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...because we have only one more day to wait before Chris Pronger attempts to tell everyone the truth...or a reasonable facsimile.

I don't which story left me with more of a sinking feeling this past week: The Chris Pronger rumour, or the beginning of free agency (probably the former, but only by a hair).

I think everyone remembers that moment, pre-recent CBA, when Bobby Holik signed a five-year, $45-million deal with the Rangers. It was like we had suddenly entered the Twilight Zone. Nothing that has occurred over the past three days has given me that same feeling, but I still become uneasy with all of the freewheeling spending that has taken place.

Obviously the ratios are off from the spending of yore due to the salary cap, and the maximum salary allowed is currently $8.8 million. But what happened to the theory that the middle-of-the-road players were going to be forced to up their performances on a perennial basis to justify a larger paycheque? $2.5 million a year for Brian Pothier? Five million for Pavel Kubina? 2.1 million a year for Hal Gill? I'm not saying there aren't holes to be filled on teams that require help, but just because some players had one solid year, were improved by their surrounding teammates and the NHL appears on the upswing (for now), doesn't mean you have to overspend for someone that doesn't deserve it.

This is a slippery slope that the NHL took an entire year planning to avoid. One decent defenseman's signing sets the tone for all others. A forward is overpaid, suddenly everyone's getting ready to line their pockets. How much have things really changed, cap or not? There's no way to spin overspending, especially if the players aren't the right ones to land you in the post-season.

And now, on to the lighter side of things...

TUC has been so busy trying to keep up with free agency that we never properly acknowledged the departure of Eddie Belfour from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Forced to admit their mistakes, Toronto made the decision to trade for Andrew Raycroft, and not to exercise the final year on the Eagle's contract. Belfour would have made $4.48 million this year, and still gets $1.5 million to bugger off.

Oh Eddie, how you were despised by all Sens fans. Granted, no Leaf supporters ever carried a cardboard cutout effigy of you through the then-Corel Centre, as they did with Curtis Joseph. And you never attempted to attack Mick McGeough before falling on your face after a questionable call in the playoffs, but you still annoyed us...and that's all that matters.

TUC salutes you, Eddie. Party on. By the way, we wholeheartedly encourage you to sign with the Red Wings. We'll do anything to keep using that picture.

P.S. Looks like Steve Yzerman's ready to call it a day at a news conference this aft. More info here. [Link credit: James Mirtle]

4 responses to "Monday morning deglaze"

  1. Lookit, stop using that picture and making insinuations about my party lifestyle. It none of your business! Anyways I got a billion dollars and I promise I'll sue OK! So back off! I got a career to get back on track. And don't mention anything about my back!

    Eddie thefuckin' Eagle Belfour

  2. Oh man - it's The Photo.

    It's one of the greatest hockey pictures I have ever seen, and I want it used at every opportunity.

    Is this the sixth time now on TUC? Doesn't matter, I laugh every time I see it.



  3. Yeah thank the Lord ya can't see what Tie's doin' behind us!

    Eddie thefuckin' Eagle Belfour

  4. Geez! Belfour's gone, Quinn's outta there, Domi will be icing his knuckles in retirement soon, Berg will be playing in Viking land and Belak is on the verge of extinction - who's left to hate!

    It's kinda hard to despise Paul Maurice, he's just too boring. Hall Gill, the donkey on skates, is almost lovable in a Brad Marsh kinda way.

    The Leafs are getting to be a faceless crew and that won't be fun for anybody. I mean, if they're gonna suck, they could at least do it with style and substance!

    Thank goodness there's still Sideshow Bob!

    reality check