Get your money for nothing
Jeff Finger was placed on waivers today.
If he clears – and by "if," I mean "when" – the pricey defenceman will be sent to the Marlies, where he'll undoubtedly spend a considerable amount of time teaching the youngsters about the importance of finding a brilliant agent.
The deal he signed with the Leafs in 2008, $14 million over four years, remains as inexplicable as Stonehenge. Here was a 28-year-old with one full season of NHL hockey under his belt, a player who only dressed for half of Colorado's 10 postseason games before coming to Toronto.
Or consider this: Finger played 39 games for the Leafs last season and was a healthy scratch 38 times. Somewhere, even Tom Kurvers must be shaking his head.
So by demoting Finger to the AHL, is the team freeing up salary room in advance of a possible deal? Or as Ron Wilson said today, is this simply a case of Finger being the odd-man-out on a squad that currently has seven defencemen? And if that's the case, will he be called up at some point this season?
Finger says his favourite movie is The Shawshank Redemption. When his agent sent the contract offer from then interim GM Cliff Fletcher, Finger must have felt just like Morgan Freeman after the ex-con dug up that envelope of cash Tim Robbins buried in the middle of nowhere: The luckiest man alive.
But these are strange times and yesterday's luck can start to feel like tomorrow's albatross when it comes to NHL contracts.
I think Finger, Sheldon Souray and Wade Redden should go on some kind of cross-continent speaking tour, where they talk about the possible downside of signing wildly inflated deals under a cap-system. How can the richest contract always be seen as the best deal if you eventually price yourself out of the league and shorten your career?
PHOTO: RICK EGLINTON/TORONTO STAR