Checking In On Toronto’s Maple Leafs, Raptors, Blue Jays and Raptors

So folks, here we sit on July 14th, with more questions than answers with respect to our teams. All of our teams.

Let’s start with the Leafs:

The easiest question is who plays where and with whom? Assume no more changes(god help us in August) here is how the NHL roster sits:

Goal is the easiest: Toskala and Gustavsson
Defence: Kaberle, Komisarek, Beauchemin, Finger, Schenn, Van Ryn, Frogren, White, Stralman, Exelby
Left Wingers: Blake, Hagman, Kulemin,Collin Stuart, Wallin add Stalberg to the mix
Right Wingers, Stempniak, Ponikarovsky, Mayers and Orr
Centres: Grabovski, Stajan, Tlusty and Mitchell- Add Hanson and Bozak to the mix

So, who makes the big squad, who is on the farm and of course whom plays with whom?

Here is a rough team TSM guess:

Blake Grabovsky Poni
Bozak Tlusty Hagman
Wallin J. Mitchell Kulemin
Mayers Stajan Orr

Kaberle Beauchemin
Schenn Komisarek
Van Ryn Finger


Thoughts, comments, suggestions???

Next question, who fills the off ice vacancies. Last we looked their are openings in the training room, equipment room and oh yeah, the Marlies coaching staff? There has been jack shit in terms of news on any of this stuff, at least that I saw. I thought Hartsburg was a shoe in for the gig but look where that ended. I used to play on of the hockey simulation games on the computer where they actually ranked trainers and staff, so I am always a little bit curious as to who gets those gigs. They are the hardest working guys in hockey after all.

Biggest question is, given the roster at this time, are the Leafs any better? This I think doesn’t have to be an answer about standings or playoffs. I know those are the easiest and most meaningful measures, however given the team on paper, perhaps improvements can be made while not advancing in the standings. We do have to be realistic. It says here this will be a bitch of a team to go into the corners against and to play tight against. Teams that can really score may slaughter the Leafs as the roster as it stands right now is really thin up front. I said to a friend today who expressed doubt in building through size and toughness, the NHL has changed. It’s hard to find big, physical guys who can play the game. Ryan Hollweig has no business being on a roster, but is or was because size matters. Finding the skill guys isn’t as hard as it used to be. I think it will be a better team that barring other big changes will be in tough to make the playoffs. All based on this roster

The Raptors:

Big moves have been made all with the eye on the biggest, dealing with the Twitter Begger, Chris Bosh. The first question is, will the Indiana Pacers match the Jarrett Jack offer sheet that he signed with the Raptors?

“The bigger issue surrounding the Pacers is the Jarret Jack situation since Jones agreed to his deal last week.

All signs continue to point the Pacers not matching Toronto’s four-year, $20-million offer to Jack. The Pacers have until next Monday to decide.

Matching the deal will put the Pacers in a tough position financially to make other moves this summer because they want to avoid going over $69.9 million luxury tax threshold.

Bird answered one question about Jack before shutting down because he wanted the press conference to be about Jones, which is understandable, instead of Jack.

“This is not about Jarrett Jack,” Bird said. “It’s about Dahntay.”

That from Mike Wells in the Indiana Star newspaper. Based on what I have read and seen, we really want this guy Jack to be here. He and Bosh are best friends and apparently he is good off the bench too. I want him here to appear with Brady and Watters every week!

So will the moves the Raptors made make them a playoff team and will Bosh end up staying? I have no friggin clue. Again, that which I read screams yes. They are a better team right now then they were last year. If they aren’t then I think it’s easy to say Bosh is cha cha larue. As the fine folks at PPP tweeted tonight, let’s hope he is preparing for the upcoming season half as hard as he is in growing his twitter empire!

The Blue Jays:

I am truly saddened by what has become of our team. What was once the toast of the league has become a shell of it’s self. This is so much like he Expos to me. I know we aren’t there yet, but the similarities are eerily familiar. The biggest and perhaps the only relevant question is what happens with Halladay? I still say before you deal him you go to him with a blank check and a plan and see if he will sign on. If not you deal him and pray. You pray that you get the deal right and that people will still care. Once that deal is made, what happens the rest of the year is almost entirely irrelevant. With any luck Rolen gets traded and somehow something happens with Wells and or Rios. After the season the question becomes who is running this team? Who is the GM, who is the president and GULP who is the owner, who is going to pay for tickets and sponsorships????? How quickly the mighty have fallen.

Great perspective needed on the Jays:

“They had to think about it. They really did. The San Francisco Giants had to ponder and consider, weigh and debate, the idea of trading for Alex Rios. Giants general manager Brian Sabean left the 2007 winter meetings with the trade on the table. He seemed, in his comments to reporters, to be genuinely torn.

“Everyone sees the merit of both sides of the argument,” Sabean said that day. “That’s what makes it a difficult decision.” Asked by reporters if the issue could continue to twist for weeks, Sabean told the press, “I really can’t say.”

Sorry, Blue Jays fans. You have suffered enough in the last 15 years or so, much less the last two months. This, alas, will not help.

This is painful, of course, because the player coming back from the Giants would have been right-hander Tim Lincecum, who started for the National League opposite Toronto’s Roy Halladay in last night’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis. Lincecum is the best young pitcher in baseball, a genetic freak with unteachable talent. And he remains, at 5-foot-10 and 172 pounds, a Giant.”

That from Bruce Arthur in tomorrow’s post. Love the old saying about the best deals are the ones you never make….

The Argos:

Will this team be able to play with enough discipline to put 4 quarters of football together? The game last Saturday shouldn’t have ended up where it did and one has to believe that Andrus will take care of these issues very quickly. I do, however wonder what the hell Toth was smoking on the Fan this morning. Did anyone catch his CFL rant? I am quite stunned that he didn’t do this when Hogan was around as it would have made for really interesting radio, but in essence Toth said the following:

“They gotta get rid of the import rule. Canadian college players shouldn’t be stuck on a practice squad. It’s not fair to them. And if you want to say “ah come on, that’s not very Canadian”, well then stop shopping at Walmart”…”

That gem was followed up with:

“I spent $120 to watch the Argos take 17 penalties on Saturday”

Is this guy for real? No seriously. This is the guy who takes us to town for watching the WJC but not going to actual CHL games???? What kind of crap is he spewing???? Remember I am not a CFL guy. I am trying to be. If I get offended listening to that garbage I can only imagine what die hards think!

Have a good night and oh PLEASE HELP ME GET TO 50,000 followers on Twitter follow me at


About the Author