So Ek reports today that the Leafs(Burke) are(is) yet again proclaiming to the hockey world that they will be making bold moves this off-season. Not only will they be doing whatever it takes to get Rick Nash out of Columbus but they will also be signing a high end free agent. Haven't we heard this all before?
Yes, of course we have and it goes without saying that Mr. Burke's grand proclamations are getting very redundant and for at least one hockey observer (me) they arenow falling on deaf ears. At this point does anyone really take them serious? Nevermind that he'll have to yet again clean out his prospect cupboards to get Nash, which has been the main reason for the Leafs futility the past 7 years but the biggest question is really why does Leafs Nation believe that huge UFAs have any interest in playing for them? Second tier free agents love Toronto because they are excited for the attention and bloated contract. They quickly find out that being a 2nd liner in Miami is a lot more appealing once the season starts and the attention they craved becomes crushing.
But for a real star UFAs, Toronto is not a very appetizing place for the same reasons. Most don't need the money or attention and prefer to go to places that are a)going to contend for a Cup immediately, b)provide an easier life for them and their families away from the rink or c) both. Toronto is a great city, but it doesn't exactly provide either/or.
I think that he would be much wiser if he did Vancouver a favor and sent prospects and picks West for Roberto Luongo.
Poor Raffi Torres. It seems his hit on Marion Hossa was the perfect suspendable storm for the NHL. Late hit, contact with the head, became airborne, repeat offender and all add up to the massive 25 game suspension handed down by Brendan Shanahan. You knew it was coming and that it could be big but like Grapes I thought 10 would be big.
The problem with the 25 game ban is that it really doesn't deter something like it happening again.
Because hockey, especially at it's most elite level, is an incredibly fast and physical game. Because of this violent crashes happen. There is a reason why Nascar crashes can be fatal and it's the same reason why it's one of the highest earning spectacles on the planet. It's always on the edge. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are especially so and Raffi Torres plays on the edge even more then most. That's why he has a job in the National Hockey League.
I really think that if we didn't all have the luxury of super slo-mo replays, Raffi may not be suspended at all. Watching it at regular speed and then over and over again are two very different experiences. Hence, no penalty called by the on-ice officials. Yes it was late, but just, and the "launching" and head contact are barely detectable at regular speed.
Torres has been sacrificed to the hockey media before but 25 is too much in my opinion. The guy will be giving up over $21,000 per regular season game next year and he could be sitting out in the neighbourhood of 15 to 20 games. I wonder if some of the media who have been calling for his head are feeling a bit overzealous today?
Go Buy A PlayBook
Bought a 16Gb Playbook for $199 at Staples yesterday. Until the end of the weekend it comes with the $130 Stand-Up Charger. Anyway you look at that, it's an incredible deal on a great piece of tech. BlackBerry has taking a beating over the last year and there is no doubt they have some work to do to catch the juggernaut that is Apple but if you are using an OS 7 phone and an OS 2 PlayBook you know that they are churning out quality products still.
And seriously, for that price, it's worth checking the thing out.
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