I haven't posted here on the Bing Man's Home of the Leafs for a long time because I have just started a new job and it's been keeping me very busy, as has life outside work. However, I have been keeping tabs on the Leafs on the periphery of my mind as I go about my daily business. My thoughts on recent developments are as follows:
Mats Sundin will not return to the Leafs, in my humble opinion--to be honest I love the guy but to sign him for another year for reasonably big money would be a mistake, now that I have thought about it more. If the Leafs sign him again, I would support him as I think he'd be good for the youngsters and he's still a great player, but we need to be serious about rebuilding and be going for those who fit the category of "young and hungry".
The re-signing of Matt Stajan did nothing relieve my anxiety about the future of the club. I have nothing against the guy, really, other than the fact that he is a chronic underachiever. He had six less points last year than he did the year before (33 as opposed to 39) and he was -11. Compared the promise he showed as a junior, I wouldn't say he's exactly torn it up in the NHL. However, the Leafs still gave him a 2-year deal. The positive is that he doesn't get hurt--over the past three seasons, he has led Toronto with 244 in games played and has played in the past 174 consecutive contests.
I am very pleased that Joe Nieuwendyk has joined the Leafs as the special assistant to the general manager(?). Frankly, I don't care if they hired him as the team's Hockey Stick Fairy--what I do know is that he's a proven winner, a class act, and will bring some much needed integrity to an organization that is not particularly known for it. Let's hope that when Gary Roberts finally hangs up his skates, the Leafs do the smart thing and hire him too! A reunion of the best friends, a good idea...
It looks like the Silver Fox will be in control of the team for this season unless something huge happens. I happen to think Fletch is a good GM and is starting the long-awaited rebuilding process reasonably well. I am very curious about this year's team, how Luke Schenn will fare, and whether the hockey will at least be exciting, even if we aren't playoff bound--I want to see young players hungry to win, not more of the "Muskoka Five" mentality. I am happy that CuJo has returned to back up Vesa Toskala and that Raycroft is gone, same with Tucker. Now, if we could only rid ourselves of McCabe...