I'm relatively new on the hockeybuzz.com blog scene, but I am going to try and write at least one a week with the title above; "Is it just me..."
In this, the first installment, I am going to discuss the current Maple Leafs roster, as it stands today, and how it would fair this upcoming season.
Of course, as stated, this is how it stands today, so I am going to exclude Sundin and INCLUDE McCabe for the purpose of this evaluation.
With 7 new faces on the current roster, 8 if you include Jonus Frogren whose contract is up in the air because he is having it rejected by the NHL, and the rejection disputed by the PA, is it just me... or is this team impossible to gauge. I for one, wouldn't be surprised if they finished 30th in the league, or top 5 in the conference. This isn't saying I think they'll finish in either spot, but the fact is, with so many new players, how can you possibly say so definitively (see Mr. Howard Berger and his constant barrage of the Leafs roster, transactions and personnel), that this current team will finish so poorly. I wonder if Howard, and all other media, who are saying the Leafs will finish bottom 5 in the league, were among those who said that the Montreal Canadiens would miss the playoffs, or among those who pegged them to finish last in the conference.
This team is a much different team than the years past. It appears that "interim" GM, Trader-Cliff, is sticking to his vow of a youth movement. There is no denial that this team is younger, and arguably faster. They also appear to be at least attempting to establish some form of defensive depth and grittiness that will provide some team identity for a change.
Make no mistake, I have no pipe dreams that this team is anything like the Habs last year talent wise, I'm just saying that this team may not be the write off that everyone thinks it is.