Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Schenn-Gustavsson Era In Toronto Is Over

Note: not an actual era.

The Leafs rid themselves of two players who failed to live up to lofty expectations on Saturday, trading Luke Schenn to Philadelphia for power forward James van Riemsdyk, and the rights to Jonas Gustavsson to the Jets for a conditional 7th round pick in next year's draft.

Schenn was a minus-23 in four seasons with Toronto and while he was mostly the stay-at-home defenseman type, he clearly regressed and should benefit from a change of scenery and playing with his brother Brayden in Philly.

It should be no surprise to anyone that Gustavsson didn't work out in Toronto, but not for the reasons you think.

Imagine you're a promising young goalie in Sweden who lost both your parents before you've even signed a deal. Then imagine the general manager of one of the biggest teams in professional sports calls you "the best goalie not in the NHL."

Then, on the first day of training camp, you've been found to have an irregular heartbeat and undergo surgery.

Now go out and play the toughest position in hockey in front of the most unforgiving and cruel fanbase in the league.

All of these things happened to "The Monster", and now he's off to Winnipeg. He deserved a lot better.

As for the Leafs' actual drafting on Saturday, they grabbed yet another defenseman - Etobicoke native Matthew Finn - 35th overall, to go along with Friday's selection of Morgan Rielly. He's related to former Leaf and current human pane of glass Carlo Colaiacovo, so you know, that should work out great.

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