I just managed to catch a couple of minutes of the opening ceremonies but wow, can communist countries ever put on a show. And that 9 year old hero from the earthquake that Yao Ming was carrying could be the cutest kid on the planet. But it's ironic that on the day (or day after? I hate time zones) that one of the world's most repressive regimes (when do we get change?) opened the World Image Games the Leafs might be freed of the burden that is Bryan McCabe.
Throughout his ultimately extremely fruitful post-lockout campaign I had a friend that would become enraged with every goal that the blueliner potted and every second assist that he picked up. He'd rail about the lack of defensive acumen present in Mr. McCabe and rage at the albatross of a contract that would inevitably appear. He referred to it as the anchor around the franchise's neck. And he was right. But today it looks like there might be a light at the end of the tunnel.
"Bryan is starting to think about possibly getting his career started somewhere else," said Fletcher. "We'll leave him alone. He's going to get back to us in a couple of weeks. There's not going to be any issues. I'm really confidant it's going to be resolved amicably before training camp."
NHLPA Executive Director Paul Kelly had some fighting words as did Glen Healy once upon a time but here's some truths for both of those gentlement to ponder:
- The Leafs signed Bryan McCabe a contract in order to control his hockey playing services.
- Nowhere in the contract does it say that a player must be played.
- Fletcher did not force him to accept these terms. He simply let him know that the Leafs would be exercising their contractual right to not play him.
- Bring the noise because MLSE will bury you with lawyers.
There is always the threat that the PA could tell their members to boycott the Leafs but considering the legal battle they have going against Ted Saskin, the threat of the Leafs' lawyers suiting up, and the fact that their membership tends to...ummm...love money I wouldn't worry about empty threats from washed up never-weres that could not hack it as announcers.
Onto the links! If you have any feel free to add them in:
- Torontosportsmedia takes a look at another writer tossing his hat into the "Leaf fans are dumb" ring.
- Looks like the Ducks are fans of filing tampering charges. Maybe we should turn away from Burke before we lose a first round draft pick. also, does Lowe v. Burke qualify as the lamest feud ever? Someone do a drive-by and give this thing some spice.
- An early look at the Calder Trophy candidates for this season. Irony of ironies, the same website that Berger Bingo used to justify his smackdown of Leaf fans now has the object of our insane affection as a Calder Trophy candidate. Of course, in order to win that he'd probably have to score 42 goals and pick up 35 assists but that's crazy right? Hockey's Future said so themse...oops.
- Fellow SBNer Die By The Blade looks at their top rivals and the Leafs crack the top 5. He says the Sabres have been 'far' better than the Leafs over the past decade. Go on over and let him know what you think.
- The piece de resistance: In light of Howard Berger's concerted efforts to provide the worst Leafs coverage that money can pay for CoxBloc is thinking of opening up the running for their 2008 Mittenstringer of the Year award again. They're looking for feedback so let them know what you think.