A trade! It's always an exciting time in Leaf Nation when the Silver Fox pulls the trigger. I'll try to post more reactions to the Stempniak-Steen-Colaiacovo deal soon, but first I'd like to present simply the words from the Leafs directly involved.
First, Mirtle lets you read a transcript of Cliff Fletcher's press conference.
This is the money-shot: "The rationale behind the Leafs making the trade was that we felt we were acquiring a top six forward, someone who can play on our power play besides contributing substantially offensively... We just looked at it from the standpoint of that it's very difficult to find top six forwards, particularly someone who can play on the power play and Stempniak, in this case, is a right-handed shot, which we don't have..."
There's that expression, "top-six forward" again. I wonder how many Cliff thinks we have now?
Below is some awesome footage from media scrums with Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo. They both look great in their goodbye-tuques.
Steen: "... excited to have a better 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter..." Indicating he's well aware of the crap numbers he's put up through the 1st 20 games.
"... It is what it is, y'know..." I don't, but I like the way he said it.
It seems they had a practice first and weren't told about the trade and then after were summoned to Cliff's room of gloom. "... When you find out you and Carlo have to go and talk to Cliff, we kind of knew that something was up. I've never had a meeting like that before..."
I'm a bit disturbed with how often Steen remarks that he's going to miss the trainers. At least 3 times he mentions it.
His wife is wondering where St. Louis is and what's it's like. It's in Missouri. It's very American, compared to Canada or Sweden.
On the playoffs in Toronto: "... something that I really wanted to do, but y'know, won't be able to do, maybe the Stanley Cup Finals, or something like that down the road..." That's the spirit.
Steen, at least, looks relaxed and comfortable. Carlo looks like he's in considerable shock.
Carlo: "... We have a great bunch of guys in the room. It's really tough saying goodbye to them..."
"...It's all a big shock to me right now, but I love Toronto... I'd consider coming back one day..." Could you imagine? 3 to 4 years from now, when the Leafs are a Stanley Cup contender, and right at the trade deadline, GM Brian Burke reacquires Carlo Colaiacovo for the playoff push. That would be so awesome.
On the possible advantages of not playing in Toronto: "... I finally get to get away from you guys... " Haha. Stupid media, take that!
"...Both me and Alex thought we were part of the future of this team... Wish it could have been better but hopefully things will be different down the road..."
They both seem like really cool guys. And I'm a bit sorry to see each of them go. Alex, especially, had seen quite a lot of criticism recently, and Carlo wasn't able to avoid it either, being hit first by a puck in practice, and then by this out-of-the-blue shot from Wilson, just less then a week ago:
"The big thing with Carlo, and I tell him every day, you're not in very good shape and that's your fault."
Ouch. That's not happy, that's sad. Sad, now that he's been traded. Hockey players are people too, y'know, and besides all the passion and grit they're required to display , they sometimes also have feelings. Hopefully Carlo's feelings aren't as fragile as his bones.
Best of luck, Carlo and Alex. Keep in touch.