Instead of seeing what he might have in Timothy Liljegren, Mike Babcock played Ron Hainsey for over 20 minutes the other night.
In a pre-season game.
Ron Hainsey, 37, and terrible at everything other than penalty killing, slow as Roman Polak after a tenth knee surgery, and anchor for the team’s best defenseman, is poised to not only make the team, but play on the top pairing.
Ron Hainsey should retire. He’s got a Stanley Cup, he’s got millions and millions of dollars and he’s well respected.
But if the coach of his team was objective, he would be cut.
Instead, he’ll skate on his off-side and make the Leafs best defenseman worse.
Here is a list of more effective defenseman in the Leafs organization: Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Connor Carrick, Travis Dermott, Justin Holl, Andreas Borgman, Calle Rosen, Martin Marincin, Nikita Zaitsev and Timothy Liljegren.
So why are the Toronto Maple Leafs so insistent on dressing arguably their 11th best defenseman in their top four?
No one knows.
It’s just a bad, bad, bad idea.
The Leafs allow too many shots, and they need to improve their blue-line.
But they keep acting like Ron Hainsey is good.
What he actually is, is a negative possession player who bleeds shots against and offers little, to no offense.
I don’t get it. It’s my biggest concern and frustration. The Toronto Maple Leafs are on the verge of being a devastatingly effective team.
But to do so, they need to get their coach into this century. They’ve got to sign their core, improve their team via trade and cut Ron Hainsey from the roster.
But they better get crackin’, cause the NHL season is less than two weeks away.