Some closing thoughts on what was, all things considered, a pretty positive weekend...
Mats Sundin is an ex-Leaf. It's all but official now. Even if he doesn't wind up with the Habs, it's clear that Fletcher has figured out that Mats isn't coming back.
At this point Mats Sundin is the unhappy girlfriend who, rather than just break up with you, decides to give you the silent treamtent. So she pouts about how you don't respect her and stops returning your calls, all the while hoping you'll break up with her so that she can cry to her friends about how badly she was treated.
Well, Cliff has been around long enough to know the game, and he's not having it. The question now isn't whether Mats comes back -- we know he isn't. It's whether Cliff can manage to get something worthwhile for him.
If Fletcher manages to extract a first round pick for Sundin, or anything of significant value, I'll be doing cartwheels. The rebuilding Leafs will be better off without Sundin at this point, so anything Cliff can get is gravy.
At first, I wasn't sure about the Luke Schenn pick. The price to move up was high (thanks, Paul Maurice), and I get nervous about using the #5 overall pick on a guy who's considered only fourth best at his position.
Then I heard Pierre McGuire call him an "eraser" and a "one man wrecking crew", and I was excited. And then, as the first round went on, I heard McGuire get equally excited about every single other player who was picked. He loved every single player for three straight hours.
I guess he's only critical when he's bashing about the Leafs on Ottawa radio to make the morning show crew giggle.
Jimmy Hayes is an interesting choice. Hayes was considered a top-ten pick heading into the season so he could be decent value in the late second, and he's got plenty of size. But scouts soured on him because he doesn't play hard and often looks like he does't care.
You know what that means: he's ahead of the game! It usually takes a Leafs prospect years to learn the dressing room culture. Once McCabe teaches him how to blame injuries and use the phrase "we've got a great group", this kid could be captain material.
Mikhail Stefanovich seems like a great value at #98. Unlike Hayes, Stefanovich was well-regarded through most of the year. The Hockey News had him going in the top 20 of most of their lists throughout the year and he went #25 in the most recent mock draft, so he was certainly worth a shot in the late third.
If you missed it, here's a funny pre-draft take on Stefanovich from AOL Fanhouse.
How long did the last six rounds take? An hour? I heard on the radio that teams had 30 seconds to make a pick after the first round. How is that possible? I can't even get the guys in my fantasy football league to make a late-round pick in less than ten minutes.
Finally, you know the Leafs must have done something right this weekend because even Damien Cox can't find anything to criticize. It's true - here's Damien's Sunday column.
Yes, you can always tell when Cox thinks the Leafs have done something right, because he finds something completely different to write about for a few days.
Seriously, the Leafs draft a franchise blueliner, load up on size, and part with Mats Sundin all in one weekend... and Toronto's top hockey columnist files a glorified fluff piece on the new Lightning owners for his Sunday piece? This is the best we can expect?