Pension Plan Puppets: Movin' On Up

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

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Movin' On Up

I hate it when they play that song at the ACC. Aside from the 'Move of the Game' it doesn't make any sense to play the Jefferson's theme song. However, the Leafs have done their best over the past week to shore up their weak spots.

The signing of Jason Blake will help to make the Leafs offence more balanced and more consistent. While the Leafs ended last year as the 8th ranked offence they struggled at times against teams that set up their defensive stall (see: Bruins, Boston) as they generally need many chances to create one goal. Blake is a player that showed that he is capable of turning a single chance into a goal.

Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell were acquired from the San Jose Sharks for the Leafs' first and second rounder in the 2007 draft and a fourth round pick in 2009. Bell is essentially a throw-in so that the Sharks could clear some salary cap space after a disastrous first year for the former 20 goal scorer which included a quick demotion from the top line and a DUI charge. If he can get back to his form then he will be yet another good reclamation project by JFJ.

Toskala is the key to the trade and he was quickly signed to a 2 year $8M extension. The trade I liked because it addressed the Leafs' need to get better in net. Raycroft will benefit from the competition as well as from not having to start 42 games in a row. The extension bothers me a bit because Toskala has not earned it. Who knows how he will deal with the media fishbowl? The best way to look at it is that he is getting paid $9.375M for 3 years and after a great year the extension could look like a piece of brilliant work by JFJ (likely good enough to save his job) but if not then it will be the next GM's problem.

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