Racing to the Deadline
Here's where John Ferguson has to be careful.
Overpaying for a player with the trade deadine just hours away is a great temptation, particularly with emotions running high after last night's 5-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
Of all the deals made by NHL clubs over the last 20 hours, none are impact moves, including the departure of Gary Roberts from Florida to Pittsburgh.
Roberts will help the Pens. And he's a far more sensible and useful addition than, say, an enforcer like Georges Laraque.
But think about it. Roberts has 13 goals this season, is perpetually struggling with injuries and is 40 years old.
Be fair to the guy. If he could supply some muscle and an important goal or two for the Penguins in the post-season, giving up a fine young defenceman in Noah Welch will have been a worthwhile move.
But he's not going to lead the team. That'll be up to Sidney Crosby, and understand that Roberts' strong dressing room presence could result in a tricky change in Pittsburgh.
Did the Leafs miss out? No. They could have re-signed Roberts two years ago or traded for him last summer.
Giving up draft picks for him now would have been silly. Giving up Alex Steen or Matt Stajan would have been insanity.
And you know what? The same goes for Bill Guerin, a player who has playoff disappointment written all over him.
Clearly, the Leafs could use help. Their schedule is murderous, they're already sitting out of the playoffs and its unclear when Darcy Tucker or Kyle Wellwood may return.
But there's no player out there - Todd Bertuzzi, Guerin, Jason Blake, Aaron Miller, Owen Nolan, Jason Blake or Jamal Mayers - who can make the differerence for the Leafs now.
The lone exception might be Captain Canada, Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers. If the Oilers were to decide they couldn't sign Smyth and then make the next leap and look to deal him, he would be an impact player.
He could make a difference to the Leafs.
But it seems highly unlikely he'll be available.
So as unpalatable as it might be for JFJ to stand pat, it's probably the right thing to do.
Look at Vancouver. Giving up a draft pick for Bryan Smolinski, who has never made a difference anywhere, is essentially a waste of time.
At the deadline players that move are suddenly overvalued, suddenly viewed as better than they are just because they were moved.
Expect more of that over the next few hours.