A game of hot potato at the trade deadline


When I woke up this morning, I had three items on my to-do list:

  1. Write a complaint letter to Esquire about their fawning profile of their Best-Dressed Real Man contest winner: “Dear Esquire: I know times are tough in the magazine industry, but how much did Kenyatte Nelson pay you to run a six-page advertorial about how he’s better than all your other readers in every way?”
  2. Update Wikipedia’s article about streaking in sports. How did they leave out the guy who climbed over the glass at a Calgary Flames game wearing only a pair of red socks, only to slip on the ice and knock himself out?
  3. Do absolutely nothing else in favour of following the wheeling and dealing before the NHL’s trade deadline at 3:00 p.m. today.

Trade deadline day is often called “hockey Christmas”, though, with just over an hour of last-minute shopping left, the only things under the Maple Leafs’ tree are a couple of waiver-wire pickups: defenceman Eric Reitz and goaltender Martin Gerber. 

The acquisition of the latter was followed by the announcement that incumbent goalie Vesa Toskala has been shut down for the year to undergo surgery, which means that general manager Brian Burke is going to have to wait a while to offload the underachieving Toskala to some gullible taker. That’s a shame. I was hoping to see Burke swap Toskala for what my girlfriend suggested last night would be fair trade value: a baked potato. 

It’s a tough call, but, in the end, she decided that the addition of sour cream to the baked potato would be enough to put the deal over the top. You know Burke would have to consider this. He’s Irish, after all.

Of course, I’d hate to see Toskala end up like baseball minor-leaguer John C. Odom, who, six months after being traded for ten maple bats in an unorthodox deal, was dead of a drug overdose. So, while I’d really love to see Burke swap Toskala for a baked potato, I’d settle for his demanding the spud as a throw-in to a more conventional hockey trade. 

Then what I want to see is this: At the press conference following the deal, Burke stands at a podium and ignores the reporters’ shouts. He just silently and purposefully eats the potato, taking his time. Then, after he finishes, he ceremoniously wipes his mouth with a napkin, barks, “No more questions!” and stalks off the stage.

2 Responses to “A game of hot potato at the trade deadline”

  1. 1 Scott

    What were your hopes for the Leafs on trade deadline day?

  2. 2 Peter Lynn

    Well, sir, let me first congratulate your squadron on that three-way deal for Patrick O’Sullivan. He’s a good young player I’d have liked the Leafs to have drafted a couple of years back. it’s interesting to have both O’Sullivan and Schremp in your system. They’ve got a bit of a history together.

    As for my hopes, I’m not surprised that Kaberle didn’t get dealt. I think it’s a good plan to hold back an asset like that until draft day. Wait until the draft lottery is held, find out who’s actually got the first pick, and then try to make a deal to get it. It would have been too much of a crap shoot to go after the Islanders’ pick today when we don’t know for sure that it’ll be the #1 pick. So, really the priority was to deal the impending unrestricted free agents, and in that regard it was a success: We successfully offloaded Antropov and Moore, although Candace thinks the latter is a dreamboat and she’ll miss him. The return for Antropov wasn’t the first-rounder that everyone was hoping for, but I think Burke did the best he could have.

    The real shock for me was that, in his press conference, Burke mentioned that there was a third deal yet to be announced, although it just involved a minor-league player. So, I figured the return would be another minor leaguer or something like a seventh-round pick. But when I saw that the deal was Richard Petiot for Olaf Kolzig, Jamie Heward, Andy Rogers, and a 4th rounder, my head almost fell off. All those names coming back for a career minor-leaguer and impending free agent?! In the end, Kolzig and Heward are really just a salary dump, but I think a prospect and a 4th rounder for one of the Marlies impending UFAs is a pretty good return. Add that to the two admittedly marginal players plucked from the waiver wire — Martin Gerber and Eric Reitz — and I’m giving a tentative thumbs-up to Burke’s work today, even if it wasn’t the fire sale we were all hoping for. That’ll happen at the draft, hopefully.

    By the way, we were just at the pub and saw a guy who looked a little like you smoking outside.

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