It’s July 11th but you couldn’t tell from the house is burning mentality overtaking Leafs Nation. It’s shocking still equally not shocking this would be a position we find ourselves in once again, so quickly. Brian Burke said he would need a scorched earth to rebuild the Leafs. The brass said ‘fans would never accept it.’ I was outraged when I heard about this, I couldn’t believe that MLSE would think Leafs fans couldn’t handle a complete teardown and rebuild. When Shanahan implemented the Shanaplan, Leafs fans rejoiced. We finally would be going the way of LA, Chicago and Edmonton*.
Everyone said there would be pain. Babcock literally said that when he was hired. Everyone understood 3-5 years and we should be okay and then along came Matthews. The moment Auston Matthews became a reality; sanity and level headedness left Leafs Nation with no signs of returning.
The blame isn’t Auston’s, it’s not even Shanahan, the blame has squarely been placed at Lou Lamoriellos’s feet. Lou is known for many things…mainly with him on-board fans and media won’t know many things.. He runs a tight ship, I imagine that on his office wall there is a photo of George Steinbrenner. Lou’s old school; he’s a ‘shave those sideburns you hippie’ old school. Players don’t pick their numbers, media members aren’t allowed on the team’s charter and bonuses from rookies are bogus. These rules seem pointless but you only have to look at Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer, Scott Gomez** to see why it yields results. However the New Jersey Devils in the last couple of years of Lou’s watch weren’t a pretty sight and this raises the question if he’ll work out in this modern age.
His tactics are agonizing, RFA signings weren’t announced until a while after they were official, there is yet to be a single trade that Leafs fans have seen coming and no one has seen Robidas in over a year***. These stances have made what should have been a smooth offseason anything but for Leafs fans.
So why? Tell us, what has happened this offseason that were massive misses? Issue was taken with the draft choices the Leafs made, even though almost every site gives the Leafs at least a B grade and up on their moves. We signed a 4th line proven leader to lead the team for $2.5 million for 4 years. Possibly not the best deal, I’ll concede, but if the difference between a championship and not for Toronto is a $2.5 million contract….I’ll remind you, has anyone seen Robidas? Roman Polak was brought back on a one-year deal. I can’t believe I have to even remind people…it’s a one-year deal. If he doesn’t perform or one of the kids out perform him, he’ll be sent down and come season’s end he’ll be gone. We brought in a number 1 goalie in Frederik Andersen. The trade wasn’t an issue, the term of the contract given was maybe annoying I’ll admit. However, we hated when we brought in Belfour and if Freddy performs it would be a steal and offer security in a position we haven’t had in over 10 years. The biggest concern in town is the pending negotiation with Auston Matthews, this is by far the stupidest of all reasons to be mad. I can rationally understand the Frederik outrage, I can even make time for our free agent signings but this…this one takes the cake. Mitch Marner,**** wasn’t signed until July 28th, 2015. So why on Earth are we sitting on July 11th freaking out over a contract negotiation we know nothing about. From everything listed above, if there is one thing clear about Lou, it’s that he doesn’t let any information spill. Bernier didn’t even know he would get dealt, even though now that the deal is done, it’s obvious this was all part of one big deal. Lou doesn’t let anything slip and Matthews from what I can see is an amazing trooper. He’s excited to be a Leaf, We are excited to have him and one of the few things we promised was to not scrutinize every little detail.
Leafs Nation, breathe. It’s going to be okay. I don’t think anything done in the last 3 weeks have been detrimental.***** This sadly might be one of our better off seasons…let that sink in. Look back at every off season since 2006 and there has been a landmine or two. None of these are that and frankly speaking, we have nothing to talk about. Like they say idle hands are the devil’s tools and right now we are letting them run wild. Let’s relax and just have faith. Lou will never be an open book, we will never know what’s happening and we have to accept that and stop overreacting, because overreacting leads to bad decisions, bad optics, and a bad vibe. We don’t need those.
Things we can do to stop freaking out:
- Watch the Blue Jays (they are doing well, even without Bautista!)
- Hit the patio (Drinks on Jude)
- Re-watch The Sopranos (It makes understanding Lou a lot easier)
- Lastly, thank God that we aren’t Habs fans. Now they’ve got a reason to be depressed.