Do you remember the beginning of July? People’s big dreams of superstar signings were being re-configured on the fly, and when the Leafs ended up signing Matt Martin, there was some concern that they could be looking at another player known for his gritty side, and that they weren’t going to be afraid to spend it.
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) July 1, 2016
Dark times. But debatable times too; pretty much every (potential) transaction has its backers and bashers, and there was a noticeable group of people who felt that Kris Russell would have brought more to the table than his below-the-curve possession and production numbers would imply.
Two and a half months later, we’re still waiting on that “hold up”.
McKenzie: “Multiple team talking to (Russell). I don’t believe Leafs are one.”
— Platinum Seat Ghosts (@3rdPeriodSuits) September 14, 2016
It seems super unlikely that the Leafs are going to be the place where he ends up, presumably on a one-year “prove it” deal so he can take another kick at the can next July. After all, even if you think this is a player who transcends analytics, they did sign a similar physical veteran in Roman Polak a few days after the rumours began to heat up, and there are already approximately 8000 left-handed defencemen in the organization, to the point where it could even be a problem at the lower levels.
I guess what my question is for this WWYDW is, now that we’re all out of the panic and debate zone, has anyone’s opinion on adding a player like him changed at all? Has there been anything you thought of, seen, or read this summer that’s pulled you away from your July standpoint? Be it a thought that hey, maybe the team needs to get “tougher”, or on the other side, maybe something that leads you to feel more trust in some of the less experienced options.
I’m curious to hear where everybody stands. Leave your response in the comments below!