It’s the season of the lie.
Only an infinitesimal proportion of the trades described as sure things are ever consummated.
Players say they don’t pay attention. They point to no-trade clauses they say they would never waive and then go ahead and waive them.
You can’t blame people.
The repercussions are dire enough, at least from the player’s point of view.
“Nobody likes the idea,” said Leafs coach Paul Maurice. “When you’re married and you have kids, being traded is a fairly traumatic thing.”
That’s why Maurice knows better than to take the players’ claim that they aren’t worried at face value.
“I’m sure they’re thinking about it. It’s a part of every season. It’s not just the Toronto Maple Leafs. There’s more speculation about our team because of where we are in the standings, but every season, hockey teams go through this. “
True to form, the players, God bless them, gave the usual disclaimers about control.
“I go game by game and I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” said Dominic Moore.
Chad Kilger was a picture of nonchalance.
“I can’t control it,” he said. “All I can control is how hard I play.”
I made a list of untouchables in my last blog. They were Vesa Toskala, Anton Stralman, one of Tomas Kaberle or Bryan McCabe, Nikolai Kulemin
, Nik Antropov and Justin Pogge.
I asked you for your untouchables. First from Ross in Regina.
“I think your list is pretty close, but a word on Carlo Colaiacovo.
Actually, I agree he can be a top 2 d-man, except, for all the INJURIES! And I'm not blaming him, it's all been freaky random stuff with this guy, but he can't be counted on as a regular until he plays 60 or 70 games, in the same season! Until then, pencil him in at number 4. But yeah, no sense moving him, especially if McCabe or Kaberle are dealt.
Sweep me in the pile of Leaf fans who are longing for the best draft position possible, too bad they keep winning. But there's lots of games left.”
Another Ross wrote:
“Sundin. Period. Leaf fan for 30 years, if they get rid of the heart and soul of this organization, the workhorse (who wants to stay the course) who will more than likely take a pay cut for the next two years for the good of the team and this unforgiving city, then that is it for me, I will find another team to spend my hard earned money on.”
Finally this missive from Phillip in B.C.:
“The Leafs are only six points out with 21 games left: is it out of the realm of possibility that they keep the guys they have and make a real run at it?
You predicted in August the Leafs would make it: still holding on to that?
Sundin should be untouchable.”
Let me speak to the predictions. First. Man, was I wrong.
Interesting thoughts on Sundin, though. Keep him, ditch all others.
We find out Tuesday.