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This article is nothing short of depressing. I guess the writing is on the wall, when you read that Orr is having a good camp (based on what ? ?) , and yes, Ashton has been less than inspiring . Maybe Ashton goes quietly into that good night, and is never heard from again . But if the Leafs keep Goon #1 or Goon #2 , or , unthinkable, both , and Ashton goes on to have even a modicum of success in the NHL this year, then anyone wearing a suit and tie in the Leaf organization should be fired. If there is any up side to retaining either Orr (didn't really plan that) , &/or McLaren , it is that , yes, Randy is still running things , his team will suck , defence will be a joke, and we will get a shot at McDavid or Eichel . And Carlyle will be no more . Hmmmm.....I feel a bit better now.
15 hours, 13 minutes ago on Wednesday Mashup: Bye Bye Carter?
@Anthony Petrielli Anthony, it is pretty clear to me as to your feelings on our head coach. Sadly, most of us are in agreement with you .
1 day, 20 hours ago on What to Expect: Stephane Robidas
It is getting pretty close to the 11th hour for a few Leafs. Certainly Orr and McLaren are near the end of their tenure here, even if Carlyle keeps Colton around for a while . I doubt Bodie gets claimed, so Marlieville it is , but he is a kind of useful plumber, so he may be back. I fear that Brent Ashton is a goner, because he just has not stepped up to the plate, and if they try to send him down, unless he is waiver excempt (I don't think he is), someone will take a flyer on him. Frattin is another guy who hasn't shown enough, so I doubt he is a Leaf for long. Nonis brought him back , but it doesn't look like a smart move at the moment. I have always been a Frattin fan . While Holzer may make the team, I like Percy for the long run . Both Percy and Leivo look like they will be NHLers , and hopefully as Leafs. Kozun is getting great reviews in what looks like absolute larceny of a trade last year. Some good things happening, but the team must continue to evolve behind their own blueline , and it wont be easy . If we flounder, it wont be due to lack of firepower, it will be due to lacklustre defence play. Same old same old ? Maybe yes, maybe no.
2 days, 17 hours ago on Monday Mashup: Leafs Make Cuts, Booth Out 4 Weeks
Franson has "Gunnar Syndrome" ....no confidence and handles the puck like it is a grenade . Bye bye . I have always liked Frattin, but with Leivo looking like he is really wanting an NHL job, Matt may be Marlie bound . And how can you keep a kid like Percy in the AHL, when he makes so many tape to tape passes . Sure, he isn't very physical , but he is big enough, skates ok, and is headier than a ton of players . Somehow Nonis has to use some imagination , and package a few guys like Franson , and ...name three....for a high end whatever. I think Nonis is really an overly cautious guy, as many GMs are , and he is not prone to swinging big deals that involve risk . Unlike his predecessor .
3 days, 11 hours ago on GDT: Preseason Game #6, Buffalo Sabres at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m., Sportsnet)
Nice write up, Anthony. What stood out for me last night was Percy's ability to see a lot of ice , and then make the good pass (or shot) . AP alluded to that. And, Leivo just looks like a guy who can play NHL style offence...something the Leafs do not have a lot of. He is not the fleetest guy out there, nor is he slow . He protects the disc well, seems to know where to be , and falls on his keester as well as anyone. Seriously, if he isn't ready for prime time, he is darned close. Without either Gardiner or Reilly in the lineup , Percy certainly looked uber smart with the puck compared to the rest of them . I kind of think he is a kid you could carry and ease into the lineup without hurting his development.
4 days, 17 hours ago on Game Review: Preseason Game #5, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Sabres 4
To me, when you don't win, you contemplate change . So, the notion of breaking up that first line cant be too shocking. Lupul is a good player, but JVR is better (but the gap isn't wide when Lupes is healthy) . Kadri is a decent young player , but maybe he needs a guy like JVR , who is also young, but really seems to have taken a giant step forward .Somehow our top two lines need to find a way to score , AND be responsible defensively . This group of six love the rush ....up ice , that is . Not so excited about getting back (Clarkson would be the exception...if he ends up top six ....not a slam dunk) . Game on !!
1 week, 2 days ago on Should Joffrey Lupul or James van Riemsdyk play on Phil Kessel’s line?
If Polak can stay on his feet....we win the trade . Gunner was routinely getting muscled off the puck by the likes of Gionta . Someone also made the point that good defencemen like Beauchemin have come to Toronto, and floundered badly . Robidas could do likewise if this bunch don't suddenly discover that playing defence is part of the job, and it is done with a lot of grit . Our pretty team better decide that they need to get their noses dirty , on a nightly basis .
1 week, 3 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?
You have to think that guys like Holland , and maybe one or two of the veterans the Leafs signed on the cheap will create some offence , and thereby enhance the goals scored by lines three and four. Some of the troops used in the past couple of seasons couldn't shoot a hockey puck into the ocean. I cannot see any possibility that the Leafs third and fourth lines score less than their predecessors. We haven't added any Phil Kessels, but how could you possibly miss proven four goal scorers like McClement, Kulie, Orr , Smithson, and the like.
1 month ago on How will Maple Leafs forward moves impact team shooting percentage?
That's a very fine analysis . I am glad, though, that Anthony did mention near the end of his writeup , that Leaf penalty killing has basically stunk for many years. What we saw in that 48 game season, was some sort of an anomaly as to how the Leafs usually do business on the PK. Too bad. So, if with their new personnel, the Leafs become more proficient in the dot, and as a team, display more composure when they are a man short, hopefully the results are a more efficient PK. Even going from 29th or 30th, to say, 18th or 20th, would be great . It would help shed some of our laughing stock image. Attaining that improvement, however, is no slam dunk, and we will need better penalty killers than we had last season . Not much mention of the Carlyle Factor (unless I missed it) . I guess we need to give Randy a little slack, as he is the only coach in close to a decade who has got the Leafs into the playoffs. And last season , if it wasn't for a surprisingly horrible last 20 games, he would have had the team in the playoffs on back to back years. Its August....hope springs eternal . If not....there's always Connor .
1 month, 2 weeks ago on What’s Ailing the Maple Leafs’ Penalty Kill – Part 1
job well done, David.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Updated WOWY analysis of Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak
@FRyan do you mean Brian Boyle ?
2 months, 2 weeks ago on The Cody Franson Arbitration: What is he Worth?
great stuff , Elliot . I think I smell rubber burning, and I believe it is Dave Nonis and a couple of his posse reading this article, and saying, cripes, guys....look at all this great data . We should just photocopy the article and take it with us to the arbitration hearing. No way we could cover things this well on our own ! And for what it is worth, I agree that Franson, warts and all, will be a Leaf in September. You don't just walk away from tree tall defencemen who , at times, seem to possess some decent offensive upside. The fact that Cody has all those bodychecks to his credit over the years ??? I dunno, maybe he was just too damn slow to get out of the way of incoming forwards. Could be . I actually don't mind the big palooka, but don't put him on the PP late in the game, paired with old fleet foot Phaneuf. Now theres a picture....the two of them snowshoeing back towards the Leaf zone, trying to catch ...well , anyone .
the banter of a Franson for Kulikov swap ....is there anything to it, or wishful thinking ? I would do it . Franson has some value on the PP , but cripes he doesn't move much better than those aforementioned bricks on ice. Kulikov has good wheels , at least in his feet.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Peter Holland to 2-year, $1.55 million deal
@mike-username bricks on ice .....love it !
The glimpses that we saw last year of what this player can do suggests to me that he can be more than a third line centre. I don't believe that Anthony is pegging Holland as a #3C, but rather seeing the three hole as a starting point. Fair enough. I think the kid has flair , and can do some fancy stuff at high speed . We have seen Kadri do some things and say, that was elite. Holland may not be quite the cobra that Kadri is, but he is bigger , and pretty quick. I think the Leafs must be thinking that of these two , we should end up with at least one centre , and maybe two, who play in our top six. That may relegate Bozie to #2 or #3 eventually (and I like Bozie) . Further, of course, there is Nylander, who could be either a centre of LW, Gauthier who could be a factor , and even Verhaghe has decent upside . Right now there are other guys with more experience who can help at centre, but all of a sudden, there is hope down the middle . No Crosbys mind you, but teams , not individuals, win championships .
@dlb Mad interesting comment. I recall thinking that when the Leafs made the deal to get this kid, if he lived up to his billing, the Leafs may have stolen one. But, right on ....no news, no mention , nadda , nadda , nadda .
2 months, 2 weeks ago on 10 Midsummer Thoughts on the Maple Leafs
@colino17 @HeatherRickAkin good point
oh, and , great work as per usual, Anthony.
I believe that so much of what goes on with the Leafs on ice play relates directly to Randy Carlyle. His insistence in going with journeymen onstead of gambling a bit with the likes of D'Amigo , Holland, and Ashton is bothersome. Are we to believe that he has turned a new page, and will gravitate more to the kids ...I guess because some of his favourites are gone, he may have to give the youngsters a longer look. Just a question on Cody Franson. If Montreal wanted Franson for Georges , and onstead traded Georges for Buffalo's second round pick in 2015 , shouldn't there be a swap to be made there ...ie Franson to Montreal for that 2nd rounder ??? It would be about as good a return for Franson as is possible. Think I will call Dave right now and ask him if he has thought of that ...
@Burtonboy @HeatherRickAkin No, I wasn't dumping on the brain trust at all , and Orpik or our wounded soldier Bolland , both got $$$$ that they will likely never be worth. I have lots of time for guys like Komorov and Frattin, and who knows, someone of that ilk may actually give us more than Bolland would have. I was doing a bit of a tongue in check, suggesting that we may follow Edmontons lead , and I think we are too good to be 28th or thereabouts . But if we ever landed McDavid , we would have our Tavares or Stamkos.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Trevor Smith to one-year contract
When I saw the Smith signing, I thought .... ok, not a bad hockey player . Then I thought, hey, that describes most of this summers Leaf signings, and several incumbent Leafs . Other than young Nylander , who may become a difference maker , pretty vanilla this summer for the blue and white. I cant help but harken to a comment I have seen , maybe more than once, in describing what the Leafs are up to this summer. My words : they are positioning for a shot at McDavid . They are so often accused of having no plan , and yet this could very well be there "A" Plan , and lo and behold they couldn't say it out loud , because that would be , well , "Oil Tanking " .
We are in Maine this wkend for grand daughters first B Day ...so just catching up for a second. I am a Frattin believer and it would help our cause immensely if Matt did what some of us think he can., Yes, Franson looks like odd man out, and the hope is you can move him. Maybe for a second round pick .... Do the Leafs think that Del Zotto , like Frattin , has significant upside ? If so, MDZ is young, lots of tools, and likely would sign a rather modest short term deal. I do read, though, that Detroit are in hot pursuit .
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes
@Sexyhairyman @HeatherRickAkin it kind of was , dude , and gosh, would it ever be great to land a Johannsen or Reilly or even Subban, but has one of those offer sheets EVER worked ? Probably not, but there is always a first time . Not with the Leafs , though, or at least Nonis. Our GM is quite the conservative, wouldn't you say ?
2 months, 4 weeks ago on Friday Mashup: As the smoke clears for the Toronto Maple Leafs
Meanwhile, back at reality .... I want to state, emphatically , that the Leafs re acquisition of Matt Frattin could turn out to be the deal of the summer for the blue and white. I like D'Amigo, he will play in the NHL and perhaps be a good energy guy/PK man . Frattin, on the other hand , has at every level he has played at, scored pure goal scorer goals. This is not a taught skill...it is either in you, or it aint. I was a believer in this kid the first game he played as a Leaf. I think it was a meaningless last game of the season vs Montreal, and he was bulling his way to the net all night long. He flashed some serious skill the next year and scored some high level goals, and you can believe that the trade for Bernier doesn't happen without Frattin going west. I don't care what has happened since , this guy is only 26, has a big body and skates well and has nice mitts. If the light bulb ever goes on, and stays on, and Matt realizes how good he is ....we have a gem . It's in there , Matt ....
To me, just a very sensible approach in trying to restructure the team, albeit given the cap situation the Leafs are in , a necessary approach. And yet, it looks like they are adding pieces with sandpaper as part of their resume. And clearly , this team, with all their flair, needed a large influx of grit . I think, so far, so grit . And with Reimer and Franson as the most likely candidates to be traded , there may be more movement. Not sure what's out there to go after , and unless a more or less ideal guy becomes available, perhaps the Leafs try to recoup a draft pick or two . A final thought .... about this site . Alec and company provide great reading , well written , and for the very large part, quite unbiased, given the name of the site . When your talented crew also includes an astute legal mind , who also writes so well, , MLHS deserves many kudos . The comment section of course is often somewhat tainted with blue and white euphoria, or depression, depending on whether we have won or lost. I plead guilty to being part of that crew (actually, it's fun). Back to my point....just a great site, Alec !
3 months ago on Mike Santorelli signed by the Maple Leafs to 1-year, $1.5 million contract
@Cameron19 @HeatherRickAkin I am guessing Kulie isn't alone ....
3 months ago on Dave Nonis on Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050
@Cameron19 This will make you feel better...I know you are a pretty big PH9 supporter. Over on my hockey rumours site, someone did a comparison of Niskanen and Phaneufs pt totals over the past several years, and needless to say, it wasn't close. OK, Niskanen had a huge season in 13-14, Phaneuf did not. Nevertheless ....point was well made that if Phaneuf went to UFA this summer, he would have gotten massive money and term . What some guys are getting as UFAs this summer is silly , and in reference to some of the defencemen ...these dudes bring so much less to the table than Phaneuf , it actually looks like Dion's contract is sensible . If he can get some support next year, and bounce back up to say 40 pts...totally realistic ...many people will have to shut up .
I just looked at the list of remaining UFAs , and two UFAs who did not sign yesterday, signed today .....for about half of what they made last year. I am not saying every one of those remaining guys takes a salary butchering , but some will, and some may not even get signed. To me, Kulemin , given his age and health , and what we know he can do, is as attractive as anyone left , at this point. Maybe Pitt has him wrapped up, I dunno . Just glancing down and seeing Legwands name....who is 33 . If we gave Komorov, who I like, 2.9 mill a year ....isn't Kulie worth that to re sign. I would take Kulie ahead of McClement , Legwand, and many others . Doubt it happens, though.
@Marlies Man hmmm ....would you send Franson to Montreal for Buffalos 2nd rounder next year ?
3 months ago on Toronto Maple Leafs Updated Depth Chart
@Marlies Man @gjdevlin probably an accurate appraisal . We may get lucky on Carrick, as a guy who just comes from nowhere and shows he has got it. McKegg is a kid, I think, who has all the tools and can think the game, but his foot speed may hold him back from the bigs . Just an opinion based on what I have read.
With you all the way, AP . I was totally happy with the day , and going in, I was all trepidation about how the brain trust would screw things up . Its still early, but indications are, yes, they have their thinking caps on. Wonder if there is any thought at all to bringing Kulie back . He did a good job pinch hitting at centre .
I really like what we did today. Always liked Frattin, and Komorov was a must. Robidas is fine with me, too. Not unhappy to lose Bolland, due to $$$. Raymond is good but soft, and we still have lots . Don't care if McClement moves on, and Orr will be a Marlie. I like Kulie, and it sounds lit Pitt are out, but someone will pay him . I wonder if Del Zotto is worth signing . Cant help but wonder, too, if Carlyle will give Holland, Granberg and Ashton a good look. We may not need to sign any more UFAs , and maybe don't have room. Anyway , for me, a totally sensible approach by Nonis et al .
3 months ago on Dave Nonis Free Agent Day Media Address
I have always liked Frattin . He can score goals a lot of other guys simply are not capable of. Problem for Matt is that he needs to find a way to add consistency to his resume. Will he do it ? I guess Nonis thinks so, and I am with Nonis on this one. A decent , sane day for Leaf management. Its not over yet, though .
3 months ago on Maple Leafs re-acquire Matt Frattin for Jerry D’Amigo and a 7th round draft pick
At the end of the season , the Leaf fan base were, as usual, dejected, because the team finished in the middle of the also-ran heap . But, surely there would be reason for hope during the summer months. June and July are usually the Leafs best months, right ? Frig .... other than young Nylander looking like a potential Alex Steen (not going there...we all know that story) , what has changed ? There is excitement in outposts such as Buffalo and Edmonton, and even hated Vancouver. But in Hockey Central ??? Roman Polak , you say. No action during and before the draft. No action after the draft , and now, Josh Georges , who is not to be mistaken for Shea Weber , has refused to be traded to Toronto. He isn't saying that he wants to play for a contender , and he has a list of 15 teams he will go to. Leafs not on list. Fifteen for frucks sake ! Apparently he wants to play for an organization that does NOT resemble an asylum . Go figure.
3 months ago on Maple Leafs’ Tim Gleason to be bought out
Wow, what a deal for Arizona to land Gagner for a 6th round pick, and TBay pays part of his salary. Looks like TBay may have signed Purcell to a bad contract a couple years ago , and now Purcell isn't coming close to his big season numbers. Nice work by Yzerman to move Purcell out, but you would think Stevie could have landed better than a 6th rd pick for Gagner. Is today the last day that the Leafs can move Dion before his new contract kicks in ? You know there has to be some interest, but the deal has to make sense and not just be a Leaf salary dump. I think if the Leafs can find a better partner for Phaneuf, he will be less prone to bad turnovers. I don't care what anyone thinks, I believe Gunnar played hurt for two years now, was just not up to the physical demands out there, and you have to wonder if he EVER comes all the way back. Same fear for Bolland, and because of that, I think the Leafs cant be paying Bolland anywhere near five mill a season. And you cant issue a 4 or 5 yr term to a wounded duck. It has to be about business, not sentiment.
3 months ago on James Reimer Requests a Trade
OK, first the draft picks. Who the heck knows ? I wanted Ehlers, and he was there, but we took Nylander. I am fine with that, I believe in blood lines, and the kid smacks of talent. I am so very grateful that we did not opt for quasi local heroes Fabbri and Ritchie . Now...the trade. OK, so we have not addressed the need for a top pairing defenceman, but, in a way, we have started. Surely if Gunnar had come back, he and everyones favourite captain were the first pairing defence tandem . At least with Gunnar gone, we will have to explore adding someone to play with Phaneuf (and , for me, it is still up in the air as to whether Phaneuf stays or is on the train outa Hogtown) . I doubt Carlyle or anyone else in the braintrust, feel that Gardiner or Rielly are ready for first pairing duty . Maybe Dan Boyle, but he will want big money , and likely a two year contract. Because there seems to be no one else , he may be the guy. Again, its not a slam dunk that he will want to sign with the Leafs. I see that Del Zotto is up for grabs, and he has more experience that Gardiner or Rielly , but is he a fit ? Anyway, Gunnar was decent before the hip problems, but like Bolland ....will he ever regain top form ? Too much doubt on either guy .
3 months ago on Draft Day Two Wrap Up: Gunnarsson for Polak, offensive focus to Leafs’ draftees
Holy crap ....if ever there was a fan base drooling for something significant to happen, its us. And when I saw the pic of Nonis at the top of the page, and what followed was...well....nothing . I have maintained all along that we will stick with the #8 pick, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. But outside the draft , other stuff could be happening. I just have such a stong sense that Nonis is the ultra conservative, does not think outside the box, and , I believe, over values his pieces . I see him bringing back a couple of Leaf UFAs that wont help , I see him passing on Komorov , and I see Kulie moving on. If Kulie moves on, Komorov is the sensible, cheaper replacement . But, no. We wont have either, and Kulie marches out the door with ZERO return. And I don't mind Bolland, but we simply cannot be overpaying another low scoring forward . I need to see a couple of moves that make me think that Leaf management are NOT paralyzed with fear of making a move . So far these guys do not instill confidence , at least not to me .
3 months, 1 week ago on (Thursday Mashup) Maple Leafs considering Tony Granato as potential assistant coach, Dave Nonis meets with media ahead of draft
I see that TBay bought out Ryan Malone. Wonder if Burke and Nonis will arm wrestle for first dibs to sign him ?? On a more serious note, I am getting some sense that the Leafs will actually try to sign Komorov. Nah ....makes too much sense. Quiet in Hogtown, dudes. Too quiet.
3 months, 1 week ago on Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes
Of our six UFAs , Kulemin comes to mind, and the other five .... I guess I could conjure them up if I gave it a few minutes . Hmmmm ... let em walk, and get on the blower and call Spott for his six best Marlies .
@Savo43 @HeatherRickAkin @Anthony Petrielli @Burntheboats thanks for that. Always great to hear from people who have actually eyeballed these kids .
@Anthony Petrielli @Burntheboats Anthony, what about Jake Virtanen if he is still available. My reads say he is talented with a nasty streak . And, I think, the youngest guy in this draft .
@Cameron19 @HeatherRickAkin For me, that game 7 vs the B's was just a cameo of all that is wrong with theLeafs...albeit a bad time to lose their nerve. The bigger picture is that in the seasons sandwiching that famous game , the team looked good in both seasons, then simply couldn't cowboy up down the stretch, when it mattered . I doubt that anyone (Nonis included) really knows if the Leafs are within 2 or 3 good additions of becoming a solid playoff team, or are we in bigger trouble, with a team that is structured (fatally) to win off the rush . The evidence is growing that we are closer to the latter . Sadly.
Agree with darthN .... read earlier today, I think Matheson out of Edmonton wondered if theres a trade to be made between Toronto and NYI , with Phaneuf to the Isles for the #5 pick. I would do it . I think we will all be very disappointed and disillusioned if Nonis sits on his hands over the next two weeks, or worse, brings back some of the incumbents . These are the guys who couldn't get the job done down the stretch , choked against the Bruins in game 7 a year ago, and went off the tracks the year before that. For the love of God, does this type of shoddiness not scream "Change is needed ! " .
@ingy56 @HeatherRickAkin he may very well. But, just for my liking, I would take the three guys I mentioned ahead of him . They are all pretty close , and we can all read volumes on these kids. The truth shall be known, in what ...3 to 5 years ??
3 months, 1 week ago on Bob McKenzie’s 2014 NHL Draft Rankings + Mashup
@NinetyThree @HeatherRickAkin good point, but then again, this is Torontos development system we are looking at...not Detroits
@ingy56 @HeatherRickAkin I think this type of player is better taken down at around #20, where Detroit grabbed Mantha . But at #8, where there are far more viable options, also with high end talent....I pass on Nick .
I think there is a ton of scepticism about Nick Ritchie at # 8 . A player who is huge , with some talent , but he apparently has a propensity to put it on cruise much of the time. Yup...would fit right in .
Man, theres a lot of angst regarding Nonis, and what he may do. So far, so quiet. That doesn't mean he is going to screw it up , but if he does do some of the unthinkable ( ie sign Raymond, sign Bolland, let Komorov , Gardiner and Kadri go) , I think we also have to question, just what the hell Shanny is doing, and why did they bring him into the fold ? Hopefully, it isn't to up the idiot head count at MLSE .
I like Bobby Macs list, and I would love to land either Fleury, Virtanen or Ehlers. Just, please .......NO NICK RITCHIE !!!!!
If Statsny makes it to free agency, he will be the #1 UFA centre . Looks like Grabo makes it to #2 , which tells you how bad this UFA class is . Be ironic if the Leafs re signed the little Belarusian, now, wouldn't it ? I wouldn't like it, but I would prefer it to the Leafs tossing close to 5 mill a year for five yrs, to Mr Injuryprone, himself . Sad, but for me, its bye bye , Dave Bolland . Wouldn't mind Statsny, but he will want over 6, and that may take us out of the bidding. Cross your fingers and say "Yes, Peter Holland can be a #2 centre " .
3 months, 1 week ago on (Monday Mashup) Schedule Released