Just like any other year, of course, but a lot of interesting trades and signings happened the last few days. Especially for my second favourite team, the Leafs (I prefer the Thrashers, which on the other hand nary a peep was heard from in trades).
Toronto really got old these last few days, getting Francis, 41, Leetch, 36 and Johansson, 37, while losing their top draft picks for this year. They’re obviously dedicated to winning, but one hopes they haven’t traded away the future.
Vancouver traded a bit in preparation for the playoffs. For once, or so it seems.
Washington was interesting this season, I must say.
I got my wife Caps-Ranger tickets for her birthday and now there’s this team wide fire sale. If she recognizes a single name on the ice it will be a miracle.
Hey, there’s still Brendan Witt and Kölzig.
What future? Losing the picks sucks, but the Leafs might as well go for it now because of the pending lockout. Also, if the Leafs don’t go to the final this year, they’ll sell off some or all of these older assets and start a real rebuilding effort. Barring a huge playoff from Owen Nolan, I’d imagine he’ll go at the entry draft to get back some of those picks surrendered in the Leetch deal. Leetch himself will probably go if the Leafs don’t get to the final. Why keep him? Especially if there isn’t going to be NHL hockey in 2004-5? Of course, who would deal for the guy knowing the likelihood of a lockout? The Leafs might have just surrendered two prospects and a first and a second rounder to get Leetch for two months.
I don’t like the Francis deal much either. It’s a rental in exchange for just a fourth-round pick (which means you’ve gotta think that Francis really wanted to go to Toronto, otherwise I can’t see Carolina bothering with the trade for such a paltry return for the team captain), though I can’t see him really helping at 41.
The Leafs do have some great young players, though. Stajan has done a lot of good lately.