It’s been a hot topic, and a touchy one at that for the better part of almost a year, since the day the trade was consummated. Â The Toronto Maple Leafs, toward the end of the pre-season, announced that they had traded two firsts and a second round pick to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Phil Kessel, a young American born sniper who the B’s were having issues resigning.
It was a steep price to pay, but you have to give to receive, and in Kessel the Leafs got a bona fide goal scorer who looks like he could be a perennial 30 goal scorer (more on that later.)
And yet some people have cast Kessel to fail, no matter what impact he has on the Leafs, attaching him forever to the trade that brought him here.
This past week, Bill Watters took that to the extreme, and took a piece of integrity written journalism and turned into something sensational and downright wrong, all in the name of making Phil Kessel look as bad as possible because he doesn’t agree with the trade.
Per the Globe & Mail:
Leafs Lunch is no longer being served at AM640 in Toronto. The daily hockey program, with Bill Watters and Darren Dreger, has been cancelled by the Toronto Maple Leafsâ€™ host broadcaster after making a concerted challenge to the Fan 590 in the noon-to-1 p.m. time slot. The station will instead go with a syndicated talk format with Charles Adler from noon to 4 p.m., followed by the Bill Watters Show from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The station will apparently direct its sports resources to the Watters show. â€œThe Leafs Lunch brand is not going to die,â€ program director Gord Harris wrote in a staff memo obtained by Usual Suspects. â€œIt will live on — in a modified form — beginning in September.â€ — Full article here
UPDATE Per William Houston:
The Leafs Lunch show with Darren Dreger and Bill Watters will be shuttered in early July. Staffordâ€™sÂ mid-morning show will be extended to 1 p.m., when Adler will take over, followed byÂ the Bill Watters afternoon drive at 4 p.m. Previously, Stafford took a break from noon to 1 p.m. , when Leafs Lunch was on the air, and thenÂ came back for another hour from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Why was Leafs Lunch cancelled? Mostly because of ratings. — Full article here (glove tap to ingy56 for the link.)
It feels strange to have the similar attitude of Bill Watters on Leafs Lunch towards prized free agent acquisition, Mike Komisarekâ€™s regular season debut against his former club. But â€¦ here we are.
According to Swedish sports newspaper Aftonbladet, the Maple Leafs are frontrunners for the services of Farjestads goaltender Jonas Gustavsson as the 24-year-old sets his sights on crossing the pond for the ’09/’10 season.
The American Hockey League has released the 2008-09 Clear Day Period lists for each of its 29 member clubs.
With the rebuild process in full effect, the Toronto Maple Leafs are exhausting every single possibility when it comes to bringing quality young players into their system. Dave Nonis, senior VP of hockey operations for the Leafs,Â was just on the Bill Watters show earlier this hour and discussed a number of topics pertaining to the Leafs, including the team’s approach to handling its NCAA prospects as well as possible interest in some of the prized college free agents.