May 25 2015

Dobber

2015-05-25

Here are my favorite unrestricted free agents; Also thoughts on the Leafs…and more…

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Being a fan of the Leafs, I find that it’s killed my sense of…I guess “hope” would be the best describer. And this realization was never more clear than on Saturday during the Blackhawks – Ducks game. When Chicago scored to make it 3-1. I got up and started playing some pool. The Ducks were done.

But no – three goals in 37 seconds and…suddenly the Ducks were winning? Wow – that killed the Blackhawks. So it was the Blackhawks that were done.

But no – three minutes later they tied it up?

You just don’t see that stuff in Toronto. These are things that were long indoctrinated out of the Leaf fans’ head years ago. If a team scores in the third to open up a 3-1 lead against Toronto, then that’s it. Change the channel. And if the Leafs blow a 3-1 lead by giving up three quick goals, then that’s it. Change the channel. This is part of the Toronto culture and it will take months of good hockey to get that out of our system. This is one of the challenges that Mike Babcock has ahead of him.

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I was looking through the free agents (unrestricted, of course) and jotted down the players who interest me the most. Not in any order:

Mike Green – running a power play as the No.1 guy will see a huge pop in his numbers, provided he stays healthy. By many accounts, Green was pretty much the No.5 guy last season – a year in which he saw his most GP and points in six years. He’s a Calgary native, but I think it’s the Canucks who could most use him.

Chris Stewart – a boom-or-bust player. A team could do well with him for a cheap price. But the Catch-22 is that if he signed for a cheap price then he doesn’t get Golden Boy status. And without that, I wonder if he can succeed. He really needs ice time and linemates to prop him up. But if they can get the “real” Stewart to show up, there are a dozen teams that could use him.

Drew Stafford – I think he can be a steady 55-point player and if he signs for more than $4.5 million somewhere, he will do just that.

Cody Franson – Another good puck mover who would fit in very well in Vancouver – and he’s a BC native. Which is why I think they should target him over Green (and he’ll cost less, too).

Jeff Petry – the perfect No.4 defenseman, but he’ll probably get paid like a No.2. There is no shortage of teams that could use him, starting with the Oilers. But they won’t bring him back, I’m sure. You rarely see that. But regardless, Petry’s fantasy value will be limited. He could be brought in as part of Toronto’s likely shake-up.

Andrej Sekera – here is the defenseman I would target i