Mats really should go and have his egg examined!
Seriously, can anyone really explain how this is not one of the most selfish moves ever predicated in the history of the Toronto Maple Leafs?
Mats is single. No family ties to the city and at 38 years old contemplating retirement again next season. So what, we have to sit through another summer of him deciding if he will sign again with Toronto up until the last minute? Perhaps there is something in that he prefers the "climate" of the Toronto scene for some reason.
Ottawa wanted him badly. Can you imagine the interest in his home country that the Swedes themselves would have spotlighted on the Senator's with the chance to see two of their home grown stars playing together and challenging for a Stanley cup might have generated? How far is Ottawa from Toronto anyway? Couple of hours and the arena is usually jammed with Leaf fans that would love to see him play there. He would finally get a winger or two that he has lacked since when...Hogland left town?
Then who knows, maybe he was concerned that Emery would beat him up in practice.
His decision definatley impacted the other four NTC followers on the team to mimic his lead. Nobody wants to be known as a quitter now, do they. Does Mats or any of these guys actually believe they have enamoured themselves to the fans. Just wait until they get off this road trip and back in the ACC and you will hear the answer. Right Pavel?
Maybe they don't get the opportunity to see the day to day game tapes of their regular efforts the same as the rest of the Country. Surley this must be nap time in the meeting post game room for some. Second, we all know that none of them read the papers so as not to be distracted, so perhaps its possible they don't know their own statistics, individually or as a team. Let see, bottom of the NHL in pp% , pk%, goals allowed, goal scored, bottom of division, fewest wins, and tied for the most NTC deals out of 30 teams. Where does all that leave them? Trying to convince the Leaf nation that they are all loyal and not quitters.
Bit too late for that boys. Your decisions mimic your play. You are all losers on and off the ice as you will find out when your NTC deals are dealt with and you try to seek employment elsewhere eventually. My guess is even Mats will not be offered the kind of deal he might expect should he opt for another year. No JFJ this time Mats.
One of these guys should have had the foresight to look ahead and I find it incredulous that none of them did. Do they all honestly believe that Cliff Fletcher is just a super nice guy. Yes, he did ask them in a professional non-threatening manner on his first trip to the table. What else would you expect a man of his polish to do. Now they have all embarassed him and made his job much more difficult. The fact that he asked them in a nice fashion should have sent a clear enough message that he intends to move them, one way or another. This is not a very good hockey team and I'm sure at the end of the day things will come full circle with the Leaf brass and the NTC players.
One of them should have stood up and said. "Hey Mr. Fletcher, put my name on the list and see what you get for an offer and I'll be glad to look at it."
These guys all to a fault have been quoted as saying how much they love their teammates and that this is not such a bad club and might yet make the playoffs.
Guess again guys, Cliff in his wiley way just dismantled one of your most effective lines of late by trading off Kilger and Deveroux is injured and made what you call a defence weaker by moving Gill. Second, do you really believe that beyond this season that you will have those same teammates you like so much? Belak was actually a real character guy and too bad he had to go. He brought a lot more than toughness to the dressing room.
I suppose its true that misery really does like company.
There is a feeling right now that the inmates are running the asylym but rest assured Leaf fans. There is a new Doctor in town. Things will change. Cliff will not be asking so nicely the next time. He gave you all your due and it was not clear enough for you to see it. But hey, you guys are used to not listening. Just ask Paul Maurice!
I suspect we are in for an eventful summer and fall.