Sunday, January 29, 2006

Jason Allison to the minors?

I've been hearing this rumour being kicked around are my thoughts on it: it's stupid.

The guy has been playing well all year...he's second on the team in scoring, and this from a guy who hasn't played hockey in over two years.

If you haven't heard, his contract pays him $222,222 for every five games he plays over 35, so long as he maintains a .65 points-per-game scoring average.

He's easily surpassed the games and scoring average requirements...and because he's playing well, they wanna ship him to the AHL.

This is the kind of backwards logic that makes me crazy. The whole team is playing like shit, and let's demote the guy who's playing half-decent, because he's too expensive! Wow.

If we were really interested in clearing cap space and making a run mid-season, why did we pay a million plus to dead weight like Tie Domi and Aki Berg? OK, so that's hindsight, fine...then how about we look at a guy who's making almost 7 million, and has a paltry 10 goals in 38 games?

That's right...Mats Sundin. Why don't we trade him? We could get a ton of good players for that amount of money.

Oh, but you say, Sundin was hurt, and is behind the curve...well guess what? He chose NOT to play during the lockout, and that's cost him just as much as the eye injury. Jason Allison was out of hockey for a full year longer than Sundin, and he's doing about as well...for about 5 million dollars less.

I'm not advocating trading Sundin or Allison...this season is pretty much a writeoff, and I didn't expect this team to get past the first round of the playoffs anyway.

Bottom line: paying Jason Allison for playing well is the least of our worries. If 2 million bucks is breaking our bank, then the front office is stupid for putting themselves in that situation, given the tenuous health of, like, half the team.

The Leafs need to face reality, bite the bullet and ride this season out...if they miss the playoffs, fine. Let's remember that the salary cap is likely going up next season, so it'd be foolish to panic when there might be relief up ahead. Rework the team in the offseason, jettison the overpriced guys, and have a competitive team for 2006-2007.

I know this must be scary for Leaf fans...but let's actually "rebuild" for once; it's not a dirty word.

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