Wayne Gryde's Toronto Maple Leafs Fan Profile

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Specializing in chronicling the Leafs' epic battle for mediocrity




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Wayne Gryde's Weblog Posts

NHL GM's: Not Taking Drop In Scoring Lying Down posted on 10/27/2008

Last week, the GM's of all the teams around the NHL got together in Chicago for a little chit-chat to discuss the state of the game and how to increase offense. The best thing their collective minds could come up with: penalizing players for dropping to the ice to block a shot. If you don't believe me check out the story here. Apparently the security was a little loose for the boardroom and somebody spiked their Gatorade.

Their rationale (I didn't want to use the word 'rational', but I needed it to spell 'rationale') is that by prohibiting players from laying on the ice to stop a blast on net, we will see an immediate rise in the average number of goals scored per game.

Apparently, the GM's feel that fans find it much more exciting when they see a 6-4 slobberknocker such as the Oct. 25 game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Montreal Canadiens than if they watch the Rangers battle back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the Penguins 2-2 and need a shootout to settle things. Didn't most of these GM's actually play hockey at one time in their lives? Who out there in HockeyLand thinks that the excitement of a game is directly proportional to the number of goals scored? Would that mean that the NHL would draw more fans for a 13-0 slaughter than a 1-goal nail-biter? I'd like to get a chance to ask one of these GM's to try to explain how the game of soccer is gaining so much popularity despite the fact it's widely known for its lack of scoring. My guess is because of the decreased hitting and increased diving. Maybe NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is still stuck in his NBA days, where scores would reach triple-digits and players were penalized for goaltending.

Continue reading "NHL GM's: Not Taking Drop In Scoring Lying Down"

From 'King' to Captain posted on 10/01/2008

After losing Markus Naslund to free agency, the Vancouver Canucks have announced that they have anointed goalie Roberto Luongo as their new team captain to fill that void. 'King Louie', as he's sometimes known, is now the first goaltender in over 60 years to act as team captain. This isn't necessarily because goaltenders are bad leaders, but because of a long-standing NHL rule that states that goaltenders are not allowed to wear the 'C' on their jersey to designate them as the captain.  Because of this, teams have always just chosen one of the skaters as the team leader. I completely back the decision made by the Canucks. I don't see any reason why a goaltender can't be the guy to guide his teammates on and off the ice. You may argue that many goalies aren't right in the head and should keep to themselves...to that I would throw out names like Sean Avery, Chris Simon and Ryan Hollweg. All three are skaters, all three most likely could use a little psychiatric assistance. Granted, Avery had an excuse: He had to spend a lot of time on the road, away from his (now ex) girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert...who

Continue reading "From 'King' to Captain"

Leafs Not McLovin' McCabe posted on 06/30/2008
It was reported in the media Friday that the Leafs are trying to cut ties with defenseman Bryan McCabe. I was reading the story on Sportsnet.ca, which states that Cliff Fletcher is frustrated because he's offered to trade McCabe to a destination of his choice, but he won't waive his no-movement clause to facilitate a trade. McCabe's agent has gone on record saying that if the Leafs are that interested in parting ways, they'll have to buy out his contract. As I finished reading, I couldn't help noticing the sheer quantity of comments posted under the news feed. There are a few who defend McCabe, but the rest of those comments were very quick to attack him as a player and as a person. Some sentiments included that his play wasn't up to the hefty contract the Leafs signed him to, others pegged him as arrogant and disloyal for not accepting a trade "for the good of the team", and others contend that he lacks the heart and drive required at the NHL level. Here's where I go out on a limb and try to defend the defenseman.

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Draft Blows Leafs In New Direction posted on 06/26/2008

The NHL Entry Draft (or what I like to call The Second Trade Deadline) is done for 2008 and this year marks the first in recent memory that the Toronto Maple Leafs actually used a first round pick for something other than procuring the temporary use of a post-prime big-named player. For those of you who follow the Leafs, the name Owen Nolan probably comes to mind at this moment...you may remember the price being Brad Boyes, Alyn McCauley, and their 1st round pick in 2003 - a draft that boasted names such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Dion Phaneuf, and Ryan Getzlaf. In fact, even though the Leafs would've picked 21st, the draft was so deep that Mike Richards, Corey Perry and Patrice Bergeron were still available. I'll let you decide whether that was a good trade or not.

This year, GM Cliff Fletcher was bound and determined to overhaul the Leafs' roster and usher in a major rebuilding era for the Buds....so where's the most logical place to start? Why, you trade one of your draft picks to bring in Jamal Mayers, that's where! I don't really have a problem with a guy like Jamal. If he's good enough to play for Team Canada, he's most likely good enough for the Leafs. He's a character/role player who adds some toughness to the team. My belief is that he was brought in to open the door for a Darcy Tucker buyout. They're similar players, although Tucker has shown more of a scoring touch in recent years, but Mayers comes at a 60% diiscount to Tucker's $3 Mil contract.

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Fletch Lives...with Mr. Wilson posted on 06/16/2008

When "Interim" GM Cliff Fletcher made his first major move in his new position with the Leafs and gave former head coach Paul Maurice his walking papers, I had to wonder to myself. The reason I was beffuddled was that Ol' Fletch professed that he was "cleaning house" for the next GM. I was prone to wonder why he wouldn't leave that decision up to whomever he happens to choose as his replacement. My thinking is this: What if the new GM actually likes Paul Maurice? Wouldn't that look a little stupid if he turned around and brought Pauly back on board? And even if he happened to share the thoughts of Cliff Fletcher, if he doesn't have the marbles to fire a head coach...why was he even considered in the first place? What kind of GM can't do his own housecleaning?

Continue reading "Fletch Lives...with Mr. Wilson"

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