Sunday, January 31, 2010

Boom Boom Burkie

(Edited 11:13 p.m.)


First, some background. When I attend Penguins games, I have a sort of deadline with myself that I leave the house an hour and a half before the scheduled game time. So for a 12:30 p.m. start like today, I leave at 11. Except I overslept and didn't wake up until 10:53. Didn't leave much time to get ready or anything, plus I had some errands I wanted to do before departure that didn't get done.

The point is, I wasn't aware of this little trade Brian Burke made until I got to the arena, Tweeted from my phone the absurdity of 12:30 p.m. starts and then read other Tweets. Then I hopped on TSN.

Then I thought: Holy sh!t.

I wasn't surprised that Calgary shipped off Dion Phaneuf. But I thought they would use him to acquire Ilya Kovalchuk. Not Matt freaking Stajan and Niklas frickin' Hagman. I know only one Maple Leafs fan and only vaguely, and that is the awesome Down Goes Brown, but I have to wonder if Flames fans should be concerned that the Toronto fan base (meaning DGB) is all but ecstatic that Stajan and Hagman are gone.

Calgary also got Ian White and Jamal Mayers. White's a good player and is a nice return. I guess Stajan might center Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque. The Flames seem about to ship Olli Jokinen off to the Rangers for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, both struggling players with 20-goal seasons in their past. Calgary's doing everything it can to snap out of its offensive slump. It'll be interesting to see what happens with all the new pieces and where Brent Sutter puts all them.

Toronto gets a 24-year-old All-Star defenseman who can do just about everything. Then Burke continued the blow-up process by shipping off salary cap-nightmare Jason Blake - he of the 10 goals for $4 million at age 36 with two years remaining on his contract - and Vesa "Five-hole" Toskala to Anaheim for Jean-Sebastien "I won a Conn Smythe once" Giguere.

As DGB mentions, everyone will ask how the Leafs will score, but he correctly points out they weren't scoring anyway. Still, I wonder if they have anyone even capable of scoring now other than Phil Kessel and Alexei Ponikarovsky. Stajan and Hagman are both streaky but they could get it done. Blake used to be a solid sniper and had 25 goals as recently as last season.

On the other hand, it's not like Toronto has anything to play for this season. Today's trades should make the organization better, improves the cap situation, and maybe having Giguere will help the development of Jonas Gustavsson. Giguere is re-united with his old goaltending coach, so maybe he can hook up to the Rejuvenation Machine.

I don't know what the Flames or Ducks were thinking with these trades, to be honest. Anaheim might have gotten rid of Giguere's contract but now they have Blake's. Maybe Calgary flips Stajan and Hagman for Kovalchuk. Phaneuf isn't having his typical season but he's better than Jay Overrated Bouwmeester.

Anyway. I'll let DGB have the last word: "Today is a good day to be a Leaf fan."

(I lied. I get the last word, and it is this: I hate 12:30 p.m. starts.)

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