Archive for January 2nd, 2009

Toronto Getting Number #1 Pick Means Nothing!

January 2nd, 2009

For all the people out there media and fans alike that think somehow landing the number one pick in the NHL entry draft somehow gets the Leafs to the promise land, here’s a sad reality.

In means virtually nothing if first off the organization doesn’t properly develop the draft pick. Second, if you don’t get that player some strong supporting cast to play around him, your in the same boat as you were before you started.

Look at Sidney Crosby perhaps the best draft pick to come around in a long time who has developed into one of the leagues best players. But what does it really mean? He along with Russian superstar Malkin have formed a scary one two punch on the Pens power play yes. What have they got from these picks ? Well a trip to the Stanley Cup last year only to be beaten by the Detroit Red Wings, who use their draft picks from Europe to continue to build Championship teams. The Wings have the best scout in Europe bar none and the simple fact is their local scouting has been very average at best. Kenny Holland, the Wings GM looks like a genius and he is in his own right a very good decision maker when it comes to trades, free agent signings and getting his own players under contract. But he owes and I”m sure he knows it alot of his success to his European scout that just flat out finds players that can play.

1ST PICK GUARANTEE’S YOU NOTHING

In Columbus, their big draft choice Rick Nash is a prime time goal scorer and has proven without a doubt that it’s no fluke, this kid can find the net on a regular basis. But without a strong cast around him what has Columbus got from drafting Nash? Some ticket sales that would be for sure partly some of the bonus with Nash. But after that no Cups! no playoffs! and certainly they will find out soon when Nash likely leaves as a free agent no longevity!. In Toronto they don”t need to worry about ticket sales they need to worry about playoffs and Cups.

Their are some success stories but they usually do not happen over night in the NHL. In Tampa the former Owner once called Vinny Lecavalier the NHL version of Micheal Jordon. Well, obviously that was a stupid thing to say at the time with the kid being 18yrs old and just drafted. But you almost got to laugh at the comment now because Vinny is clearly one of the best talents in the NHL today just YEARS LATER.

Tampa did not see any rewards for a long period of time and when they did finally win a Cup, Vinny had a massive support cast in Tampa with him that resulted in them finally getting to the promise land. You see fans just expect that it will happen if you land one of these big fish draft picks and Toronto media is all over the Leafs to get a lottery pick and  chance at young JR sensation John Tavares. First off, the media would put so much ridiculous pressure on this kid to score it would probably kill the kids career in Toronto. That’s why you got to love the pick of rookie defensive defencman Luke Schenn. What pressure does he have really ? He keeps the puck out of trouble makes quick ups and clean passes he will stay UN noticed. But a savior up front in Toronto’s meat market media are you kidding me this kid would be expected to carry the franchise on his back and win a  Stanley Cup. Toronto media would cry every time this kid went 2 games without a goal.

TORONTO IS NOT TAMPA

History has proven it takes a hell of a lot more than a top draft pick to get you there. Toronto unlike Tampa would not be patient or kind to the high pick while he develops, learns the game and settles into a top role with the hockey club. Most of the local Toronto media would attempt anyways at eating this kid up and spitting him out. Vinny , Crosby, they are as good as they are and Crosby as media savvy as he is wouldn’t have been able to withstand the constant ridiculous expectations that is the Toronto media.

Toronto needs an overhaul that much is painfully obvious for anyone who really watches this team play night to night. But first round picks or in this case first over all lottery picks don’t mean a damn thing. Leafs GM Brain Burke needs to get lucky in the draft and have a few players develop like Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf did for the Ducks. But is there anyone who really thinks the Ducks win the Stanley Cup two years ago with Perry and Getzlaf in the line up but without top D men Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. Not a chance not to mention they had goalies that could stop the puck on a nightly basis.

I know how most of the Toronto media works, if it sounds sexy 1st round draft pick then it must be good right ? No, not in Toronto if I were Tavares agent the last thing in the world I would want for my client is to be thrown into this fish bowl in TO. But if I were Nash I would want to come play here now after I have developed into a front line player. Then this would be a great place to settle in for the rest of my career.

MORAL OF THE STORY

What’s my point in all of this? Toronto needs to build through the draft somewhat yes, but Toronto absolutely needs to land some Canadian born free agents that want to play and win a Cup in the best Hockey City in the world if you ever won. The moral of the story is don’t worry so much about lottery picks that take years to develop. Worry about getting a goaltender that can stop the puck for starters. If you are the Leafs Dream team management then move to sign the before mentioned Canadian born free agents who have skill & grit and sprinkle in some astute draft picks if you want any chance at the promise land in Toronto.

For Hockey God I”m Dave Frost