Toronto Maple Leafs: So Long Underachievers
The Toronto Maple Leafs placed G Andrew Raycroft and F Kyle Wellwood on waivers today to help with the "rebuilding process" of the franchise.
Most fans in Toronto have been waiting to say farewell to Raycroft ever since he signed with the club and after the season that Wellwood had in 2007-08. The same can be said about the play-making centre.
There have been high hopes for Wellwood since the day he was drafted. He put up impressive numbers with St. John's in the AHL, and showed loads of potential in two seasons with the big club in Toronto.
But after posting a miserable 21 points in 59 games this season, I have been waiting for the team to dump him for some time. The Maple Leafs have wasted too much time waiting for so called "prospects."
Although Nik Antropov has finally started to play to his potential, the team can't afford to wait another six years for yet another injury prone, underachiever to start playing like a first or second line star.
As for Raycroft, bringing him to Toronto was one of many poor decisions made by ex-GM John Ferguson Jr. The Leafs gave up arguably one of the best goaltending prospects in the league in Tukka Rask, to acquire Raycroft who has never proven that he can be a consistent starting goalie in the NHL.
When he won the Calder in '04 with Boston, he was very deserving, but it looks like Raycroft was just a one hit wonder. Fans of Raycroft's will argue that he set a franchise record with 37 wins in 2006-07, but the fact that he played 72 games, makes that achievement seem very unimpressive.
So, with the departure of Andrew Raycroft and Kyle Wellwood, the Toronto Maple Leafs free themselves of two players who do nothing but take up a roster spot and cap space that should be given to players who can do much more on the ice to help the team win hockey games.
Here's hoping the Leafs do the same with players like Mark Bell and Bryan McCabe.
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