This is Mats Sundin after a trip to the “hairdresser”. When I was young, boys went to the barber shop and had their hair cut by men who cut everyone’s hair the same way. Seriously. There was the “bowl” cut, the “save every hair possible for the combover” cut and the “buzz” or “brush” cut.
Later on, the mullet became very popular but if you had hair like this growing up in my town your Mom dropped you off at school and picked you up after school.
I had the bowl cut. It was a hideous thing that took about one month to grow out, looked decent for a week and then your Dad told you to go to the barber because he didn’t want any “long-hairs” under his roof.
Today, my son looks like he could play bass for the Animals about 1968. He has no idea how many fights there were in my family about hair.
If I’d had this haircut at any time during my childhood, my father would have tied me to the railroad track.
The Edmonton Oilers are now a team that can spend near the cap, but free agency is still a sticky wicket. Since the Stanley run they have been able to sign free agents (Roloson, Tjarnqvist, Tarnstrom, Penner, Souray) but have overpaid (sometimes by a lot) and have lost out on several (Spacek, Kariya) quality free agents for all kinds of reasons not having to do with cash money.
The free agent crop this season isn’t huge, but we can see already that the top end (Hossa, Sundin, Campbell) is probably headed elsewhere and that the free agents Edmonton will sign (Wade Redden) will require an overpay.
I believe Redden’s the guy Lowe will pursue, with Joni Pitkanen traded for Alexander Steen.
I think Cliff Fletcher is one of the finest GM’s of the post expansion era. The Atlanta Flames expansion draft was textbook and the Calgary Flames were an exceptional group during the Fletcher regime there. When he moved to Toronto, Fletcher made a trade with his former team that changed both clubs directions for a long time.
Currently, Fletcher is the head man in Toronto. He’s made some nice decisions over the last little while but appears to be flying too close to the sun now.
- Buying out Raycroft: No brainer really. The Mitch Williams of goaltenders.
- Buying out Tucker: I don’t think it was required but understand they may have felt a need to change the guard and free up space.
- Drafting Schenn: A horse on the blueline, the only real concern for Toronto fans is that they’ll probably trade him before he’s good. Still, credit where due they got a helluva hockey player.
- Letting Sundin go: Completely understandable. Keeping Sundin means the Leafs are not certain lottery contenders for the next couple of seasons. Without him, Tavares is within reach.
The one area I don’t understand is the apparent bullying of McCabe to waive his NT contract. This is going to end badly for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The reason a player like McCabe went to Toronto has to do with all kinds of things: terrific hockey environment, team had a chance to win the Stanley annually and until recently it was a quality team.
McCabe is 33 years old and signed the contract in good faith for all kinds of reasons. These reasons are obviously still in place, or enough in place for him to want to remain and see what the team looks like on the other side. McCabe is not an awful player, and the idea that a team like Toronto can’t use him is ridiculous.
I suspect this will be a landmark case (if reports of the bullying are true) and that the NHLPA will become involved before too much more time elapses. The Toronto Maple Leafs signed a deal and they must honor it. The very idea that an organization can crucify a signed player in public in order to rid themselves of said player is ghastly and won’t go unnoticed by other free agents approached by Toronto.
This is addled thinking, and there seems to be an organizational dementia with regard to this player. The Toronto Maple Leafs are better than this. They should stop bullying this player, adopt a rule to restrict NMC’s moving forward and then plan for a better day.
And Cliff Fletcher is tarnishing a wonderful reputation and a stellar performance record.