Pension Plan Puppets: Monday Morning Odds and Ends

Every Leafs fan has an opinion. Here's mine: We are all Pension Plan Puppets. The Teachers pull the strings and we dance.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Morning Odds and Ends

Mark Zwolinski adds to the pressure on JFJ to make some tough decisions. Darcy Tucker is attracting a lot of interest from his home province and the Western Conference. The talk from his agent had been that he was going to be looking for something in the $4M-$5M range when contract negotiations started but the starting point has been pegged at a 5 year deal for $17.5M or $3.5M/year. The deal is a little long considering Tucker's style of play and that he will be 36 at the end of the contract but the price is a little more reasonable.

Mats Sundin has also attracted interest from the Anaheim Ducks. The article notes that the Leafs will have to take the $6.3M cap hit because they will have to pick up the option to keep the Captain. He has a no trade clause but I can imagine him being tempted into a run for a Cup that he deserves. His addition to Anaheim would definitely make them a strong favourite to win the Cup and they have a lot of young players that could make an immediate impact for the Leafs in Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf among others.

Ken Dryden opines on his jersey retirement on the day that his number 29 will be honoured by the Montreal Canadiens. There were a few good pieces written about the subject that were split on whether to honour or retire. Good arguments were made for both sides with Bitter Leaf providing some good criteria to consider when retiring a jersey, Wardo at Leaf Club pointing out how players enjoy the history of their jerseys, and Reality Check at Eyes on the Prize focused on the joy that having their jersey retired would bring to a player. Well Dryden sees both sides of the argument and points out that he enjoyed seeing young players wearing his number:
It used to be ... that when a special rookie arrived in a team's training camp, that player would be given No. 9 or 7 or 2, whatever the number that was special to that team. One of the great and surprising thrills for me was seeing goalies wearing No. 29 after me. For a few, it may have been because I wore that number, but over time it became a goalie number.
Ever the politician.

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Blogger ninja said...

Getzlaf would be about the only player I'd be willing to take to sacrifice Sundin.

10:46 AM

Blogger PPP said...

It would have to be a hell of a package (ie. Getzlaf and a high pick) to give up Mats.

But if he wants to retire a Leaf then he has earned that right.

6:02 PM

Anonymous DC In YOW said...

Why exactly does sundin "deserve" a run for the Cup?

7:45 PM

Blogger PPP said...

Mats deserves one last run at the cup because of his years of honourable service to the Leafs organization. His loyalty to the Leafs. His commitment to the community. He has embodied all the best characteristics that one would want to see in a captain. Essentially for the same reasons that Ray Bourque deserved a chance at the cup.

Someday you'll be accepting the fact that Alfie deserves a true run of the cup and you'll be willing to see him leave Ottawa to get that ;)

11:06 AM

Anonymous DC In YOW said...


Both the Bald Swedish Pussy and Bourque (along with countless others) chose to stay with their current teams for mega $ and long-term deals. Bourque had no shot at a cup through most of his career yet kept re-upping with the Bruins. The Bald Swedish Pussy signed a 6 year deal for almost $10M per when he was one year away from being a UFA. If they want a real shot at a cup, maybe they should sign shorter deals and keep their options open. Like Redden did.

BSP et al have had two decent runs at the cup in the last 6 years. Both times were 1-4 gag jobs in the conf finals.

He "deserves" to be lynched for not coming up big when the opportunity arises (not to mention stealing almost $60M along the way).

2:17 PM

Blogger PPP said...

Mats is the all-time leader in OT winners. Is that not coming up big when it counts? He almost single-handedly carried the team to the playoffs last year. When the Leafs have needed someone to step up it has been Mats.

What you might have forgotten was that the Leafs, pre-lockout, were Stanley Cup contenders. He didn't have to leave Toronto to try to win a cup because the Leafs were a team that was willing to spend the money to bring in the players that were needed. If not for a strong Flyers team the Leafs would have played in at least two more conference finals. God knows it wasn't the sens that stood in their way.

Why should Mats have gone elsewhere for the same or more money when he preferred to stay in Toronto? His wasn't a case where other teams were offering millions less and he decided to taket he Leafs money AND didn't play well. He has averaged over a point a game during his time as a Leaf and will retire as the club's leader in all offensive categories including most playoff series wins over the sens. Sounds like money well spent.

Maybe there is residual bitterness that Chara left Ottawa's money on the table and implied that they were not Cup contenders?

p.s. 2002 was a 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes in which two losses came in overtime. Guess who scored the goals to get the games to that point?

4:03 PM

Anonymous dc in yow said...

Coulda, shoulda, woulda.....

If the Flyers weren't good..... The Sens had no problem kicking the crap out of those Flyer teams.

The leafs lost games in OT.....Of course the leader in OT goals was nowhere to be found for those games. When it really mattered.

The fact reamins the leafs had two decent shots at it (more due to Joseph and Belfour than sundin) and failed. That's more cracks at it than most teams. The only constant in all those failures is sundin.

If BSP preferred to stay in toronto for whatever reasons is fine with me. Same goes for Chara. Or any other player. I have no problem with what players can get. However, if any high-level UFA chooses to stay/go for $$$/years/comfort/whatever and end up on crappy teams or end up winning nothing, they "deserve" only what their decision(s) bring.

The only ones who "deserve" a Cup are those who have their names on it.

P.S. - The Sens were/are bigger Cup contenders than the Bruins have been or will be for the forseeable future. Chara is a good guy who cashed in big time but he won't have a Cup any time soon. Nor will he "deserve" one.

P.P.S - 8^)

7:44 AM

Blogger PPP said...

It is definitely a case of coulda, shoulda, woulda but the fact remains that Mats contributed a lot to the team and the city and unfortunately he was not able to win a cup. There are a few more constants than just Sundin's presence for why the Leafs lost not the least of which was that some gambles aimed at giving him a supporting cast did not play out as well as they might have and the staggering amount of injuries that the Leafs picked up.

I never said he deserved a cup, I said he deserved one more run at a cup. Big difference.

No, Chara won't deserve a run at a cup because he ditched the team that made him a star for money and no other reason.

p.s. Speaking of could, would, shoulda...if Alfie was half the leader that Mats was then maybe one of those talent-laden teams would have made it past Toronto.

Looking forward to Saturday night...

3:04 PM

Anonymous dc in yow said...

We still rue that broken wrist.....

Sat's game should be good. I haven't seen any of the recent leaf games but they have 4 wins in 5 and it's hard to argue the numbers.

You guys need to beat NYR tonight to make last nights win over CAR mean something.

4:53 PM

Blogger PPP said...

They've been playing a simple game and it's worked so far. Except for the pens game they have been disciplined so that's been a big help.

Anything but a win over the Rangers will be a blow.

6:09 PM


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