My goodness, this Ryan Smyth story sure has some legs.
I have no problem with Kevin Lowe's decision. There just needed to be a slightly longer window between closing the door on the Smyth negotiations and the trade deadline so the entire matter seemed less rushed.
But if Smyth was looking at $5 million per season or more, you have to think the Leafs did a decent job getting Darcy Tucker under contract for $3 million a season.
If Smyth is the better player, Tucker is at least three-quarters as good, which makes the Leaf contract look pretty smart.
And while JFJ deserves all the criticism he's been getting over Bryan McCabe's inflated salary, he also did get Tomas Kaberle on board for $4.25 million per season, a bargain by NHL standards.
So if you believe McCabe got too much, you have to be willing to give the Leaf GM some marks for getting Kaberle and Tucker at good prices.
Other incomplete thoughts:
* After listening to McCabe get booed the other night at the ACC, you understand another level of smarts behind the Tucker deal. He'll never get criticized as overpaid, never get booed for not being worth the dough.
Moreover, people know Tucker could have got more elsewhere but wanted to stay in Toronto, and fans remember stuff like that.
* It's understandable that Jeff Garcia is a little cheesed off at the Eagles for letting him walk. But maybe Andy Reid just knows a one-time fluke when he sees one.
* It was fascinating to watch the Pittsburgh-Rangers game Wednesday night, the Pens first outing with Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque.
Roberts lasted about a period beside Sidney Crosby and Mark Recchi before being replaced by Evgeni Malkin and shunted to a line with Maxime Talbot and Colby Armstrong. That's a better fit.
Laraque, despite all the hype, looked terribly slow. Interestingly, while Crosby took an elbow in the head by Michal Roszival and Malkin was hit after the whistle by Colton Orr, Laraque was nowhere to be heard or seen. All this guy does is slow that team down.
* The 2007 NHL entry draft took a real slagging at the trade deadline when most of the teams seemed more interested in prying '08 draft choices out of the hands of opposition GMs than '07 picks.
* Damon Allen had to return to the Argos. He's still the best quarterback they have, and something tells me he'll be burning to bounce back in the fall. He's a solid bet for the Argos, particularly if his finger has been fixed properly this time.
* Curtis Joseph can't be the No. 1 goalie for the Leafs. But he'd be an ideal No. 2 man, and just might be the perfect player/coach/confidante understudy to Andrew Raycroft, particularly when it comes to playing in Toronto.
* You don't hear this much, but the reason the Oilers felt they didn't have enough to play Smyth was at least partially because they paid too much for Petr Sykora, Ales Hemsky and certainly oft-injured Fernando Pisani.
* Is it just me or are the Raptors a better team when Jose Calderon is in the game than T.J. Ford? That said, having two point guards who distribute the ball makes up for those years when the Raptors didn't have one.
* The tricky part for Paul Maurice about starting Andrew Raycroft in New Jersey on Friday and J.S. Aubin at home to Buffalo on Saturday is that if Aubin wins, wouldn't you have to go with the hot hand on Tuesday against Washington?
And then don't you have full-blown goalie controversy?