Truth and the Cap
What do the following NHL teams have in common?
Detroit. Colorado. Dallas.
Philadelphia. New Jersey. Tampa Bay. Anaheim.
Well, for starters, it's not hard to see they are all teams headed to the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs.
For the most part, they are also teams who were among the NHL big spenders before the lockout.
And they are all clubs that have had to deal with significant to very serious salary cap issues this season. The Devils, for goodness sakes, were in 10th place and $4 million over the cap in December, and they ended up winning 11 straight to close the season and capturing their division title. At one point this season the Lightning couldn't recall the minor league goalie they wanted because they were too close to the $39 million cap limit.
So for Pat Quinn to claim, as he does in the Globe and Mail today, that the imposition of the salary cap is what did the Leafs in this season, he is doing one of three things:
1. Trying to curry public favor with Leaf fans who will simply buy any garbage or rationale the team cares to spit out.
2. Proving he is a complete dinosaur who doesn't understand the league's new economics.
3. Trying to obliquely point the finger of blame away from himself and at GM John Ferguson, the person responsible for guiding the Leafs through the new salary cap environment.
But for the Leafs, who had salary cap choices to make and made all the wrong ones, to now claim that the cap system is the primary reason for their failure this season, well, that's nothing short of outrageous.
And a total distortion of the facts.
Yep, the annual process of covering-your-own-butt has begun at the ACC.