I write to you, and by you I mean people on the internet that aren’t you, as a Leafs fan who’s been watching your brilliant gameless career here. You’re no Martin Skoula but I really do thi-HEY BILL, GET YOUR AGENT TO PULL HIS FINGERS OUT OF YOUR EARS.
That’s better. I really do think you have a chance to be a legitimate prospect in the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. The fans have been excited about you ever since we heard of the trade that sent you and Kris Versteeg here. We heard Brian Burke speak very highly of you, saying you’re a very, very fast skater that could eventually be a top six forward on this team. We were anticipating the next hockeysfuture prospect rankings in hopes of an improved pool of information about you showing where you rank among everyone else. We were waiting to see new highlights of you, be it if you didn’t move, or if you joined the Toronto Marlies. Heck, maybe you had a chance at the big club.
Of course, I’m talking in past tense. Why? Well, according to an article from the Toronto Sun put out in the last day, you have rejected the Leafs final offer, one that won’t be increased no matter what happens. Unless you’re to come crawling back and change his mind, you’re going to use a well known but rarely used loophole to get to Unrestricted Free Agency at this age – that is, refusing to sign a contract with your team for a set period of time (I’m quite sure this is 3 years, though I may be wrong). The reasoning for spurning the Chicago Blackhawks and our Leafs? You want to go to a team that will give yourself an opportunity to play. The secondary reasoning? Money. You want a bunch of it.
Now, this is the NHL after all, and technically, you’ve done nothing wrong. Regardless, I still have my reasons to think you’re a disgrace of a hockey player, and here they are.
Look At Who You’ve Turned Away – You’re a totally legitimate hockey player first guy, right? Looking for a chance to play? Your first team was the Chicago Blackhawks. You know, the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions, so you know they’re good and can help you succeed, considering their young, home raised core? The same Chicago Blackhawks who had to make massive salary cuts and could use an Entry Level Deal like yours to fill in the gaps? The same Chicago Blackhawks that play a speed-based game that you would thrive in, and supported you for 3 years after drafting you? That’s really nice of you, Bill.
You’re literally gift wrapped into the best team with the brightest future in the National Hockey League because they thought enough of you to pick you in the 2007 Entry Draft. 38th overall, in fact – not exactly a “screw it, we need someone” pick, but rather a pick that they most assuredly took time to pick on. And its not like they totally saw enough in you to pick you ahead of the likes of Oscar Moller, T.J. Galliardi, Wayne Simmonds, Luca Caputi, Jamie Benn, and Carl Gunnarsson (hmm…for not having a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, the Leafs came out alright in the end from that draft, huh? Trading for Caputi aside). They let you take your time at Colorado College, even though they probably really wanted to see you with the Rockford Icehogs. and what do you do? You ignore them. And to make it worse…
You Turned Away Another Team Too – When the Hawks decide they’ve invested as much time as they can into you, they finally put you on the market, in what I’m sure was a bit of mixed emotions. Everyone there knew you were a fine hockey player, but also knew they had to get something for you as you clearly didn’t see the Chicago Blackhawks as the answer to your prayers to be part of a Stanley Cup winning organization. Sure enough, a man by the name of Brian Burke sees enough in you that when he went to bail out Stan Bowman from his cap mess while plucking Kris Versteeg from their grasp, he asked for you. Lets look at this Leafs team, for a second. They’re the youngest in the game, so young that you would possibly be a veteran for them once you make it, trying to win the Calder Trophy.
They’re in between a rock and a hard place on forward, particularly in your position, Left Wing. Seriously, the depth on Left Wing is so bad that the 2 best Left Wingers on the team may be on the Toronto Marlies next year. Speaking of the Marlies, even if you didn’t make the big club, you would’ve been on the team with the most convenient call up in the world – an athlete like you could literally jog from the Marlies dressing room to the Leafs without straining themselves too much, or at the very least, you could use some of your contract to pay $2.75 for the streetcar that gets you from Ricoh to the ACC in about 10 minutes. On top of this, 90% of the higher profile free agent prospects have wanted to come here (Gustavsson, Rynnas, Scrivens, Bozak, Hanson, Mueller…), so theres no bad reputation for a person in your position.
At the worst case scenario, you’re still going to get high minor league minutes while still playing in Toronto. At best case scenario, you could walk onto the team and take in a top six role merely on the priciple of the team having a Left Winger on Left Wing. Of course, because you’re a money-grubbing ***** looking for the right fit, totally awesome German new guy Marcel Mueller will be doing this instead. You walk away from a team with a ton of history, a ton of chance to make a team, and a good minor league opportunity if not. You walk away from the second straight original six team. Passing on these kinds of legacies twice is just ridiculous.
You’re In It For The Dough – These are both teams that are in position, for one reason or another, that they could have given you a role with the team in some respect. The Leafs situation may be the best there is in terms of your likeliness to play. But apparently, this isn’t enough for you. You’re looking for cash – specifically, as many potential bonuses as one could get from an entry level contract. Billy, let me explain something to you – just because you’re a rookie, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be given easy money out of good faith. Your salary still counts against the cap, so no smart GM is going to look at you and say “This guy is a completely unproven prospect, who hasn’t stuck out as blue-chip prospect at any point in his career.
You’ve turned down the Stanley Cup Champions, and you’ve turned a rebuilding team with money and a knack of signing every UFA prospect ever. But you know what, lets give him the 4 million he wants”. Well, Garth Snow might, but other than that, I just don’t see it happening. You’ve done exactly nothing in your career to indicate that you’re worth more than rookie max without bonuses, or about $900,000. And I’m sure the Leafs offer was higher than that (considering the cap issues, not sure if I can say the same about the Hawks).
You Aren’t Blake Wheeler – I say this because every single person with a brain knows exactly what the thought process is right now with you. You saw Blake Wheeler go from being drafted by the Coyotes, to playing in the NCAA like yourself with the University of Minnesota, rejecting every offer Phoenix made to him. You see this, and assume you can do the same thing and have it not be that big of a deal. Here’s the thing.
- You aren’t half the player Blake Wheeler was when he did this. Right now, you’re a guy that would be interesting to have in your prospect pool, but that’s about it. Blake Wheeler was still a highly touted prospect a few years removed from being picked 5th overall.
- Blake Wheeler did not leave for money. In fact, the Coyotes offered him max with bonuses. His issue was the didn’t want to play for the Coyotes specifically, and would go on to sign with the Boston Bruins for about half of what he was offered by Phoenix.
- Blake Wheeler ditched an organization that has a fanbase so small that if they tried to, they couldn’t rent out every condo in Maple Leaf Square. Nobody in Phoenix really cared. Half of them didn’t know you existed in the first place. The first team you ditched has a fanbase full of bandwagoners who tend to exaggerate things to look like a fan, and the second team you ditched has a fanbase that’s unusually loyal, and currently has an obsession with prospects and with hiding in a corner hoping our trades go alright. Basically, you have two groups of people who unlike the Wheeler situation, think you’re an absolute disgrace who is putting his paycheck over his career. And they’re right.
But It’s Not Me! Its My Agent! - This would be the only thing remotely close to an excuse I could somewhat get, being if you’re just being a yes man to your agent. If that’s the case though, there are limits. You know he’s out for his best financial interests right now because you’re 3 years into your career and you haven’t made a dime. If its not you being a total *****, then its him being desperate and equally a *****, and you being a total pushover.
You’re Not Good Enough To Be Demanding This Money – The fact is, mid range prospects on a team don’t get 4 million dollars. What have you done in your career, Bill? You’ve been a decent player for Colorado College, and never played a professional game. If you were 18 and drafted today, would you be picked in a spot that gets you that illusive rookie max with bonuses contract? Absolutely not, you might not even be picked in the first round. Tyler Bozak was the last free agent rookie to get close to full bonuses, and he was considered the best available prospect in the NCAA and one of the best players there period, good enough that he’d easily be a 1st rounder if not a top 5 pick in the scenario above.
And you know what? He proved his worth this year, getting 27 points in 37 games in his rookie season. The thing was though, all indications were that he could do that. It was expected of him to do it. You? People currently expect you to win the fastest skater competition in those individual team skills competition and somewhat contribute on a 3rd line role, but more likely than not, spend most of your time the minors. That’s not worth the money you want. Not even close.
To Sum It Up - What I’m basically getting at, is that you’ve been gift wrapped two fantastic opportunities to play with world class hockey organizations. Both were extremely willing and wanting to have you in their future. The only thing was, is that they’re not run by absolute idiots (anymore), and they’re not going to give you 4 million dollars just because you want it. And if its not you that wants it, you’re a pushover.
I don’t have a doubt that you’ll get at least a chunk of the money you’re salivating about – there are teams near that cap floor that are willing to take the chance, for now. All I know though, is that when it turns out that you’re still just a speedster and you don’t quite have an NHL game yet, and you get sent down, none of this money crap is going to matter, as you’ll be making an AHL salary.
And damn it Bill, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Enjoy the minors, you money grubbing waste of space. Kris Versteeg will make us forget about the possibility of having you on the ice for the team. He won’t make us forget that you took an opportunity, flushed it down the drain, and expected to be paid for it.
A Ranting Fan
(got this from cdc, legendary letter lawl)
Jee I don't see why he wouldn't want to play in Toronto with all the sane hockey fans.
Probably because Rodin turns 20 this year?
Not sure on the exact deadline for that, but Andersson is '91 and Rodin is '90.
Correct. Rodin turns 20 after September 15th so he counts as a 20 year old according to the CBA. The thing is, Dave Gagner stated that Rodin's contract does slide. The only thing I can figure for this has to do with the NHL-Sweden transfer agreement.
Gillis just keeps signing guys like these. He hasn't hit a real home run on one of these yet but I really feel it coming.
Yep, these signings are just hoping for something productive or forgetting about the disappointment. I don't think anyone remembers Walsky anymore. But i think Tanev can be something special.
They don't cost anything [besides a headache from other teams in this case]. Still waiting for the numbers though...
Originally Posted by CloutierForVezina
Epic amounts of tears shed over a supposed mediocre prospect.
The tears. They sustain me.
Too much on here and the Trade Forums thread.
But if they really didn't care, they wouldn't have posted into our Vancouver specific thread. They wouldn't have come in to defend their points and to belittle their once-prospect. I've looked at their very own Billy Sweatt threads prior to his subsequent dismissals and each one holds positivity and hope from posters.
A Chicago Poster from this February
He was one of the best skaters at the prospect camp, I got pretty high hopes for him.
None of us are thinking he is the next Grabner or the next Mason Raymond. But i think the bottom line is he merits a contract and a chance. Now on the main thread, he gets demoted from a decent prospect who deserves a contract and has a upside to be a good grinder to an AHL plug who'll never accomplish anything along with his career stunted brother and both of their lives will be filled with nothing but failure. It's a shame its come down to that.
Last edited by thefeebster: 08-20-2010 at 02:09 AM.
Good signing, regardless. Bill adds depth and doesn't really cost much. Should be a good energy player in the future (if he makes it). Low Risk, Low/High Reward. Decent job by gillis, and makes it even better to see the hawks fans sore because of it.
The Canucks get: A speedy prospect with some upside. Sweatt, drafted by Chicago in the 2nd round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, was unable to come to terms on a rookie contract with Chicago, so the Blackhawks dealt him to Toronto along with Kris Versteeg. He didn’t sign with the Leafs either. Vancouver signed his brother Lee out of Finland earlier this summer, so perhaps a family reunion was the deciding factor.
Sweatt led Colorado College in scoring last season with 15 goals and 33 points in 39 games. He has the potential to develop into an elite checking winger who can kill penalties and score the odd goal. He doesn’t have great hands or offensive instincts, but he is incredibly fast (think Matthew Lombardi).
Numerous reports saying Sweatt was one of the best players on the ice. I was on the fence about driving to Penticton to watch the tourney, but i might just try to get a look.
Also did some other digging. As with most club forums, they did a voted prospect ranking - sweat was #9 as of last year. He wouldn't crack even the top 16, as someone else pointed out. Talk about being unbiased.
It's weird (in a good way) that multiple players we have talked about have actually signed here. Hamhuis was highly hoped for, done (unlike Gaborik). Malhotra was mentioned in many proposals, done. Bill Sweatt was mentioned as well when we learned he was going to UFA, done.
Normally we all have our wishes and, most of the time, none happen.
I think one thing that hasn't been mentioned is that both Eric Walsky and Kris Fredheim has played with Sweatt since his Sophomore year back in 2007 (the roster records don't go past that in the Colorado College Tigers website; it's possible that they all played together during Sweatt's freshman year as well). It's likely that Sweatt was scouted just as much as the aforementioned. This seems to be another example of Gillis and his scouting staff having a preference for college players completing their 4 years, as well as exceptional student-athletes ("a WCHA Scholar Athlete and member of the All-WCHA Academic Team").
Here's the latest article from Norton Sports that focuses on Fredheim and Sweatt (after the latter announced he wouldn't sign with the Hawks):
Former Colorado College hockey player Bill Sweatt won’t be signing with the Chicago Blackhawks this summer, his agent said earlier this week.
“We’re pretty much at the end of negotiations,” Scott Norton said.
The 2007 second-round draft pick (No. 38) fell victim to the salary cap crunch the Stanley Cup champions are facing this offseason.
There wasn’t much wiggle room for Chicago to shell out a big contract to a prospect with starting goalie and free agent Antti Niemi looking for a big pay raise (he made $827,000 last season) and money committed to the likes of Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
“It was purely a business decision,” Nelson said.
Past second-round signing bonuses were around $250,000, said Nelson, who is confident he can get most of that back when Sweatt signs as a free agent after Aug. 15, when Chicago’s rights to him expire.
Becoming a free agent may prove beneficial. Sweatt could find an organization that has a number of openings at forward, giving him a better chance to advance to the NHL. European leagues remain an option.
“I have no personal preference,” Sweatt said. “I want to go somewhere that it is the best fit.”
Defenseman Kris Fredheim is also in a wait-and-see mode until Aug. 15, when the Vancouver 2005 sixth-round pick (No. 185) may become a free agent.
The Canucks signed three young free agent defensemen, including Bill’s older brother Lee Sweatt, this offseason.
“Right now we’re not really sure,” the economics graduate said. “They’re going through a heavy overhaul. I don’t know where I fit into the mix.”
He likely has a training camp spot lined up with the ECHL’s Victoria Salmon Kings after signing in April and playing five games. The coach and general manager, Mark Morrison, liked what he saw and put the rookie on the team’s final 2009-10 roster and protected list.
Fredheim said he got a lot of ice time and he benefited from the slower play compared to college hockey. Fredheim would be happy playing in Victoria, he said, but he hopes to get a shot at the American Hockey League when training camps start in September.
Both former Tigers will know a lot more by late August.
“I’m pretty hopeful, but all I can do is concentrate on working hard this summer to be ready,” Sweatt said.
You want to know why people don't respect Canucks fans? Because of things like this. Sweatt had years and years to sign a contract. The Hawks couldn't sign him, and the Leafs didn't either. The Leafs, the team who probably would've given him the best shot at making the big club. Plenty of players don't want to play for the Leafs for a variety of reasons, it doesn't bother me at all. There's plenty of players who wouldn't want to go to Vancouver for many reasons as well. Good effort though.
Wow if people don't like canuck fans because they point out that Toronto isn't the center of the universe and that players may not actually want to play there those leaf fans must have a pretty thin skin. Guess what...not every player wants to play in Vancouver! Does that mean I have to hate myself now?
You're comment, however, is the reason people make fun of Leaf fans. A prospect who decided to use one of his options available to him did so and people are really ticked off. But at the same time they are saying he won't amount to anything anyways. It's really really funny. If he's the player that LEaf and Hawk fans are saying he is you should be GLAD he isn't taking up a contract spot! But they run the kid into the ground because he decided to exercise one of his rights. Yeesh.
Very good signing. Sweatt was highly rated going into the 2007 draft. Many had him going in the middle of the first round but, like Schroede,r dropped seemingly because of size issues. Typical is the following assessment
Mueller's a good prospect actually. I'm curious as to whether you even knew who Sweatt was a month ago? That's what I thought.
Really, that's what you thought? seriously? you've been here for 2 years and have almost 2000 posts and you're asking here - at hockeys future board - if anyone knew who Sweatt was a month ago?
you do realize that most people here go through prospects in quite some detail?
Sweatt was considered a 1st rounder prior to his draft year... there are threads in HF board created a year before the 2007 draft where there were already people (including some Canuck fans) that listed Sweatt in their top-15:
Then after being drafted, there were threads on him as well - even on the Canucks board... yes, us ignorant fans that apparently didn't know who Sweatt was for some reason brought up this no-name in our own discussion threads!
and for the record, his ratings were pretty good going into the draft:
TSN - 22nd ranked player
CSB - 27th ranked NA player
ISS - 32nd ranked player
RLR - 62nd ranked player
McK - 11th ranked player
THN - 28th ranked player
as you can see several publications had him ranked in the 1st round.
So next time you think that diehard hockey fans that discuss hockey to every little detail, especially prospects on a board like hockeys future, would know something about a prospect that was rated in the 1st round by many professional publications. And the fact that he was discussed by Canuck fans on this board, both a year prior to even being drafted, and then after he was drafted when we all questioned the Ellington pick, should tell you that many of us DID know who he was.
but good job trolling none the less to try and convince yourself that we are just a bunch of ignorant bandwagoners that don't know who this guy is until we actually signed him. Going through the discussion threads on this, reading comments from Leaf fans after he was traded, and then after he couldn't get signed.. that to me shows where the real bandwagoners are... he goes from an intriguing prospect to an overrated, money-grubbing **** before even playing a game in the league, and without fans even knowing what his actual intentions were. There's absolutely no way that he just didn't want to sign in Toronto, it must be that he's an idiot receiving bad advise from his agent and now that he's not signed, Burke didn't want him to begin with?
next time, either bring some logical reasoning behind your trolls, or keep them elsewhere.
This is a very solid signing. Had he not been drafted and had he been a college free agent he likely would have been pretty hyped around here however because of the way he became a UFA he's getting bashed.
It's somewhat funny because had Blake Wheeler signed with Toronto instead of Boston do you think Leaf fans would have called Wheeler the same **** they're calling Sweatt??
I'm very happy with this signing. It adds depth to our system and the guy clearly has some solid potential.