The Montreal Canadiens are finding success while the Maple Leafs continue to struggle. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
It’s shaping up to be a great Tuesday, with not one, but two Game 7s – and at different times! – on tap. Here in mailbag land, though, we’re dealing with the standard mish-mash of non-concealed hatred and wildly varied questions. To wit:
First I'll (sic) like to say you suck, cause the Flyers are the best team in the NHL and always will be. Second I think you only hate the Flyers cause, your (sic) one of the ones that want to get rid of all the fighting in the NHL, and probably want to get rid of all the ruff (sic) stuff.
The Flyers are an in your face, hard working team and you don't seem to like that. I bet you probably would rather go watch (homophobic slur deleted) hockey like they play in Europe.
Anyway you suck for not liking the way the Flyers bring excitment (sic) to the NHL!
Name: Unknown, Hometown: Dosen't (sic) matter, Email: email@example.com
Ah, Flyers fans. Believe it or not, I’m looking forward to your e-mails whether or not Philly’s final tilt with Washington is resolved the way you’d like it. Gotta love amped-up fans, even when their passions don’t extend to areas such as simple spelling and grammar.
Why, since the beginning of the playoffs, all the sudden hate about Montreal’s fans from the Toronto media? Is it jealousy?
I can’t see what the fans here do differently from anywhere else. And please keep in mind, riots are often started by people who don't even know why they are doing it.
Maxime G., Montreal
Jealousy? Here in Toronto? Why, because the level of enthusiasm most nights at the Air Canada Centre can charitably be described as funereal? Because the last time there was a playoff game in this town, George W. Bush hadn’t yet been “re”-elected to a second term?
Well, come to think of it…of course it has to do with jealousy. The Habs have struggled for long stretches over the years, but every so often they snap out of it and win a championship. The Leafs just find different ways to climb to the middle of the league’s ladder and accomplish virtually nothing every season.
Sure, any Montrealer who riots deserves to have his head shook for a while, but there are a few morons in every city. Anyone who attempts to paint those in Quebec as a stand-alone, super-breed of morons is reaching. A lot.
What's the deal with goalie pay? The goalie is by far the most important position, yet their pay scale is completely different than the regular players.
You don't see the best goalies in the league getting the monstrously obscene paydays other players get. You can't win the Cup without having a top-flight goalie, yet teams always seem to skimp on goalies (Detroit anyone?!?! A garbage bag could play goal for them during the regular season and lead the league in stats, but come playoff time their goaltending always comes up short).
Something seems just plain idiotic with the philosophy of going the cheap route for the most important position.
Sean Giesler, Sunrise, Fla.
Most teams don’t pay their goalies as much as Dany Heatley or Alex Ovechkin for one simple reason – the truly elite netminders can be counted on one hand, and beyond them, it’s a real gamble to tie up both big dollars and big term in guys who haven’t established themselves as year-in, year-out big-time performers.
Look at the Senators, who’ll be buying out Ray Emery’s contract oh, any second now. Look at the Predators, who rewarded Chris Mason’s stellar 2006-07 campaign, and will now pay him $3 million a season (for two more years) to sit on the bench and watch Dan Ellis play.
I could go on and talk about Dan Cloutier, Andrew Raycroft, Nikolai Khabibulin, Dwayne Roloson, and Jose Theodore, but I think/hope you get the idea.
The goaltending position remains the most important one in the league and unless you’re 100 percent certain you’ve got a long-term difference-maker in your employ, you take your team’s collective life in your hands by committing too much time and cap room to a Johnny-come-lately.
What can the Maple Leafs do to have a legitimate rebuilding process? Is there anyone that the Lightning would want from the Leafs for Stamkos?
Sean Hoey, Uxbridge, Ont.
A legitimate rebuild for Toronto has to be all about patience and about pain equaling gain. Any quick fixes involving NHLers older than 30 amount to the usual brand of cosmetic change that got the Leafs into their current mess.
I doubt there’s any trade package interim GM Cliff Fletcher can put together that will blow Jay Feaster’s socks off. A better target for the Leafs are picks two through four, which will likely yield a cornerstone defenseman who’ll be around and contributing long after Toronto’s current group fades off into ignominy.
If Toronto flips its seventh-overall pick with either the Kings, Thrashers or Blues, and add a decent, young-ish player or two (e.g. Alex Steen, Nik Antropov), they could land that type of blueliner with relative ease.
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