Well, thought I'd just pop in here with my first post regarding the Maple Leafs, since there's been a bundle of Leafs' news the past few days, and will no doubt be more in the coming weeks.
Let's start with last Saturday, the night of the Entry Draft. John Ferguson Jr made a splash trading away Finnish goaltending prospect Tuuka Rask to the Boston Bruins for former rookie of the year Andrew Raycroft. This move should help the Leafs in goal immediately, providing a young, solid number one goalie, and based on the last 20 games of this season, J-S Aubin and Tellqvist should provide more than enough backup if Raycroft fails to regain his form right away.
Today's big news was the much hyped resigning of Bryan McCabe, for just short of $30 million dollars (spread out over 5 years...this isn't the NFL after all!). That's probably too much money, I hope for his sake he can at minimum match his output from this year...he better thank the hockey gods that the Leafs signed Kaberle long term as well, since Tommy's sweet passes are the main reason he gets any goals at all!
Former Leaf Gary Roberts has requested a trade from Florida back to LeafTown. As long as he comes cheap, I say bring it on! This move can easily replace the turtle-esque Jason Allison, although Allison gets us power play points, his play elsewhere on the ice is nothing short of painful to watch. He'll make a great Old Timer. Fortunately, veteran-loving Pat Quinn is no longer behind the Leafs bench, and I don't think you'll see Paul Maurice repeatedly send Allison in on the shootout, not when there's real points at stake.
Anyway, Free Agent season starts July 1st, so I just wanted to jump in here with some thoughts before they're out of date. Here's hoping we can land another top notch d-man, cause McCabe and Kabby can't do it all. Not sure what to make of the whole Chris Pronger situation. Why you'd wanna leave a team that went one win short of the Stanley Cup, but I guess if he's facing anything like McCabe's ordeal, then maybe I'll just keep my mouth shut and wish him all the best. The Leafs have nothing to offer the Oilers anyway, they'll need a great defenceman in return, and we're fresh out!
Leaf free agent rumour talk has always focused around finding a skilled winger to play with Sundin, ever since Mogilny went to play in the minors. Roberts can hopefully still fill that role. If not, time to bring up the kids. Wellwood, Steen, Stajan...any of those guys will look good on Mats' side, feeding him pucks. Sure, an established bonafide scorer would be nice, but prices will be high. Leafs' do have some cap room though, after buying out Belfour and Domi...which they haven't yet, but are expected to do. Maurice coached the kids last year, and I'm hoping he brings a bunch of them up where they belong, in the new NHL.
Anyways, I'm no Sportsnet, and that's where I'll be checking hourly for all the latest moves Saturday morning. 'Til then.