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Reading the Tea Leafs: Jeff Finger

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Following on the success of two other dormant series PPP and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.

At the 2:57 mark, Jeff Finger scores a goal, on the other team's net. Think about the possibilities.

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$3.5M salary, $3.5M cap hit, UFA July 1, 2012

Age (as of October 1, 2008)
28, born December 18, 1979

NHL Seasons
One and a quarter (ugh)

Run of the Mill Biographical Information

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total/Rank Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 72 TOI/60 16.09 1.03 2.19
Goals 8 Pts/60 0.73 1.62 0.38
Assists 11 GFON/60 3.00 4.85 0.38

Marital Status

Apparently he's dating this guy's daughter. Judging by this I would assume that he walks the line.

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity

With his contract? He has to play like Borje Salming, and Al Iafrate combined in to one. No fewer than 50 goals, 100 assists, and a +150 on the season will do. Welcome to Toronto Jeff.

That's not really a joke, I think that's what people think Finger needs to do (to take a cue from Fox News and presume what other people may possibly be presuming, but hey this is a blog not right wing propaganda news).

It's probably best to look at this signing as replacing Hal Gill. The Leafs need some big body shutdown defenders, and here's hoping Jeff Finger can fill those shoes. N.B. Hal Gill has really big feet...

Biggest Question Marks
Jeff Finger has played 94 NHL games and is 28 years old. There are honestly too many question marks to name.

2007-2008 Summary

72GP, 8G, 11A means his scoring line looks about the same as Jamal Mayers'. He also played in 5 playoff games with the Avalanche, picking up 2 assists and going -2.

Looking at his GFON/60 stats, Finger seems like a competent power play d-man. It will be interesting to see him skating with Kubina on the first power play unit.

Projected 2008-2009 role/team

Finger got the big contract, he'll be logging big minutes on the Leafs blue line and seeing power play time. Here's hoping the pressure of playing in Toronto doesn't crack him and he can live up to the money we're paying him. $3.5m isn't an enormous contract this summer but Jeff Finger is a virtual unknown and that's always unsettling.