Raking Leafs

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


Tick Toskala, Ring the Bell, the Draft has begun

I'd like to say I told you so, but I haven't told you a thing since my third round predictions. My SCF predictions of the Sens winning was a smashing success of reverse psychology/karma, or just a massive miscalculation on my part. Believe what you will. But enough about shoddy guessing.

JFJ didn't like Sutter stealing the pre-draft show, so he made a big deal of his own, acquiring Vesa "former fantasy sleeper" Toskala and Mark "former Hawks' star/DUI distracted last year" Bell for 1st, 2nd and 4th rounders in some year's draft. I would've preferred all the picks be in 2007, despite that fact I like the lacrosse trained Turris, because the experts tell me this draft class is sub-par.

I'm sure David "HockeyAnalysis.com" Johnson will have an excellent break down of how Toskala immediately improves the Leafs. I'm not sold until I see him handle the pressure of repeated defensive breakdowns and brain farts in the neutral zone that plague this organization. I'm also a bit wary of his sub six foot frame. But Vesa did have the better regular season numbers of the two Sharks' goaltenders during the first half of the season when the starts were split evenly, and has performed well when Nabokov has been felled by injury.(In particular, he saved a fantasy team of mine a before the owner's lock-out when Nabby was having a great year but got injured. Toskala was unknown to most at the time, including yours truly, but provided a stop gap without much of a downturn in team performance.) In any event he will push or usurp Raycroft, and at his current salary (though I expect a slight raise if he is extended) the goalie position is decent without being a drain on resources.

As for Bell, I like the kid, and he adds to the list of former first rounders playing on the squad. Calder and Bell carried a lacklustre Hawks' team as youngsters, and that kind of pressure and experience bodes well. Bell did have the DUI incident out in CA last year, and I think that affected his on ice play quite a bit. He should be able to bounce back, and given his past games-played record, he should atleast be able to contribute on the ice.

UPDATE - The Dude endorses this deal. Tomorrow the sky will be falling.

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  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger Mattstro Disastro said…

    Though the boards are in upheaval about this, I feel it was a good move. A lot of people are whining that we could have got Cherapanov, but we didn't know that when we did this deal, and it might not have mattered if his stock slipped so far anyway. The goalie issue is effectively solved. That makes me happy. Happier still when I realise we aren't drained dry and could still pump the market for some winger action.

  • At 4:38 PM, Blogger ninja said…

    I like the move. He is aiming for an organizational window of opportunity in the next three years or so, when the core of youngsters starts to hit their prime.

    I would have preferred him moving an expendable asset of the overstocked defenseman variety, because that would meet needs for now and later, rather than just now.


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