Meet The D-Men Update: Leafs Acquire Frogren!
Special thanks to Steve over at HockeyAnalysis: Toronto Maple Leafs and MF37 at Bitter Leaf Fan Page. Excellent work keeping us on top of the situation with these posts about the McCabe Conspiracy, and the Leafs evolving blue-line. To summarize: Frogren is a "strong stay-at-home defenceman with a lot of skill in his own end". He is "considered physical, even tough", and makes the simple play with "solid" execution. The only other thing that I know about him is he's prone to making Spezza bleed, which has tremendous prospect potential written all over it. Finally, if you can read Swedish, there's this article about Frogren which tells you everything, including who Mats will play for next year.
So forget everything I said in my last post. Suddenly, with the acquisition of Frogren, I get the feeling that Fletcher really is trying to blow the whole thing up. He could just be filling holes, moving Frogren into Kronwall's place on the depth chart, or he's a possible back up to Finger, if he gets an early injury. But if Frogren is expected to crack the lineup off the bat, with Finger and Stralman playing regular shifts too, then there really is too many bozos in the circus. Like a McCabe backhand pass, this thing is about to explode. Cliff has only just begun. By the start of the NHL season, you will see a new-look Leafs.
Breaking News: We interrupt this post to announce that Mats Sundin may yet return to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Reports are coming in from around the globe that Cliff Fletcher is doing everything in his power to make the captain "very comfortable".
It starts with Cliff signing Cujo, Sundin's buddy, but it doesn't end there. Wilson's a tough coach who isn't afraid to call out anybody, but I don't think he'd ever embarrass Mats. The team will be led by Kaberle, Toskala, and Antropov; all Europeans. Frogren, Kulemin, Hagman, and Grabovski are all European additions. Stralman, a Swede, is expected to have an elevated role. And Jeff Finger and Jamal Mayers are here to make sure these pussies don't get kicked around. Looks like "home sweet home" for Sundin. A very comfortable set up, if you're not looking to win a Cup right away, that is.
Maybe it's true that Sundin does want to end his career as a Toronto Maple Leaf, but maybe it's also true, as suggested here, that he wanted to see what he was worth on the open market, flatter himself, and then go back to the bargaining table with Cliff. The Silver Fox has played his hand, and Mats, quite intelligently, has countered. But neither side has formally left the table, and I think there's a chance we could still see a deal. The just needed to shuffle the deck a bit first.