Don't Go Back To Belleville

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The Belleville Bulls motto is 'Let's Go Wild!' (though their logo clearly displays a domesticated bull with a ring through it's nose - COME ON PEOPLE. On the other hand, chugging a few Mike's Hard in the parking lot of the Quinte Mall counts as 'going wild' in Belleville, so I guess it's all relative) The real motto should be "Torpedoing the Leafs for Three Decades."

That's right, I have identified what needs to be a crucial plank in any Leafs rebuild: keep any skaters from the banks of the Moira at least three leagues away from the Leafs at all times. Look, if you dare, at this list of Bulls who have appeared for the Blue and White:

Bryan Marchment  Why did we have to get this guy after he spent most of his peak years running around trying to end Wendel's career? It was worse than cheering for Lindros. DGB, stop by with the link of Clarkie ripping his helmet off and cheer us all up.

Kyle Wellwood Who had two points tonight. Perfect.

Andrew Raycroft
  Backstopped the Leafs with the cool and confidence of Mike Bullard hosting a late night talk show. He is seriously the worst starting goalie I can ever remember seeing. Even Red Light Racicot only got like five games a year.

Rob Pearson
Full disclosure: as a kid, I loved Rob Pearson. He was definitely one of my five favourite Leafs. I remember one year he won the accuracy contest at the Blue and White skills event. I was convinced that this meant Rob was about to break out and snipe the 40 goals I knew he was capable of. Fuck, I wish I was 12 again. I'd probably be telling my friends that Dominic Moore is the most underrated player in hockey. Of course, I still think Jiri Tlusty is going to be awesome, so maybe in some important ways I am. Redeem my faith, Jiri!

Scott Thornton
I could never tell the difference between him and Shawn Thornton, until one day last year it was driving me nuts and I looked it up. I was shocked to realize that Scott Thornton was still playing in the NHL. Of course, Thornton and Pearson were taken 3rd and 12th overall by the Leafs in the same draft year. What did Scott have that kept him in the league a full eleven years after his Belleville brother? Anyways, 3rd overall pick. Not an optimal use of resources there.

Brandon Convery
Probably the only Leaf I overrated more than Rob Pearson. That says it all.

Matt Stajan
Eric Bischoff, when criticized for not utilizing guys like Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, and Dean Malenko more referred to them dismissively as the "Vanilla Midgets." He meant they were mediocre, colourless, slot fillers. Stajan and Steen are the Leafs Vanilla Midgets. I don't think Stajan will end up taking out Shawn Michaels's knee in an epic brawl at Summerslam, though, so advantage: Y2J.

Kris Newbury In real danger of losing the 'designated speedbag' role to Ryan Hollweg.

Quite a list, huh? I think we've learned to be leery of an organization whose top scorer at the NHL level is noted puck wizard Marty McSorley. The more you know.....
And there is one Bull who was quite an asset to the Leafs (besides Spezza). Can you guess who?


Kim Jorn said:

Artificial Intelligence.

I know! I know!

Al 'Lethal Weapon Shot' Iafrate!

Wren Kegget said:

Don't slag the Bullies too much, it's not completly their fault---

A) Pearson was traded to the Generals after barely a full season.
B) Convery was a deadline pickup from the Fronts and only played a few games for Belleville.
C) Newbury was traded shortly after a great rookie season
D)Wellwood spent his good years in belleville eating potato chips and KD Easy Mac before games-This is the truth....he also dropped out of high school.

E) I have no defence for that puckbag Raycroft other then he stunk out the joint every time he came back to the Yardmen. I knew from that he would be no good in Toronto.

F) Stajan sucks, I'll give you that one, but I always thought he was over rated too. My season ticket buddy always called him (in his first two years, anyway) a "waste of a jersey"

G) Marchment had some good years for other teams

H) Thornton too, the Leafs just gave up on him too early.

BTW, the Bulls motto is "Let's Get Wild" not Let's go wild

Kim Jorn said:

You mean Al "Empty Net Goals are for Losers?!?" Iafrate.

Godd Till said:

Great stuff Wren. I will say that Marchment's 'good years' were largely spent running guys from behind and skating through the neutral zone with his knee stuck out, though.

Sorry about the motto. Who are the Yardmen?

And what OHL team has been kindest to the Leafs? The Cornwall Royals gave us Killer and Danny Daoust, the man so nice Blocheads took his name twice, but also Owen Nolan.

My hometown Petes gave the Leafs Luke Richardson, Tie Domi, Kris King, Tom Fergus, and Larry Murphy - definitely a mixed bag.

Kim Jorn said:

The greatest person the Petes gave us was Jacques Martin. When you add the comedy coaching of his Ottawa days to the fact that he took the Human Lowlight Reel off our hands this summer, I can't think of another former member of the Petes organization who has brought me more joy as a Leafs fan.

D²an D¹aoust said:

Thanks for bringing back the Rob Pearson memories. They were all largely indistinct, mostly blistering slapshots launched into the glass for some reason, and they have over time congealed into something that resembles a Jello pudding pop, but much less satisfying. I vaguely recall thinking the only reason Pearson was drafted so high was because he was the wingman to Nordiques antichrist Eric Lindros.

Another OHL bust, and this had to be my favourite/cringeworthy 'Toronto Maple Leafs blow goats yet again at the draft' moments of the recent era was when nepotism stuck up its ugly head and they drafted the son of one of Wilbur Watters friends, one Mr. Jeff Ware of the Oshawa Generals. I was hoping they would trade up to draft McKee, who went just ahead of Ware by the way, but alas, no. It was one of those picks I knew instinctively just would not amount to anything. Sadly, 21 nhl games is what the 15th overall pick in the 95 draft amounted to.

Godd Till said:

Thank you!

Whenever the discussion of 'worst Leaf' comes up I always mention Jeff Ware first. I've never seen anyone look more lost at the NHL level.


(and yet I still want Tavares)

Kim Jorn said:

Dave Andreychuk? Bobby Orr?

I am surprised that an avowed picket-line-chaser such as yourself isn't at least impressed by former General Ted Lindsay.

Wren Kegget said:

Sorry, should be Yardman Arena (formerly known as Quinte Sports Centre)....In honour of Belleville's Railroading pioneers.

BTW, my buddy works for the Panthers, so I was in Ottawa last night....thought I might turn on the Team 1200 to catch the Sens pregame on the way into the Palladium.
Topic of discussion for 25 minutes?
Ron Wilson lifting Toskala for Joseph and another team coming to Western Ontario and what it means for MLSE.

Get there, hear plenty of "Leafs suck" chants, sit beside a lady in a Sens who says, when the Sens disallowed goal is being reviewed and Stuntman Suzy says over the PA "The play is Being Reviewed", "Of Course it is, we're in Ottawa...Damn Toronto always trying to screw us."

It's official gentlemen-The chip on Sens fans shoulder of infirority complex to TO is bigger then the chip on Leafs fans shoulder of 40+ years of "futile hockey" (Damien Cox quote)

Escaped from B-town said:

Way late, I know but...
"And there is one Bull who was quite an asset to the Leafs (besides Spezza). Can you guess who?"


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This page contains a single entry by Godd Till published on October 21, 2008 9:04 PM.

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