The Maple Leafs, still claiming to be on a youth movement, have once again sacrificed the future by trading a valuable future draft pick for a veteran of questionable worth, this time in the form of talentless thug Ryan Hollweg. While Cliff Fletcher's latest head-scratcher may draw chortles from league executives, it will no doubt be welcomed by the delusional masses who continue to fill the ACC night in and night out. "Draft schmaft" indeed.
The preceeding paragraph was my attempt to predict the lead in tomorrow morning's Damien Cox column. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
So yes, the Leafs have picked up Hollweg. As Steve points out, Hollweg fights often and wins rarely. Combined with the Jamal Mayers pickup, this means the Leafs have added two fourth-liners who are willing to drop the gloves but can't really be called heavyweights. Let's be honest, when Mats Sundin and the Habs come to town I don't think Georges Laraque will lose any pre-game nap time over these two.
While I'm all for the Leafs adding somebody, anybody, who won't piddle themselves as soon as the going gets tough like the rest of these guys do, I have to wonder... couldn't Ben Ondrus and Kris Newbury fill those roles? Perhaps even with a little of that youthful enthusiasm we've heard so much about but rarely seen around here?
Mayers at least brings some veteran leadership to the table. Fletcher gets some credit for filling that void, even though it's a void he helped create in the first place.
Hollweg, on the other hand, is good at getting hit in the face with a stick. That's a skill the Leafs haven't had since Bryan Berard was here.
(And by the way, has anybody already called him "Hollweg the Angry Inch"? Because if not, I'd like to start.)
Anyhow... because I love linking to youtube fight videos, here's a reminder of what Newbury and Ondrus can do. Enjoy them now, it may be your only chance to see these guys do their thing this year.
Monday, July 14, 2008