First Star, Worst Star: March 1, 2015


Spring is almost here! The trade deadline is almost here! First Star, Worst Star? It’s here RIGHT NOW! 


The Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Look, I’m just as surprised as most of you are. But damn, that move to get rid of Clarkson’s contract? That was DAMN shrewd, whichever one of the 35 GMs/Assistant GMs came up with that (looking at you Dubas). 

And, I mean, you have to hand it to Jarmo Kekalainen as well. I know we’ve all spent the last season and a half mercilessly mocking Clarkson and his hilarious contract, but at the end of the day the Blue Jackets now have a player to actually put in their lineup, who, while probably never reaching the heights of his 2011-12 campaign can still reasonably be expected to contribute as a third line player. And don’t think even the most ardent Clarkson hater can argue that is less valuable than continuing to pay for a player who will probably and unfortunately never play in another NHL game. 

As Jonathan Willis summed it up 

This is the rare trade that will definitely work for both teams, and it’s a great example of the way financial clout can help a big-money team buy its way out of jams. Toronto’s ownership deserves credit for spending the money. Leafs management deserves credit for finding a creative way out of a bad situation.


Trade Deadline Fervor. It happens every year, and I’m just as guilty of it as anyone. We circle trade deadline day on our calendar. We all place our bets as to who is going to have the worst TV coverage, even though it doesn’t really matter because we’ll see everything on Twitter minutes before they report it on TV. Some of us even take the day off (looking at you Matt)! And then about 5 days prior to the deadline GMs start making all sorts of trades, ruining the anticipation, and generally leaving very little to actually happen on trade deadline day itself.

And on top of that when was the last time there was really an earth shattering trade? Gaborik to the Kings was pretty exciting, but mostly just because of what it added to an already stacked Kings team. We always hope something insane is going to happen, but as is standard in the NHL these days everyone plays it fairly safe. And in recent years it seems most of the big names trades happen in the week leading up to deadline day. 

Which is why I say we start acting like spoiled 16 year olds and start celebrating Trade Deadline Week! It has all the fun of trade deadline day, but spread out over the course of 7 straight days! There will be highs, there will be lows, we’ll all take the week off of work and then have to find new jobs. It’ll be great! WHO’S WITH ME?!? *deafening silence* 

  • MonsterPod

    This has been a fun year to be a Flames fan. First time in a long time. But if we sober up for a second, it’s actually a bit unfortunate we’re in the playoff mix.

    It’s a seller’s market right now and I’d love to sell high on both Ramo and Wideman (retain salary to maximize return).

  • STAN

    Thick Nick Kypreos, who was dead wrong about the Yandle deal, now says he has “a gut feeling” that Phaneuf will be gone before 3pm tomorrow… BUT the Leafs will have to cover some of that insane money Nonis gave him.

    If Thick Nick happens to be right (and that’s doubtful), Nonis will have cost MLSE upwards of $50M in mistakes – $26.1M still owing Clarkson/Horton, in effect a buyout of the deal he gave Clarkson just 20 months ago; $14M for Grabovski to play for other teams; $2M for the Gleason buyout, not to mention simply giving away Clark MacArthur. The list goes on.

    The irony that kills LeafsNation is that when he is fired he’ll also collect several million for the mess he’s created.

    • STAN

      Stan great posting as usual. I understand that the leafs thanks to the Gunnarson deal and Clarkson have only the option of one more deal of absorbing salary, so this makes it more difficult to unload Phaneuf or Kessel.

      To me I think the M.L.S.E. board room people simply can’t bear the thought of getting very little back for these two players. But as a lot of the media, fans are reacting and just the visual reaction of both Kessel and Phaneuf these days makes it look like both of these players days in the big smoke are numbered.

      It is likely in the not too distant future the leafs will have a new captain and Phil will be able to relax and play his style in some obscure non hockey town for the rest of his career.

  • With thre trade deadline tomorrow I pray that “mr. Bold moves”. Keeps it real simple and moves only Petry (not that I want him to go). What in the hell does a team like the Oilers hope accomplish at this time a year by making major trades? This news from Toronto scares me. I just hope it’s the Toronto trade deadline hype machine. If Mac T is trying to make splash on deadline day with Toronto… All’s I’m saying is that Toronto is an awful sallow pool to be taking a dive in off the high dive. This could get ugly.

  • ..add the TSN talking heads that will be covering Trade Dead;ine…wow! What a waste of resources..

    I predict that the morning will be spent rehashing all the trades before the deadline…

    BT still has irons in the fire…will he find a veteran replacement for GlenX? or will he just count on Raymond to fill in…a parameter player to replace the guy that did the heavy lifting for the Flames offence? The playoffs could go south quickly1

  • Dirty30

    Trade deadline day would be more interesting if they had cheerleaders … just saying …

    and get Wayne and Garth to host … they could at least cut-off some wanker whose in love with the sound of his own voice and cut to the cheerleaders …

    just saying …

    Lot more interesting than watching Thick Nick’s hair product dry.

  • Dirty30

    Headlines today should read, “GMJB hampered by money hungry Canuck ownership… Misses opportunity to reset the organization by selling spare parts for kings ransom.”