Defcon Leafs: Don't listen to rumours

Cam Charron
June 19 2012 05:54PM

Look, I know the deal. It's a sweltering Tuesday night and we need to be inside with air conditioning.

We're also desperate for some kind, any kind, of Toronto Maple Leafs news.

As of 7:23 p.m. on Tuesday night, Nik Kulemin, Matt Frattin, Cody Franson, Korbinian Holzer, Ben Scrivens and, uh, Matt Lashoff remain unqualified six days ahead of the June 25 deadline. Josh Harding, Anders Lindback and Tomas Vokoun have been taken off the market, leaving the Leafs with zero goaltending for now.

Sister website Canucks Army, in their series of 'Strombabble' brought up the point that the goalie market is pretty soft right now. Really, after seeing the goaltending fortunes of Philadelphia and Phoenix go in opposite directions you'd expect this past season, teams are beginning to realize you don't have to overpay for goaltending.

As the days pass, you get the impression that Leafs fans are warming to the idea of a James Reimer-Ben Scrivens goaltending tandem. This is nobody's number one choice, but the unfortunate reality, as it turns out, is that good players are tough to come by in today's NHL, and if you're hoping to pay below average money, you may end up with below average goaltending.

That said, there's no guarantee that Anders Lindback out-goaltends Ben Scrivens this season. Both are inexperienced pro goaltenders with very good AHL numbers. I wouldn't fret too much there.

What more, it appears that Rick Nash doesn't want to be a Toronto Maple Leaf (the nerve!). Elliotte Friedman brought up a Damien Cox report from a few days ago in his 30 Thoughts column that suggested Toronto wasn't on Nash's destination of preferred teams. You can exhale, since that's an angry deal the Leafs just can't afford.

If Nash isn't the answer in Leaf-land, I wonder about maybe Bobby Ryan. He scored 31 times last season and is apparently on the market. I'm never too sure why these rumours leak. When an agent or a manager is talking to Bob MacKenzie or Darren Dreger, they know this is going to be disseminated information. It seems like hockey "news" is moving at a faster rate than it ever did, possibly due to social media, but we're realizing that these trades rarely come to be, or trades that do happen do so with barely no lead-up.

Again, where does it benefit anybody in the Calgary Flames organization for it to be noted that the Flames are looking to move Mikael Backlund? To drum up interest, or to spook their client, force his agent to answer a few questions and possibly sign on the dotted line (Backlund is an RFA) sooner?

Don't get your hopes up. Burke is very calculated and conservative when making moves: we didn't hear anything about the Dion Phaneuf deal before it happened. If a trade is indeed going to happen, it will happen with very little build-up.

The proper thing to do is react to, rather than predict, the news. Predicting how certain players would do on certain lines is always fun, or suggesting alternatives to current players. We do a lot of that kind of speculation here, but won't report on a rumour if we can avoid it.

The Ottawa Senators just signed Erik Karlsson to a salary cap hit that equals the Wade Redden deal. There's something to smirk about.

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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