From today's Toronto Sun.
Hal Gill needs to send Cliff Fletcher a nice "Thank You Card."Yes, I made one of those paragraphs up.
Had Fletcher not shipped the towering defenceman at the Feb. 26 trade deadline from the Maple Leafs to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2008 second-round draft pick and a fifth rounder in '09, Gill would be hitting golf balls right now, not opposing forwards.
"I miss the guys (in Toronto) but this is pretty exciting," Gill said of the anticipation he is feeling about his first appearance in a Stanley Cup final.
He has reason to be stoked. One moment you are playing for a Leafs team headed for nowhere; the next, you are on a star-studded Penguins squad that is on the road to the Stanley Cup final.
Gill admits his days in Toronto seem like a million years ago.
"I kind of fit in here in Pittsburgh right away," he said. "It's not easy to click all the time. Your world is tossed upside down but in this case the pieces all fell into place."
"I'll tell you one thing," added Gill. "I'm sure glad I don't have to worry about facing Mats Sundin in the finals. On that Wings team, he'd be unstoppable, the toast of the hockey world. It's a good thing he doesn't care about winning, or else I'd really have my work cut out."
But imagine that. Apparently, playing for your first Stanley Cup ring is more fun than holding your wife's purse while she tries on shoes at the Eaton Centre.
Look, I don't ask for much. But I'm asking -- nay, demanding -- that somebody cut out a few copies of this article and mail them to McCabe, Tucker, Sundin, Kaberle and Kubina.
If you wanted to, maybe add in a bonus item to Sundin's envelope: a photoshopped picture of him playing on a line with Chris Higgens and Jeff Carter. With a little note that says "Thanks for nothing".
Optimism Week is over, in case you were wondering.