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03-05-2004, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FerrisRox
If the players had been reversed and Leetch went to Boston and Gonchar to Toronto, Leaf fans would be talking about how under-rated Gonchar's skill on defense are, how old Leetch is, and how much Boston gave up for 36 year old with a 6.4 million year left on his contract.

Now, suddenly, Leetch is better then Gonchar and no Leaf fan ever even wanted Sergei.
Nope, sorry. Washington fans don't claim that Gonchar plays well defensively. At least, the majority don't. Most Leaf fans were skeptical about Leetch, both on the offense and behind his own blueline. Ranger fans have been trying to tell you different, that age has dropped his skill down TO Gonchar's level (he was well above in his youth) and that his defensive play is far superior than Gonchar, and well above average.

It can be argued that the Leafs gave up more for Leetch than the Bruins did for Gonchar. It should be - Leetch was the more valuable player, age and contract status notwithstanding.

Leaf fans only got a small taste of what Leetch has to offer. He doesn't know the system, doesn't know his teammate or McCabe yet. You will see him be more aggressive on the rush. You will see him pinch in. He'll be more creative. He'll be much more active defensively, proactively breaking up plays and sensing what his partner is going to do so he can adjust (rather than just keeping his man tied up, for instance the goal in front of the net last night, he would have covered for McCabe's mistake better). He played a very simple, very conservative game, on both ends of the ice, and yet he still had 3 assists and played well defensively.

Leetch > Gonchar

There is a reason why the former NHL players who were asked, including Bourque, said "I would rather have Leetch." Leetch is the better player.


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