Jan 28, 2010

The Purgatory state of the Maple Leafs

I've noticed that the Hockey talk around the "office water-cooler" has been sorely lacking Toronto Maple Leaf content. For this, I have to blame the Leafs team and staff. The boys in blue are in hockey purgatory.

In past years, when the leafs were this close to the bottom, we'd be talking about the potential of drafting a top prospect. This year is different because the potential draftee was fast-forwarded via trade in to Phil Kessel. Then again, being 11 points out of a playoff spot & having 28 games left to play doesn't completely shut the door on the post-season. The problem with the team is that they're just not good enough; essentially shutting the door o the post-season. This situation negates both the "Tank Nation" and "White n Blue - Tried n True" talks.

One might think that player-movement may spark up some Leaf talk. The leafs are pressed for cap space, so adding players in hopes of making a run for the post-season is out of the question, so player subtraction is the only option. Unfortunately, one of the most coveted Leaf assets in Tomas Kaberly has a no-trade-clause, and looks to be unwilling to be shipped out of town. To make things worse, The General Manager, Brian Burke, will not ask Kaberle to waive his NTC. When you look through the roster there aren't many big name players on the team that would garner enough attention to make a significant impact on the current or future rosters. The Leafs have a roster full of hard-working players. Each of the hard-working players would only garner a late draft-pick or possibly a lost-cause prospect. Neither trade-type discussions would arouse much interest.

Maybe the Leafs fans can discuss the off-season early. There's bound to be some excellent unrestricted Free Agents coming up as of 2010; The only problem with speculating in these cases, is that we're so far away from the opening of Free Agency, that any acquisition-talk would most likely be in vain.

So, here we sit, in hockey purgatory. All the standard mainstays of hockey discussion are exhausted for the boys in blue. All I can do is wait and hope that something interesting presents itself before the Stanley cup is awarded.

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