Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Eagle has (crash) landed

News comes this afternoon that Ed Belfour ("The Eagle") has been shut down for the rest of the season (14 games).

While this may not affect the Leafs' playoff hopes (1. did they have any? 2. Tellqvist is at least as good as Belfour), it certainly means they have to take a serious look at next year's team.

This almost certainly ends Belfour's reign as the #1 goalie in Toronto. The club held an option for next year and it would have been silly to pick it up; now it would be suicidal.

So who will replace Eddie? Tellqvist the back-up? The Leafs might want to develop him, but this is the LEAFS. They should have their pick of players.

See, in today's salary-cap NHL, if a player knows he's only gonna get X dollars from whatever team he plays for, well, he might as well play for the team he wants to play for.

The problem is that there aren't that many star goalies out there. So Tellqvist might be just as good a bet as any.

...But how about Cujo:The Return? Curtis Joseph is a free agent at the end of the year and if he plays next year, it'll only be for a handful of teams - hometown Toronto being one of them.

Would Joseph return to Toronto?

This brings up my next point: who needs to go.

First, Pat Quinn should move on. The players have tuned out whatever message he might have had for them and the product on the ice is clearly suffering. This team cannot play defence. Quinn's departure would also open the door for Joseph, who had a bit of an odd relationship with the boss before signing with Detroit a few years back.

The other people who need to go? In no particular order:

- John Ferguson Jr. (Worst. GM. Ever.)
- Aki "Ice" Berg (somehow "sucks" just doesn't seem to cover it)
- Nik "Goddamn" Antropov (remember how he was supposed to be a star?)
- Jason "I skate like a fat girl named" Allison (disappointing)
- Wade "Out into the ocean and drown yourself" Belak (41 GP, -13...need we say more?)

Why guys like Berg and Belak are still on this team is beyond me. They've stunk so bad for so long I expect the CSI crew to show up to do a bug analysis.

"What I like is we have a guy that holds the puck very well and is very smart in moving it around.”
- Pat Quinn (evidently talking about one of the trainers)

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