Welcome to @LifeofaDman
If you read my first letter (at www.trueblueleafs.com) to the collection of geniuses, idiots, geriatrics and millennials that make up Leafs Nation and Leafs Twitter, you’ll know that I’m nobody special. Just another Leafs fan along for the ride on this emotional roller coaster we call the off-season. Of course we the fans aren’t taking time off. We are instead imploding once again, not over hockey, why would we do that? No, we’re having a collective mental breakdown over money. Last time it was Matthews, this time it’s Marner.
Time for a little perspective.
First off. This Cap Situation/Problem is a good thing. We have great young players. If we didn’t have great young players, we’d have cap space. If we didn’t have great young players, we’d be, well, Anaheim. Where would we be without Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Reilly, and Fred? The basement. Good teams are going to be tight to the cap. That’s reality, it’s unfortunate for us that RFAs have suddenly discovered that they have the right to negotiate a fair contract for themselves. But really, it’s a good thing for the players, and we shouldn’t be mad about that.
Now, on to the series of unfortunate events that have led to us losing our collective minds when our team is better than it’s been in over a decade.
Our first problem is the hard cap. The Leafs organization has ZILLIONS of dollars that it’s not allowed to spend on players. Personally I’d like to see something akin to the Byrd rule where a team could go over the cap to re-sign a player. But I digress. The hard cap is turning the National Hockey League into the National Accounting League.
Second, the media. Non-Leafs fans, prepare to have your minds blown, we hate the Toronto centric media too. It’s funny that the concept of an RFA being offer-sheeted was completely unheard of until the Leafs had 3 of them needing contracts. Point, Rantanen, Aho, Tkachuk, none of them are at risk right? Nah. Just Marner, Nylander and Matthew. If they aren’t, Johnsson or Kapanen will be.
So now that we have a hard, inescapable salary cap, and the media just waiting to whip things into a frenzy, all we needed was a spark.
Enter Darren (expletive) Ferris. The most overdramatic agent in the NHL. First, he took a dump in the middle of Auston Matthews’ party, then spent a week apologizing. Lesson learned right? Don’t be a dick directly, use someone as a mouthpiece. The who was easy. Darren Dreger has been desperate for an informant in the Leafs front office since the exodus of Dave Nonis, so he’s happy to parrot whatever Ferris tells him to. My confusion comes from trying to figure out the why of it all. Bombarding Leafs fans with reports of Marner demanding to be the highest paid winger in NHL history is a great way to make fans who have just been through the Nylander debacle turn their backs on our most beloved player, and his client. Bold strategy Cotton!
Well that was depressing. So let’s inject some reality shall we?
Number one, Mitch is still that sweet kid we all know and love. I truly believe he wants to be here and that he loves us all dearly.
Number two, Underhanded tactics aside, one has to assume that Darren Ferris knows that the number he’s been getting Dreger to trot out is unrealistic. Good on him for asking for the Moon, but if we wants his client to be happy and wearing blue and white next season, he’s going to have to come down to Earth. The Leafs may be made of money but that pesky salary cap won’t let them spend it. Stupid NHL and it’s stupid rules.
Third, we have the dreaded, spooky, borderline mythical offer sheet. The big thing we all forget is that the player, not the agent, has to sign that thing. Credit to Kyle Dubas for stating that he will not automatically match any offer sheet, it will deter Mitch from signing an offer sheet just to get the number he wants. Anything over 10.568M and there’s 4 first rounders there for us. We either match it or we have a bunch of very valuable picks we can use to draft talent or trade for valuable players. Anything under that, I would imagine we match it and Mitch takes home a little more money than he should but he’s on our team. I can live with that, overpaying for a Star is better than overpaying for a dud.
At the end of the day there’s nothing we can do. I’m going to drink beer on my riding mower, laugh at memes and hope to see that tweet from LeafsPR. Until that day I’m going to try as hard as I can not to worry, but for the most part I think that at the end of all this, Mitch will still be a Leaf, and as always, I’ll be a Leafs fan.
Sometimes you have to look back…..so we can look at what the future holds