The Cup has been handed out. The Draft is over with. Free Agency has ground down to a slow, tiresome crawl. Yes my friends, it's mid-July; the worst time of the year for a hockey fan. This is all of diddly poo to talk about, save for epic Alex Semin related discussions. As if the times weren't already terrible by themselves,I bring you this rather eye opening post from Mike Langlois at Vintage Leaf Memories.
Every once in a while I have to give myself a ‘reality check’ of sorts. That is, if I start to get pulled into "buying-in" to the Maple Leaf spin that everything is moving along as per the ‘plan’, that roster changes are coming, that they were wise not to invest mad money in star players because the term was too long, that the goaltending is fine, etc., I try to step back a bit.
Then I do what I always do when that feeling happens: I pull up the current roster, and ask myself—is this a good NHL team? Is this a team that can compete to make the playoffs or maybe one day soon, even better, the Stanley Cup? The answer for me - even with the wholesale roster changes that have already been made and the influx of all these apparently outstanding "prospects" acquired by Burke - is "no".
An emphatic no, in fact.
And maybe the more pointed question is this one: if we took this exact roster and put in in markets like, for example, Carolina or Phoenix or the Island or hey, Columbus—would anyone take this team seriously? Would fans in those markets go to the games because of the talent on the roster and the exciting style of play that they would witness under Randy Carlyle?
Ooof. More links after the jump.