1. Raycroft Is More Depressed Than You
Poor Andrew. Sittin there on the bench, growin a suicide beard, thinkin about how Letterman stole his thunder. Even though old Howard Hughes hasnt stopped a lot of pucks lately, you have to assume that the beard will help him in the second half. Gigure showed us all in 2003 what a beard can do for you in a contract year. For a player nicknamed Razor to not shave, that shows balls. Sadly, hockey uses pucks, and Andrew hasn’t seen one since last season.
2. The Mats Trade
Setting aside the picks and prospects we would get in return, how great will it be to see Mats playing for the cup on a contender? I challenge you to find a Leaf fan that wouldn’t love to see Mats hoist the cup over his head (plus, if you squinted your eyes, he could look like he was wearing a Leaf jersey.) You know there will be a tearful goodbye interview, which will be a nice “end of an era” moment for Leaf Nation, but I’m at a complete loss of who his Messier will be. Complete this sentence: Crying Mats: I promised ________ I wouldn’t do this. Stajan? Belak? Who will step up to the plate and tell Mats to man-up and not cry on national tv?
3. Ridiculous Trade Speculation
Saying that Leafs Nation overvalues our players is like saying Britney Spears neglects her kids. Little bit of an understatement. This will be the first time in over a decade that we’ll be serious sellers at the deadline. Get ready for every rumour to be beaten to death so much that every trade made ends up as a disappointment.
Until then, we’ll have rumours that are either
or my favorite
Let me get things started. Again, this is just what I’ve been hearing from my sources.
1. Anze Kopitar to TOR for the North American rights to Jyrki Lumme
2. John-Michael Liles, Paul Stastny, and Milan Hejduk to TOR for Pavel Kubina, Garry Valk, and Bill Watters
3. McCabe’s Hair and Contract to ANYONE for ANYONE
4. The Inevitable Debut of Justin Pogge
Come on, it will be fun. I’m more excited for the inevitable Damien Cox article imploring the Leafs to play their top prospect, followed two weeks later by one exonerating them for rushing him on to a rebuilding team.
5. Mark Bell Is Going To Jail
Picture it – the season is coming to a close, games have lost meaning, Joe Bowen has run out of rhyming names for starting goaltenders, and Mark Bell is going to jail after the season is over. Get ready for a lot of awesomely bad jokes when he ends up in the penalty box. Perhaps the most tragic disappointment of the Leafs missing the playoffs this season is that we’re cheated out of one of the all-time great post season performances. To my knowledge, no player has ever played in the playoffs for his own freedom. I imagine Mark skating around with the Conn Smythe trophy, tears in his eyes, not because of the Cup, but because he’s taken his last comfortable shower.
6. Ottawa Will Not Win The Cup
Easily the weakest Sens team in years. Their Defence has more holes than a bowl of fruit loops, their enforcer mistakes their goalie for opponents, and their top Manslaughterer is out for 6 weeks.
Quick sidenote. How does the lamest team in the league get to have the coolest Goalie? Who wouldn’t want Ray Emery on their team? If MLSE is worried about fans losing touch with the Leafs if they go in the tank, a simple fix would be to go out and get Emery and Roenick. They don’t even have to dress a game as long as they do all between period interviews and appear on Off The Record together fortnightly.
7. The Marlies
Scott Clemenssen: The Passion That Unites Us All.
At least it’s playoff hockey and free bobbleheads.
8. Jiri Tlusty
I feel that we really need to come together and pick out a nickname for this guy. We’re letting our forefathers down. If it was the 30’s and Charlie Conacher had sketched a nude image of himself and sent it to a puck bunny, our Grandfather’s would have been all over it with a scathing, but loving nickname. See Harvey Busher Jackson, and Handy Andy Bathgate. This is something we need to work on in the second half. What rhymes with Tlusty?
9. The Predators Are Not Moving to Hamilton.
This is a big one. Since Leafs Nation has the biggest fanbase in the league, it also means we have the biggest amount of fickle fans. Given this current slide, it’s time to give thanks that we’re not subjected to the pathetic parade of bandwagon jumping that would be taking place. We would be subjected to endless conversations at work or the bar with deserting fans who think that supporting a team just means getting to celebrate when you win. Unfortunately, I do have a nice portfolio of Radek Bonk jokes that could’ve been transferred over to the Hamilton Predators, but alas.
10. 2008 NHL Draft
If you’re a Leaf fan, the draft has always been like Christmas to a Jewish guy. You know something big is going on, but it doesn’t really apply to you. Even if we completely screw up the deadline, we should come away with at least a few picks in the first two rounds. Franchise optimism never hurt anyone, and I can’t wait to hear Pierre Maguire slam us for overlooking _____ just because of his lack of __________.