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Monday, November 26, 2012

Hassli to return as DP? Local tattoo parlours prepare for big year

Less of that in 2013 please Monsieur

Stocks rose in both the neck ink and red card markets on the TSE this afternoon after the Toronto Sun's Kurt Larson tweeted the following: "CONFIRMED: Eric Hassli will be back with #TFC as a DP to start 2013." While yet to be confirmed by the club, the return of the burly Frenchman would hardly be a shock but his wage may raise a few eyebrows.
Most TFC supporters are fine with the idea of Hassli's return but would balk at using a DP slot on the 31-year old. Perhaps if his arrival in Toronto hadn't been blemished by an injury-filled stutter-start, people would have fewer problems with him taking a Designated slot but rightly or wrongly - there is a feeling in TFCLand that Hassli is past his best and likely to continue to fight injuries. However, when it comes down to it, Hassli returning as a non-DP would have been at a wage very close to the DP exemption so the only loss is the slot itself. Whether you feel that a better DP is available for TFC - and if they are capable of identifying and acquiring said DP - is down to a matter of opinion.
Hassli's proposed return is possibly telling on a couple of fronts regarding TFC's braintrust. You can surmise that there is unease at the reliability of a returning Danny Koevermans thus making the presence of an established striker, ready in March, a necessity at any price. For the cynics, there may be a feeling that TFC's less than stellar scouting community can't be relied upon to find better than Hassli and also that there is a need for the striker to return in order to justify Mariner & Co.’s gifting of a 1st Round Pick to Vancouver. At the other end of the spectrum, the more optimistic will laud some stability in the line-up and the preservation of an MLS-proven striker who undoubtedly wants to succeed in Toronto. Either way, DP signings do not make or break a team in this league and it will be the addition of squad depth which will most decide TFC's fate next season.

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