Wednesday, February 10, 2010

An open letter to Vesa Toskala

Terrible goaltender
What's Swedish for "GTFO"?
Former Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala was recently quoted taking a few shots at Toronto, telling reporters that he was looking forward to an opportunity to "wash that blue and white out of my gear".

Toskala is certainly entitled to his opinions. However, in the spirit of respectful dialog, Down Goes Brown would like to offer the response below.


Dear Vesa,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'll pause for a moment while you configure your screen reading software.

It's now been ten days since you were traded. Soon you'll be making your debut with Anaheim, pending the resolution of some visa issues that were presumably caused by a customs agent who was a Ducks fan. In any event, it was probably a pleasant change for you to be involved in a story where something was actually denied entry.

You're currently involved in a mini-controversy with your new team, who have denied your request to wear your familiar #35. They're apparently unaware of how important that number is to you, given that it represents your approximate career save percentage. But let's not focus on Anaheim -- instead, let's take a look back at your time in Toronto.

You came to Toronto three years ago when you were acquired in a trade by John Ferguson Jr., which should have been our first hint as to how things would turn out. In your initial training camp you managed to lose the starter's job to Andrew Raycroft, which is somewhat like losing a slam dunk contest to Stephen Hawking. But eventually you assumed the starter's role, and fans in Toronto had a chance to get to know you.

You had your good points. For example, fans never had to worry about an extended streak of poor performances since you could always be counted on to fake a groin injury as soon as things went bad. You were responsible for more groin-related fakery than Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. The only legitimate lower-body injury you ever suffered was a chronic distended bladder, caused by your unfortunate habit of taking a small sip of water after every goal against.

Despite that, fans were prepared to embrace you. Toronto is a town that loves its goaltenders, from the prickly Ed Belfour to the comatose Felix Potvin. We were ready to make you our next goaltending idol, like Curtis Joseph. Instead, after three seasons the only Joseph-inspired activity we wanted to see you involved with was a roundhouse kick to the face.

(And yes, I could have also gone with "getting hit in the face with a Wendel Clark slapshot". But that would involve a puck making contact with you, and we have no actual evidence that that's physically possible.)

Since the trade, we've learned that you didn't enjoy working with Leafs goaltending coach François Allaire, who described you as "not a guy who likes to build relations with coaches". In fairness, Allaire was probably difficult to work with since his three Stanley Cup rings would distract you when he tried to point out that you had your pads on upside down. Word is you had trouble adapting to the famous "Allaire style", which includes such complex techniques as "Don't stand with your entire body inside the net", "Hey maybe try opening your eyes for a change", and "Seriously, get out of your net before I run over you with this zamboni".

Anyway, you may be gone, but we'll always have the memories. For example, you once allowed a 185-foot dribbler to beat you in Long Island. Many physicists would argue that it's impossible to get beat top corner by a puck that's actually rolling, but you managed to prove them wrong. Then you outdid yourself this season in a game against the Sabres, when you managed to reach out with your glove hand and deflect a harmless dump-in straight into your own net. The goal was watched with disbelief by Leaf fans around the world, who until that moment had been unaware that you actually owned a glove hand.

All this is not to say that everyone in Toronto is happy to see you go. The local twine-repair industry, until recently a multi-million dollar business, has fallen on hard times. But local environmentalists are thrilled that MLSE has significantly reduced its carbon footprint, since it will no longer have a red light bulb that stays lit for most of every game.

It didn't work out for you in Toronto, but I'm sure Leaf fans join me in wishing you best in your future endeavors. Good luck the rest of the year in Anaheim, next year in the KHL, two years from now in ECHL, three years from now in the GTHL, and, eventually, as the starter in Montreal.

Just get the hell out of Toronto. And don't let the door handle slip untouched through your fivehole on the way out.

Your friends,
Leafs Nation




79 comments:

  1. Truly heartfelt - I'll always remember him for his doughy face, vacant stare and resolute stoicism when confronted with the realities of his own mediocrity.

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  2. ... i like you more than mimi.

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  3. Vesa took shots at us? We should mock him by letting them go straight through our legs.

    As always, hilarious, DGB.

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  4. "...which is somewhat like losing a slam dunk contest to Stephen Hawking"

    Tears. I'm crying tears of laughter.

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  5. Well done as always.

    By the way, I just saw that Eklund has Toskala to Montreal as e3...

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  6. Not everything slips between Vesa's legs so easily.

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  7. hahaha! Awesome! Great Post! Someone is going to be crying into his pillow tonight!

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  8. You have to give Vesa kudos... when he wasn't infuriating, he was actually hilarious - "I think I've been playing pretty well" was one of his best one-liners. Classic!

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  9. Someone just got served

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  10. Notice how Lydman talks to Lalime on the bench after the goal?

    "Holy shit Patrick, this guy is worse in Toronto than you were!"

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  11. This article completely sums up the leafs nations feelings. Well done once again DGB

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  12. I like the one someone said about how the Earth might some day spiral into the Sun but then it goes between Toskala's legs.

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  13. You were responsible for more groin-related fakery than Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally.

    Line of the Year! Hysterical stuff as always.

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  14. That was pretty poorly written in my mind. No real insults other then stuff that wasn't even funny like upside down pads

    And trust me i think Toskala is garbage.

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  15. This will go right over Toskala's head. Or through his legs, or over his glove... or whatever.

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  16. What's Swedish for "GTFO"?

    That is something like "DÅH" (Dra åt helvete).

    Superfunny text, thanks again. Even Vesa is not so bad as you think over there in Toronto ;)

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  17. What's with this fuckin town. It's like you're in the States, but with taxes.So, Giggy, is gonna do any better. With all the fuckin frenchies in this fuckin canadian US town, how long do you think the honeymoon will last. How'bout two shutout. After that fuck you fuckin'wannabe centre of the universe fuck can go fuck yourself.Good luck with #1 pick

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  18. So,

    for countless months you, as a Leafs nation, wish you could get rid of Toskala.

    Then he gets traded. Then you get angry that he wants to play in mask painted in the Ducks' colours and not savour the colours that so deeply wanted him away?

    You're right. There's humour to be found there.

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  19. Yay! Trashtalk via Internet

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  20. i screwed your mother

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  21. I think this is rather petty of you.

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  22. Good stuff as always, DGB.

    @Oscar

    Toskala didn't say he was looking forward to wear Ducks colors, he said he was eager to wash eager to wash out the blue and white, so that's a jab. Jabbing back has nothing to do with anger, I'm sure Leafs fans are mostly relieved of him going, just as I'm sure he's relieved to be gone as well.

    Of course, Toskala's comment could also mean he has given up all ambition of ever playing for the Finnish national team again, as well. That would be great, too.

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  23. CGLN:

    The different interpretations of the said quote are of course valid. I read it more as a "Turning page and forgetting failures of the past as soon as possible."

    But even if it was a jab, I still don't see how anyone can hold righteous anger over it as you almost held a parade to escort him to Pearson.

    The original Orange Country Register article has also a bit more neutral tone.

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  24. @Oscar

    So who, exactly, is angry? I'm sure there are those who actually are angry at Toskala. I know I'm personally not angry at him, just relieved to have him gone. Is DGB angry at Toskala? I don't pretend to speak for him, but if there's actually anger there, I don't see it. His reply to that delicious Toskala quote is witty, sarcastic and humorous, none of which are traits I generally associate with angry people.

    But I guess that is a matter of interpretation as well.

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  25. I smell a fight...

    It's a humorous blog, folks. Well done as always DGB. I won't taint it by bashing those who take it as 100% seriousness..... although I'd like to :)

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  26. I find wishing "Get the hell out" a bit emotional reply. Usually people are, well, angry when they say that.

    The point wasn't, however, who's emotional or emotional to the point of being angry/glad/mocking etc.

    Like I said, finding the need to base a reply (other than the humorous reasons) on something everyone wished for, i.e. to wash Toronto colours off of Toskala, was funny in my opinion. This blog is about laughing at things, so it can't be that bad to laugh at it once in a blue moon.

    Thanks for the slight ad hominem at end, good to know we keep the reputation of internet discourse up.

    Or, well, expression of opionions to the open. I wasn't aiming for debate for obvious reasons.

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  27. Oh no, no fighting for me. While I personlly think the "Get the hell out" needs to be taken out of context here to be interpreted as anger, I can certainly appreciate differning views on that. As long as they're not of the "youtube comment" -variety.

    Personally I wish Toskala the best of luck wherever he plays in the future, even if it is a starter job in Montreal. Because if anyone needs all the luck he can get, it's Vesa.

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  28. Excellent.

    ...you could always be counted on to fake a groin injury as soon as things went bad. You were responsible for more groin-related fakery than Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. The only legitimate lower-body injury you ever suffered was a chronic distended bladder, caused by your unfortunate habit of taking a small sip of water after every goal against.

    That whole paragraph is Gold.

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  29. To be fair, this 'letter' is in the same mould as the letter to Wellwood, who was quoted as saying something as completely inoccuous as Vesa, and then it was overblown into a huge, exaggerated and very funny piece. Ditto here.

    Fact, Toskala was done as a Leaf for seemingly months now, and its posts like this that allow us Fans to summarize the situation, laugh a little and then move on. It's almost cathartic. And even if Vesa hadn't made those comments, I'm sure DGB would have found a different way to write the same thing. I mean, Toskala is responsible for two of the weakest goals in NHL history. You can't let that walk away unroasted, especially not when we traded a 1st Rounder.

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  30. re your pic comment: He's from Finland, not Sweden

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  31. Re: pic comment. The Swedish goalie is telling the Fin to GTFO.

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  32. "Word is you had trouble adapting to the famous "Allaire style", which includes such complex techniques as "Don't stand with your entire body inside the net", "Hey maybe try opening your eyes for a change", and "Seriously, get out of your net before I run over you with this zamboni"

    Awesome...

    (loosersince67 - You didn't say "fuck" enough times.)

    -MapleLeafMole

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  33. January 31st should be a national holiday.

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  34. I stopped sipping my coffee before I finished the first paragraph because I knew where it would end up. Hilarious!

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  35. SmithQ:

    I gave DGB too little credit on the complexity of his humour then. (Sorry). I didn't think he was also approaching the issue from the point of mocking the double standard of us fans generally have. In this case it just wasn't my double standard so it was easier for me to laugh at it.

    CGLN:

    In my mind I just see Clint Eastwood saying it standing on a porch and holding a shotgun, that's where the letter lead me. I just can't see it said in the tone of the rest of the letter.

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  36. The funniest thing about "loosers since 67" is that he spelled it wrong. Reminds me of the "geta brain morans" guy.

    Anyways, back to reality: DGB I have got to stop reading your posts in class. Its hard to muffle laughter.

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  37. Dude... well said, haha. I am so happy we got Giguere, finally a goalie worth cheering for!

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  38. Another Classic DGB!

    loosersince67, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone reading this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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  39. @loosersince67...

    Good luck with #1 pick

    Ha! Joke's on you! We don't have our #1 pick this year!

    Wait... hm. Crap.

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  40. @furcifer. actually, i think loosersince67 is reference to the practice of jamming pucks up one's ass as a laxative therapy. seems far more at ease nowadays. however, i do genuinely concur with the disdain for taxes and government.

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  41. I was crying-laughing by the end, especially the bit about the "Allaire style". On December 27th last year, I actually went to Mellon Arena to watch my beloved Pens at home. (I live in Brooklyn.) It's one thing to see my team lose when I'd paid and traveled to see them live, but imagine my raw despair when I realized: "OhmyGawd, that is *Toskala* in the net. Damn it, Toskala's beating the Penguins!" Everyone around me sympathized, even a couple of Leafs fans. I knew Leafs fans would be happy when he got traded, and boy, you proved me right!

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  42. There is no way Vesa would last in the GTHL. Maybe if he played in my old house league, but then he'd just be average.

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  43. Simply amazing.

    I can't wait to read in a couple years about Vesa's latest jab at a European beer league team because he couldn't cut it there either.

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  44. It's quite funny that Toronto used to sing "We love Vesa" chants during his first year..but I guess you have forgotten that :)

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  45. And my friend said this article was about humour. Its not humour, the truth is talking nice and loud.

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  46. Sure, laugh now...

    But wait until we're all living in The Matrix, and Vesa is really "The One" and his goaltending has been practice for all that cool bullet-dodging shit.

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  47. I would have gone with Verne Troyer instead of Stephen Hawking, but they're both quite comidical :).

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  48. As a swede, i'd translate GTFO as "dra åt helvete", as well. But if I would translate "dra åt helvete" back to english, it would read "Go to Hell". English is a much better language for profanities... =P

    And I can definately see Toskala in Ottawa in a few years. In a playoff series against Ottawa (assuming the Leafs will actually discover that promised land again). Would probably be the easiest playoff win in the Leafs history.

    awesome post anyway!

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  49. @loserssince67
    im pretty sure patrick roy, is french..french canadians are still canadians. they dont dress a team canada and a team french-canada its united, how we should be. So Dra åt helvete. Be patriotic we dont have enough patriotism all this constant divisions f#ck that we united

    @Oscar
    Any leaf fan has the right to get mad at toskaLOL. Praise is in this league is earned from merit. Perform and your liked, his first year he impressed fans cuz he performed. when someone is not playing amazing cuz of their injury its different, if someone says im healthy, i feel great, i think im playing great and is massively under performing (which is a understatement) and on top of that your paying him $4 mill, its like committing fraud to us fans who expect the performance from the level of pay he gets. I love this letter its gold. its so hilarious, he says he wants to wash the blue and white, he was never good enough for the blue and white and every player deserves scrutiny they get paid to perform do they not? If i pay you to cut my grass and u take the money and cut only 1/4 of my yard im obviously going to be mad at u and u deserve the shit i talk about u to others.

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  50. spot on my friend spot on. but vesa is Finish not Swedish, lets not ruin to reputations here.

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  51. but vesa is Finish not Swedish, lets not ruin to reputations here.

    ---

    Gus is the one telling GTFO.

    And Vesa doesn't get it. And think it's the accent.

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  52. It wasn't that long ago that everyone assumed Toskala would be better thanks to surgery.

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  53. I think the worst thing about the internet is that there is no IQ test to comment.

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  54. ^^
    But PPP, how will I get my Brazilian fart fetish porn then?

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  55. Seriously, Giguere is almost as boring as Toskala. Giguere sucks big time, and soon it will be noticed in the Leafs nation. Jiggy=Shitty.

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  56. Every bit of that was fabulous, but I popped especially huge for the line about giving him a moment to configure his screen reading software. that one's extra funny to me because I actually use screen reading software. Hmmm, maybe there's a job not stopping pucks in my future.

    Great stuff.

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  57. I'm not even super into hockey, and I still laughed my ass off. And I also use screen-reading software. Hey Steve, let's go train to not stop pucks together!

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  58. i can't believe you're hanging the 197 foot goal on Toskola. If you look at the replay that shot deflected off PONI'S stick.

    You can't blame a goalie when a shot goes in off of a defenders stick like that.

    T.

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  59. it's a fun post =D

    but you'll have to face it. before the leafs organization changes radically, no goalie will ever be that successful there, nor will the team ever get any remarkable success. toskala is a good goalie, it's the environment that made him look not so good. the same will happen to giguere more or less.

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  60. Can you please tell me why Kaberle has 40 assists this season?

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  61. oh. i just noticed... i got told. ha.

    well this letter was meant to be humourous. don't take it SO literally.
    it's amusing to poke fun at vesa, not gonna lie..
    no one's calling him like, the devil incarnated, but the leafs nation... we have our beefs with him, no denying that.
    i can't predict this similar outcome will happen with giguere though. we'll see.

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  62. The comments are almost as funny as the post.
    You have your work cut out for you DGB, watch out for this anonymous guy, his vesa loving satire.
    Seriously though, who the hell is defending the 197 foot goal? I didnt know Millen could read or navigate the internet.

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  63. Ouch!



    And happy belated birthday! I hope there are many more to come!

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  64. Jesus that was a funny read. I'm a fan now.

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  65. Toskala is from Finland so GTFO in finnish is painu vittuun.

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    1. But gustavsonn is swedish and he is the one who would be saying it. so dont be an obnoxious prick if you're also wrong

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  66. Typical bandwagon hopping Leafs fans. When Toskala was doing fine early last season, he was an "Excellent improvement over Raycroft". However, now that he was traded by the Leafs, and stated that he was happy to have a change of scenery, you all jump on him like you would jump on your mothers' ding-dongs. I'm sure when Giguere signs with a different team after his contract is up and says "I'm happy to have a new start in the NHL", all the Leafs fans will say "your shutouts was nevr gud anyway".

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  67. ".......losing the starting job to Andrew Raycroft is akin to losing a slam dunk contest with Stephen Hawking." My funnybone just shattered into pieces. Outstanding. I've warned Ducks fans and their blog Anaheim Calling to petition legendary ex-Leaf and Duck coach Randy Carlyle to keep Vesa on the bench or bring up Pogge. Pogge would be the safer and better option though. Safer as in safer for the mental and physical health of everyone who is connected to the Duck organization in any way. Looking forward to seeing Vesa in Montreal someday soon.

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  68. Amazing. Simply: a-mazing.

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  69. Funny thing is I went to a sale of Leaf game used equipment a couple of years ago and bought a pair of his pad and his gloves. I am still using the equipment and guess I am stopping more pucks these days than he is.

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