It comes with not great shock that Jeff Finger is waived. Not even sure how newsworthy this even it, after all, it seemed inevitable.
That’s a hard truth about the salary cap era, if you don’t perform up to your pay grade you are the first one out. This year it seems to be happening on a wider scale, Wade Redden being the poster child for bad contracts mixed with bad play. It has even happened in Chicago when they let Niemi walk out to what they felt was overpricing the young netminder. However, in this case the price tag seems to be an added bonus to sending him down, after all, his play hasn’t endeared him to the coaching staff.
It’s good to see Burke sticking to his guns. He promised only those able to perform will stay with the team and even gave Finger a chance to redeem himself after getting over a bum knee. But with the other 7 men ahead of him on the depth chart playing well, there was no time to even get him on the ice for a game. That’s not fair to him and wouldn’t be fair to sit a deserving defenseman. So it is in everybody’s best interest for him to go down and play, ice time for him and an example for everyone else.
Maybe he gets claimed, that would be his best chance of making it back, but I could not see that unless it was on reentry waivers. His play has sent him down but his contract is what will keep him there. Much like Mark Bell and Redden he will have to toil in the minors since nobody wants bottom depth players for top end money.
Once more Burke makes a change that removes a player signed by previous GM’s and takes another step in the direction of respectability as a team. With the possibility of being demoted a reality on this Leaf team there should be a lot of passion, a lot of heart and hopefully a lot of wins produced by this attempt to cure Blue and White Disease.