Who knew I could be so excited about a trade involving a relatively obscure player and an unknown prospect? I can't stop smiling.
Maybe it's not the trade, which hardly qualifies as a Brian Burke blockbuster. No, maybe the lightness we are experiencing this afternoon – it's almost giddiness – has more to do with the feeling of change, of moving forward, however small the steps.
The Leafs are playing some pretty good hockey these days. They are close to .600 in the calendar year. But when they traded Francois Beauchemin for Joffrey Lupul, prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional pick, what they really did was tell us that, win or lose, there is a plan.
We already knew that, of course. But it was nice to remember they had not forgotten. It was also nice to hear Burke use the words "playoffs" and "more trades are coming" and "future championship."
Anyway, in advance of tonight's game against the red-hot Devils, I'm going to forgo a traditional preview. Instead, as a welcome gift for Mr. Lupul, here are 10 things he should not ask his new teammates:
1. What breakout system do we use on the power play?
2. Why does Kaberle keep tugging at the "A" on his jersey?
3. Does the waterfront always smell like this?
4. Who is this guy Paul Hendrick and why is he always standing behind me?
5. What were the playoffs like last season? What? Oh. What about the season before? What?
6. Is Mike Brown in a motorcycle gang?
7. How long has Ron Wilson had laryngitis?
8. Why does it say "John Mitchell" above Keith Aulie's stall?
9. Is it against Kulemin's religion to express emotion?
10. What's the media like in this town? As easy going as Anaheim?
11. Why are those platinum seats always evacuated for the start of a period?
12. Are only 10 fans allowed to chant at a time? Is that some kind of local bylaw?
13. Why is Versteeg always giving me the evil eye?
14. Who programs the awful music in the weight room?
15. What does it mean when they throw waffles?
PHOTO: CHRIS CARLSON/CANADIAN PRESS