Why did the Maple Leafs decide against signing Wayne Gretzky as a free agent in 1996?
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01-27-2013, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted by
Everyone was putting up points back then and whatever Gretz gave you on the offensive end he cost you on the defensive end .
What are you talking about? You realize there are several people who post here who are old enough to clearly remember Wayne Gretzky's career. You can say that "everybody" put points back then, but did "everybody" finish fourth in league scoring? 'Cause that's what Gretzky did his first season in New York. He played on a lot of really lousy defensive teams in Los Angeles, and in New York, but to suggest that he "cost you" in the defensive end is simply inaccurate. His first year in New York, Gretzky put up 97 points, a plus-12 rating and 20 more points in 15 playoff games. To act like that wouldn't be a beneficial pick up for the Maple Leafs is quite simply ignorant.
Originally Posted by
These stories how the team budget was slashed are pure stupidity , i know we were never the biggest spenders but i don't remember us ever dropping out of the top 10 and we could have moved a little money out to accomadate Gretz if he was being resonable like some stories have said ( others stories have also said he'd take a discount to come here ) .
You can pretend that the stories of budget slashing are "pure stupidity" but making a baseless claim, unfortunately for you, doesn't re-write history. It's undeniable that the Maple Leafs drastically slashed their budget by unloading several highly paid stars in in 1996 and 1997.
Starting in June of '96, a pretty decent Leaf team was disassembled. Todd Gill got sent to San Jose for Jamie Baker; then they made an obvious salary dump with a trade that sent Mike Gartner, fresh off a 35-goal season for the Leafs, to Phoenix for a fourth rounder. Dave Gagner, who produced at close to a point-a-game for the Leafs was then shipped to Calgary for a 3rd rounder.
After moving out all that cash, instead of signing Wayne Gretzky as a free agent, the only players the Leafs added that summer via free agency were John Craighead, Brian Wiseman and Scott Pearson. Once the 1996-97 season began, the Leafs continued to strip payroll shipping out salaried veterans Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett, Larry Murphy and Kirk Muller. In *EVERY SINGLE ONE* of these transactions the Leafs acquired draft picks, future considerations, prospects or low-salaried younger players.
How can you possibly sit here and claim that "stories" of budget slashing are "pure stupidity" when in less then one calendar year, the Leafs dumped Mike Gartner, Todd Gill, Dave Gagner, Doug Gilmour, Dave Ellett, Larry Murphy and Kirk Muller?
Do you really think you can just make things up to support your argument and no one will notice that your substituting your opinion for facts?
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