Fired from his GM job with the Toronto Maple Leafs today, John Ferguson Jr. has been scouting the soft serve machine at DQ. He’s definitely accrued the relevant soft cone experience: for the past two years he’s stacked long, soft, circular pooings in his own bed, the beds of his players, the beds of the city. This is the guy who spent a fortune on a guy who would become a back-up goalie, and nearly 20 percent of the cap on several mediocre defencemen. But it didn’t matter. In the eyes of Toronto’s
retarded rabid fan base, Steen was as good as Getzlaf, Wellwood as good as Malkin, McCabe as good as Phaneuf. Leaf management summarily drank their own Kool-Aid and chased it with their own bed-sheisse by the clump.
The Toronto media, however, woke up. This being Toronto, it was 40 years in the making. Suddenly they were calling for his head. Like us. And now that Ferguson’s done, there’s a tsunami of change a-comin’. Top-to-bottom. The ownership over the richest team in hockey may change over Ferguson’s pink slip. And certainly, with Cliff Fletcher aboard, the team will too. So….WayOffside’s crystal ball has some roster predictions.
Some predictions are reasonable and some are batshit, but at least they’re speculative. First things first: the clauses in today’s NHL contracts mean less than zero. Players are willing to waive, clubs are willing to buyout, change the rules, break the rules–whatever–to get who they want. The whole parity issue has laid bare the utter crap that these contracts are made of. That means that all players, aside from the untouchables (the Ovechkins, Richards, Crosbys, DiPietros, etc.) are essentially available. So here we go:
1. Mats Sundin. Sayanara, bitches. He’ll pull a Bourque, waive his no-trade clause, skate for free, and join the Flames (who need a no. 1 center) or the Wings (Swedish posse would love to have him) or the Ducks (who need scoring these days.) And he’ll win the cup. Flames deal Tanguay and Warrener (not loving Iron Mike and not playing, respectively), Detroit will deal young guns like a truckstop in Karbala, and the Ducks (who have minimal cap space) will do what it takes to make room to get scoring from their second line. End result: Leafs lose the captain but gain one of the best set-up men in the game and a mean shut-down defender.
2. Darcy Tucker. Done as a Leaf. He’ll take the rest of the year to heal his ailing body, about which he’s been lying his ass off. He’s not sayin’ but we’re sayin’: He’s played hurt all season long. When he skates you can hear his joints squeaking through the fucking speakers on your TV. It’s disgusting. There’s a pile of soft teams in the league who could use an agitator/forechecker/PP specialist. Teams full of pussies include Phoenix, Vancouver, Carolina, and St. Louis. End result: A healthy Tucker would garner a ton of interest. Think Avery, only less gay and…um…classy. Almost. Toronto could get what it desperately needs in return: young, explosive players that need a little suckling.
3. Jason Blake. Somebody do this guy a favor. He moved to Toronto because, in his words, “they’re serious about winning.” Um, it’s worth noting that he said that back in August. For his sake we hope he goes to a town with a good cancer center, good schools for the kids, and good trophy wives for his wife to hang out with. A class act with insane foot speed, he’d fit in well in Montreal. Maybe Les Habitants could unload Ryder (currently in his renewal year), though Blake could balk: better you should tear out your pancreas with a rusty spoon than roll the dice with Quebec’s health care system. But maybe all Ryder needs is a change of scenery to re-ignite his career. Playing with set-up man Tanguay (got him for Mats, remember?) would do him some good. Or Blake goes to Florida along with Stajan, Steen and a second rounder in exchange for Olli Jokinen… who’s openly feuded with his coach. Or deal Kubina to get…both. End result: Jokinen centering Tanguay and Ryder would be a fucking force of nature.
4. Wade Belak for Hank Zetterberg. Fair is fair.