Ghosts of Seasons Past
First off, thanks to Raking Leafs for dropping PPP's name. If you are coming from that link hopefully you will enjoy what I have got to say. If you came here first, then I recommend that you stop by Ninja's site. I also recommend stopping by Leaf Club. He is a fellow rookie and deserves a peek.
Lindros Gone To Texas, Anson in Hollywood
The aforementioned Leaf Club implored JFJ to sign The Big E but the wish has fallen on deaf ears. The Dallas Stars have announced that Eric has signed a one-year deal worth $1.55M plus incentives.
Meanwhile, interest in Anson Carter seems to have waned (I am HOPING that it is because his salary demands will preclude signing Peca).
So in a week, the Leafs have been linked with two potential wingers for Sundin only to see other teams step up and take charge. Eric even went on TSN to say that he wanted to be a Leaf but JFJ stood firm on his contract offer which was reportedly only $500K less than what Lindros wanted (Does that sound like a certain 70s and 80s owner of the Leafs?).
Of course, Eric, who has always maintained that he wanted to be a Leaf (during the negotiations with Bobby Clarke, when he signed last year, during this off-season) could have shown some goodwill to a team that took a chance on him last year only to see his contributions end after 33 games. He had been assured of a bigger role on the Leafs this year and could have parlayed a solid, complete season into a longer deal (he has already made a tonne of money). Still, he left for more money. Disappointing to say the least. At least we do not have to face him coming back to TO to bury the Leafs. Thank God for small favours.
JFJ - What Happened?
What had begun as such a successful summer filled with aggressive, quickly made decisions (Buyouts, Kubina, Gill, Raycroft) has now degenerated into the same dithering off-season that cost the Leafs a playoff spot after the lockout. Peca's been patient with the Leafs so far but I do not see how, especially considering that Carter and Lindros are out of the mix, JFJ can wait any longer to tie Peca up. This is not like signing an injury-prone former Hart Trophy winner or the Sedin twins meal ticket. Peca has A LOT to offer teams apart from points and faceoffs (I extolled his virtues earlier) and there is a lot of interest in him but he has remained patient. Howard Berger of HockeyBuzz.com agrees that JFJ needs to recapture his earlier form (circa July 1) and get the deal done (he says some other things but nothing that I want to hear). You are on notice Johnny.