Burke Hits Reset on Rebuild With Phaneuf Trade
I would like to chime in with my 100% emotional response to today's trades. While obviously giving up way more goals than he got back, Burke is trying to shore up the leagues worst defense. Say what you will about Phaneuf's "attitude", but he brings something the Leafs have lacked for many seasons; heart. By the way, NHL teams don't give A's to locker room misfits. Oh, and you heard it here first, Phaneuf will be Toronto's next Captain. You might not like it, but I would welcome it, for sure.
With the Flames being my "backup team" for several seasons, I have seen quite a few games in the last 10 years. Phaneuf has been waylaid by being essentially replaced by Jay Bowmeister. Not to mention the Avery "drama". The flames were roasted in the playoffs last year and not by lack of defense or goaltending.
Speaking of goaltending, I have spent the better part of the last few months hoping against all hope that J.S. Giguere was not coming to Toronto. Well, he is. And he brings with him his 4-8-5 record, 3.12 GAA and .900 SP. Not astounding numbers. They are better than Toskala's, but at double the price. Back to how I feel about the trade? I will never be as happy to see a goaltender leave Toronto. Yes, even happier than when Raycroft left. I've never witnessed a longer leash on a more terrible goalie.
The biggest heartbreak for me will be Niklas Hagman leaving. Hagman gave it 100% every night and was one of the only players to show any emotion from playing on such a terrible team. Hagman was easily the worst healthy scratch decision on this team all season.
What we were looking for back from the trade never materialized; a draft pick....ANY draft pick. If you asked me what the players were worth in "pick value", i would say the following:
Hagman and White - First rounder
Mayers and Stajan - Second rounder
Did we get the equivalent back? Time will tell with Aulie. He is a big kid and primarily a shut-down defenseman. Sjostrom is fast as hell and looks like a Draper-esque defensive specialist. He had an offensive flair in his history, which Wilson may choose to draw on.
Overall, the Leafs will be a fundamentally different team on Tuesday. Especially since they will need to call up at least one forward. A biting disappointment to me is the added responsibility to the least deserving players on the roster; Mitchell and Wallin. I have a feeling that Mitchell's name was proffered a few times and the response was a resounding "We have enough pucks, thank you."
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