Deadbeat GM lands a spot in the Sin Bin

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

After watching the Boston Bruins defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs last Tuesday at the hands of ex-Leafs goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask, John Ferguson Jr. deserves a trip to the Sin Bin.

Since becoming the general manager of the Leafs in 2003, Ferguson has made many questionable decisions. One that sticks out is a trade he made to acquire current Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft. In 2006, Raycroft was obtained in a trade from the Bruins in exchange for Rask.

Since the trade, Rask’s value has risen, while Raycroft has been mediocre. You can choose whichever words you want to describe his play in Toronto; in the end the results have been disappointing.

In his first season as the Leafs starting goalie, Toronto failed to make the postseason. “Razor” ended the year with a ho-hum .894 save percentage and 2.99 goals against average.

A lot of Leafs fans remember the painful experience of watching Raycroft get replaced in his last game of the 2006-07 season, where he had a dismal performance in a must-win game versus the Montreal Canadiens.

Fast track to this year, where Razor lost his starting duties to newly-acquired Vesa Toskala. In limited play, Raycroft remains inconsistent and has not lived up to Toronto fans’ lofty expectations.

The other half of the Raycroft/Rask deal reveals a different story. Rask was just recently called up to the Bruins for the third time this year, after posting solid numbers in the American Hockey League.

Ironically he was given his first NHL start on Tuesday night against the Leafs. He looked calm, collected and well positioned leading Boston to a 3-2 victory.

While it is only one game, there’s no denying Rask shows great potential as a future NHL starter. On the other hand, Raycroft’s future with the Leafs most likely won’t extend past his current contract.

The new NHL has proven young talent is critical to producing a winning team. Rask was one of the Leafs’ most highly-scouted prospects, and dealing him away for a backup goalie is a move Leafs Nation will surely regret.

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