As Leafs Nation becomes increasingly more frustrated with William Nylander’s holdout, I sometimes cannot bite my tongue. I’m sorry, but I am not a fan of his antics this year and have voiced my displeasure with the situation on numerous occasions. That doesn’t mean I dislike the pro-Nylander fans; I just think you’re all little nuts. Rich, coming from the likes of me, I know. But I’d like to offer you this proverbial olive branch. I’ve decided to focus my scorn on the evil genius who is the root cause of our divide: Peter Chiarelli.
Peter Chiarelli has been running amok in the NHL for longer than I can remember. How can anyone forget the hype of “Taylor vs. Tyler” in the draft class of 2010? I tell you one guy who didn’t buy into that hype: good ol’ Chia, as he traded not one but both of them. That is like sending Seabiscuit and War Admiral to the glue factory after they just ran the Kentucky Derby. Somehow, there is still an owner willing to give this guy the keys to the car and take a nap. Personally, I’d feel safer sleeping shotgun while John Candy drove & danced the Mess Around, but that is just me.
Time after time, we see Chiarelli’s moves, and we think to ourselves: how is this possible? But what I propose to you is this: What if Peter Chiarelli isn’t a human NHL GM, but a Terminator sent back in time to disrupt the Leafs Stanley Cup Run? I know this sounds crazy. But if you really pay attention to the world, you’ll see it’s not that far-fetched. Last night I watched a couple of Ted Talks on Artificial Intelligence, and it got me thinking. I believe once you see my evidence, you won’t think this is so funny. Maybe you’ll join me. SkyNet is self-aware, and The Resistance needs you.
Exhibit A: He traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson.
Everybody remembers where they were when this monstrosity of a trade took place. Me, I was at a Denny’s in North Carolina arguing with my waitress over the gravy-to-cheese ratio in my poutine. People dropped coffee cups. Some fainted. Others had heart attacks. This was the dumbest thing any of us had ever seen at this point in our lives. At first, it appeared as though the Oilers had just overpaid for a mid-range defender. But now, it is the main reason why Kyle Dubas cannot get fair value for William Nylander on the trade market.
Exhibit B: Leon Draisaitl Gets LeBron James Money on RFA Contract
Playing with Connor McDavid must be as hard as playing with Auston Matthews. Could you imagine schlubbing around the ice with that anchor? That is precisely the position Leon found himself in since being drafted by Edmonton. When the time came for his RFA contract, what did Chiarelli do? Why he signed him for much more than he was worth, of course! Now, on the surface, it just appeared that Chiarelli was overpaying merely to lock up a young stud centreman. But I think we have to consider at least the possibility that he was doing it to throw a monkey wrench into Kyle Dubas’ future RFA dealings. Mission accomplished.
As Ray probably said: Way too much money, chum.
Exhibit C: The Curious Case of Martin Marincin
Love him or hate him, Marty Primetime (trademark pending) has been the most polarizing Leafs defenseman since Larry Murphy. Well, except for the fact that he isn’t a Leafs defencemen. How in the hell do you spell Defenceman? I’ve seen it with S’s and C’s. If you think about it, it should be a defenceman. If you don’t care, I don’t give a shit. At any rate, Marty Primetime has caused his share of fights on Leafs Twitter. If the hockey analytics community had a calendar, Marincin would be Mr. February because they absolutely love him (insert long stick joke here).
Meanwhile, the knuckle-draggers who I tend to feel more at home with, deplore his existence. And where did we get him from? A gift from Peter Chiarelli, of course! I won’t pretend to have an educated opinion on Marincin. I don’t have one. But I do know a Kansas City Shuffle when I see one, and Chiarelli moved him to Toronto to distract us all. Well played, Chia-2000.
Looking back, I don’t know if I’ve proven my case that Chiarelli is intentionally messing with the Leafs. Or if he is, in fact, a Terminator, He never seems to get fired, so maybe he is made of Hyperalloy. Perhaps he isn’t. Who knows. But as much as I can’t prove what I claim, I know you can’t disprove it. By all means, follow me on Twitter @CPLMatthews and explain to me how I’m wrong. Or you could do something productive and figure out how we stop him before it’s too late. For poor little Willy’s sake.