The End of the Farce?
With goofy things happening all around the Maple Leafs, it was good for Ed Belfour to throw his two cents in.
He didn't have any time over the past few weeks until yesterday to tell Leaf fans, those who pay his salary, why he couldn't play any longer this season.
But he did notice that mean things were being said about him, and that mean things were being said about Mikael Tellqvist.
Not that he ever reads the paper or listens to TV or radio.
With Belfour, Eric Lindros, Jason Allison and Alexander Khavanov now all gone until the end of the season, it's now just a question of when the Leafs stop pretending that there is anything but a juicier draft lottery position to play for.
After all, it appears none of those above them in the Eastern Conference standings appears willing to fall quite enough.
Montreal, New Jersey and Tampa Bay all won Thursday evening, putting all three clubs nine points up on the Leafs, who have only 10 games remaining.
That's an uncomfortable number of games yet to play, wouldn't you say?
The official end to the season - unofficially, it ended last Saturday in Montreal - is going to be agonizingly slow for Pat Quinn and his squad, and, other than the final number of points this former 100 point squad accumulates, the issue appears only the timing of the post-season moves that all are expecting.
Based on history, the Leafs will screw that up, as well.
GM John Ferguson, you may remember, was hired late in the summer of 2003 after a painstaking search that amazingly turned up the most inexperienced candidate.
Former president Ken Dryden, if memory serves, once tried to hire a new GM, Bob Gainey, in training camp. Last summer, the Leafs made their free agent moves after most of the big names were gone.
Ideally, the Leafs will make their important organizational decisions sometime very soon after the season ends April 18th, but don't count on it.
Larry Tanenbaum is busy protecting his turf, as is Ferguson, as is Quinn, for that matter. Oh yes, and Richard Peddie, as well.
The likeliehood is this process will drag on for months, probably until Tanenbaum, assuming he stays as chairman, can figure out a way to affect change without anybody looking bad or appearing as though they were fired.
Apparently he wants Peddie, Ferguson and Quinn all to stay, which sends out a very peculiar message to Leaf patrons after such an unsuccessful season.
This season, the club's motto was "The Passion that Unites us All."
Next season, the best guess is that it will be "More of the Same."
Right now, this is a hockey club that needs somebody - anybody - to send out a strong, unequivocal message of change and bold leadership.
Instead, expect post-season meandering and politicking. Why get ready for next season now when you can wait for July. . .or August?