Continuing the blog as I said I would for all you loyal blog readers, and all comments, suggestions, etc are welcome and appreciated.
For this weeks blog, I want to know; is it just me... or are you as torn as I am as to what you want the Leafs to accomplish next season. Sure, finishing dead last would give us the best odds at drafting highly-touted John Tavares, however, then we miss the playoffs AGAIN. I know, I know, to get better, you need to build from within, through draft picks. But what if Toronto is the surprise team this season. As my first entry in the "Is it just me..." series touched on last week, this team is totally up in the air as far as I am concerned, and there is next to no way to predict their finishing position because there are so many new faces.
For all anyone knows, new faces like Kulemin, Hagman and Grabovski will have elite years and gel together becoming elite offensive players for the blue and white. Now this is not my prediction per-say, however, I for one can't write off the possibility these new additions, along with the likes of Jeff Finger, wont step up and score goals and the new and "improved" defense can help potential star goaltender Toskala keep that red light from turning on so often.
This all being said, and with the upsets we have seen in the past decade of Stanley Cup playoffs, would any Leafs fans be truly upset if Toronto made the playoffs as the 8th seed? Even if they did get knocked out by likes of the Penguins whoever finishes first, I would be happy seeing the Leafs in the playoffs again. The strides we have taken, and may still take this off season are immeasurable. Adding future star Luke Schenn is arguably the best move this franchise has made since adding Sundin.
The only reason I would be satisfied with this result is because there is always the chance of upset, and also, the league has to have taken notice of the respectability that the storied Maple Leafs are once again aiming at, and there may be one or two key free agents available next summer that Toronto can lure in to assist the team further strengthen its depth pool.
In any case, to reiterate, is it just me... or is there ANY other Leafs fans that are not looking for the team to tank this season and to those who are looking for this, this roster is not built for a complete dive. I'd be willing to say that barring some disastrous barrage of injuries and exceptional play from some other teams, that this current Leafs roster is NOT going to finish last in the league, or even bottom 4 for that matter.
One side QUESTION, if anyone knows how long a team has to sign a draft pick before they no longer retain their rights as per the CBA, I would be interested to know this information. For instance, last I checked Schenn and Filatov remained unsigned, what happens if this season starts and they aren't under contract?
On a side NOTE, sad to hear about Blue Jackets prospect Stefan Legein. He looked like he had a promising future and played great for Canada at the WJHC. Hopefully it is not an official, and he can straighten out what he needs to in order to play the great game we all love so much.