Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 08 2014 11:13PM
I got a question in my AskFM inbox today. It's too early to start another mailbag, nor do I want to answer five things right now. But one question did pique my interest a bit..
"brian boyle said that he rejected an offer from the Leafs on the radio the other day.. what's the right way to take a rejection like that, especially since it's public?"
First and foremost, I'm still about half way through my trip, and this is the one time where I felt out of touch. Maybe it's because the first day rush was so overwhelming, but I had no idea that Boyle had signed with anybody up until this point. Well, now I do! This is the story referred to by the question.
I think there's a couple of things you have to look at here. First, was there a motive to being public about it? It doesn't seem like it; the main article doesn't have a direct quote, meaning it wasn't a stellar enough soundbite for him to really have been throwing the Leafs under the bus to begin with. Odds are, it was mentioned in passing because he was being open about his process, and nothing more.
Secondly, there's a ton of reasons why he'd pick the lamer and newer blue and white over the one that's lasted for over 85 years. Money talks, for one. He mentioned that the deal was "more lucrative", but that isn't necessarily a fully accurate statement. Florida has no income tax for individuals, which on its own likely flips the see-saw away from Ontario. But then you have to figure in the cast. Boyle knows that he's best when playing in a bottom six role, so why not surround yourself with forwards that can produce around him, rather than have to adapt to a style you don't like? Tampa lets him do that. The Leafs are a Carlyle brain swell away from putting him on any of the four lines.
But lets say he meant to call out the Leafs in the open. The Leafs, who hire skating guru Barb Underhill, who probably saved Boyle's career by making him better at the art. The Leafs, who play in the centre of the universe. The Leafs, who.. will compete way after the Lightning. Does it matter?
Probably not until somebody does it with strong intent and open reasoning. Josh Gorges kept blocking a trade to Toronto, but that was out of respect for the rivalry. Clearly not to do with "being on a bad team", seeing as he boarded a trip to Buffalo. But if these guys actually just don't see a future there yet?
It's a crazy thought, but with most of the prospects looking like bottom sixers and no blue chip talent in the system, it's not too crazy. Maybe they see the rotissarie of medocrity and leave it as it is? If so, its forward thinking.
But likely, this was just another move. Which is fine. $2.3 million per year is definitely not, like, Clarkson bad, but you're basically paying for a taller and younger Jay McClement. A player who will keep you away on the penalty kill, but not without his liabilities at even strength. If the Leafs were willing to pay more for that, then they were probably saved by themselves.
Though, he could always beat up Clarkson enough to fake an LTIR appearance and make everyone happy. Except that's as much of a non-factor discussion as you're going to get today. Except maybe this post. Free agents, do something!