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I think AP's notebooks need to be mandatory reading for all of Leaf management . Not saying everything Anthony writes is correct (most of it seems well thought out, though) , but ....it makes you think . That's an exercise that has been missing at times with the Leaf brain trust . And if you want to tank , keep on sending out Bozie's line in OT and other critical junctures . They rarely let you down .
6 days, 5 hours ago on Leafs Notebook – February 23rd
@DylanJ @HeatherRickAkin you have nailed it.
6 days, 21 hours ago on The Bozak-Corsi Dilemma
Here's what I think . The change of playing style from Carlyles outdated approach to Horacheks system has helped Bozie. I like a lot of what Bozie does . He skates decently, handles the puck ok, has some on ice vision , finishes ok , good on the draw. He is poor on one on one battles , has no mean streak , and will get outplayed by bigger guys. He isn't small , but he doesn't play big. I don't give a hoot about what corsi or fenwick or whatever . Bozie is an average player on a lousy team , who have way too many players who play like Bozie. Bozie, and most of those powder puffs, would do a lot better on a tougher team , where their softness can be insulated . Same for Phil , JvR, Gardiner etc . I don't need the fancy stats to pint out the obvious . If and when we trade guys like Bozie and Kessel , if they land in the right place , people will be crying, why the heck did we trade them. The answer is because , as I said, we have an overload of lovers . We need a lot more snarl . It was evident against Winnipeg last night in a chippy game, but that isn't really the nature of this Leaf team . Even Reilly, our close to untouchable , is a lover...albeit a truly talented player . Bozie will be Bozie, wherever he goes . But, at the end of the day, to change the chemistry of this team and make them harder to play against , some of these decent, soft players, need to be removed. And replaced with more aggressive types, until you find the right balance . Maybe corsi and fenwick can point that out...I dunno .
1 week ago on The Bozak-Corsi Dilemma
That, I think, is an interesting and likely, quite accurate assessment of what goes on behind closed doors, in terms of player selection....be it at a draft, or at the trade table. Scouts, after all , are pretty low on the totem pole , and they are paid to watch, then give their opinions. The big boys ....eg Brian Burke .... ultimately decide who it is they want ....eg ,Tyler Biggs, Luke Schenn ...whomever. Oooohhhh....maybe those weren't the greatest examples of Burkie's shrewdness . They do have tenacity, however. Or not.
1 week, 2 days ago on Bob McKenzie on Leafs scouting
Even as we plummet in the standings (yahoo !!) , I feel we are in pretty good shape entering the draft, unless the press clippings on Hunter and Dubas are way wrong . F' rintance , we all know who the top two centres in the draft will be ..... but after that , you have Strome, Marner , and a good Czeck kid ...Pacha ?? who , I think plays in the O . You have to think that somehow , we will come out of this draft with a ringer who is at the very least, an upgrade on Kadri , whom I do not mind , but do not see as a true #1 C . I have been lukewarm on the Leafs scouting staff in recent years , and even though their head guy talks a good line , these new dudes aren't in town just so that the coffee parties are larger.
1 week, 4 days ago on The Leafs shouldn’t retain a dollar of Phil Kessel’s contract
That's a great article, Alec , and as I read it ...starting with the "and not retain a dollar '' line , it is clear that you do in fact feel that our GM/Prez. , whatever , would indeed be outfoxed by a rival GM if the Leafs do end up trading Kessel , and retaining dollars . You would have a ton of support for your take on this , and I am totally with you . The others ... be damned ! Wouldn't it be fabulous if the Leafs actually drafted a true honest to God #1 centre in June , and the kid was fast tracked to being our #1 pivot . It is possible that McDavid , Eichel , and Strome could all be regulars in the NHL next fall. And , if Kessel was not traded , he would finally have an elite centre , which Bozie is not (still a good NHLer , though) . I am not saying you draft a kid and ruin him just to help Phil , but those three kids look like sure bets to take the quick street to the NHL . With all the trade talk on Kessel and Phaneuf, I wonder if in fact the Leafs feel a very strong need to trade Phaneuf , and not near the need to move Kessel , but by implying both are on the block, it may take a bit of heat/embarrassment off the captain ? Crazy ? Yeah , maybe...but , hey , it's Toronto .
So, I think Winnik gets our only goal, Santorelli plays well , and so does Franson . Lets suppose without those three, we would have lost our point . Hmmmm . Nonis is waiting till the 11th hour , but I think he will wait too long . If there are 6 to 8 teams on the bubble now, in two weeks time, there may only be 3 or 4 teams on the bubble, so now your buyers are fewer, and maybe they have filled their want list. My opinion is that Nonis will sit on his hands and we will end up keeping two of those three guys....maybe all three. And if it plays out like most Leaf hands, they will walk in July . These guys aren't Crosby and Letang...trade them now and get something, for cripes sake. Hope I am wrong, but the clock is ticking.
2 weeks ago on GDT: Game #57, Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m., CBC)
@Savo43 way too creative for our management group to orchestrate . But , a good plan .
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Bob McKenzie on Tyler Bozak & Dion Phaneuf interest, Phil Kessel rumours
Someone please answer me this : Franson is playing HURT . He has a sore hip . The Leafs in no way can risk this guy getting hurt . If he sits , it will help with the tank . So WHY IS HE PLAYING ????? Are there any other answers then that the Leaf braintrust are still the stupidest management crew in the NHL ???
@Airfreshener @TheLoovTrain yes, Lloyd .....
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Report: Brendan Shanahan set to go nuclear on Leafs roster
Nice hockey deal by Buffalo and The Peg .....good for both teams . Know why the Leafs don't do real hockey deals ? They can't, that's why . They are so screwed with bad, immovable player contracts that they literally cannot make a trade of significance. Even the joke Sabers are able to wheel and deal . The Leaf team is cursed by bad management and that is why they are where they are. And because of that nincompoop leadership , they now have to move out guys like Santorelli, Winnick , and Franson. They get to keep Clarkson , the three floaters on the first line , and many people's favourite whipping boy, Phaneuf . If , indeed , they do trade any of The Big Five , they may have to accept less than fair value . Clarkson, Phaneuf and Kessel are overpaid , so that makes a fair trade very difficult to do . Bozie and JVR are not overpaid , so there may be a way to get decent return on those two. Still , the bigger picture is the team are tight against the cap with bad contracts, and every GM in the business knows that . I'd be careful about that light at the end of the tunnel , given the shrewdness Leaf management has displayed over the past few years.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Game 55 Scoring Chances: Rangers 5 vs. Maple Leafs 4
We desperately need to keep dropping in the standings. We have several marketable "pieces" , whom , once removed, will actually help with our tanking . All we need to do is move these helpful guys prior to March 2nd. After that, they are ours, and we no doubt lose them in the summer for zippo . What could possibly go wrong ?
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Game 55 Scoring Chances: Rangers 5 vs. Maple Leafs 4
I have read that Phoenix aka Arizona ...are interested in The Thrill . Makes sense . Phil is a marquee player , in spite of his warts , and he would sell some tickets in the desert . Yotes blogger suggests two trades, but the one I would do in a heartbeat is Domi, Michael Stone ( a young D man) and the Yotes first rounder in 2016 , in exchange for Kessel . I am a Kessel fan , but this team needs more heart and grit , and I think Domi would add some of that.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Tuesday Mashup: Reimer to start third consecutive
Anthony , you have outdone yourself on this effort. The Notebook is always a great read....this one , even more so . Thank goodness ....at this juncture , Leaf fans need something to buoy them .
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Leafs Notebook – February 10
I just looked over the rest of the Leaf schedule . Of the 28 games remaining , I ballparked the Leafs doing as poorly as 7 POINTS in those games. Of course, I am wildly biased as I want the team to drop as close to 30th as possible . I realize that Buffalo , and Edmonton are clearly out of reach . OK , 7 points in 28 games .... maybe not . How about double that ....say 14 points the rest of the way , and we end up the season with 64 points. If we unload some veterans , and replace with prospects/picks, I think around 64 points is reasonable . Am I nuts ? And if 64 is reasonable , where would that land us ?? 27th overall ?????
3 weeks ago on Game 54 Scoring Chances: Maple Leafs 5 vs. Oilers 1
With the ton of Leaf jokes making the rounds on the internet, etc. , I am sure this " trade " , will serve to spike even more cheap shots at our boys . Things such as , yes, it's changing the culture , or changing the core group jokes that will surface right away. Unless of course the management team actually do make some meaningful trades . Tick tock, tick tock ......
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Maple Leafs trade David Broll, Carter Ashton to Tampa Bay for conditional 7th round pick
@Cameron19 @Xxxxxnew Cameron , you are a hardass with a lot of your opinions...but you also make many astute observations, such as this one.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Thursday Mashup: On the Hunt for Picks
As usual , a great job by Anthony in his Notebook . The most pertinent parts of this Notebook that I wish to comment on are the Leafs not going to the dirty areas in the O zone, and Nonis hanging around as a lame duck GM , and this basically making the front office a dysfunctional joke , at a critical time , with the trade deadline weeks away, and the most significant draft in a decade , just ahead. With a reluctance to go to the dirty areas in the O zone, it is a combination of not having the stomach/desire to do so , and , maybe , being a bit undersized as a forward group. The Leafs , besides needing a true #1C , direly need a couple of Lucic type wingers . Willie Nylander , with all his skill , doesn't address that. So , we clearly need to shed some of the lightweights (not Willie) . And, as Anthony is clear on , a far more monumental problem than the roster itself , is needing to act on the management disarray . For the love of God , make a statement that Nonis is no longer running the ship, that Mark Hunter (or his dog) is now the de facto GM . If Nonis is not surgically removed, the team brass will waddle around in the water, do nothing , and the trade deadline will pass. Sigh ..... I guess this is exactly how they do business , so ...trades ? what trades ?? Inquiring minds want to know .
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Leafs Notebook – February 3
Goals ? There is only one goal for this season ....ONE . Finish as low in the standings as you possibly can without Commissioner Weasel calling Mr Shanahan and saying something is smelly in The Big Smoke.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on Monday Mashup: Goals? Never heard of ‘em
@wiski nah, wiski, I think the first star is that gorgeous thing next to Louis
4 weeks ago on Game 51 Scoring Chances: Flyers 1 vs. Maple Leafs 0
Holy cow ...the stars seem to be aligning . Arizona wins today , Minnie is ahead of Van ...... if we continue to stinko , is #3 overall totally out of the question ??? Shanny needs to tweek things a little to hedge the odds a bit more . Moving out a couple of hard workers like Santo and Winnick for futures , and trading Franson for a pick and/or prospect , may do it. Doesn't seem like there is a big chance that Franson stays , for various reasons .
While I am not much of an analytical fan , Evan's great work often sheds light on how well (or not) guys are doing on various areas of play . The news isn't all bad , and even though the Leafs couldn't hit the ocean with a paddle , at least they do not resemble the keystone kops in their own zone , as they have so much of the time in recent years. Yes, I know firewagon hockey has its great moments to watch , but ultimately , you lose to teams that do not play that way (that is ALL the good teams) . So while this is painfull to watch , I believe the direction is correct. The bonus here is that with every loss , we enhance our draft position , and we are solidly in the bottom ten . My feeling is that we will draft 6th, 7th or 8th , because we simply cannot go another thirty games and lose , say , 25 to 27 of those games . If we dump some players for prospects and picks and leave our roster thin on veterans, then yes, we may continue to struggle to get points against teams who are in the hunt for a playoff spot. The sooner we move out useful guys like Santo, Winnik , Franson , and higher end guys like Lupal ( I doubt Phaneuf or Kessel get moved before Mar 2) , the better it is for the tank . I do not think Jake gets traded . Could Bernier get moved ? Maybe , bit given the return , that one could really come back to haunt you . Riemer is fine but I still think Bernier has more upside. Bibeau , with one more year after this in the AHL , may be a dandy , but it is too early to call (even though the kid seems to have made the jump to the pro game look easy). Tanks for reading.
@MaxwellHowe now they are incapable
@MaxwellHowe I see Franson gone by Mar 2 , and Phaneuf gone in the summer . More than those two will go , and guys are pointing out how good it would be to do so before the draft and get a pick or two . It wont be easy as everyone wants to keep their picks .
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Maple Leafs Rumours: Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik “highly likely” to be traded (Bob McKenzie)
Some earlier comments on where Leafs are in the standings , and the possibility of dropping lower. It is very possible . As I look at the standings, it would take a lot , but it is POSSIBLE for the Leafs to sink down below all teams except Buffalo and Edmonton. Not likely , but possible .
I have been waiting for MLHS to do a write up on most likely Leafs to be traded, so , thanks Alec....good job. As I read the first paragraph , what screamed out was how badly Nonis has mauled things in terms of getting any return for assets. On that basis alone, Dave needs to be run out of town ...never mind some of the contracts he has handed out . And yes, he can be cut some slack last year because the team was possibly , maybe , within gunshot distance of a playoff spot (most of us didn't think so, but Nonis also was trying to defend his team , his signings) . As Alec points out , there can be no excuses this year...we are out of it , and there is lots of time to make the right moves before Mar 2nd . It is ironic , though , and kind of sad , that guys like Winnik and Santorelli , maybe Booth , are the ones who will have to go , when in fairness, they have done what was asked of them. Not so for some of the more prominent Leafs . Whole lotta cleanup to be done here .....some before Mar 2 , and some this summer. My guess is that there is every bit as much chance that Nonis is given the door , as anyone on the team . He is not an unlikable guy , like say , Brian Burke. It's just that his time has come.
Was hoping for a three point game in Ottawa last night , but all in all , the teams around us are making ground, and so our positioning is getting better every game. It is 1000% clear that we need to be sellers , and if our management play their cards right, we should be able to move out some decent players in return for prospects and picks . In Leaf management , we trust . Well , not really , but even JFJ could make a decent swap if he were still here . And , who are all these people who are "listening" ??
1 month ago on Game 50 Scoring Chances: Coyotes 3 vs. Maple Leafs 1
@Mitch_S2 that's a creative thought . Still , if Semin is a bust here , too , you may bury him with the Marlies, but doesn't most of his salary still count against the cap ???? Richards does for LA ....
1 month ago on GDT: Game #50, Arizona Coyotes at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m., TSN4)
Wonder how it must feel to be a Leaf , fully knowing that Leaf Nation are praying they lose every game ? As a player, do you dig in and say, we will show them , or do you say, cripes, there's a million guys out there who are Leaf fans, and they want us to tank ???? Ok , then , lets mail in the two points. If you have a captain who everyone rallies behind, you are ok. Oh oh .....
I just read that the Leafs still have two million on the books for Gleason , whom they traded or bought out ...cant remember. Anyway , if this team isn't right at the cap ...with several more years of cap ache to deal with , I miss my guess. A "rebuild vision" is terminology that has not yet entered into Nonis' vocabulary. Could we be any more screwed ? I know we think we can move some overpaid guys and ease the cap ache , but that might be a large/near impossible order . And if Nonis has any say , the process is even slower. He signed these guys , and even if it is posturing, he has to still want to believe in them , hence over valuing them , hence , making it harder to actually move forward on a trade(s) . Geez, we need to pray we sink to a #5 or 6 draft position . Dave gotta go .
1 month ago on Game 49 Scoring Chances: Devils 2 vs. Maple Leafs 1 (SO)
Dreger says the Leafs have not decided if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. Are you F....ing kidding me ? Seriously, is there one person out there who feels the Leafs should be buyers in the next month ? Anyone ??????
1 month ago on Wednesday Mashup: Back At It vs. Devils
You have to think the Leafs chances of finishing bottom ten have just improved. Like him or hate him, Phaneuf eats a lot of minutes , plays vs tough lines , yes, makes some bonehead mistakes , but also does some good stuff. I say we are worse without him in there (Hurray for the tank!) . Course, I have been wrong before....and these are, after all , the bloody Leafs .
1 month ago on Monday Mashup: Perennial All Star
@Bruffins @leafmealone ooooh.....
@Cameron19 @HeatherRickAkin I will give you this Cameron....you are loyal if nothing else. I agree that there isn't much passion on this team at the moment , and it isn't for lack of trying that Phaneuf screws up . He likely would play better in a better situation (that may be so for most of them ) . For me, Dion's time , like Nonis' , has come and gone in Toronto . I think, like Kessel , he is tradable . So , if the right opportunity arises, either prior to March 2, or in the summer, some significant guys need to move on .
1 month, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – January 22
You need to either can Nonis , or if you keep him , he cannot be part of the decision making process regarding trades . He made this mess, and when you listen to him , he is clear in saying he believes in this group . He is alone . He would over value the guys you could trade , end up keeping them , with his " we can sign them in the summer" approach , and end up with them walking , and the Leafs get squat for return . I don't know what they do with this team , but Nonis has had his shot , and he has missed by a country mile . I would like to see Phaneuf play with .... someone somewhere else . My gosh , could he set a worse example as a team captain , and he was at it again last night . He may have ten decent shifts in a row, but when he goes haywire , he goes total blowout . Embarassing, really .
While I appreciate all the work that goes into compiling stats so we can have a closer look at what a player does on the ice, it is too intricate for me, so I will go by what my eyes tell me, mostly . First off....perfect game for Leaf fans . Leafs lost , so, good for draft purposes, and at the end of the game, they were running Ottawa out of the rink, so, an exciting finish . Poor Phaneuf....what an embarrassment he is. He "fights" a guy who couldn't punch out his own mother, then sucker punches the guy several times when he (Michalek) is on his knees. Not good enough ? Later, the Leafs behind 3-2 , Phaneuf bales in his own zone to avoid contact, the Leafs lose possession, and the puck ends up in our net for the game winner. And how do you parade this guy out on the power player, game after game after game. Clarkson , another wunderkontract , has been useless, but , he has managed to chip in with a few goals, and realistically , if this guy can score 17-18 goals a year, and play hard like he did in Jersey, he isn't a total wipeout. Maybe it is crazy to think it, but I believe there may be a taker for this guy , even if we have to eat salary . He would be high on my must move list , as would most any Leaf (not the guys who have just started shaving) . So, another loss, as we stumble towards Marner, Strome or ....nah , not going there .
1 month, 1 week ago on Game 47 Scoring Chances: Senators 4 vs. Maple Leafs 3
@MaxwellHowe @HeatherRickAkin I'm in. Send a note to Shanny , and, as a courtesy , copy in Nonis.
1 month, 1 week ago on Wednesday Mashup: Tank Battles of Ontario
@MaxwellHowe @HeatherRickAkin you very well could be right , but MacT isn't much of a risk taker and seems paranoid to deal . I think it would be a good trade for both teams, as you present it.
@Yaknowwhat @HeatherRickAkin got it , but Marner, while small , isn't a cream puff , again , just from what I have read. Do you know different ? and I recognize we already have two small centres in Bozak and Kadri .
It is all about draft position now, so any trades should try to reap picks. I think we have a shot at Strome but the other high end centre who may be available is Marner . Marner is smallish , lightning fast and plays all three zones well, according to what I have read. Strome looks to be your #1 centre , size, skill , but not a great skater yet. Close call , and I would be happy with either. Can anyone compare the two ...ie if you have seen them play a few times ....
@MaxwellHowe yes, but would Edmonton throw two picks for Bernier ? Reimer is ok , and maybe Bibeau develops into a dandy NHLer . Also, someone mentioned a free agent goalie from the Toronto area ...O'Connor, or Connors or something, who may be a good signing if the Leafs can nab him .
@Mcost61 @HeatherRickAkin then you better pray for Dylan Strome ....
1 month, 1 week ago on Game 47 Scoring Chances: Hurricanes 4 vs. Maple Leafs 1
If and when we trade Kessel, we have to get over the idea that we need to get a return similar to what Boston got ...that was a fluke , and it happened because Burke grossly miscalculated how bad we were . To me, if you get one really good NHLer that brings things to the table that the Leafs need more than Phil's incredible ability to score, you may want to deal . I do not know what that would be. A centre like Duchene .... possibly a D man like young Jones in Nashville ? But to think we are going to get a boat load for Phil ...ain't gonna happen . I like Phil , but I still maintain this team has cap issues , thank to Nonis , and some of the badly spent money is not tradable . Phil is tradable ..ergo , it may happen.
Here's the really deflating thing .....it is not that we are pretty bad...we are . It is that at times we can be pretty good, and that has happened as recently as the 10-1-1 run we had earlier this season . Now , when we are "good" , it really is not sustainable , because we are outshot, outchanced, etc. , and our snipers and goalies hide how bad we really are. On the other side of the coin, there is no way we are nearly as inept as we seem to be at the moment. But somehow , we all need to pray that this group don't do something heroic and go on another 10-1-1- run , because that will screw our draft position . The Leafs redefine mediocrity, so I am nervous that we will somehow garner more wins than is good for us, and finish 10th or 12th from the bottom, thereby screwing our draft position. If the Leaf management group try to make moves to pull out of this death dive, the bunch of them need to be taken out back at dawn, and put on a slow boat to China. I think the odds that that Leafs will not go on a good win streak , or that management will not swing a trade to help the short term , are remote . That depresses me . We need to Oiler (yes, it can be used as a verb) in the worst way .
I just checked the standings and I tab us at #9 for draft pick . And, as HHT says, some teams below us have games in hand. The plan is working perfectly . Nonis...that incredibly sly dog. Who knew ???Most people think that old Dave is comatose .
@RememberSalming @HeatherRickAkin that's it. Strome might be attainable, and if he is , to me, it would be a no brainer .
1 month, 1 week ago on GDT: Game #47, Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Carolina Hurricanes (7:30pm, TSN4)
@RememberSalming @HeatherRickAkin that is what many believe needs to happen . But so far....nada ...and the clock continues to tick
The Canes are hot, the Leafs are not. For the love of God , let that continue, as Dylan Strome becomes more and more of a possibility. He is the true #1 centre that we do not have (sorry Naz) . We really really do not need a few totally meaningless wins over the next 35 games or so . Could that possibly be any clearer ?
If the Leaf brain trust were serious about getting better , this is a golden opportunity to sell off assets, and continue the downward spiral . If they do not grab this opportunity , it can only mean they are totally numb. Elevator going down: floor please ?
1 month, 1 week ago on Game 46 Scoring Chances: Blues 3 vs. Maple Leafs 0
@wiski wow , that is impressive, depressive. Music to my ears, though. This elevator must ...repeat , must ..head to the basement.
1 month, 1 week ago on Friday Mashup: Slip Sliding Away