Signings, Troubled Leafs, and Toronto's Prodigal Son
Bitter Leaf Fan noted that the Leafs have tendered a number of qualifying offers to their RFAs. Apparently, only Stajan, Raycroft, and Pohl received one way deals. This is interesting because it seems to suggest that JFJ is not entirely convinced that the Leafs Kiddie Corps is ready for the NHL but has some sort of plan to use Pohl (4th line centre?). Hopefully, solid training camps will erase any doubt and we can start building a team instead of trying to buy one.
Another nice note is that Antropov didn't get the usual raise just for being lucky enough to have been a Pat Quinn project. JFJ offered him a two way deal which will probably lead to arbitration. The best outcome is a deal that drops the minor league clause for less money.
Now that McCabe finally signed his $28.75M/5yr contract he has revealed that there was a good reason for the delay. Why he would allow rumours to run rampant slamming his wife for wanting to move closer to her family is beyond me. He stated after signing that he did not want the attention:
"It was very stressful," McCabe said Thursday before boarding a flight back to Long Island. "Everybody was speculating. It's tough because it's some serious personal stuff and it's really not anyone's business. My wife doesn't want to be in the paper. It was disappointing."
Surely, since she was in the paper anyway he could have relieved her of the pain of seeing her name in the media in a less than glowing manner by releasing a simple statement. Best wishes to the family and hopefully Roberta makes a speedy recovery.
And it seems the Pronger rumours have upset Tomas Kaberle with his agent noting that the Oilers would just end up trading one disgruntled defenceman for another. I agree, it would be a terrible move to get Kaberle to sign a long-term deal only to trade him before the no-trade clause kicks in. It would be a bad sign for future free agents.
The Return of Roberts
Kenny Campbell first broke the news and now Mark Zwolinski is reporting that the Roberts deal may be almost complete with a 3rd/4th round pick being the Panthers' asking price. If we are going to bring in a veteran presence to help the kids develop then Gary is a good choice and a 4th round pick is not that high of a price. It is definitely a MUCH better option than this: JASON ALLISON. Sweet Jesus, NO! This would undo what has so far been a summer of solid work by JFJ (maybe he does have a plan, who knew?). All the wisdom that Jason has to offer is how to milk the PP for points, skate slower than any hockey player under the age of 90, and make the same incredulous face after every penalty call (too late: McCabe has it down pat).
I'll be having a relaxing/stressful weekend of World Cup action and praying for some solid free agent additions. Enjoy the long weekend and Happy Canada Day!