Alright, no excuses but I spent the last week doing one of two things – working (aka sweating my a** off and slowly dying) or lying stretched out on the couch with my dog in front of the air conditioner panting our way through the heat wave. In the meantime, there were a few things of note, I suppose, that happened in the NHL. A guy no one has ever heard of – some dude named Steve? – finally got around to signing a contract with the Lightning, thereby crushing the misplaced hopes and dreams of Leafs, Kings and Flyers fans around the world. So, without further ado, this week’s burning questions….
1. How depressing is it that Steven Stamkos re-signed with the Lightning?
– Yes, it would have been great if Stamkos had left Tampa Bay and ridden into Toronto as the savior of his hometown franchise. Yes, the idea of Stamkos and Phil Kessel on the same bench might have been something that terrified opposing goalies into submission on a nightly basis. Yes, I, along with just about every other Leaf fan capable of breathing, would have gotten a fresh new home blue jersey with 91 on the back and worn it for a month straight until someone complained. Yes, it is a little depressing, but anyone who truly thought Steve Yzerman was going to let a generational talent like Stamkos walk away needs to get their heads read.
The truth is, Yzerman was never going to trade Stamkos unless the situation deteriorated worse than Jen Aniston and Taylor Swift’s relationships do. And as far as offer sheets go – well, restricted free agency is a bigger waste of time than Gary Bettman’s general existence. Here’s Mike Augello with some more insight on the futility of the offer sheet in today’s NHL.
2. Do you really think you can get away with posting once or twice a week?
– No, but my life’s in shambles – this clip from Anchorman explains things nicely.
3. Where do the Leafs’ goaltenders stack up heading into next season?
– This one’s pretty much a shot in the dark, because there’s a couple different possibilities. Door #1 – James Reimer rides his success from last season into another stellar campaign, while the Monster rebounds from last season’s disaster and fills in for a solid 25-30 games. Result: playoffs?? Door #2 – Reimer hits a sophomore slump, ala Steve Mason (please God no), the Monster has another heart ablation procedure and Leaf Nation commits collective suicide – again. Door #3 – you get the point – with young goalies, uncertainty is the name of the game, although in Reimer’s case, there’s nothing to make me think he can’t be just as good as he was last year, if not better, now that he’s got a half season of NHL experience and an almost-for-real playoff push under his belt. Check out how the Leafs’ goaltending tandem stacks up against the rest of the league.
4. How sweet are the Leafs’ new 3rd jerseys?
Meh – while going back to the ’67 jerseys is nostalgic and all, I always liked the Leafs’ 3rd jerseys the way they were. Check out Howard Berger’s piece on the new threads.
5. How pumped am I for next season, regardless of all the question marks?
After watching the following video, here’s my response.