Did Howard Berger drink too much in Sonoma?

Just how hungry is this guy for a story. Clearly he has been spending too much time on the road, and the effects of no home cooking is effecting his brain.

Off all the article he has written on his blog, today’s may just take the cake.

Check out some of these beauties:

“Now, we are apprised, once again, that Sundin will make up his mind when he bloody well feels like it.”

Look, I am not in favor of Sundin returning. Truth be told though, Cliff has only but a couple of cards left to play before the puck drops in October. Cliff has said publicly that any money he may use on Sundin has no effect on the McCabe situation. That being the case, who the hell cares how long it takes Mats to do anything, except for, of course, Howard. The guy is an nhl veteran. Was Howie screaming about Niedermayer not making a decision in the past? Are the Avs’ scribes bitching about Sakic? No….so move along howard..

“Exactly why Fletcher is allowing Sundin to wag his – and the club’s – tail into the month of August, is an unsolvable mystery. There is no longer anything to be gained by this exercise. It’s been stated many times, and by many observers, that Sundin’s presence will have a minimal effect on the 2008-09 Maple Leafs. The club will miss the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season with him, or without him. That much is a virtual certainty.”

Wrong, dead wrong. TML and the MLSE have been bashed to high hell. A good chunk of it deserved. As much as I don’t want Mats back, I do believe there is nothing to be gained by being a hard ass for no reason. At the absolute very least they do have to be mindful of public opinion. In that there is nothing to be gained (or lost ) on the ice, there is no harm in letting Mats take his time, NOTHING. Assume he retires, the Leafs look good for allowing his the opportunity to take his time and retire a leaf. If he leaves to another team, they are going to be bashed like at no time before, so again, they can say, we made him a good offer, we gave him all the time he needed and he chose to move on. If he comes back (howard says it does no harm on the ice right?) then what have you lost? It’s amazing this guy is allowed to write….

“Put yourself, for a moment, in the shoes of Matt Stajan… or Alex Steen… or Nik Antropov… or Niklas Hagman… or Alexei Ponikarovsky. For better or worse, these are the players the Leafs appear to be counting on in the foreseeable future. While none would ever admit so, publicly, I can assure you they are all pondering how they might be able to help the Leafs if given added responsibility. And, unless these players fear taking on a greater role, you can bet they are privately hoping that Sundin moves on to another city. As long as No. 13 remains in Toronto, the Leafs are Mats’ team. And, Mats’ team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.”

I guarantee you not one of these guys is saying oh, please don’t let Mats come back…its my time to shine. This is sheer idiocy. These guys saw the guy carry the team last year on his back. They are more likely saying, “we are fucked without Mats, please let him come back” An entire blog entry could be written about how off base this paragraph alone is, but I will not waste a holiday Monday doing just that.

“That’s why Fletcher has nothing to lose – and, possibly, much to gain – by taking the reigns in the Sundin caper. It was understandable [if not prudent] that the GM might wait until the start of free agency for Sundin to make a decision. Or, at the very most, until Aug. 1st. But, now that No. 13 is still dithering – with just more than a month-and-a-half to go before the start of training camp – it is high time that Fletcher imposes his own deadline… if, for nothing else, to prove he has some legitimate faith in his younger players. It’s a subliminal message he must begin to send.”

Cliff has already said that he has made decisions based on the possibility of life without Mats. There is nothing good that can come from holding a gun to Mats’ head. Telling the captain he has to decide will prove only to the kids that he is a bully, not that he has faith in them. The real message would be let us know by August _ if you are coming or…. The or in this case would be, or we are going to get someone else. It wouldn’t be, decide by August_ or we will go with the kids we have. That is just stupid logic. No one thinks like that let alone operating like that. Don’t think for one second that after Sundin announced his plans to either retire or sign elsewhere Dipstick Howie wouldn’t be bitching that Cliff didn’t show the vet respect(hello Mccabe) and suggesting ways that Cliff spend the $ to get up to the cap. So as long as he is preaching a way to replace Mats externally (and we all know for fact that he will) he can’t argue that making a deadline is to show faith in his current roster.

“The further the Sundin matter drags on, the more Cliff comes across as a feeble likeness of what he once was – a brilliant hockey administrator that managed with thoughtful, but firm leadership.”

Oh Howard…..never before have you written a paragraph so clearly to do nothing more then to compete with the Cox’s and Simmons of the world. I am pretty sure Al Strachan ghost wrote that for you. Here is a new rule for you to keep in mind before putting pen to keyboard: if you don’t believe it, don’t type it. No go back, take the kids to Alcatraz and then drive out Sanoma and drink lots of wine. It’s good out there and a hell of a lot cheaper out there. Granted, in re-reading your article, I think you have already done too much of that already.

Happy first Monday in August to all of you north of the border!

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