Raking Leafs

Mixing metaphors and casting cliches about hockey and the Maple Leafs for the ether's pleasure since MCMLXVII.

4/27/2006

Leafs relieved of Berg's services

Well, Aki didn't wait long to make his annoucement that he would be returning to Finland to raise his kids and play for his home town team. The third overall pick of the 1995 draft, despite all the bitching from many Leaf faithful, was a solid player for four full seasons, was a + player during that span, and missed a total of fifteen games. Many times this season I found myself wondering "Who is that big left D buzzing around his own zone, keeping the opposition off-balance?" His closing speed was impressive, moreso than I remember from previous years.

Admittedly, he left Leaf fans wanting, and for whatever reasons he didn't seize his opportunities with the club. But there is no denying he had the talent and potential to take the next step, evidenced by his flashes of superior play in the odd NHL game and more reliably on the international stage; Berg contributed alot of minutes to Finland's excellent and defensively dominant showing at Turin(o).

In the end, the Leafs are losing the services of a reasonably priced, large and mobile defender who is coming into the prime of his career.

For JFJ's sake, I hope Aki doesn't win MVP of the Finnish elite league next year.

P.S. - Kudos to Kulka's for finding Ronnie Franchise's blog.

2 Comments:

  • At 8:55 AM, Anonymous Jordan said…

    Aki Berg the MVP - hahaha you crack me up buddy!

     
  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    Obviously, that was tongue-in-cheek and a nod to Kaberle. But he wasn't nearly as bad as people say, and was much better suited to the new-NHL than he is credited for.

     

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