If I'm the GM of the Leafs, I have a few things on my mind as I pull into the parking spot this morning.
The whip and the chair is the usual. The Visine, the anti-Peddie meds? Check.
And oh yes, don't forget to call Brian Burke in Anaheim.
As you probably have heard by now, Burke's Ducks shipped Sergei Fedorov over to Columbus yesterday. Everyone's talking about the speed and flow of this postmodern NHL, and this was another example: Six weeks in, and already a big contract has flown over the side in exchange for a bag of pucks. If only the Ducks could dump and chase as effectively on the ice.
Fedorov has been nearly useless this season, with one assist and one groin injury for his $6 million salary. But with that underachiever gone, Burke's got a hole to fill, as the L.A. Times reports:
The move may also be a precursor to another deal by the aggressive Burke, in his first year with the Ducks. Since the lockout ended in July, he has signed Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne and traded forwards Steve Rucchin and Mike Leclerc. With Rucchin and Fedorov gone, the Ducks have put a greater burden at center, where they are left with Rob Niedermayer, Andy McDonald, Samuel Pahlsson and rookie Ryan Getzlaf. But Burke now has about $5 million more to bring in help.
So, as one possible Jason Allison suitor is crossed off (at least, according to Bob McKenzie, the Jackets were), another jumps into the speculative fray.
Oh, and last night: Leafs win 2-1 over the overachieving Rangers (the first time that adjective has snuggled up next to that noun in a long, long time). Allison, playing on a line with Ponikarovsky and Antropov -- the Trade Bait Line, Meatriarchy calls 'em over at Battle of Ontario; I'd go with the Bell Mobility line, the way they go out of the service area (how many times are you going to ruin good chances by telegraphing your passes, Alex?).
|BERNARD WEIL/TORONTO STAR|
|Leafs made a leap forward last night defensively.|
This one had a couple power play goals from Bryan McCabe, and good goaltending from Belfour, but it also had a switch on that usual recipe. Leafs took only four penalties. They muffled Jaromir Jagr, and were outshot by a mere 28-24. This qualified, then, as one of their tighter defensive displays of the season.
Other links this morning:
Steve Simmons over at the Sun looks at the strained relationship between Quinn and JFJ (There's a shocker).
Rosie DiManno ventures into a Leafs locker room that's uncharacteristically full of chattering players, and discovers, among other things, that one of them is pondering a snip-snip job (at least, I think he's saying that).
Paul Hunter has a look at Ed Belfour, still adjusting to the new puckhandling.
And thanks to Spencer for giving me yesterday morning off. I've taken my anti-Peddie meds, and feel much better.