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Ritters Rant: Hull of Fame, Leafs Notes, Forsberg's Return, Got $10,000?

Mark RitterSenior Writer INovember 8, 2009

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 07: Jonas Gustavsson #50 of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes a break in his game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Air Canada Centre on November 7, 2009 in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Red Wings 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Don’t look now, but with points in each of their last seven games, the Leafs, dare I say, are hot. Goaltender Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson is a big reason for the turnaround, but a lot of credit has to go to head coach Ron Wilson, who, in the face of adversity, kept this squad from going off the deep end. Nice job coach, maybe it wasn't such a bad idea to play a little dodge ball after all!

Did anyone else notice how much Bobby and Brett Hull look alike these days? With all due respect, it doesn’t look as if Brett has missed many buffets since his retirement!

It’s inevitable. The Chicago Blackhawks will have to make some very difficult decisions in the offseason. One or more of Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Brent Seabrook, and/or Dustin Byfuglien will have to be shipped off this season or the Hawks risk losing some great players for nothing in the offseason. Who would you ship out?

And the best power play in the NHL belongs to? The Toronto Maple Leafs? To be fair, the Leafs sit atop the NHL in this category alongside the Philadelphia Flyers, both teams own a 26.6% success rate. I can see the Flyers being there, but who’da thunk the Leafs would be there?

Worst penalty kill in the NHL? Once again, at 73.0 percent it’s the Toronto Male Leafs. Ok, so Wilson and his troops still have some work to do...

For the most part, NHL players are not vengeful people, but you gotta believe that when Calgary Flames defenseman caught Sean Avery (he of the “sloppy seconds” comment) with an open-ice hit in last nights match against the New York Rangers, it had to feel pretty good.

There is a lot of talk about Peter Forsberg making a return to the NHL. That’s all well and good, but exactly how long do you think it will be before his foot gives out and he’s on the extended Injured Reserve list? Forsberg was a great player, unfortunately he’s a train wreck now, teams should proceed with caution.

With a record of 8-0, the New Jersey Devils are the only NHL team that remains unbeaten on the road. Conversely, the Devils are 3-4 at Home...what’s up with that?

It was only a matter of time before the Winter Classic, an event that was supposedly created for the benefit of the Fans, became tainted. Rumor has it, any fan that wants to play a little shinny on the ice at Boston’s Fenway Park will have to pony up some $10,000 per hour. In a word, disgusting!

If Wayne Gretzky doesn't show up to the Hall of Fame ceremonies it is the media that will have to take the brunt of the blame. Know doubt about it, Gretz wants to be there, but you just know if he shows the media will make it the "Gretzky vs. the NHL show" and Gretz doesn't want to take away from the festivities.

“Mike Danton, the untold story”, will air on Sportsnet on Wednesday, November 11. One thing is for sure, Nick Kypreos (who will conduct the interview) won’t let Danton off easy, there is nothing soft about Kipper. If you followed Danton’s rise and fall, this is a can’t miss show.

Don’t look now, Philadelphia Flyers rookie forward James Van Riemsdyk is heating up and, with 14 points on the season, now sits tied for first overall in rookie scoring with Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly; JVR has arrived...

Congratulations go out to Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch, and Luc Robitaille, who will all be inducted into the NHL’s Hall of Fame Monday evening. Thanks for the memories, your legacy’s will never be forgotten.

Until next time,

Peace!

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