Pointless and Dangerous
So this is the value you get for a fifth round pick and $525,000 US in salary.
Ryan Hollweg. A serial hitter-from-behind.
There's no point blasting Cliff Fletcher now for picking up this player in the summer, for it was clear Fletcher was looking at his roster and figured any player with a bit of muscle would help the Leafs.
Apparently not. Hollweg is about to receive his second suspension in a matter of weeks, a three-gamer this time for checking from behind, his favourite hockey play.
Let's be clear. This oaf on skates doesn't score goals, or set up plays, or generate a forecheck or even protect his teammates. Ever since he's been in the league, he has been known as a player who does one of three things every time he's on the ice:
1) Takes about 25 strides and charges an opponent.
2) Leaves his feet to hit an opponent.
3) Hits opponents from behind.
He's a dangerous, dangerous hockey player, and for all the wrong reasons. Everybody knew it before he got here after his years of playing for the Rangers. You might remember him as the player who helped Chris Simon snap last season. Well, snap the first time.
The smartest thing the Leafs could do now with Hollweg is waive him without sending him to the Marlies where he'd then endanger the hockey careers of unsuspecting AHLers. The only Leaf who could possibly be pleased with Hollweg's cheap hit is Matt Stajan, for the incident deflected potential questions on why it was Stajan, brutal in the first two games, who was sent to the press box to make room for No. 44.
The NHL, meanwhile, should tack on 40 games to the three games Hollweg is supposed to get. He clearly doesn't get the message, and he has consistently demonstrated utter disdain for the health of other hockey players.
He just doesn't care.
Actually, what would be most useful would be if the Leafs were to suspend Hollweg themselves after his idiotic and pointless hit on St. Louis defenceman Alex Pietrangelo on Monday that, to a significant degree, cost the Leafs the hockey game in a 5-4 defeat.
You know, like the Argos did with Robert Baker a few years back. It would be a way of Cliff Fletcher, Ron Wilson and Co. making it clear they don't condone the way this guy plays.That, folks, would show class as an organization.
Look, this is not a hockey club that has an awful lot to be proud about from recent decades.
But that said, Hollweg doesn't deserve to wear this team's jersey. That Fletcher would call the hit "marginal" is just a GM trying to defend a bad trade, and having Wilson say the hit was "debatable" goes contrary to everything he's said so far about making his players accountable, about a no-nonsense approach and tough love to make these players learn to play the right way. The comments of both the GM and the coach make you think they like have a unguided missile around.The Leafs might need toughness - we can debate that another day - but they don't need this guy. He adds nothing.
Dump him. Now.