July 15, 2008

What About The Kids?

On a team chalk full of third and fourth line players, Cliff Fletcher has added another one to the mix. Ryan Hollweg, with five career goals to his name, is the newest member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Hollweg's here to drop the gloves and add toughness. That's it, that's all.

Going the other way to the New York Rangers is - you guessed it - a draft pick. This time it's Shittsburgh's Pittsburgh's 5th round pick in 2009, the draft pick the Leafs acquired when they sent Hal Gill to the Pens.

Here's some reaction from Leafs bloggers Bitter Leaf Fan, PPP, Maple Leafs Hockey Analysis, and Down Goes Brown.

For the record, I've got no problem with the tradeage of the pick. The odds of a fifth round selection making a huge impact on an NHL team are mighty slim. But I think Sean over at Down Goes Brown hits the nail on the head: why aren't guys in-house being promoted to fill the Hollweg role? As Sean points out, isn't that role what Ben Ondrus and Kris Newbury are all about? Both are only a year older than Hollweg (25), and both are known for their energy, toughness, and willingness to mix it up.

So why send a draft pick to get a player the likes of which we already have? I don't get it. Hollweg's acquisition takes a roster spot away from another young Maple Leaf looking to make the jump to the NHL.

The Leafs are rebuilding. That's a fact. With rebuildage upon us, I was fully expecting to see more of guys like Robbie Earl, Jeremy Williams, John Mitchell, Darryl Boyce, Ondrus, Newbury, and Alex Foster this season. I mean, isn't it about time Jeremy Williams got a full-time gig with the big club? But with the acquisitions of guys like Jamal Mayers and now Hollweg, and the re-signage of Dominic Moore, it's clear most of the kids are in for another season on the farm.

Below is my opening night line-up on offence. Yes, I'm penciling in Sundin, because in my homer heart I believe he will return.


Extras: Stajan, Hollweg, and Devereaux.

I know, there's no way Stajan is a healthy scratch. A man can dream can't he? He'll probably be in there for a guy like Moore, or Bell. All I know is that guys like Kulemin, Tlusty, Steen and Grabovski need to see a lot of ice time. And I'd like to see Steen at centre full time. I have dreams of him becoming a Mike Richards type of player.

Now all I need is for Mats to let everyone know he's coming back...


Anonymous said...

hollweg fucking sucks

general borschevsky said...

If Sundin comes back, either McCabe, Kubina, or Bell has to go because of cap-space. I think it will be Bell.
Tlusty has to be brilliant out of the gate or someone else gets a look.
Hollweg is part of Cliff's stategy to change the dressing room/training camp atmosphere and to bring back the Captain. If Sundin decides to play one more year, the last thing he wants is a stick in the mouth. Maybe Mats just wants to play one more year surrounded by a group of thugs so he can dish out a little pay back and settle some old scores!

Down Goes Brown said...

I have to assume Bell is in the minors on opening night. To be honest, I sort of forgot he was still on the roster.

Put it this way: If the plan is for Bell to play next year, there's even less reason to pick up a guy like Hollweg.

Anonymous said...

Lottery Cup Baby.....Hollweg will assure us of that....


eyebleaf said...

i think we have to patient with Tlusty. kid's got talent. and he's crazy young.

sean, you really think Bell's going to be a Marlie? Why not just buy him out then? i get the feeling the brass wants to give him a shot. i don't mind. his season was a wash until he ruined alffy. i think that bodycheck was the highlight of the season. yes. yes it was.

Chemmy said...

Navin, Puck Daddy threw you a link:


Dan, Jr. said...

Did Fletcher go to the same "mystery moves" school that the Islanders GM's apparently attend?

I guess he doesn't want to "rush" the young guys up from the A.