Gilroy, Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad
Having successfully courted NCAA free agents Tyler Bozak and Christian Hanson, Leafs general manager Brian Burke aggressively pursued Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy, the next “ruby in a mountain of rocks”, if you’re fan of Meat Loaf’s “Bat of Hell” album.
In the end, the price for the “Coup de Ville” was too much for Burke’s liking, as the New York Rangers outbid the rest of the league with an offer of a two-year, $1.75 million contract.
As Rob Longley reports in today’s Toronto Sun, a key component of the offer is that it is a one-way contract, meaning Gilroy will earn the same salary whether he plays for the Rangers or their AHL affiliate the Hartford Wolf Pack.
With the signings of Bozak and Hanson, Burke has shown his opportunistic savvy in landing players from a rarely-tapped resource pool such as the NCAA.
At the same time, his fiscal restraint for which he has developed a renowned reputation in the NHL (see Penner, Dustin) is also evident. This bodes well for Leafs fans who believe that Luke Schenn may be too high an asking price to pay for John Tavares.
Two out of three definitely ain’t bad for Burke. Or, if he were to re-write Meat Loaf’s song:
“I want you”
“I need you”
“But there ain’t no way I’m ever going to overpay you”
After gaining a series split on the road in Manitoba, the Marlies return home to Ricoh Coliseum for the next three games of the North Division Semi-Final. On the injury front, defenceman Jamie Sifers (hip) is day-to-day, and may be ready for Game #3 on Sunday (4pm start). Kris Newbury (shoulder) is not expected back this season.
This Day In Leaf History – Part 1: On April 18, 1942, the Leafs clinched their second Stanley Cup with a 3-1 victory at Maple Leaf Gardens. This Cup championship, is memorable for the fashion in which it was won.
The Leafs surrendered the first three games of the series, digging themselves into a deficit that seemed insurmountable. Perhaps fueled by the fact that the Red Wings were already planning their parade route, Toronto promptly reeled off victories in the next four games to take the series and the Cup.
To this date, the feat of rebounding from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game championship series to win has since been accomplished only twice: by the 1975 NY Islanders over Pittsburgh, and by the 2004 Boston Red Sox over the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
This Day In Leaf History – Part 2 (different year, same date, same two teams, same result): On April 18, 1963, the Leafs defeated Detroit 3-1 in Game #5 of the Stanley Cup final to win the Cup on home ice.
Dave Keon potted two shorthanded goals establishing a playoff record for a single game. Sandwiched between Keon’s markers was a tally from the Entertainer, Eddie Shack, which stood up as the Cup-winning goal.
Rob Del Mundo is the author of Blue And White Beat, and will be blogging at TMLfans.ca throughout Marlies playoff run, as well as the Stanley Cup playoffs.