There will be no goaltending controversy with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That only happens on good teams, with reasonable expectations and that's not another 1967 shot at the team or its fans. Too early for that, no?
Whatever the media or fans say about it, head coach Ron Wilson doesn't have to make a call on his goaltenders, frankly, until February. At that point, if the Leafs are in the playoff hunt and Wilson's still here, he can settle on either Jean-Sébastien Giguère or Jonas Gustavsson for the stretch. In the meantime, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with whoever's playing best, regardless of how many games in a row it means for Gustavsson to sit on the bench. Gustavsson is the future - but the future with an asterisk.
He ought not to get any preference over Giguère, who brought a notable element of composure to the Leafs after he joined them last season.
The Leafs' preseason starts Tuesday, and Wilson said he will use Giguère most likely in later exhibition games.
"He'd rather practise a lot and play more games toward the end than being thrown in after a couple of days on the ice," Wilson said.
It's remarkable how quickly the hockey intelligentsia has dismissed suggestions that teams are conspiring against the New Jersey Devils by not trading with general manager Lou Lamoriello to help him out of the salary crunch created by the NHL's dithering in dealing with Ilya Kovalchuk's contract. If Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke can help present the NHL's case against fudging long-term contracts, healthy skepticism would suggest it's not out of the question. Hope they burned the cocktail napkins at least.
BITS AND BITES
… The Columbus Post-Dispatch reports that the Blue Jackets have had internal discussions about trading for Sheldon Souray, who has been barred from attending the Edmonton Oilers' training camp for criticizing management. … My guess is whatever tension existed between Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Marcel Bellefeuille and Kevin Glenn has disappeared after the quarterback completed his first 12 passes in their 35-31 win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday. … The broken right leg suffered by Ottawa Senators defenceman Filip Kuba on Saturday proves that, much like spring training in baseball, once hockey players report for medicals nothing good can happen until the regular-season opener.
The final word is ... deep. The place where Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards never seems to look. Pathetic.
Home run differential for the Blue Jays through Saturday, best in the majors ahead of the Red Sox (+59).
THE FINAL WORD
The place where Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards never seems to look. Pathetic.
THE KING IS HERE
New York Yankees ace CC Sabathia likely leads the American League Cy Young hunt but Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, who pitches Thursday at the Rogers Centre, will get votes despite winning 12 games. King Felix is living up to his moniker. Most career strikeouts through the season pitchers turn 24:
Bert Blyleven 1,327
Bob Feller 1,233
Walter Johnson 1,218
Dwight Gooden, 1,168
Sam McDowell, 1,101
Christy Mathewson, 1,085
Fernando Valenzuela, 1,032
FELIX HERNANDEZ, 1,032
The fewest wins for a Cy Young Award winner in a non-strike year is 16, by Zack Greinke (2009) and Brandon Webb (2006).