Raking Leafs

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


Advantage Sather

Congratulations, you've just acquired yourself one slightly used Ryan Hollweg! And as luck would have it, Raking Leafs has a Rangers Correspondent to tell you all about your new addition.

Hollweg is a gritty player. He's good in the locker-room and well liked by his mates. In fact, he's often called a "team guy". Hollweg plays hard and he's sound defensively. He's quick and he's aggressive. This combination makes him something of a human wrecking-ball on the ice. He'll fly from side to side hitting anything that has the puck (or not). Hollweg also makes your team tougher. He's happy to fight. He's not scared to stand up for his teammates. Oh, and as a bonus, some of his best days were playing on Dominic Moore's wing as a fourth-liner in NY.

That said, to call Holly's skills "limited" would be to misuse the word "skills". Hollweg can't really stickhandle. Or pass. Or think his way around the ice. OK, maybe from time to time he can do some of these things, but he'll flub his best chances and brain-cramp at the worst possible times. He takes untimely penalties. These will get old fast. Worst of all, you'll hate his propensity to board opponents. They could rename "Boarding" in his honor. It's painful to watch. It's what got him slashed by Chris Simon and it has drawn the ire of the league office from time to time as well. I doubt he'll be able to hide his tactic in the limelight of Toronto any more than he was able to in NY.

All in all, Hollweg is a role-player with limited talent. He works hard, but he’d be well served to eliminate his tendency to hit players from behind. You could probably do worse as a fourth-line player. I would have traded him for a 7th rounder. I think getting a 5th rounder in return for him is a steal (if a 5th rounder can be considered such).

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Know your Coach

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News has a candid piece on Ron Wilson definitely worth a read. Can't wait for the hilarious anecdotes about Toskala to be included in the 08-09 THN yearbook.

I've got similiar film responses to the man.

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Frogren A

What the? I'm too tired at the moment to root through the CBA or do any substantial digging for that matter, but if the Maple Leafs aren't even on the same page with the league office when if comes to contracts, how on earth is this team supposed act up to the letter of the law, push the boundaries, find loopholes, however you want to paint it?

I mean, come on. FletchLives tries to hit a home run by signing a veteran defenseman from the SEL, and he forgets to check the rulebook.

And now that the story has broke about the league insisting on an entry level contract for a player who has never played in the NHL, I can't remember any team signing a similar player such as Frogren apart from players who started in the NHL, then left, only to return are a few years in Europe.

I should probably wait until I do some digging about that, but why is it only the Maple Leafs who perform such spectacular miracles for the whole league to mock?


UPDATE - According to The Star's Kevin McGran, "...The dispute boils down transition rules between successive collective bargaining agreements, including the interpretation of the 2005 CBA's definition of a "free agent" contrasted with Frogren's status as a "defected" player under the previous CBA. "Defected status" was his official listing, resulting from the fact he had been drafted by the Calgary Flames in 1998, but never came to the NHL."

So does Fletch still thinks the old CBA applies? I'm not saying I agree with the NHL's strong arm policy to force players into coming over early in their careers, which this rookie defintion is a part, but shouldn't these types of clarifications be worked out prior to offering a contract, at the very least publicly?

UPDATE - In the interest of fairness and fuzzy bunnies, I should note the possibility this whole circus could be a direct challenge to the League by a GM who sees a different landscape in terms of obtaining the best players in the world to play in the NHL in light of increased competition for talent from continental leagues. The over-confident position Daly and Bettman exude when asked about other leagues is out-dated, and perhaps this is an attempt to bolster the NHL's ability to maintain it's elite status. Or maybe I'm hopefully rationalizing.

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+ & -

2006-07 Toronto Maple Leafs

- Darcy Tucker
- Andrew Raycroft
- Kyle Wellwood
- Andrew Woznewski
- John Pohl
- Bryan McCabe?
- Pavel Kubina?
- Mats Sundin?
- Various Draft Picks

+ Niklas Hagman
+ Jeff Finger
+ Mikhail Grabovaski
+ Jamal Mayers
+ Curtis Joseph
+ Jonas Frogren
+ Nikolai Kulemin?
+ Jeremy Williams?
+ John Mitchell?
+ Robbie Earl?
+ Staffan Kronwall?
+ Vorobiev?
+ Schenn?
2008-09 Toronto Maple Leafs

(I'll keep updating this with further developments)