Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Countdown to free agency

Tomorrow is Free Agency Day. It's also a holiday in Canada, which means two things:

  • I'll be online all day
  • I'll be drinking heavily starting at noon
I'll be updating DGB whenever something interesting happens... which, given Brian Burke's track record, means this is my last post for the week. But check back anyways, just in case.

And don't forget to follow me on twitter. My twitter feed has all the high quality you've come to expect from the blog, except more frequent, shorter, and without the high quality.

(If you're not already following DGB, PPP, Chemmy and the rest of the barilkosphere on twitter, you missed out on an epic afternoon. Once news of the Gomez trade broke, Leaf Nation quickly formed a kick circle around Bob Gainey and didn't let up for a solid hour. Good times. Look for an encore tonight if the Senators trade Dany Heatley for Dustin Penner.)

A few quick thoughts on free agency:
  • I'm solidly pro-Sedin, if and only if Burke can sign them to deal of reasonable length. If Burke can get the twins to signs five or six year deals worth, say, $35M or so each, I'm happy.

    The Leafs need front line talent and only have one elite forward prospect. The Sedins give you two-thirds of a top line and push everyone else down to more suitable roles. Plus, as we all know, Swedish players never let you down.

  • Do not sign Chris Neil. He's broken down, has a grossly over-inflated sense of himself, and is a cruiserweight at best. Yes, it's admirable to see a relatively little guy fight giants like Laraque and Brashear. But he gets fed every time, and we can find cheaper guys to clog up the fourth line and lose fights twice a month.

  • On the other hand, I want Colton Orr's signature on a contract at 12:01. The Leafs need an enforcer -- not a grinder, not a plugger, not a plumber, but an honest-to-god alpha dog. Chris Neil isn't the answer. Andrew "Golf Swing" Peters definitely isn't the answer. Colton Orr is. Sign him tomorrow. Then give him Finger's #4, just to piss off Bruins ans.

  • Seriously, do not sign Chris Neil.

  • Mike Cammalleri, Mike Komisarek and François Beauchemin are all fine players if you can get them at a reasonable price, which you won't. So don't get your hopes up.

  • I will go on a crime spree if they sign Chris Neil.

  • There's a very sick part of me that wants the Leafs to sign Todd Bertuzzi, just for the entertainment value. He would immediately cause Damien Cox's head to explode. He'd instantly become the most hated player in NHL history. And he'd make Dominic Moore cry tears of blood.

A reminder of the three immutable laws of NHL free agency:
  1. Everybody will get way more money than anyone expects them to get. Everyone.
  2. Most of the big names will sign with teams that they've never even been linked to.
  3. Do not sign Chris Neil
Finally, a sincere thanks to DGB readers. Thanks to a late surge, this will be the fifth straight month of record traffic. That's pretty impressive considering how little is going on in Leafland every spring.

So thanks to everyone who visits. Thanks to everyone who subscribes, follows, or bookmarks. And special thanks to everyone who posts DGB content and links on various forums and sites around the world.

(And that includes a special hello to my friends in Finland in the NHL-huumoria thread at Jatkoaika.com. Kiitos! I've almost forgiven your country for Vesa Toskala.)


  1. Speaking from the Ranger fans perspective, you would love Colton Orr, maybe more than Belak. Of course, us Ranger fans would of resigned Orr the day after the season ended once Brashear knocked out Blair Betts, destroying our penalty kill in the process with Orr sitting out the game. Just wait til you play the Flyers and Orr beats the living hell out of Riley Cote.

  2. Gary "Wife Stealer" LeemanJune 30, 2009 at 10:42 PM

    I believe Glen Sather has Chris Neil and all 3 of the Hanson brothers on Line 2.

    And Dean Youngblood is on Line 1.

    Yes, we Ranger fans are a cynical bunch.

  3. @Cycle...

    Belak is the reason Orr's been on my radar for years. It took Wade a year to get his game back after Orr caved his nose in.

  4. I'm not convinced that the Leafs need an 'enforcer'. That being said, Orr actually isn't a bad player, so I'd take him. But if, say, the boogy man were available, I wouldn't want him around.

  5. Oh, and Burke, if you're reading, and you probably are since everyone reads DGB, stay away from the Sedins. I don't see winning with those two.

  6. @Pal Hal...

    I doubt Burke reads this. But his lawyers do, and maybe they'll pass the message on.

  7. Someone's getting paid $300/hour to read this?

    Oh, and thanks for making me 'the', I always thought I'd make a strong the.

  8. So, how do you feel about Chris Neil?

  9. Why sign the Sedins, even at an okay price?? I don't think they will ever win a cup.

    My dream day:

    1. Sign Francois B. for a reasonable price.

    2. Trade Kaberle.

    3. Sign Colton Orr.

    4. Pray to God that Montreal trades for Scott Gomez's unreal contract, and give up their best defensive prospect at the same time .. oh wait!!

    God I love Canada Day.

  10. @SinghWarrior...

    I don't think they will ever win a cup.

    Sounds like a perfect fit.

  11. Good point, I remember that fight. In a few days, all we will have are the memories of him knocking out guys in one punch like Clarkson and Fedoruk. Funny if he did sign there since he's arguably our favorite fighter since Domi and of course they let him go way too early.

  12. if burke's lawyers do read this, they likely will sign Niel just to piss you off.

  13. My mistake, Mike Rupp got knocked out by Orr on one punch, not Clarkson.

  14. Colton Orr is. Sign him tomorrow. Then give him Finger's #4, just to piss off Bruins fans.

    I honestly can't decide whether that would cause Grapes to turn on the Leafs, or weep with joy.

  15. My Canada Day will be complete if Heatley okays a trade to Edmonton tomorrow only for the Oilers to pull a player out of the deal since they'll have all the leverage. How amazing would that be?

  16. Bert was at the Jays game in town today, make with that what you want... would not be shocked to see Bert's last hurrah for the Leafs (god knows we've been the last stop for several others)

  17. DGB - I'm unclear on your feelings on Neil. Sign him you say? Preposterous!

    In seriousness, I really hope the fact Hollweg didn't get an offer sheet is not because Neil is being considered. Scary.

    Sedins and Orr = very yes!

  18. Well, it's official- DGB is now a world-wide sensation. And how privileged we are to have been in on the ground floor, as it were.
    How do you say "you're the shiz-nit" in Finnish?


    Downie you should probably give a stick-tap to Wysh at Puck Daddy. The 100th most influential man in hockey features you fairly regularily. Of course, there is no secret why he regularily features you; the content is killer.

    Speaking of killers, ever since Orr became the 223982nd person to rearrange Fedoruk's face, he was in my good books. He also got jumped by Wade (and Wade is usually always fair) off a face-off at the ACC a couple years ago and hung in there and came back and won the fight. He would be a great 4th line addition.

  20. @kidkawartha

    that won't translate directly but I would probably use our very own village idiots, The Dudesons' catch phrase "jätkä on eläin!".

  21. If they signed Neil it would be hard for me to remain a Leaf fan.

  22. 1 Sign Colton Orr
    2. Sign Sami Paulsson
    3. Trade Jason Blake to Montreal
    4. Sign Chris Neal as a linemate for Hollweg on the Marlies
    5. Oh I forgot, sign the Sedins

  23. Why do you have to wait until noon to start drinking? Nothing like beer and cherrios first thing in the morning.

  24. 1) Agree with you on Neil

    2) disagree strongly on Bertuzzi...definition of broken down. I would re sign Dom Moore in a second for whatever price Bertuzzi would command. I like Burke but that would change at if Bertuzzi comes to Toronto.

    3) Why the obsession with all the ex Canuck players, Sedin's, Ohland (who I DO like) abd even the aforementioned cement head Bertuzzi?

    4) Sedins....can't argue with the stats. 2 point a game players. I particularly like your point about what it does to the rest of the lineup, bump them to more appropriate places.

    5) Cammaleri is defintiely worth getting. Young enough to be around for the full upswing.

    6) Final question of the Sedin's. Do they fit Wilson's coaching style and will they listen?

    7) Get Dom Moore back just for locker room culture reasons, assuming moore moderates his salary demands....he flourished under Wilson.

  25. * I'll be online all day
    * I'll be drinking heavily starting at noon

    So... normal schedule, then?

  26. Well, 1 for DGB, we have Colton Orr.


  28. Don't worry LeafFanInVan, Hollweg probably didn't get a tender since everyone who isn't Tom Renney knows he can't fucking play at all.