Honesty is a tricky thing in the NHL.
For years, the Leafs held a fake playoff flavoured carrot in front of their fans going crazy on July 1st and making ‘we’ll worry about it later’ themed trades convincing themselves they were good. Eventually a wise man named Brendan walked up to the owners at MLSE and said, “Hey, let’s not pretend that we don’t suck, and actually suck,” and the rest is history.
It’s the same when listening to player/executive interviews. We get annoyed when hearing the same old clichés but when someone is brave or angry enough to pull off the filter, their words are blasted all over social media. For what it’s worth, Jim Lites, your team isn’t horse poop anymore.
But there is value in not saying too much. Garret Sparks ran into that a bit with his ‘emotion’ comments after the loss to the Sens while many are still reliving Babs’ quote from the Jack Muzzin trade.
However, if any team needed a lesson in not saying anything anymore, it would be the Edmonton Oilers.
CEO and vice-chairman of the Oilers Bob Nicholson decided to have himself a time at the season ticket holder’s breakfast. The victim of the day was Toby Rieder who signed a one-year $2 million contract on July 1st and according to Nicholson, it’s his fault why the Oilers aren’t in the playoffs. No hyperbole here, take a gander for yourself.
Here's a transcript of Bob Nicholson's comments on Toby Rieder at this morning's STH breakfast. pic.twitter.com/jfb8mujNUB— Bruce McCurdy (@BruceMcCurdy) March 21, 2019
You know, I don’t think it’s bold to say another 12 goals added to a team with Connor McDavid (36 goals and 69 assists), Leon Draisaitl (43 goals and 48 assists), and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (24 goals and 36 assists) wouldn’t have made too much of a difference. But, hey, if that’s your target, then by all means go for it Bob. At least he apologized.
Bob Nicholson just spoke with Toby Rieder. He apologized for his comments criticizing Rieder at a season ticket event. Nicholson said he “stepped out of bounds”. Hoping they can all move on.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 21, 2019
And this brings me to the true topic of the morning, Leafs fans: it can always get worse.
Imagine if the Leafs were that honest? Picture Auston Matthews, John Tavares, or Mitch Marner pop off on a teammate like that. Or even better, imagine Kyle Dubas walk in front of that Leafs background and leak everything. I mean there has to be something happening on that phone, right?
Fun game after a frustrating start: Who is Dubas texting and what is the message? #Leafs pic.twitter.com/74TmpyXZgd— Omar (@OLW93) March 11, 2019
In Case You Missed It
Maple Leafs extend Nic Petan for two years - Pension Plan Puppets
His trial in a few games must have shown what Kyle Dubas wanted to see. So does the AAV on this contract.
Around the Hockey World
Senators' Jean-Gabriel Pageau suspended one game for boarding - Sportsnet.ca
The NHL has suspended Ottawa Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau for one game for boarding Vancouver Canucks defenceman Ashton Sautner.
Time for Lightning to start ramping up ice time - Raw Charge
Cooper has managed ice time well, but it’s time to start conditioning the players for more playing time.
Sharks’ Timo Meier fined for embellishment - Fear The Fin
You've been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what's becoming of me"
Analyzing Erik Gudbranson’s play for the Penguins - PensBurgh
Digging into how the Penguins defenseman has been pretty good since being acquired from Vancouver last month.