My Leafs- Post CBA
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06-18-2005, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC
The amount of denial and delusion in this thread is unreal.
I see the same thing with Canuck fans. Somehow the majority seem to have convinced themselves that, even though we're over the cap and will have to cut salary, we're going to somehow (most likely through an unbelievably friendly set of players who will all sign for less than market value/take paycuts/fall into loopholes/etc) find the money to add Kariya/Niedermayer/whoever and be an even better team than last year. It's not going to happen. We're going to lose important players. We won't sign any UFAs. We'll do our best to keep the majority of our core together and fill the rest of the roster with scrubs. Toronto is in the same situation, only they're much further over the projected cap.
Teams in a situation like Toronto (and Vancouver) will be royally screwed by this CBA, at least in terms of on-ice product. Off-ice they'll make even more than previously.
The Leafs might find a couple guys willing to play for less to stay. Most will tell management to sit on it and rotate if that's suggested - these guys are in the twilight of their careers, need this money to set them up long-term, haven't collected a paycheck in 18 months, and hell will freeze before they take a 50% paycut or anything of the sort. Especially for a team that's doesn't appear to be an elite one at this point.
The notion that Toronto can somehow ice a similarly competitive team to what they did in 03-04 at half the payroll is completely ridiculous. Especially given that an already ancient core is now two years older.
The notion has been tossed out there that, since the Leafs were able to ice a competitive team in 2000-01 at $41 million, it shouldn't be difficult to ice a competitive one in 05-06 at $36 million. These things have no connection whatsover. If that was the case, I could claim that since the Canucks iced a 104-point team on $32 million in 02-03 it should be no problem to do the same now. The dynamics are completely different. In 2000-01, the Leafs weren't stuck paying $27 million to a group of 8 players who average 35 years old. In 2000-01 there wasn't a salary cap limiting what the team could pay the rest of the roster past these top few players. In 2000-01 guys like Sundin and Joseph were superstars in their prime ... no-one on the Leafs roster now is at that level.
Right now, Toronto looks to be in a world of trouble. If Ferguson can manage to ice a roster capable of making the playoffs, I give him a ton of credit. If this team can record over 95 points, he's a bloody genius.
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