Mailbag: Readers critique overpaid Leafs squad

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the Editor:
Have you ever tried to watch a Leafs game with fans who talk complete nonsense? I know you know the type. These are the guys sitting there making the most ridiculous comments at every stoppage of play.

They say things like “If I were a GM, I’d take 10 Chad Kilgers over 10 Kyle Wellwoods any day.” Or maybe they’ll tell you how they have a Steen jersey and how Steen is the best player the Leafs have. Every word that comes out of these guys’ mouths makes your jaw drop lower.

Just when you are wondering if they are watching the same sport as you, everything is made perfectly clear when they say, “McCabe is one of the best defenceman in the league!”

At this point you know there’s something wrong with this person, or they simply don’t understand hockey.

Arguments such as, “Bryan McCabe scored over 50 points the last two seasons” and “All people remember is the bad stuff he does, not the positives he brings to the ice” are ridiculous. Put simply, McCabe and his handlebar moustache are not worth over $5 million a year.

There’s a reason people remember McCabe’s poor performances: they are frequent and come at inopportune times. For example, giving the puck away in overtime to give the Canadiens a game-winning breakaway is not worth $5 million.

Putting the puck in your own net is not worth $5 million. When he does score, they are fluke goals from crappy shots that redirect in front of the net, and are not worth $5 million.

I’ve heard all the “You couldn’t do any better” arguments and I agree. That’s why I don’t make $5 million a year.

In fact, I shell out my money to watch the Leafs piss it away on players like McCabe. Bryan McCabe has no business being a number one defenceman in the NHL.

Toronto seems to have a knack for trading away young talent for unproductive veterans. Ferguson should try the reverse and trade away unproductive McCabe for some young talent.

The Leafs’ defensive core is saturated with overpaid, overrated players. The only reason McCabe is the leader on Toronto’s blueline is because he’s worst of the bunch.
" Ryan Appleby
Science III

To the Editor:
I have to agree Bryan McCabe is one of the worst defencemen in the NHL, because he has such a one-dimensional game. However, I think your efforts to stir up some revulsion against him are in vain.

We need to direct our support towards getting rid of the blubbering idiot who gave McCabe such a ridiculous contract " with a no-trade clause " to begin with. Not that the team could get rid of him if it wanted to, anyway.

The latest news that John Ferguson made comments about coach Paul Maurice being on the hot seat is absolutely ludicrous! He’s an idiot who’s always trying to pass the buck and deflect negative attention.

The only reason Ferguson is still there is because of his father’s reputation. What has he done to avoid taking the majority of this blame?

Ferguson is the person solely responsible for handcuffing the whole organization with the insane contracts of McCabe and Pavel Kubina. Kubina isn’t as bad as McCabe, but he certainly never deserved the $4 or 5 million a year he’s getting.

Before coming to Toronto, Kubina had a career plus/minus of -93 (only one positive season) and averaged 21 minutes a game, scoring 30 points a season.

These are third or fourth defenceman statistics, and there’s nothing here to justify giving him “first line-D” money. [Tomas] Kaberle is good, but he’s no Wade Redden, who is negotiating a contract for less money. What Toronto needs is to revamp and start by getting rid of Ferguson!

I am not a Leafs fan. I do, however, feel great pity for all those Leafs fans out there supporting such a hopeless cause, and feel sorrow for my own unfortunate circumstance; I’ll likely never be able to celebrate any local Canadian team winning the Cup. Like them or not, the Leafs winning the Cup would be a wonderful thing for Toronto and southern Ontario in general.

As much as everybody blames the Leafs’ woes on the Teachers’ union (who have a majority stake in the franchise’s ownership), you can’t support the theory that it makes business sense to prevent the Leafs from winning the Stanley Cup. They are fools if they don’t think their memorabilia sales would soar.

In this day of salary-cap hockey, what more could they really do in terms of the team, anyway? They can only spend so much on salaries, and they’ve spent it all! The real problem is the way they’ve spent it, and again, look no further than Ferguson.

When the Paul Maurice story came up the other night, I was thinking how misled people are and how bad they need to get rid of the GM.

The problem is, I really don’t have the time or the means to lobby for this. Hopefully you agree and can start a movement towards righting the ship in Toronto once and for all!
"Ryan Aarts
M.E.Sc Candidate

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