Friday, March 10, 2006

A Leafs Fan's Fantasy

Peter Worthington from the Toronto Sun has this fantasy to share:

What the Leafs need is a fresh and inspirational player around whom a team can be built -- and it ain't Luke Richardson, whose career is winding down.

If I were running the Leafs, I'd mortgage the farm to get Alex Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals.

The Caps are anchored in last place with Ovechkin, at age 20, likely the greatest player of his generation -- successor to such as Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, all of whom dominated.

I'd trade any four or five Leafs for Ovechkin. He's that awesome. But would it benefit either the Leafs or Caps to enter into such a deal?
Well, a little later in the article he answers his own question:

As for Ovechkin, would the Caps trade him for, say, Sundin and any three others? They'd be crazy not to.

Would it be crazy for the Leafs to do it?

Great as Sundin is, and Tucker, McCabe, Kaberle and any Leaf you care to name, they've never brought the team close to a Stanley Cup.
Which is exactly why Washington would not do it.

Why would the Capitals want a bunch of multi-million dollar-making, thirty-somethings who've never bought the team close to a Stanley Cup in return for the best 20-year old hockey player in the planet? Especially when for three years, Ovechkin's entry-level contract is capped at a percentage of what any single one of the players he mentioned (with the exception of Tucker) are making. Then even when Ovechkin's entry-level contract expires, his new contract will still be comparable to Mats Sundin's.

As an NHL GM, would you rather build your team around a 22-year old Ovechkin's $6-7 million contract or a 37-year old Mats Sundin's $6.8 million one?

In typical Toronto media arrogance, here's probably the best line of the piece:

There's no guarantee that Ovechkin is a Max Bentley, but he's the only NHL player today with that potential. He can't do it for Washington, but he could for Toronto -- if given the chance.
Funny, last I looked, even with having all those good Leafs players in the lineup, Toronto is on the same side of the playoff cut-off line as Washington.

And given the Leafs' aging team and lack of cap space to improve, Ovechkin's chances look better where he is right now.

Thanks to Sisu Hockey for the pointer.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 4:23 PM


At March 17, 2006 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's absolutely no one like Ovechkin. Crosby can't begin to come close in any department. But Ted Leonsis has finally figured out how to let George McPhee do his job without interfering and there is no way that McPhee is letting go of O.V. or A.O. or Sasha or whatever you want to call him - the Caps call him "Mr. Future". As much as I love "Matsi-baby (that would be Sundin), I would also trade him, Cabbage (Kaberle), Caber et all. Somehow, though, I don't think that McPhee agrees!


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