No idea if I'll do this more often but here's my first response to Damien Cox's "blog" (ie extra column that didn't make the newspaper because it wasn't good enough). I submitted it as a comment and we'll see if it gets 'moderated'.
Hilarious. Before I even read the piece once I saw the news of the proposed deal I knew that you would write this article. If I had really tried I probably could have gotten the examples right too.
First off, the Leafs would have picked up the second overall pick from 2005 and the kind of top-line offensive talent that they currently lack (so far). This wouldn't have been a case of moving a first-rounder for an aging superstar in an attempt to win now. This would have been an attempt to take advantage of the cap space that the Leafs possess in order to get a player that would be a fixture in the top 6 (if not 3) for a decade. I would hate to see any team trying to make a move like that right?
Second, the pick was top six protected so in the case of a really horrible season the pick could not turn into the next Luongo or Niedermayer with which you could continuously bash Leaf fans over the head.
Finally, if the Leafs finish in the bottom six this year the pick would move to 2010. Adding Bobby Ryan plus a year of development would hopefully move the Leafs out of the bottom ten so the pick wouldn't be among the top ten but the other thing that you ignore is that the Leafs could still have moved Schneider, Kubina, or Kaberle to fill the gap in any draft pick that they lose.
The idea of a moratorium on first round picks is ludicrous because that would mean that the Leafs would have to commit themselves to avoiding any deal regardless of how worthwhile it would be to make it. Plus, what proof, if any, do you have that your idea works?
As for Schenn, I pretty much agree with your move to keep Schenn in junior but not because of your ridiculous theory that he needs at least two years in the AHL to develop properly but because it makes more sense in the salary cap world to move his contributions back a year so that he will still be on his entry-level contract when the Leafs are, in theory, back to competitiveness.
Not surprisingly, my comment didn't get through but Damien clearly read it because he has an addendum which basically reads like some kindergartener taking his ball and trying to go home. What a hissy fit. Here's my reply to that part:
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA so you response is to call us stupid for pointing out that you wrote a terrible article? Hey Damien, how about they really slow down the rebuilding process and trade their next 5 first rounders (2009-2013) for 5 first in the 5 years after (2014-2018).
Those kids wouldn't begin to hit UFA status until almost 2030! Wow, what a brilliant strategy!