Summer Windbag

May 20 – Mike Babcock leaves the Detroit Red Wings to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the deal calling for 50 million bucks over eight years. Seriously, that’s more than I made at BC Ferries.

Last year Toronto brought in a hot shot advanced stats guy, and now it’s this coach. We’re all screwed. The Leafs will probably be fantastic from now on. Unstoppable every year until the two of them retire. Leafs fans are lucky.

May 21 – Babcock mentions at his big press conference that the Leafs are “Canada’s team”.

May 25 – Today I’ve been thinking about what Babcock said about Canada’s team. I wanted to know who Canada is, the one the team belongs to, so I typed in Canada 411 and had a look.

The problem is, there are quite a few people in Canada named Canada, and I’ve no idea which one the Leafs belong to. There’s Graham Canada in Brampton, Vicki Canada in Vancouver, Gorving Canada in Toronto, Sheldon Canada in Alberta, and a whole bunch in Manitoba, including Mervin and Terry. Others too, including Catherine Canada in Quebec. And then there’s the parents and siblings. All these Canadas, and at least one of them owns the Leafs. Right now we don’t know which one, but I’m hoping it’s Mervin.

Whichever Canada it is, maybe his or her granddad was part of the crew that helped build Maple leaf Gardens and took shares from Conn Smythe instead of money. And if it’s one of the Manitoba Canadas like Mervin, the neighbours probably had no idea. They thought the Canada clan down the road were Jets fans.

May 27 – Guy Lafleur says Brendan Gallagher should captain the Canadiens. Guy says what he thinks, and I say good for him, he doesn’t keep things bottled up inside which could lead to ulcers. Last year he put the hammer down on Max and Tomas Vanek for having lousy post seasons, before that it was Bob Gainey and Guy Carbonneau’s handling of Alex Kovalev, and in 2007 he said the Habs were a team of 4th liners. I’m sure there were more.

Management must grit their teeth when they find out that the Flower has spoken again.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter what Guy or any of us think about who should wear the C. It should be put to a dressing room vote. They know each other. They have showers together. But call the vote when no one’s expecting so there’s no time for players to do some personal brown nosing to garner votes, like buying flowers for the other guys’ wives, or babysitting their kids.

And sadly, Carey Price’s name shouldn’t be on the ballot. You know, the goalie/captain thing. But if Price was a forward or d-man, it’s the captaincy for sure.

June 2 – Jeff Petry signs a new six year, $33 million contract with the Canadiens. I like the Habs blueline. You got yer P.K. and Petry and Beaulieu and Emelin and Pateryn and Tinordi. And yes, even Old Man Markov, who will be relying on smarts only from here on in, which is still good.

June 3 – The Stanley Cup Final featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks begins. Canada’s team isn’t involved. Probably next year because they have the coach and the stats guy. Mervin or Graham, or whichever Canada it is that the team belongs to, will be cheering wildly from Manitoba or wherever.

June 4 – Something slightly unusual happens to me today.



30 thoughts on “Summer Windbag”

  1. Hi Dennis…thought you abandoned your site…..I was going to highjack it but couldn’t figure out how.

    Toronto will make some noise this year most likely. Not a huge noise but I would bet they challenge for a playoff spot. People forget that they were in a playoff spot last season before they fired RC. They aren’t really that bad of a team I don’t think. Babcock will organize them a bit and add some structure….much like MT and MB did. You’ll see I am right. Yes I hate the Leafs but management plays a big role i n the teams standing in the league and I got to think they have a serious and qualified management team in place now.

    Anyhow good to see you back and contributing to my future site as soon as I can figure out how to make that happen.

  2. Canada ‘s team is really the Habs , Babcock is just trying to mess with people’s heads . Gally would be a great captain , maybe the little captain that could . The flower has wilted and turned into a bitter weed or is he just pissed he is not part of the management team , who knows . I am personally rooting for Chicago , Tampa Bay Lightning are a team I truly despise and I pray they meet their match . May you and Luci have an amazing summer my friend and thank you again for all you do 🙂

  3. Welcome back!…always enjoy reading your rants and raves.
    While watching the habs in the last series of their playoffs,
    every time I saw Brendan G. take a shift I thought…now there’s a guy worthy of wearing the “C” on his jersey…hopefully the players and management will agree and do the right thing this time…instead of being over diplomatic chicken shits and designating 3 players as alternates.

    “My Canada includes les Canadiens”

  4. The Petry deal was possible by trading Moen and Bourque. There’s some voodoo economics in action…

    The Hockey News, the bastion of reason and sanity provided it skates as the home team in the Air Canada Centre, ranted it was a lot of money for a “3rd or 4th defenceman.” Voodoo in action because I see him paired with Subban.

    Happy times in Toronto because of Babcock’s post-season success in Detroit, with all that talent, since 2009. Voodoo dolls, no doubt.

    So, yes, tomorrow will be full surprises because of…

  5. We’ll see about your Leafs prediction, Cliff. They have this uncanny ability to fall apart sometime after Christmas. Personally, and I may be proven wrong, I don’t think Babcock is this magical coach people are making him out to be. Three things can happen for him. He can make miracles, he can be an absolutely ordinary coach, or he can have the worst years of his life coming up.

  6. Hey Joe. I like saying that, it reminds me of Jimi Hendrix. For me, I can say I want either team to win. Something’s missing in this playoffs – the Habs. Gally leads by example, but is he a leader with his words also? Or does it even mean anything if he doesn’t?

  7. Thanks Ed. I dislike the several players as alternates too. The problem is, like many of, we were unsure who the captain should be. Gally’s so awesome, although to me he still has a bit of an ultra-young personality. But as far as on-ice leadership, he leads the pack, and maybe we need him wearing the C. I have a strong feeling PK and Max desperately want it. And your last sentence makes a fab “Quote du jour”.

  8. Well, Dennis … I plump for “worst years of his life”. I forget who Tweeted “I hope Babcock enjoys flying on the Leafs plane, because it’s the last time for the foreseeable future that he’ll see two wings wearing the Leafs logo working like they’re supposed to” (maybe it was even you?) — and it’s the truth.

    BTW, thanks for the laugh about “Canada’s Team”. Here’s to you, Melvin. I’m sure you’re inured to suffering …

  9. Love all the voodoo, Mike. And unreal that The Hockey News rated him as a 3rd or 4th d-man. Petry has all the tools and I feel they don’t know what they’re talking about. We’ve got him for six years and I couldn’t be happier. I also understand why he and his wife love the city because without a doubt, it’s the best. As is the organization.

  10. Hi Janet. No, it wasn’t me but it’s a good one. I’m not a very good Tweeter. Love that you love Mervin, even though he owns the Leafs maybe.

  11. You’re only elevating your game. Loved it. All the way through.

    1. He’s not a captain 2. Teeth-gritting (god love him, though) 3. Vicki Canada 4. Babcock will be chased out of town in year three (god love him, too)

  12. HDS, thanks. Yes, Babcock might fall back to earth with a loud thump, and year three just might be it. Pretty hard to turn down that TO money I guess. And the Leafs belong to Vicki Canada!

  13. DK, the Laffs do not belong to Vicki Canada, they belong in the TOILET!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great to have you back & what a return it is, very funny stuff. Reminds me of your one line take on Montreal’s Timmons quite a few months ago, nearly peed my pants ***** but I’m old & that’s to be expected. 🙂

  14. Dennis – its great to see a post from you ! 🙂 … I’m still dancing an Irish jig about the Petry signing ! …. and I’m not worried one iota about the Babcock signing in the Big Stink. The Laffs will still be sucking wind, with or without Babdink.

  15. Same for me about Babdink, Travis. The Laffs will still suck wind! Thanks for this. And the Petry signing is a big relief. I hate the rental situations and I thought he might be leaving. Six years – wow!

  16. DK, but where’s Waldo??? Didn’t we know someone in Orillia known as Merv the Perv? All the very best today!! 🙂

  17. I don’t get the love fest for Babcock. Detroit is not playing Chicago right now. I’m sure Quenneville would have done an equally good job coaching the Olympic team instead of Babcock. Boudreau, Cooper and yes, Therrien, too — our team was stacked.

    As for using the term “Canada’s team”…sounds like he fits the city he’s coaching. Such a gross thing to say.

    What happened today, Dennis?

  18. If you listen very carefully Dennis you will hear Mike Babcock say “the Leafs are Kanata’s team.” 🙂

  19. Marjo, what you say about other coaches doing an equally job, I agree completely and it’s what I’ve thought ever since the love fest began. We’ll see how this “saviour” does in Toronto.

  20. Mike, I don’t remember Merv the Perv. But I don’t remember a whole bunch of things.

  21. P.S.

    Hiring Mike Babcock as coach of the Maple Leafs is like putting Mario Andretti behind the wheel of a Chevette for the Indy 500.

  22. Some of you guys are having fun with the very idea of the Leafs rising much above where they were to finish off the year. We forget the mess our Habs were in 3 years ago with coaching and gut wrenching changes of one kind or another. Well enter MB and MT and some serious organization efforts coupled with structure and the team became difficult to beat…..boring as heck but still they are not an easy win for anyone. I think Babcock will make a difference in TO and they have no where but up to go. How fast is debatable but they will get better as time goes by. So I will remember all of you guys next Spring… I am not saying the Leafs will blast off just fight for a playoff spot.

  23. Not really saying that the Leafs might won’t improve, Cliff, I’m just saying that it would tremendously funny if they fell apart in early spring again. I’ve been a Leaf disliker since the 1950s, although I’ve appreciate many of their teams, Those Horton, Baun, Mahovlich, Pulford, Keon, Bower etc. teams were formidable. Great teams. I just like to have fun at their expense because it’s the Leafs, it’s ingrained into me. It started when my dad used to grumble about Foster Hewitt and the Toronto Star and Tely writers. Babcock and Shanahan might make this club better, it can’t get much worse, and they may even fight for a playoff spot. But they somehow seem to shoot themselves in the foot, and I like that.

  24. I understand Dennis…..I am not looking forward to the Leafs being anything but a bust either…it’s part of being a Habs fan……it’s in our blood to get pleasure from their collapses year after year……if for a strange reason you did like the Leafs and were also a Habs fan…..geez that would be blasphemy wouldn’t it ???? You’d be hunted down if people found out and dealt with severely. Maybe forced to watch the last 8 minutes or so of the Boston Toronto playoff game 7 a couple years back over and over and over and over…well you get the picture. That would maybe purge the Leafs out and you could build your self respect back up again and even be allowed to post on here…maybe.

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