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07-14-2005, 02:34 PM
The Original Steve
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 52
vCash: 500
Like many others I think it is too early to judge JFJ. There are both pluses and minuses to his work thus far. He has done a good job hiring better hockey people (Paul Maurice, Craig Button) as well as several scouts. The Leafs have been sadly lacking in all scouting and player development aspects. It looks as though JFJ is being proactive. OTOH, he has seemingly continued a trend of Leaf GMs to overpay re-signing FAs. In this new era you cannot afford to pay a player more than their level of play. Bryan McCabe was badly overpaid because the Leafs fear arbitration. Belfour had a wonky back, guaranteeing him 2 years was a mistake. They need to take a harder stance on player contracts even if they are key parts of the team. In this new era, wasting money on overvaluing players costs you flexibility to sign other players. I am going to be watching JFJ closely over the next while to see if he can be better in this regard.

Also, from what I hear the Leafs are just going to band-aid this thing together with the same old team. To me, this is a chance to show creativity, shed some dead weight and get younger and be ready to be proactive when UFA liberalizes to compensate for their inability to development their own players over the years. As usual, there is no foresight in the Leaf organization.

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