is he green. He needs to be a little bit more confident and start to use his own shtick. His referring to Ottawa in the same tone as Wilbur is beyond lame. He does this all the time and it really needs to stop. Be original, come up with a catch phrase, a name or two of your own… Here is the reality, he has a job that many of us would kill to have. He follows the buds on a daily basis. His competition is Howie. He travels with the team. No one cares that he was a closet JFJ lover. Either spend a lot more time in front of the mirror or ask some of the folks at your station for some lessons. I can’t imagine that the flagship station of the Leafs is going to be much more patient with the guy. Having said that, based on his A&F wardrobe maybe he is an intern!

640 Toronto's Jonas Siegel

640 Toronto's Jonas Siegel

Speaking of creating names for folks, we have a new co-host with Jack Armstrong on the after lunch show on the Fan. The show is now hosted by Jack Armstrong and Richie Rich. Seriously, this show would be FANTASTIC, as in really, really good if Richie could, for one segment STOP talking about all the money he has. Has anyone else noticed that besides the phrase “back when I was a GM” his references to his money is his favorite moniker??? Instead of Hey Now Hank, it’s I’m loaded Doug “Richie Rich” MacLean.

Doug "Richie Rich" MacLean

Anyways, I can’t wait to hear what Archie Bunker has to say tomorrow night on 640!

Bill Watters

Bill Watters

Wade Belak Traded

To Nashville for Nick Tarnasky….

Belak’s wife must be pissed!

http://www.tsn.ca for more

Is Bobby Clarke Well?

No seriously folks, did anyone hear him on TSN last night??? Rick Ralph over at the fan was playing the clip on his long updates this am. For those of you who didn’t the guy actually had the balls to express concern about Burke coming to Toronto because, get this, Burke and Wilson may take away from the media presence of the players and the players may not like that! What a joke! He then said that Wilson has already started this trend (by being more of the story then his players) and Burke could make it worse. Clarke did say that he wasn’t sure this actually would be a problem because Burke was a bright guy…..

Ok folks, on this thanksgiving day, I am not sure where to begin with this (as my 6 year old would say) TURKEY BRAIN!!!! In your lives have you ever seen a bigger media whore then Bobby Clarke???? Think about his career only as an executive with the Flyers and other team, did anyone love the spotlight more as a GM then he did? He was the story when he was in Florida. He was the Story in Philadelphia. For him to suggest this could be problematic is way beyond the pot calling the kettle black…. What he should have said was ” If they wanted a real GM they should have hired me”. I would have a hell of a lot more respect for that honesty then this…….

Wade Belak Waived….Is This The End?

Does this sound at all familiar to you?

“Belak’s minutes are way down, he only played six-plus minutes last night and didn’t get in at all in the third period. He thinks this stems from him skipping optional skate Thursday in New Jersey (he thought he was playing that night instead of being a healthy scratch because of Kamil Kreps) and for not fighting and sticking up for Nick Boynton after he got beat up pretty good in his scrap with Milan Lucic. ”I tried to fight guys there and they refused to go,” Belak said. “What do they want me to do, fight and take a penalty? We were trying to win that game. I’m not a rookie.” Also: “They bring me down here to play, and I’ve seen my time dwindle from eight minutes to three shifts a game,” Belak said. ”I’m not a liability. I’m tired of hearing how we need offense. Other tough guys play and are contributing. It’s tough to fight from the bench.”

Sounds like a familiar story for Belak, despite a lot of sun, doesn’t seem that too much has changed in Wade’s World.

Listen even to his GM, a familiar foe to Leaf fans, Jacques Martin:

“Obviously, I’m not happy with the club’s performance so far,” Martin said Saturday night. “We need to change some things. Maybe that’s a start. We need to perform better. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see if he clears.” I asked JM why Belak since he doesn’t play a whole lot as it is: “He’s not playing a lot of minutes, not playing every game. This indicates we want to change things. It’s part of the business. People have to realize things are too comfortable around here. “This is part of the whole situation. I thought we turned a corner winning in Anaheim and Tampa. We lost to Detroit, but that’s a great team. Then we won our first game [at Tampa] on the road [before losing two straight]. We need to play better, get more urgency in our game.”

All I can say from a far is that with a lot of passengers on the bus, hard to imagine that Belak is the problem right? Except, is there more to the story. Was Belak part of the locker-room problem here in TO???? I don’t know the answer, but I do know Cliff shipped him out pretty quickly. I also know that Cliff was quick to say “no chance” when asked if he would pick up Belak on waivers (thank god). Interesting banter in any event….

I love this last part….

“”We’ll wait to see what happens on Monday. If he gets picked up, I don’t have to deal with it. If he doesn’t get picked up, I have the flexibility to send him down. It’s not a money issue. We’re trying to get the team to understand they need more urgancy in their game.”

So let’s get this straight, JM is trying to get his team to understand the need for more urgency by waiving Belak???? Sorry, I can’t stop laughing. For the record, Belak has played in 14 games this year. In 2 games he had more then 10 shifts, 11 and 12 respectively. Only 2x has he played more then 8 minutes (8:11 and 8:03). After that, he had 2 games where he had just over 6 minutes on the ice (6:40 and 6:41). The rest of his games his ice time ranged from a high of 4:59 to :42…that’s 42 seconds… I don’t know, maybe a panther fan can answer this, but how can waiving a guy who is averaging 4:21 of playing time a game show anything other then pointing the finger at the wrong guy? I mean, if you want to say he can’t play anymore, that is fine (I said that about Belak 5 years ago). To say that you are going to make him the scapegoat is NUTS… Look guys we are going to waive the guy we don’t play….ooooohhhhhh….What’s the lesson?

Meanwhile, for a real laugh, check out the message board on a panther beat writer’s article…. Looks like the fans love this guy Gorten as much as we do Howie….

For more on Belak check out George Richards awesome blog here

No Broken Back For McCabe

TSN now reporting the MRI showed that McCabe’s back isn’t broken…he is now day to day