Let’s face it, for the most part, there is not a lot of hockey news—and certainly not much in the way of legitimate Maple Leaf news—at this time of year. What existed of the “elite” free-agent class has made their choices and they have all gone elsewhere. Most of us understand—it likely wasn’t going to happen in free-agency for the Leafs this off-season, at least not in terms of "big names". (Some useful players are still out there...)
The entry draft was exciting (presumably we won’t get to feel that excited about a high draft pick for a good long time…otherwise, things are worse than I suspect) and netted us a bona fide prospect in young Morgan Rielly. But the bottom line is we’re all in a holding pattern, essentially waiting to see if the brass does do something big (Luongo, Marleau, Nash, Semin, somebody…) or if, in reality, we will head to training camp in September with this roster pretty much intact. That would no doubt mean we would see at least some of the “kids” promoted. You have to believe that was the clear signal when Armstrong was bought out. The organization wants to make room for the likes of Kadri, Frattin and whoever earns a spot at camp.
But again, this is pretty much what we’re left with these days: speculation, possibilities, hope- and rumours that usually turn out to be unfounded. Meanwhile, we check to see what other teams are doing. But after the big announcement made by Suter and Parise last week, it’s a pretty quiet time. And that’s OK, because even fans and sports organizations need time to relax, unwind, take a deep breath and smell the roses.
That said, I thought I would check in and see where you’re “at”. We’re well past the end of the Leafs' regular-season back in early/mid-April. More recently, we’ve seen a lot of other teams play their guts out fighting for the Stanley Cup. From a Leaf perspective, we’ve seen the organization draft some promising kids and pick up Van riemsdyk in a major trade. There may be more to come.
But here’s my question: where, as a Leaf fan, do you fit right now? Are you in the optimistic category? Cautiously hopeful? Or are you living in more of a Missouri “show me” frame of mind?
Let me know….