Cliff Fletcher: What Will He Do Next?

Shane House@sghcantcopyAnalyst IJuly 2, 2008

Man Cliff is becoming my new favorite person. Literally if I wasn't already an adult I would be saying "when I grow up I want to be just like Cliff."

He is becoming my new idol.

Going into free agency, not only did he clean house by getting rid of players like Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft, but he told Bryan McCabe to not come to training camp if he doesn't waive his no-trade clause.

I am pretty sure that is illegal, but I still love it.

You never know what Crazy Cliff will do next.

Then comes free agency.

With everybody talking about Mats Sundin, Cliff's first signing of the day made everybody forget about Sundin and made everyone remember Cujo again.

We got him back, and at a cheap price too— one year at $700,000. This is a very good price considering how much he will bring to the Leafs.

I am proud to say welcome back Cujo. I missed you. Please make us forget about Raycroft as soon as possible.

Then something I would have never seen coming.

Crazy Cliff throws a curveball and signs d-man Jeff Finger.

Pardon me, but who the heck is Jeff Finger?

Let me tell you, he is a diamond in the rough. He is an under-the-radar free agent that will blossom under Ron Wilson.

He signed a four year deal worth about 3.5 million a season and that seems like a lot to pay for a guy that we have never heard of before, but let's look at the facts.

This guy went from playing five minutes a game to 20 minutes by the end of the season and was a really good defensive defenseman for the Avalanche. Playing in the Western Conference, Ron Wilson has seen his fair share of Finger and my guess is he advised Fletcher to sign the rugged d-man to the Blue and White at any price.

With this signing all Leafs fans started to go WHY DID WE PAY SO MUCH FOR A GUY I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF!?!?! But need not worry, he is a very solid defenseman that will surprise a lot of people come the regular season. He is well worth the money.

With knowing that we signed these players, I was happy and very content with who we had, but then it happened.

Cliff Fletcher signed Niklas Hagman to a four year deal a couple hours later.

Don't get me wrong, Niklas Hagman is a solid two way player, but he is a very streaky player who, to me, fits the role as a grittier Kristian Huselius based on the fact that Hagman will score goals in bunches, then drop off the map.

He is a player that would have fit the old regime of players we had. Good sometimes, bad sometimes, but lets hope I am wrong.

Maybe he will be good. Maybe he will post 30 goals for the first time in his career, who knows? All I think is that he will be a very streaky player that will score goals in bunches, but not with consistency.

So far, I think Toronto has done mostly a good job with who they have signed, most notably with Jeff Finger. He will surprise and blossom under Ron Wilson, I will tell you that much.

But what will Crazy Cliff do next? Will he trade McCabe, or Kubina, or maybe both?!?!? Will he try to go after Marleau or will he sign a center in free agency?

All I know is I can't wait to find out what happens next.


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