Thursday, August 25, 2005

 

Some Trade Rumors for You and A Berger Fix

There are a few floating around....all at the E1 level today...

Edmonton may send Ryan Smyth and a pick to Detroit for Zetterberg.

Rumors that LA may send Miller to Buffalo in return for Biron plus....

Lydman from Calgary may go to LA...no specifics on return.

The Devils, who will need to make a move may be up to something big. There is a rumor floating around that they could be involved in a three-way trade involving Florida and Vancouver.

Also you can go over to www.hockeybuzz.com and here an interview with myself talking about the new site. Details on how to get your season tickets coming soon.



Now for your Berger Fix!

BY HOWARD BERGER

The Fan-590 Radio, Toronto

In today’s FIX, I have a few things I’d like to clarify as it pertains to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and in response to many of your e-mails.

First off, there is a perception among numerous Leaf fans that the organization actually planned to bypass all of the top free agents this summer, in order to load up on the best available players a year from now. And that the plan is blowing up, piece by piece, as Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton and Vincent Lecavalier lead the pack of skaters re-upping with their current clubs. Let’s think about that for a moment: A team is going to purposely sabotage itself financially so that it’s incapable of competing for Scott Niedermayer, Peter Forsberg, Adam Foote, Chris Pronger, Sergei Gonchar and others in the summer of 2005, while gambling that all of the coveted UFAs for ‘06 will fail to agree with their current clubs during a 12-month period of exclusive negotiating rights. Do you really believe that any of the 30 general managers running teams in the world’s best league are moronic enough to subscribe to such an arrangement?

Regardless of how you view the Leafs’ preparation for this summer’s market – and I feel it was questionable, at best – let’s give John Ferguson and company credit for not being lamebrains. This so-called theory had absolutely nothing to do with the Maple Leafs, and everything to do with a couple of experienced Toronto sportswriters who should have slept in on the day they proposed such nonsense. They’d have far better served their readers by simply acknowledging that the Leafs miscalculated in their preparations for August 1st, and were therefore unable to partake in the frenzied first week of bartering. To suggest Ferguson conceived the “wait ‘til next year” plan is an insult the Leaf GM doesn’t deserve.

Secondly, there was a very caustic and negative response from Leaf fans – as you might imagine – to my stab-in-the-dark prediction of 76 points and a 10th-place finish this season in the Eastern Conference. After considering your e-mail volleys, I’ll admit that I probably short-changed the Blue and White, but not to an overwhelming extent. Perhaps the Leafs do have enough top-end talent (if healthy most of the season) to challenge for something like 85-88 points, but I still see them fighting for a playoff berth. I’m far from alone in that assessment.

And another thing: If the Buds do overachieve and prove me wrong, rest assured there will be no reason to shove anything down my throat, or up my backside (as so many of you suggest). I will simply admit to my mistake – on the radio and in this forum – congratulate Pat Quinn and the players for their efforts, and probably feel quite good for them. Then I’ll go home and take my kids to the park. What sort of adult mentality stores away a sports forecast for the purpose of vindication? This is fun and games we’re talking about, not life and death.

Save your energy for a circumstance in which you’ll need it... like helping to nurse a sick family member back to health, celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or performing some kind of meaningful charity work. Only the simplest of minds would waste precious moments hoping to “get even” for an unpopular hockey prediction.

Feel free to speak up at howard.berger@rci.rogers.com.



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