with Alec Brownscombe.

For the 6th season in a row, the Leafs are eliminated before making the Stanley Cup finals, however evidence shows that potentially the Leafs may be looking better than they’ve been sought out to be.

What we mean here is that general manager John Ferguson Jr., experienced in scouting during his years with St. Louis, cares about the Leafs further than just this coming season. By keeping their main prospects, Ferguson is promising what Quinn never could... a future. Most notably is defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. Ferguson was able to keep Carlo, meanwhile acquiring a veteran defenseman in Brian Leetch at the trade deadline, who could be the more sensible choice anyways. Ferguson was able to avoid all temptations, and keep Stajan (rumoured to be on his way out for Mike Peca), Steen (either for Gonchar or Hamrlik), and already noted Carlo Colaiacovo (for Gonchar).

With a lockout probable, this could be the year that the Toronto Maple Leafs decide go with a long need youth movement. JFJ can see that, while maybe not this year, but soon the Leafs will be in a position where they will be left with no other choice but to rebuild. With a new CBA looming, and many of the Leafs players retiring or looking at other teams, such as Roberts and Nieuwendyk., Ferguson may decide that the time to start building is now when the team would be given not one, but two seasons to rebuild before taking to the ice again.

We may see a rebuilding process begin because of the plentiful amount of prospects that could make the first team next season. Names such as defensemen Colaiacovo, Harrison and Bell are amongst forward Alexander Steen and goaltender Mikael Tellqvist. Colaiacovo is compared to a Wade Redden type. Expect to see Colaiacovo as a top 4 defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season. Harrison could step in as a number 5 or 6, same goes for Bell. Steen has been compared to a more physical Zetterberg in Sweden, potentially Steen will mean a lot to the Leafs.

The Leafs current situation brings in the whole “GM stamp” component. The 2003-2004 Maple Leafs were much more Pat Quinn’s team then John Ferguson’s. Ferguson has yet to make this team his, and sooner or later he going to do just that. That stamp could very well take the form a youth movement. Considering the lockout also brings along a salary cap, the Leafs lose their money advantage. Also players such as Sundin and Belfour are irreplaceable with UFA’s, how many franchise centermen and goalies become UFA’s before they are over the hill? Another interesting fact is so far Ferguson as signed 5 prospects, meanwhile has not resigned, or (at least according to the Toronto media) tried to sign, a single veteran on the Leafs roster.

Rumours suggest that the first move could be acquiring a top 10 draft pick. It is expected that the pick could come off of the Columbus Blue Jackets, in exchange for defenseman Tomas Kaberle. Kaberle’s addition would bring the Jackets the smooth puck-moving, offensive defenseman which they are lacking. The Blue Jackets defense core only got 96 points (Kaberle, who had an off year offensively, would have increased the defensive scoring by 1/3). The Jackets Powerplay, which was 24th in the league this season at 14.4%, would also greatly benefit from Kaberle being on the point. A “hidden” bonus of Kaberle to the Jackets is that he is Czech, same as Klesla, the Jacket future franchise (though not offensive) defenseman. I’m sure the team would love to be able to pair Kaberle with the 22-year-old Rotislav Klesla as Columbus’ number one defensive pair.

Along with the probable exit of both Roberts and Nieuwendyk, within the next few years McCabe could also be on his way out. A team such as the Anaheim Mighty Ducks may be a lively option for the 28-year-old. The Ducks, while having a disapointing season and "earning" the 9th overall pick in this years draft, feel they are a good team that is/could be one the top teams in the West and could repeat their success from last season. However there is a big, glaring need in Anaheim; defense. Keith Carney is the Ducks top defenseman and carried the load for them in the playoffs last year, however at 34 years old its questionable how much gas is left in the tank. With no defenseman in the draft being in the position to step up and help the Ducks next season we think its very likely the Ducks (who already have a strong system) will be looking to move that 9th overall pick for a D-man to replace/complement Carney to help them next season. The Leafs Bryan McCabe fits the bill (no pun intended - unless you think its funny, then its intended) perfectly. While McCabe is the Leafs #1 D-man, the Leafs will most likely take a downward slide in the next few seasons. This means moving him now, while his value is high, maybe the highest it will ever be, If (and only if) a good forward like Ladd or Tukonen is still available at #9 makes perfect sense to both teams.

One last possibility for Ferguson is to acquire a young player instead of a draft pick. According to the Florida Times, Panthers GM Mike Keenan has acquiring a veteran leader for his young team as a high priority and apparently he is willing to move young foward Stephen Weiss in order to get one. Keenan has expressed some early interest in the Dallas Star's RW Bill Guerin. However its not known if Guerin will accept a trade to the Panthers and/or if the Panthers could afford Guerin’s 9 million dollar salary (it’s doubtful the Stars would be able to pay enough of it for the Panthers to take him). However if that is the type of player Keenan is looking for, again Toronto could have the trade he'll be looking for. But Mats Sundin and Owen Nolan are similar players to Bill Guerin and could fill that role just as well, if not better. Also Nolan’s contract is smaller and more manageable (6.5 million a year). And while Sundin makes the same as Guerin, the Leafs a much richer team then the Stars and could afford to pay more of his contract. This one might not be in the cards and Keenan might not be interested, however the possibility is there.

All signs appear to be showing that this could be the year for rebuilding in Toronto


Which acquirement so far was the biggest impact on the club? Well let’s run over them first. We have Peter Bondra to the Ottawa Senators, Robert Lang to the Detroit Red Wings, Alexei Kovalev is gone to the Montreal Canadiens, Sergei Gonchar went to the Bruins, and Brian Leetch went to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Which one has the biggest impact upon their franchise? Let me give it a stab.

First of all, the Ottawa Senators acquirement created quite some excitement around the nation’s capital, however is it really giving the Sens what they need.. no, not really. The Ottawa Senators are picking up what they already have a pile of on their roster.. European skill. Peter Bondra is an older Hossa, Havlat, or an Alfredsson. What the Senators really needed was a gritty player that can throw a few points on the score sheet. Although I am not far from despising a player like Tucker, that’s kind of what they needed. Tucker can rack up a decent amount of points, while gets his nose right in there and is always in the middle of things. Bondra will add even more skill to their line-up, however they should have kept Brooks Laich in my mind.

The Detroit Red Wings pick up another star in Robert Lang. I see nothing wrong with this. Robert Lang leads the league in points and you can suspect he would produce only better with a team that can generate a lot more than the Washington Capitals can. It’s always tough to give up prospects, and Tomas Fleischmann must have been hard to part with, especially when you are the oldest team in the National Hockey League. The Wings also had to give up their first rounder this year and a fourth in ‘06.

Hats off to Bob Gainey. Bob is showing that he wants to push for the Cup with this organisation despite having one of the thinnest of payrolls. Gainey was also able to obtain Kovalev for cheaper than I would have thought, giving up a single pick and prospect Josef Balej. Gainey also did a great job acquiring Jim Dowd, whom I think is a great asset to have up the middle.

The Boston Bruins were the ones to finally take Sergei Gonchar off of the market. Yes, the Bruins were in need someone of Gonchar’s calibre. They needed an offensive defenceman, however, this acquirement doesn’t quite get the best acquisition so far…

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquirement of Brian Leetch does. The Leafs really needed a Leetch to perfect the power play unit and make a great top 4. Not only does their top 4-defenceman look like this: McCabe, Kaberle, Klee, and Leetch, but they pick up a defenceman with a star name. Though speculation suggests that may be they overpaid for the 36-year-old veteran, the Leafs were able to keep Colaiacovo, Steen, Wellwood, and Matty Stajan on their roster.

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ pick up of Brian Leetch takes the biggest "impact-on-the-club-acquirement" so far for me.

Changes behind the Red-Line?

With the Eastern Conference becoming very tight, the Toronto Maple Leafs cannot afford to lose, however, with the play of their defense as of late, it looks like they will fall back.

Quinn has released that he would welcome defensive help anytime, but he doesn't know if he could grab a big franchise player.

Also rumoured is a goaltender change with the Leafs.

Kidd has been without a doubt shaky in the net for the Leafs. Belfour's back injury appears to have worsened and will keep him out longer than one suspected. Sounds like a goalie change time to me.

Reports suggest that possibly Kiprusoff and Kidd might be changed up in a deal. However, Kiprusoff has stepped in as #1 in the Flames' line-up and it is Turek, who has a payroll of $4.5 mill sitting out, not the one with a $800, 000 payroll.

So is Turek available?

Most definitely. With how solid the Flames are playing with Kipper back in net, they will want to keep him in there and dump the 4.5 mill contract. So could the Leafs pick up Turek?



The Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues, all teams with key injuries, some of the teams are leading the league, some are fighting for playoff spots, this isn't going to help.

Let's start things off with the Montreal Canadiens. Currently sitting in 7th in the East, and could easily fall off to 8th or 9th. With the injury to Sheldon Souray, who was just announced to be indefinite to his return with a knee injury, it doesn't look to good for these Habs. Souray, who was chosen to be in the 54th NHL All-Star Competition has 35 points this season and has easily been the best defenceman for the Habs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs. Remember Alexander Mogilny? I cannot even picture him in a Leaf jersey after how long he has been out, however the Leafs have been able to stick to the top of the East but Ottawa and Boston are only 1 - 3 points behind. Ed Belfour, who was expected to be only day-to-day, has not played in his last few games and it makes us wonder. They will need something better than Kidd to keep them at the top of the Northeast.

The Vancouver Canucks. Well, currently battling the intense war for the top of the Northwest with Colorado, they lost arguably their best defenceman Ed Jovanovski due to shoulder injuries and Magnus Arvedson for 4-6 weeks.

No signs towards it effecting them yet, however the Colorado Avalanche, still leading the league and Northwest, are without defenceman Rob Blake and tough guy Dan Hinote indefinitely.

The Detroit Red Wings. They are deadlocked with the Avalanche for the top of the West, both sitting at 74 points. However it looks worse for the Wings than it does for the Avs. Detroit is without key defenceman Derian Hatcher until later this month, and Dominik Hasek is gone for the remainder of the season. Steve Thomas and Curtis Joseph are day to day right now.

The Los Angeles Kings are looking the worst of all of the teams listed here. Currently in one of the tightest battles for 7th, 8th, 9th, they have to keep winning to stay in a playoff position. However it will be hard with basically anything their team has gone. Well, forward Jason Allison is gone with whiplash indefinitely, along with Martin Straka, Adam Deadmarsh, Aaron Miller, and Zigmund Palffy also all out indefinitely. I just named all of the Kings' best players. Don't expect them to stay 7th long.

Finally, we have the St. Louis Blues. Currently just out of the playoffs in 9th place in the West, they are without defenceman Barret Jackman, and veteran Al MacInnis. When every game means a lot, the Blues must be a little worried.


The Isles signing of Ronning.

First I would like to release what I posted on The Hockey Prospective (

"Today the New York Islanders have announced the signing of unrestricted free agent Cliff Ronning due to key injuries up front with both Yashin and Parrish being out of the line up.

According to, the deal is said to be worth $800, 000 US dollars for half a season.

After a long wait by the 38-year-old forward, Ronning finally had a NHL team call while he was in Vancouver at home keeping in shape.

Ronning had been playing with the Minnesota Wild.

In the 17 NHL seasons Ronning has played, he has collected 297 goals and 548 assists, totalling to 845 points.

The B.C native was drafted by the St. Louis Blues 134th overall and since then has been on the Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, the Los Angeles Kings, the Minnesota Wild, and now is with the New York Islanders."


Well it couldn’t get too much better for what the New York Islanders are looking at here. They get a great left handed forward who can do some great things on the power play for what I would consider a great deal money wise.

The Islanders obviously did this pick up for injuries such as Parrish, who sprained his ankle, and Alexei Yashin. Therefore, this factors out his age. He is 38 years old and obviously this or his next will be his last in the NHL. The deal (as noted) was for half a season.

A much needed and predicted move by the New York Islanders, however still a smart one as this will take some weight off of some shoulders such as Mariusz Czerkawski, Shawn Bates, Kvasha, and others just to support the offensive losses of the pair.

This will help out a not very well known but good quality New York Islanders offence when Parrish and Yashin return this season.

However even though Ronning will help out up front, the Islanders expect fairly good production from him, seeing how right now they want to move up the standings, and make sure they stay in the top 8 of the East.


Do we stop the trap, or do we cut the "crap"?

According to, old-timer Guy Lafleur has said hockey is now boring, and guess what, I kind of agree.

In an interview with TSN, he said that the game of NHL hockey is getting boringer and boringer, and the defensive part of the game is some to blame.

I think the trap started all of this "old timer-hockey boring" concept.

It was invented in the Europe elite leagues, and has spread through the NHL, but in a different way.

When the trap was first invented, it was an offensive trap, not a defensive trap.

It worked the same way as the defensive trap did, with one guy in the middle, one on the right, one on the left. Just that this time, they were headed up the ice.

We now know Europe isn't to blame, because if anything, they were increasing excitement in the game by using the offensive trap, forcing more goals, better entertainment.

It reached North America, and sure enough, the NHL.

The coach’s miss read it, and used it the opposite way, making it the opposite of excitement, boring.

Same thing, man in the middle, man on the right, man on the left, just that they are all headed back. One of the men on the wing will cut in, take the man, the middle takes the puck.

Rarely can be beaten.

Therefore scoring has decreased, and we are to blame for it.

However I cannot really complain about how they will not stop, I mean, if it is really that heard to beat if it is played well, then why would they think to stop?

So, I have come to a decision. Teams are not going to quit working with the trap if it is doing so well, so let’s cut down something else…

Clutching and grabbing, and hooking.

You see players do it all of the time, but what is being called? The trips over the other guys stick in the corner.

Therefore, if they cut that crap out, and started calling the little grabs and hooks, players could go where they want to knowing the fact that they can only be hit, which will make the game overall more exciting. Another thing is, is that in basketball, they would call this the "pick", and I suppose that’s what they call it in hockey, but it needs to stop. Players will skate in front of they guy keep edging him, and not let him go by to chase the other player, etc.

Still doesn’t help what do you do?

Make the rink bigger, take away the red line’s duties of offside.

Making the rink bigger, is a no brainer why it would help. Obviously it opens up room for the faster guys to really make something happen. Taking away the two line offside will make the players pull huge passes, causing a ton more break-a-ways and causing more goals.

What do you think about this situation?


Well, well. "Crazy" rumors continue to run in and out of sites. Most of the time, I have let it come in one ear, and slide right out the other. So what is truthful in my perspective, and what isn’t? It’s a column waiting to be read.

We will begin with the top:

"Crazy Rumor"

This one is just great: The Jagr- Montreal Canadiens rumor.

If I have ever laughed so hard at a rumor, this is it. The Montreal Canadiens picking up Jagr. Please take sometime and look at this exact sentence. #68 Jaromir Jagr for the Montreal Canadiens.

Take some time to laugh.

This rumor is as far-fetched as they come. First of all, the Montreal Canadiens would never ever pick him up. Even teams like the New York Rangers (considered, if any, the team to get him) do not want him. He has been playing terrible, and has an outrageously huge payroll that no team, even when they are picking up Jagr, would obtain.

Secondly, Jaromir Jagr probably considers this one of his last resorts, so you mind as well say he is not going there. He is not going to co-op with a club that is overall weak right now. He is considered a superstar, is there many superstars (mind you, without a heart) that are interested in going to Montreal, and trying to work with them to make the playoffs?

Now we head to the:

"Realistic Rumor"

Now, don’t go crazy on me quite yet, but I believe the Comrie- Flames rumor is realistic.

Mike Comrie is a Canadian, and mainly western Canadian boy. He truly loves it out around the western area of Canada. However, the Edmonton Oilers are not exactly interested in getting him back, however they have started to pick it up a bit.

This still means he is likely to go elsewhere. The Calgary Flames?

Hmm, well.

They are a western Canadian team,

They have great atmosphere at home, though they have not been doing very well as of late.

Mike Comrie would be perfect with Jarome Iginla. Iginla would be on the right, with Comrie in the middle. They may decide to split the two to make their lines a little more consistent, but would still very highly contribute.

That’s the latest rumors viewed, however this "Around the Ice" addition is not quite over. I have decided to pick out three times to give a little word on before I end this week’s column.

First of all, the hot Tampa Bay Lightning were severely beaten by the Washington Capitals, in which the Capitals carried the play the whole game, and went on to a overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Many were speculating the great 8 game undefeated streak, 7 wins, one tie, in the beginning 8 games was just a strike of luck. However, the Lightning seemed to have got back on track against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they hopped on to their regular routines, and creamed the Pens, 9-0. Things turning inconsistent? The Tampa Bay Lightning recently suffered a disappointing 4-0 loss to the Florida Panthers.

Second of all, the Ottawa Senators, who at first were off to an expected, hot start, are headed down. The Ottawa Senators lost to the Devils Saturday night, failed to finish off the Edmonton Oilers, as they rallied to a 3-3 tie, suffered a surprising 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders, tied the Buffalo Sabres, and lost to the Florida Panthers. Things should start to pick up in Ottawa, as they sit in 9th in the conference, with 15 points.

In Leaf land, the Toronto Maple Leafs, after all speculation, as of November 8th, is doing substantially well. The were able to pull a 4-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, tie the New Jersey Devils, defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, and receive a win over the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1. All of this has occurred after the embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, 7-1. They currently sit with 18 points.


Leafs- on the rebound, or just playing bad teams?

The Toronto Maple Leafs were looking pretty poor, and were probably embarrassed after the result of the Philadelphia Flyers ordeal. They came back to win two in a row. Does this mean the couple bad losses were just bad games, or were they just playing bad teams?

As a Leaf fan, I truly say, they were just playing bad teams.

The Toronto Maple Leafs offense is picking up you say. Well, whom did they play? The Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the worst teams and worst defense, and the Carolina Hurricanes. If they cannot stand possibly even close to the Flyers, there is no chance on this green earth that the Leafs will amount to anything at all this season.

By picking up Sergei Gonchar, does this turn the tables? Ha ha, no!

This is just throwing another veteran defenseman on to the pile. He may be a good solid defenseman, but we all know just picking up Sergei Gonchar will barely solve their problem at all. Am I saying the Toronto Maple Leafs should not pick up Sergei Gonchar? No, not exactly. But will I be upset if the management does not pick up Gonchar? Not a chance.

Why? Because they need a hell lot more than that, and I know for a fact, if the Leafs pick up Gonchar, they will not go any further and fill in another hole. They then will say we have "spent" all of our money. How could your owners be so uncaring to win? As long as they are filling the seats with fans, they could careless. When you have this going on, fans should just quit going, smarten them up.

Just for an example, let’s bring up some history, shall we? ‘

The Toronto Maple Leafs had a written agreement with Wayne Gretzky, who of course, would love to come there because of it being so close to his hometown, Brantford, Ontario. The team was as popular as ever, and were filling the seats game in, game out. Were they close to winning at all? Not at all. Did the owners care? Not at all. That brings us to the Wayne Gretzky point. All that was left, was a signature from the owner, did he sign it, no! Why bother? He thought. We seem to be filling the seats, why bring the greatest hockey legend in, and win the Cup when we are already making money without winning, and so we do not need to spend any on this player.

The trend seems to never end.

It seems to continue, it seems the owners are more focused on the Raptors, who are even more hopeless then the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Should Leaf fans be upset that we are not winning? Definitely, but in no way blame the players.


Who to Dump, who to Dump?

The Washington Capitals have started more than a few trade rumors after releasing the fact that they need to dump payroll. The top runner to get the boot is Sergei Gonchar, a key defenseman on the Caps. I think that this is not the best decision to make for Washington’s management, who is the one then? Someone I doubt you will agree on.

That man happens to be Jaromir Jagr. He is bringing to team down if anything, and costing the team over $10 million to do so? It is time for him to go.

First of all, he is going to get Bruce Cassidy fired. Now this coach has been one of Washington’s best so far. He came in, and got things going, and the Washington Capitals then went into the playoffs. The management is more than willing to fire Cassidy if he does not get Jagr to play at his ability. This is only because Jagr is an overpaid, and un-team like player. He does not get along with his teammates, and only wants to play every so often. His bad attitude is causing chaos all over the management and dressing room. When a player acts like this, and especially when he isn’t even doing anything on the ice, it is time to get rid of him. Now seeing how he is the most expensive player right now, you can get rid of him, and gain $11 million dollars back each season. Sounds good to me when the player is in the stage that Jagr is in.

Jaromir Jagr is also causing trouble in the media. He has told the Toronto Sun, and plenty other papers he is very mad at the critics right now. Doesn’t sound like a reasonable statement after the way he is currently acting. His heart is not in this game, and it does not fit the Washington Capitals.

On the Sergei Gonchar part of things, this is quite a reasonable move. He is their leading defenseman, and without a doubt, is a very solid player right now. What sounds better: Losing $11 million dollars in payroll and getting rid of a negative player whom is currently not generating anything game wise, or your solidest defenseman, who can still highly contribute to the club, and has a substantially lower payroll?

It’s a toughie eh?

It sounds easy now right? Well, not exactly. There is no doubt that there are scarcely any teams interesting in deducting his contract from your payroll, however, there is still a chance. Being in the New York Rangers.

Speculation was heavy on these two meeting ends when Jagr was available off of Pittsburgh. However, shockingly, he ended up in a Washington Capitals jersey. The Rangers are well known for picking up big stars, but has so far not worked for them, as they have missed the playoffs despite the increase of stars. It was released along that time line that the Rangers were interested in him, and talks would go on. Jagr responded with, which seemed like, something he appealed to. It never happened. It let down many Ranger fans, because then he was really playing like he is supposed to, like a superstar.

However things have changed, and if he hits the limit, and is released, could experience something he never has before: no place to go.


Rumor Speculation- Viewed

Lately, I have noticed tons and tons of rumors have been going on, and in many of those rumors, many fond players have been mentioned.

Leafs-Guerin Rumor

Speculation has been going, and this has been reported on Spector’s Hockey, that the Leafs may have a deal worked out, that would see the Toronto Maple Leafs both add more scoring touch in Bill Guerin, and strengthening their defense, while picking up Dallas defenseman Richard Matvichuk. The deal would have to involve a rookie prospect along the lines of Nik Antropov, who in my view, needs to be kept, and a prospect defenseman, of course, Colaiacovo, or Jackman would be involved.

My View: On this rumor, I cannot see anything progressing. Leafs management is less than willing to even consider Bill Guerin’s payroll, let alone give up a rising star of Nik Antropov. Unless they could somehow unload waste such as Aki Berg in this deal, the Leafs management should not accept it under any circumstances. Guerin would be nice, but they have offensive power already with Nolan, Antropov, Mogilny, Sundin, etc. Matvichuk is the only thing that intrigues any part of me, but he too, would not be worth it. Especially with his aging, and no longer is considered a threat on the ice to me.

Leafs- Gonchar Rumor

More Leafs rumors, yes. I do expect you Leaf haters to be a little upset, but just hear me out.

Well, the rumor has hit sites, and radio stations that the Toronto Maple Leafs are after Sergei Gonchar, a respected defenseman of the Washington Capitals. Gonchar sounds great to a weak defensive squad such as the Maple Leafs, but after what you hear they need to give up may upset a few, but not I. The Washington Capitals are accordingly seeking prospect defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo in return for the aging veteran’s service.

My View: The deal needs to be pulled off! If they are not even using Colaiacovo in the first place, then why not pick up Sergei Gonchar. He may be aging, but is a good solid defenseman, and there is no doubt the Leafs are not seeking to win the Lord’s Stanley Cup in the future. They have good prospects even if indeed are, worried about losing a prospect. They have Kondratiev to fill their "big" future defenseman. Now, I am not saying I dislike Colaiacovo or anything, not at all. He is a good future defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, so I am thinking this:

Aki Berg, and Maxim Kondratiev for Sergei Gonchar.

When you think about this deal, it works out to the Leafs’ advantage. They get to unload garbage in Aki Berg, getting rid the worse of the two of Colaiacovo, and Kondratiev, while gaining a solid defenseman such as Sergei Gonchar.

For the Washington Capitals, it still works for their situation. They are unloading payroll, while picking up a prospect, and someone who can fill a hole for a little bit.

Canucks- Berard

Now that we are done, to what to most people is considered "Leaf junk"; we head to the best Western Canadian team, the Vancouver Canucks. I just read on Spector’s that this is being denied, but that does not mean it still can’t happen. As reported in Vancouver newspapers, as well on TSN, the Vancouver Canucks have been in talks with Bryan Berard’s agent, but that was just taken off of the NHL page, as they have turned it down.

My View: The Vancouver Canucks have no name defenseman; no one should be arguing that. They need to pick him up, if they want to consider themselves "Cup Favorites". They have a few solid defenseman, but this could be a good key to making the dream come true. As a Leaf fan, I truly miss this player. Up until the moment when Marian Hossa gashed him in the eye with a hockey stick, and says it was an honest mistake, I really enjoyed his presence. He is a good solid defenseman, who is good offensively.

Comrie- Sens

Speculation has been going on about this rumor for some time now, and many people have forgotten it. However, I am sure it is still a possibility. With the note that his agent would like him to be dealt, then it may lower the possibility, because what can be dealt? I do not know what would interest the Edmonton Oilers on the Senators’ roster, that the Senators would actually give up.

Steve Thomas Thoughts

Well, we all know that formally known as "Stumpy", Steve Thomas, is on the market, and the Anaheim mighty Ducks have not expressed interest in letting him return. Possibility is that he will head back to Leaf Land, but I have heard rumor out that the Leafs find no reason in having him back, unless they wanted to pull a Doug Gilmour type acquirement.

Me however, would love to see the Stumpster return. He is very similar to Doug Gilmour, and is also at a very old age. He is a real battler, who is definitely in it for the game.

That’s a wrap on the latest rumors!

Hope you enjoyed the first edition of "Around the Ice" with Alec Brownscombe!

The opinions expressed on this page are of the author, and in no way reflect the views of the NHL, it teams or players. All material in Around the Ice copyright (C) 2003 Spector's Hockey. Reproduction of this material in whole, or in part, without consent by the author or Spector's Hockey is prohibited.