Posted on: March 6, 2009 4:04 pm

Burke Collecting Favors from Tampa?


Well, when the Leafs GM add IR mainstays Kolzig, Heward and some other bum to it's list of walking wounded, you had to ask yourself WTF!?


Seriously, why would a knowledgeable NHL GM such as Burke take on deadweight contracts and players he can't use?


Simple, Brian Burke is making a play for either Martin St-Louis or Vincent Lecavalier... at least that's what I'm guessing. Why else would he do such as favor for a rookie GM in Brian Lawton? Helps the Bolts free some cap space, cut some payroll, remove bodies from the dressing room that honestly aren't wanted for needed. This was a trade to help Tampa out of a mini financial crunch and build brownie points and goodwill that will lay the foundation for a future (perhaps Draft day) trade between the Maples Leafs and Lightning. Stay tuned, will Toronto land Vinny or Marty... my money is on Vinny!

Posted on: September 21, 2008 1:29 pm

Players You'd Actually Pay to Watch Live!

CBS recently published it's Top 50 players list for 2008-09 (Wes Goldstein,Top 50: Zetterberg's the complete package, just hitting prime)
The article got me thinking, which players I would pay my good, hard earned $$ to see play live?

Keep in mind, some key players will be missing from this list, namely top defensemen such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar. No doubt, they rack up points, lead rushes, are consistent and steady... but we're looking for flash and sizzle, so that includes the enforcers of the League.

Here goes, my picks and why I would pay to see them:
  1. Alex Ovechkin - Total package, goals, plays, hits, speed, showman, game-beraker.
  2. Sidney Crosby - Ice Wizard, plays with edge; Crosby is the player you'd get if you combined Mario & Gretzky's skills together.
  3. Ilya Kovalchuk - Pavel Bure 2.0, has the mean-streak Bure was missing.
  4. Dany Heatley - 1 tool shy of the total package, if only he'd drop'em a little more often, but scores from anywhere
  5. Evgeni Malkin - Poor man's Ovechkin
  6. Marian Hossa - Slick stickhandling and able to rip any type of shot
  7. Dion Phaneuf - Leads rushes but hits like a Mack truck
  8. Jarome Iginla - Fast, hits, fights, rocket shot
  9. Martin St. Louis - Yes, ahead of Vinny only because he's shiftier and plays like a PitBull
  10. Vincent Lecavalier - Just about the total package, only missing Ovechkin's showmanship abilities.
  11. Pavel Datsyuk - Creative playmaker, deceptive shot and shifty quickness
  12. Mike Richards - Plays like a wreckin' ball and hits anything that moves. Like hockey's Energizer Bunny - not sure he'd like that comparison
  13. Chris Pronger - Big hits + Big point shot, what's not to like from this D-man who stands 6'6 and has a mean streak that borderlin dirty/cheap?
  14. Zdeno Chara - You just enjoy watchin' someone who's 6'9 hit other people, it's like a train wreck.
  15. Martin Brodeur - Arguably the best goaltender of all time - Big time Money goal - definitely Top 2 if not #1!!!
  16. Roberto Luongo - Quick reflexes and acrobatic moves, imagine how much better he'd b if his teams had an average defence to protect him against facing 40 shots a night
  17. Henrik Zetterberg - Datsyuk's hockey twin: Creative playmaker, deceptive shot and shifty quickness
  18. Joe Thornton - Amazing puckhandler and finds his teammates from anywhere
  19. Henrik Lundqvist - Rockstar goalie with cat-like reflexes
  20. Alexander Semin - Fast skater with a good set of hands
  21. Marc Savard - Poor man's Wayne Gretzky - finds anyone who's open with his passes, even those who don't think they're open
  22. Ryan Smyth - an oldie, but still fun to watch Captain Canuck bulldoze through traffic to come away with the puck
  23. Jonathan Toews - Has the makings to be the next Steve Yzerman
  24. Mike Green - Fast and leads crazy all-or-nothin' type rushes up th ice
  25. Sean Avery - A psycho-path agitator-magician - and that stunt he pulled in front of Brodeur during the playoffs, hi-lit reel stuff! Pure entertainment, like watching Wrestling.
  26. Georges Laraque - It's always a Heavy weight fight when George gets challenged, and there's no cheap shots when he fights.
  27. Daniel Carcillo - He's a young pitbull without a lease on the ice, you just know he"ll fight someone.
  28. Eric Staal - Young magician with the puck, will develop more flash in coming years.
  29. Chris Neil - Chris Nilan 2.0, hands of cement, maybe head too.
  30. Ales Hemsky - Speed, shiftiness and hard shot - a natural sniper.
Honorable Mention to these players
  1. Anze Kopitar - budding talent along the lines of a Dany Heatley.
  2. Tomas Holmstrom - the only player who makes a living out of keeping his head down to pick up loose pucks at his feet to score garbage goals. He also takes a beating in the crease every night.
  3. Alexei Kovalev - Similar to Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but took too many nights off in his career to be ranked any higher.
  4. Tomas Vanek - Great mix of sniper and dangler.
  5. Marian Gaborik - I hesitate to include Gaborik on this list only because if you pay, you might not see him play because he's on the IR yet again... LOL!!!
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com