Posted in Canada, news, Sports, Toronto

Toronto Raptors Trade DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard! WOW.

News just broke that the Toronto Raptors have traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 1st round pick (top 20) to the San Antonio Spurs for the Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

DeRozan is the Raptors’ all-time leader in points score (13,296), games played (675), field goals made (4,716) and attempted (10,532) as well as free throws made (3,359) and attempted (4,277). He ranks 3rd all-time in assists (2,078) and 2nd all-time in steals (655).

Most importantly, DeRozan twice passed on opportunities to be a free agent in order to stay in Toronto, play in Canada, and embrace all that it means to be Canadian.

Leonard, on the other hand, the former 15th overall draft pick, after falling out in San Antonio, throughout the 2017-18 campaign is not happy about being traded to Toronto (Canada).  Leonard has been dealing with a quad injury that kept him from playing in all but nine games, and his unusual recovery time was compounded by his physical separation from the team because he chose to do his rehab in New York instead of in Texas.

DeRozan is upset about this deal, because apparently the team met with him in Las Vegas during summer league and was told he would not be traded.

This morning, DeMar posted this on his Instagram account: “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out for a quick bit of nothing … Soon you’ll understand … Don’t disturb.”

So DeRozan is unhappy.

Leonard is unhappy.

Leonard is also scheduled to enter free agency in 2019 and has no intention to commit to Toronto long-term, in fact, he said he intends on signing with the LA Lakers, which makes this a huge gamble for the Raps GM.  If Leonard re-signs, the Raptors have their 1st top-5 players in the teams history, and if he doesn’t the Raptors will have significant cap space available for a rather significant free agent pool at the end of the season.

Either way, it’s a huge trade for the team.
Posted in family

A funny story about collectibles and Switzerland…

A fried of mine, let’s call him K-Hof, and I were in my basement on the weekend looking through a box of my old collectibles. I had some Kraft dinner boxes with NHL player card on them, cereal boxes commemorating Wayne Gretzky’s achievements, even a cereal box welcoming the Vancouver Grizzlies to the NBA.

I also had a pile of old Hockey News magazines, from many years gone by.  I picked up a back issue to explain to him why I felt I needed to keep this issue (since all the info is online already) and I flipped open the 1999 Future Watch issue to see who THN was predicting would be the next round of stars in the NHL.

Sure enough, there under the 24th pick in the NHL draft was the player the Toronto Maple Leafs took. His name was Luca Cereda (born September 7, 1981). He was playing in Switzerland at the time the Leafs took him so high in the draft, and many questioned the pick (well maybe everyone questioned the pick) as Switzerland is not exactly the hockey hot bed for budding stars.

“Maybe the Leafs got Switzerland confused with Sweden?” my friend said aloud.

I laughed, thinking that was totally plausible, knowing the Leafs.

“Cerada”, I told him, “Is retired. He was drafted in the first round, 24th overall, of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. He came to training camp and 2 days into camp was sent to a specialist after being diagnosed with a congenital heart defect. He had surgery in Toronto and never played hockey again.”


“Ohhh”, my friend replied. “That’s really too bad. I suspect he would have played great in the neutral zone”.


Get it?

Neutral zone… Switzerland…

If not, comment and I’ll explain further.

K-Hof, you rock!

Posted in Uncategorized

More stupid Leafs…

I mentioned a few posts ago that if the Leafs lost their last game against the Ottawa Senators and if the Phoenix Coyotes won against the Anaheim ducks that the Leafs would fall to fifth last and into the lottery for the top draft pick.  This would give them an 8% chance of selecting first… Sure beats a 0% chance.

But my Leafs, ah my Leafs, always find a way to screw up, like last night with their win over Ottawa while the Coyotes… WON.

So the Leafs finish 6th last.  No lottery.  Nothing.


Thank goodness this season is over.  Now I get to watch the New York Islanders get John Tavaras and the Colorado Avalanche get Victor Hedman, while the Buds draft someone from somewhere who probably wont make the NHL.


Posted in hockey, Sports, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

The Urban Daddy’s Official Cure for the Toronto Maple Leafs from January 16th, 2008…

Breaking news!

You are reading it here first, but I have determined the cure for the illness that is Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and I might even apply for the General Managers job as soon as the Leafs fired JFJ when he is jettisoned to the unemployment line after butchering this team.

How JFJ, or anyone else in Leaf management  could possibly think that last year’s team – which missed the playoffs –  was good enough to bring back this year almost intact, save for the additions of Jason Blake, Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell.

I want to know who approved this?

They need to go too.

So let’s dive right in to The Urban Daddy’s plan for turning around the sad-sack Leafs and turning them into a winning team in my lifetime.

First, the CBC gets it all started as they yank the Leafs from the Saturday night slot and replace them with the Ottawa Senators or Montreal Canadiens.  I’m a huge hockey fan first and foremost and would enjoy watching the Sens or the Habs just as much. They both have good, young teams, they know how to win and they won’t break my heart because I’ll be rooting against them but okay if they prevail.

The fallout of not having the Leafs there, the slap in the face heard across the country would prompt the egos at MLSE to take action. Bye bye Peddie, Tenanbaum, JFJ and sadly the coach, Paul Maurice. Temporarily in comes a management team of former GM Cliff Fletcher and if the price is right, the Leafs need to buy the most respected coach / GM available (or not available) to change the mentality of the players, which right now would be Scotty Bowman. Include Glenn Healy, Doug Gilmour and this group will take the roster of the Leafs and the Marlies and head into a board room only to come out with the following to do list:

  1. Ship out the best players for picks!  First out the door, Mats Sundin – great Leaf. Gone. To a contender as the playoffs come to other teams (not the Leafs). For at least, a good young player already on a roster, a young prospect from a farm team and a 1st round pick or 2. He’s playing his best to get the most back to the team in his trade.

  2. Next out is popular Darcy Tucker – for a young player and a pick

  3. Then, Bryan McCabe – back to the Islanders for a young player and a pick
  4. Jason Blake – for a pick or bag of pucks – but with his salary its going to take creativity on behalf of a management team which in its current incarnation is not capable of.
  5. Andrew Raycroft – the player that the Leafs traded Tuukka Rask for (and this move is going to haunt them because I think Rask is a WAY better goalie than Justin Pogge) for a pick or a bag of pucks.
  6. Matt Stajan – for another young player – he’s young but not a scorer.  The Leafs need to remove any potentially skilled player from the team so they can bottom out… fast!
  7. Mark Bell – for anything – but I doubt he makes the season.  His head is not in the game.
  8. Alexei Ponikerovsky – player and a pick (he’s big and has shown signs of being able to find the net, although penalty prone).
  9. Nik Antropov – he’s finally exceeding expectations, so it’s a fluke (see Jason Blake) and time to go! Player from roster, young player and pick… Fast, before he gets hurt.
  10. John Pohl – anything – he was JFJ’s big steal from St. Louis… Oh, how the Blues must still be reeling. LOL.
  11. Wellwood, Wozniewski and Kubina we’ll take a pick for all three. The 2 defenseman must go and if Wellwood committed to getting in shape, then he can stay, but he won’t and will likely be out of the league within 3 years.
  12. Vesa Toskala only if there is a fabulous offer like a young player or solid veteran, or play him and let him lose every game.
    Hal Gill – very slow and Bates Battaglia (on the farm) can go if anyone has interest in them. They shouldn’t be good enough for this team, yet they are. Sad.

The Leafs need to make a huge change in direction and by shipping out the old blood and bringing in youth – not the prime prospects (are there any?) the Buds can start drafting better (new scouting staff is a must as well – but with 60 picks instead of 15 they stand 4-times the chance of getting a player with talent, skill or drive to play on this team.

The Leafs need to start playing guys like Domenic Moore, Ian White, Anton Strahlman, Tomas Kabarle (the new Captain) Alex Steen, Boyd Deveraux, even Wade Belak (every team needs an enforcer) and Jiri Tlusty.  How else can the management team assess if they are keepers or if they need to go.

As for the farm… I’ll never forget the comment that superstar goalie Ed Belfour made about Leafs defenseman Jay Harrison, when he said that Harrison was a true NHL defenseman.  So what does MLSE do with Harrison??  Send him to the farm.  Well, they need to bring him up!

They also need to finally give a shot to Carlo Colaiacovo (get him healthy and a personal trainer), Simon Gamache (1st line), David Ling (the leading point getter and set-up man) and Kris NewburyMarlies leading goal scorer (last years tough guy – why?), bring up Jeremy Williams, Robbie Earl, Darryl Boyce (a plus 18) and on defense, Bryan Muir (if he can play on the NJ Devils, he can make the Leafs). Bring up Pogge to play net, and a lot of net and this is the 2008/2009 team.  They may make a ton is mistakes but they might also shine enough to themselves be traded for prospects and picks and one day the Leafs might have a team!

Right now my fear is that the bright names mentioned above are going to be stars in the NHL but not with the Leafs and the players picked up in return will not play for the Buds either… That’s what they do.

In the off season sign a few free agent veterans to teach the kids never to give up, maybe one or two with Stanley Cup rings, and only young free agents if they are young! Bring back Mats if he wants either this year or next year to end his career here, but at a lower salary and with the understanding that if these vets play well, they’ll be traded to a Stanley Cup contender and have a chance at a cup.  That is a win-win proposition.

This youthful team will compete for either last or a playoff spot, so they’ll be not better or no worse than the current bunch. Only difference is that in 2-3 years my team will be better and the current Leafs won’t!

The Urban Daddy for GM!

(Can’t wait to see this post in 10-years to see how the Leafs have faired!)