Took to wearing his oldest and most dilapidated Leafs gear in public since March so no one would confuse him with a bandwagon fan.
Thrilled with this signing. I live in London, big Knights fan, and am always very impressed at how the Hunter bros. handle their business and the on-ice product. This individual will come in and put in the work as well as possessing the unique abilities that will allow him to excel at this job. I don't care about Don Cherry's opinions on the Leafs draft record-think Morrison and his team have done well over the last few years-but definitely think that adding this kind of talent can only be a good thing. Hopefully this means that the Leafs will do a better job of keeping their draft picks rather than trading them away for patch jobs and bad contracts. They have lots of young talent that are ready to step up and fill holes if injuries arise, so picking up other teams' deadweight is hopefully a thing of the past.
1 week ago on Mark Hunter – Leafs Lunch – Oct. 21st
@.JVR. @Pent_House There are armed guards in Parliament HIll. Vickers' job is ceremonial (although legit as we saw today) rather than actually intended to be the only defense available.
1 week ago on Leafs-Sens Wednesday Night Game Postponed
@Burtonboy I was totally shocked until I realized that the game was in Pitt. Philly has the least class of any fanbase (for all their sports) that I've ever seen. Can't imagine them doing this.
I know we're only a few games in to the season, but as it stand right, imo the Polak trade is working out fantastic for the Leafs. Gunner's contributions to the team we're no longer worth noting on the offensive side, and Polak is far better in providing a bit more snarl and defensive ability along the boards to help alleviate the opposition's cycle game in his own end. Not to mention that either Gardiner or Rielly are far more capable to take over any PP or offense from the backend that Gunner was failing utterly to provide.
Now, I realize that it hasn't done much to help bring a competent partner for Dion, but I don't think that Gunner was fulfilling that role all that well either. So, we're stuck with a horrible matching of Phaneuf and Franson for now, but there's overall a better outlook once Horacheck and the rest of the coaching staff have time to really get the defensive structure implemented.
Anyone watch Blues games? I have to think that Polak is providing more benefit to the Leafs than Gunner is for the Blues.
1 week ago on Game Review: Game #7, Toronto Maple Leafs 5 vs. New York Islanders 2
@Mcost61 @leafmealone Mark can't really do much for the NHL product from his position though. The most he can do is recommend trade targets from other teams' NHL/AHL rosters.
1 week, 1 day ago on Monday Mashup: Taking on the toughs
@Whalz Dion was essentially standing still. And that's pretty much what Franson does, he backs into the D zone and then gets caught flat footed unable to come out and challenge OR stop a rush. Look at the Zetterberg OT goal. He backs in, and then stands there when the only player within 20 feet of him accepts a pass and uses him as a screen. Better to get beat while at least trying to do something than standing around and getting beat doing nothing at all.
@Mcost61 As long as Carlyle is shown the door, I'm not sure I care who is coaching this team next year. My only problem, is that it will inevitably lead to the players learning that they never have to commit to play defence as it's easier to fire the coach than the stars. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if hiring Mark meant that Dale might come and coach in TO. He sure seemed willing to staple Ovie to the bench if he didn't want to get with the program. THAT is what the Leafs need. Someone who isn't afraid to back up all the "accountability" talk.
@Whalz I just wish he'd stop skating backwards until he hit his own net. Would be nice to see him step up and challenge more at his own blueline. Even if he held the puck carrier up enough to cause an offside it would be more than worth it.
But every time, as soon as the Leafs lose possession, even if he's well closer to the puck he immediately starts to backpedal into his own zone. That alone causes the the other team to gain easy possession to the attacking zone and proceed to hem us in. And it's doubly harmful as he is terrible at breaking up the opposition cycle game and seems unable to protect against the cross seam pass.
@ProfessorRance @leafmealone @Cameron19 Their D is TERRIBLE, and they can't attract free agents. I wouldn't be so sure. Dion would NEVER waive for there though, wifey wouldn't allow it.
@wiski @Burtonboy I'm sure Steve Spott feels the same way.
@ProfessorRance @leafmealone @Cameron19 I'd happily swap Phaneuf for Staal. Not that I really think that Staal is going to be able to help any more than Dion, but the contract would be over in 5 less years.
@Cameron19 @leafmealone I will never underestimate the stupidity of NHL GM's, or their ownership groups. Never say never.
@loomx @Bruffins ".....and we're back from commercial where it looks like Allison just about managed to squeak around Franson on that end-to-end "rush"."
@Mcost61 So that the almost tomb-like atmosphere from the lower bowl fans allow for better audio up in the booth? It would be cool to be able to hear the players talking to each other on the ice during the tournament.
@ProfessorRance @leafmealone Forgot the NTC. Maybe the Leafs can get lucky here. There's been lots of recent examples of top end players getting their team's a minimal return in trade because they were only willing to go to a handful of places. Perhaps if TO was one of a limited number of options, it would drastically scale back the potential return the Canes could ask for.
Could wait and see what July 1st and the draft floor trade market brings, and if no better options come around see if Carolina is willing to part with him before he might leave at the end of his contract. The Leafs could ride out his cap hit for one year and get a chance to see if he's worth renewing as a UFA or if they should set their sights elsewhere.
Best scenario for the Leafs if Staal is moved, is for them to push the bidding as high as possible so that the team htat gets him is crippled instead of the Leafs doing it to themselves. Where's Mike Gillis when you need him?
N@Xxxxxnew @wiski Actually, he'll be doing Poulin's job. Loiselle was the cap/contract guy that was replaced by the person who came over from the NHL.
Not to nitpick, but I remember the comment that Percy would likely show better the higher the level he played at being made numerous times by the Leafs scouts and player development staff going back to his draft/post-draft year (when he was still in the OHL). The idea that it's just come out of nowhere because of analytics is a little bizarre to suggest.
In fact, it's a comment made regarding lots of players of Percy's ilk-those whose success is due to their hockey IQ and strong decision making rather than being physically dominant or displaying a high end ability at a particular skill set.
I get the point you're trying to make in that locker room aphorisms like "we didn't want it enough" etc. are being exposed for the empty platitudes they are, but you chose a horrible example with which to make your argument.
1 week, 1 day ago on Maple Leafs Prospect Update: October 20th, 2014
@Armchair GM I might agree if this were a coaching hire. But Mark is way better than Dale in any other capacity.
@ingy56 @Mcost61 @TorontoMapleLeafs Ingy, I hear you. But I've come to look at it like I do when two NFC East teams play each other (I'm an Eagles fan). At least one of them is going to lose. I just hope it's a physical tough game where they both end up beating on each other as much as possible.
@dlb Mad @Xxxxxnew Actually, as they played more minutes than Kadri's line, I'd say they're stealing minutes from there. As the 4th line played even less last year than they are this year.
So Zdeno Chara heard about Grabo getting concussed by John Scott and was like "Trust me bro, I totally softened him up for you."
I think the Pens top D pairing is just as defensively questionable as any of our possible options. Just sayin'.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on GDT: Game #2, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m., CBC)
@loomx @Anthony Petrielli Not so sure that having Gardiner start in his own end is a wise move. The Leafs can't win faceoffs, and if he doesn't start with possession where he can rush the puck out of his end, Gardiner has shown that he has little to no ability to hinder the opposition's cycle game.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Re-Evaluating Dion Phaneuf — A Victim of Miscalculation
Thorough and well presented, kudos. Also, a good example of stats supporting the eye test.
Watching Phaneuf over enough time it's obvious that he struggles to make good decisions under pressure in his own zone (with or without the puck), shows a weakness in winning puck battles, and frequently allows himself to be found out of position by chasing the puck/puck carrier. However, he does have offensive skill and holds his own when rushing the puck or joining the rush.
@Mcost61 @leafmealone Leaves and lawn mowing.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Maple Leafs claim Richard Panik off the waiver wire
I'm out. Later all.
@FRyan Oh NFL, you really have this public image thing down don't you?
@docmma @Forever17 @leafmealone @Cameron19 Picks. That's all I'd want from Cgy.
@Mcost61 @leafmealone Well, as a fan of the team I'm certainly hoping for the best. I actually like that they're looking to maximize value from role players rather than signing Connolly/Armstrong/Clarkson type free agents to horrible deals. Pay your own young stars as you develop them, and surround them with savvy pickings like Santorelli/Winnik.
@Forever17 @leafmealone @docmma @Cameron19 Cgy certainly has the cap space to resign him, and seems to like giving UFA D bloated contracts. Win-win for both sides. ;)
@Mcost61 @leafmealone You are of course assuming that Panik will actually start to work hard himself to achieve this though.
Personally I hope so, and from what I read on TSN his reaction seems to be that he intends to take it as motivation to prove himself. Guess we just wait and see.
@Mcost61 It is kind of funny though, it's like...."hey, you're not working hard enough, so we're gonna claim this guy off waivers who's becoming famous for inconsistent effort to come in and take your job." Say what now?
@docmma @Forever17 @leafmealone @Cameron19 Detroit would be a tough deal to get good value I imagine, as the two teams are conference rivals and all now. Think I see him going West myself, they love players with size out there. My outside-the-box thinking on this is maybe Dallas as they've got an A+ forward group but could use some work on D. Also, they have a decent prospect pool so either prospects or picks wouldn't be too hard for them to accept moving (maximizing our cap relief).
@Forever17 @docmma @leafmealone @Cameron19 I imagine that's the thinking within Leafs mgmt. It's early, either the Leafs themselves will need him due to injury, or some other team will get a little more desperate thanks to injury troubles of their own. With Boychuk and Leddy already snapped up Franson could be a valuable commodity if the trade is managed correctly.
@docmma @leafmealone @Cameron19 think you should head to TSN/Sportsnet/Hockeybuzz if you want to do that. You'd fit in better. ;)
@Cameron19 @leafmealone It's Leaf Nation, there's always some lowest-common-denominator asshat popping up to bitch about something.
@leaffan4life @leafmealone Think they're just waiting for the market to develop a bit more.
Also, made the mistake of listening to the Bill Watters interview that's up over at HB (well some of it, I quit after a few minutes). For a guy that claims to be a Leaf fan, the jerk certainly takes even more glee than Darren Millard does at taking any excuse to bash the team. No idea what I was thinking, but thought I'd try and save anyone else from making the same mistake with this warning.
I see a few people around the web bashing Nonis for picking up Panik. Personally, I think this was a Dubas inspired move. And it definitely means that one of Frattin or Ashton is gone. Panik is cheaper than either player, and it looks like the Leafs are going to be pinching pennies all season to gain as much room under the cap as they can for any possible deadline deals.
@Ze_theLeafsFan @leafmealone @Burtonboy at his cap hit, yes. He's also being misused. He's playing too far up the pairings for what he's capable of now.
@Mcost61 PVR'd the game and started it 90 minutes late so that I could fast forward through the between periods BS. Now if I could just find some app to selectively mute Hughson and Healy I'd have had it made.
@Ze_theLeafsFan @Burtonboy who?
@BPsotka @leafmealone @Burtonboy The only way the Leafs trade Dion is eating at least a million of his salary, or taking bad money in return. Friedman said as much in his 30 thoughts this summer when the Leafs were trying to move him at the draft.
@Burtonboy No, scratch that. Way less term and enough less cap hit. (Wideman vis-a-vis Phaneuf)
@ProfessorRance @king leary Gardiner just seems to be totally lost in his own end. Can't figure out how to take the puck from the opposition. Can't win a board battle. Can't even disrupt the puck carrier. He's better at helping the other team cycle than he is at helping his own team.
@Burtonboy Perhaps the only D contract of a top 4 D that would be harder to trade than Dion's.
@bear19 If he sits the next game every time he takes a night off, this might sort itself out rather quickly. Also, he might benefit from the scrutiny of the TO market in that his inconsistent effort will be widely covered unlike it would be in Tampa or in the AHL. Kid might respond to the slap in the face that fans will give him for taking nights off. Who knows?
@Jay_Berg Could be that Panik is the Leafs' insurance when they waive Ashton.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on Game Review: Game #1, Montreal Canadiens 4 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs 3
@MaxwellHowe I wouldn't mind them doing that and sitting Frattin. Then if Dion sucks balls again he gets to see a LOT more bench time.