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Old 06-25-2002, 11:06 AM   #1
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maple leafs handcuffed by national responsibilities

are any hockey fans left out there?
i understand the maple leafs are maintaining the integrity of the game throughout canada in acting this way. i would agree that stealing iginla out of calgary may eventually kill that team. but the habs are not gonna collapse if the leafs offer theodore a contract.

Quote:
from slam
Leafs will not offend other Canadian fans

So forget about any offers for Jarome Iginla or Jose Theodore


By AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun


Are they the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or are they the Canada Maple Leafs?

Where lies the primary obligation of the Leafs? Is it to the hockey fans in Toronto, or is it the hockey fans across Canada?

Actually, there's no need to ask those questions. The clear answer is that they are the Canada Maple Leafs. The question that should be asked is whether this ought to be the case.

Leafs president Ken Dryden makes no secret of the fact that he considers the Leafs to be Canada's team, one with a dual responsibility.

It is his aim not only to make the Leafs a winning team, as befits their tradition, but also to ensure that the other Canadian teams are allowed to contribute to the nation's proud and ingrained hockey heritage.

That's why the Leafs will not pursue Canadian-based Group 2 free agents, even though the situation as it exists in the National Hockey League gives them a clear advantage.

First, let's look at that situation. The NHL has endorsed what it calls the Canadian Assistance program by which it tries to level the playing field for Canadian small-market teams.

If an American team takes a liking to a Canadian Group 2 free agent and makes him a contract offer, the Canadian small-market team gets a break.

It can match the contract -- which any NHL team in that situation has the right to do -- but it pays in Canadian dollars what the American team has offered in US dollars.

So, if Jarome Iginla, for instance, were to receive a three-year $30-million US offer from the New York Rangers, the Calgary Flames could keep him for $30 million Cdn and the Canadian Assistance Program would pay the difference.

But the loophole is this: If a Canadian team were to make such an offer, the Flames would be on their own.

Surely, Iginla would be an excellent addition to the Leafs roster. He led the league in scoring last year, was a star for Team Canada at the Olympics, lost the Hart Trophy on a tie-breaker and reasonably can expect to perform at a high level for a decade.

Granted, if the Leafs were to make an offer that the Flames couldn't -- or wouldn't -- match, Toronto would lose five first-round draft choices.

But so what? We all saw what happened at the draft on the weekend. It's at best a crap shoot and some years the talent base is simply not there.

The Leafs presumably intend to stay in the top third of the league, so unless the other teams do something stupid, their first draft pick is never going to be one of the top 20 juniors available.

Isn't Jarome Iginla worth five bottom-end draft picks? Of course he is.

Then that leads to the next question. If Iginla is worth it, then what about Jose Theodore? He too is a Group 2 free agent and he's the guy who won that Hart Trophy tie-breaker.

Whatever Iginla could do for your team -- and he could do a prodigious amount -- Theodore could do more.

He's younger than Iginla and he's a goalie. So while Iginla can be expected to play at an elite level for 10 years, Theodore should do it for 15 years.

He represents a chance for the Leafs to get the best young goalie in the game. In fact, according to the voting, the best player in the game at any position and lock him up for 15 years.

For that, you would have to give up five first-rounders which, if you look it another way, averages out to one late pick every three years during the course of Theodore's career.

The rules say that the Leafs couldn't go after both those free agents at once, but if they made an offer to one of them that was matched, they could then take a run at the other.

IMPOSSIBLE TO MATCH

And with the kind of resources the Leafs have at their command, they could put forth an offer that would be all but impossible for either Calgary or Montreal to match.

But they won't do it. They won't go after either one of them because they know that by doing so, even though they probably would be successful, they would antagonize a lot of their fans.

Those fans wouldn't be in Toronto. The rabid local Leafs fans would love it.

But as far as the Leafs are concerned, they are Canada's team. They are the Canada Maple Leafs and as such, they don't want to upset a large portion of their constituency.
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Old 06-25-2002, 11:51 AM   #2
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Talk about national pride. Damn.
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Old 06-26-2002, 04:35 AM   #3
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Gotta love the Leafs... besides, this eases the mind a little bit... until they sign the papers, that is.
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Old 06-26-2002, 09:09 AM   #4
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i know it sucks big time. don't worry though. we'll overcome it.
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Old 06-26-2002, 02:06 PM   #5
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I wonder if thoughts along those lines ever crossed George Steinbrenner's mind while he was munching on his daily calzone?
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Old 06-27-2002, 01:36 AM   #6
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Well, I'll throw this one out... it's somewhat on the same lines. Do you think Cujo will get resigned with the Leafs, Koba? And if not, who do will replace him?
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Old 06-27-2002, 09:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by J-Tree
Well, I'll throw this one out... it's somewhat on the same lines. Do you think Cujo will get resigned with the Leafs, Koba? And if not, who do will replace him?
well the deadline for exclusivity for the leafs is monday. he will not be resigned by then.
the flyers claim they are not going to go after him(though they made room by trading bouchard) but i don't believe that crank clarke.
the blues claim they will not go after him.
the wings say there is no way they will pay him what hasek or roy gets(the leafs have already offered very similar money to those players).
then there's the rangers who would probably have the money but there are a couple of mitigating factors: cujo wants a contender and right now the leafs are as just as good a team for that as anyother, the leafs are a player or two away(assuming cujo stays). and the rangers slapped together lineup is not going to contend for a cup soon(the nhl is not quite the nfl yet)
plus he loves toronto, grew up there, has a farm north of the city and has a good relationship with the fans.

my bet is that he ends up in detroit or toronto and i am leaning toward toronto(and i dearly want him back as well...dafoe, belfour )
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