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From the Branches: Is this thing turned on?

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Finding hockey news in July is like finding sense in a Steve Simmons column.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sorry, my eyes are full of laugh-tears at Simmons' latest column. I won't link to it, but the title is, "Did Leafs' pitch overwhelm Stamkos?" and it's basically a morality tale of being too needy on your first date with your childhood sweetheart. Here's the interesting detail from the column. "He left the meeting with the Leafs, and apparently turned to his advisors and said: 'No more meetings.'"

Simmons is spinning it as ridiculously as he can, painting the pitch as way too overwhelming for Stamkos. I don't think so. I think Stamkos would've enjoyed the Leafs, but realized the thing that we all did -- that the team wouldn't be competitive during the (hopeful) best years of his career. You keep being you, other Steve. Anyway, on to...

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