Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Toronto Star,
Just as he had no choice but to accept his suspension, he would also have no choice but to accept his fate if he were traded. Antropov may be among the most vulnerable of Leaf stalwarts.
Teams looking to load up for a run at the playoffs will consider he earns a reasonable $1.95 million (U.S.) a year, he’s signed for next season, he’s having a career year, and, perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t have a no-trade clause. He says he wants to stay.
“Of course,” says Antropov. “But it’s not up to me. Ask Cliff Fletcher.”
more and other Leafs mentioned too…
No Olaf Kolzig for the Caps. They’re starting Brent Johnson in goal. In the newsroom on Tuesday, some vile cynic wondered aloud if the Blue Jackets led the league in facing back-up goaltenders. They do not, actually. That would be Toronto, center of the hockey universe, which has seen 20 No. 2s this season. Man, 41 years without the Cup in Toronto, and now opponents are trotting out their back-ups. Harsh.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
McCabe is not considered one of the veterans Fletcher will try to move by the Feb. 26 trade deadline. He has a no-movement clause in his contract, but even if he did waive it, McCabe will cost a team $5.75-million (all currency U.S.) against the salary cap for the next three seasons. Not that he wants to go anywhere, anyway.
“Yeah, I got that clause, but no one’s ever spoken to me about doing anything about it so I’m not too worried about it,” McCabe said. “I signed here to play here. I want to be here.”
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
If Sundin stands his ground on this, the Leafs need to get his signature on a new contract now, so that they don’t lose on both ends of a polarizing predicament. And if Sundin is being truthful about wanting to end his career in Toronto, then he should prove that with a renewed commitment.
However, asked several which ways if he’d re-sign Sundin this summer – whatever happens Feb. 26 – Fletcher declined to oblige.
“That’s a decision that would be entirely up to him. He is in a position to do what he wants.’‘
Not true. Sundin can’t say yes if the invitation is never extended.
If there’s no separation, both parties need to re-affirm their vows.
from the Toronto Sun,
Will Bryan McCabe return to the Maple Leafs lineup just in time to be traded?...
There are many things that McCabe is looking forward to when he rejoins the Leafs. Repeatedly answering that question is not one of them.
“Look, no one (from management) has approached me about (waiving it) yet,” McCabe said. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
“I’ve said all along I want to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. That’s why I signed here.”
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Legality and necessity demand Peter Karmanos make Jim Rutherford fulfil his contract to the Carolina Hurricanes.
But Karmanos’ friendship with Rutherford would let the latter go to work for the Maple Leafs….
“First of all, it’s not appropriate to be discussing this when Jim’s in the second of a five-year contract, and a lucrative one, too,” Karmanos told Sun Media yesterday from the offices of the Compuware Corporation in suburban Detroit. “But I would not stand in his way, only if the situation did not allow him to do his job.
“I would grant permission for the Leafs to talk to him, but I would want to hear the level of control he has. It might be something I could help him negotiate.”
from the Toronto Star,
The game, the arguments, the video reviews, ground in the playoff race, another forward to an ankle injury, another to a three-game suspension; all gone in what was for them a frustrating and heart-wrenching 3-2 overtime defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes.
And in the Toronto dressing room afterwards, their anger roiled over what they felt were injustices meted out on Tobacco Road….
After reciting a litany of decisions he disagreed with, ending with what he said was a “lousy call on Antropov,” a seething coach Paul Maurice snapped: “But that’s my judgment. That’s the way I feel, that’s the way the hockey players feel. That’s what the camera (replays) looked like to me. Let’s just do it this way. We’ve been out here and friendly long enough. If you want to get the story, go ask the people who made the judgments. We disagree. That’s all I have to say.’‘
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
What the Leafs should try to block, however, is the possibility they would net nothing for Sundin before the trade deadline, and then he would play for some other team next season.
So get his name on a contract extension. The Leafs have no handy successor for him as captain or as their No. 1 centre, and probably won’t for several years.
If he doesn’t want to leave, lean on him to commit to stay. After all, there are other viable trade options.
Starting with Nik Antropov. He doesn’t have a no-trade contract, has another year on his cheap deal and any number of teams would pay heavily to get him in their lineup for the post-season. The Sharks and Red Wings would be happy to get an extra big body with which to confront the Ducks.
From Mike Brophy at The Hockey News,
So here’s the thing, if you are the Los Angeles Kings or the Toronto Maple Leafs, it is probably in your best interest – speaking big picture, that is – to lose the remainder of your games.
It would be better for both teams – and probably Florida, Tampa Bay and Buffalo, too – if they just gave up on this year and did everything in their power to get the top pick in the 2008 Entry Draft; in all likelihood Steven Stamkos.
The problem is: How do you tell 20 players, who are essentially auditioning for next year, as well as a coaching staff whose career might possibly hang in the balance with every victory or defeat, that you want to tank the year?
from Alan Adams at AOL Canada,
If it were left to me, I would deal Sundin by the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline, and send him to Anaheim as a matter of fact. Then I wouldn’t bring Sundin back in the fold this summer when the big Swede is an unrestricted free agent.
This is the ONLY course the Leafs should plot regarding Sundin if, as ownership says, it is serious about making things right with the storied Toronto franchise.
Think of it this way: You have to get bad, and bad for a couple of years, before you can get good. And Sundin is the ticket to both destinations.
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