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Not to stir things up again, but here are just a few thoughts from someone who reads this site regularly but rarely posts (I'm sure there are many people in this camp, and most of the comments below are from regular posters).
I agree with the direction that the mods are going in. The blog itself is, in my opinion, by far the best Leafs site on the web. The articles are well written, well thought out, and open minded. 
I don't mean to offend any posters here (I'm just giving an outsiders perspective which might be helpful to the mods). More often than not the tone of the boards does not match the tone of the articles. Even during the regular seasons the amount of bad music videos, jokes, anecdotes, details of people's own personal lives (what they're drinking, smoking, BBQing, what the wife is nagging about, what household chores are required ect) somewhat cheapens the website's brand. The comments sometimes feel like you've entered a chat room of friends who happen to be Leafs fans. Because of this the posters that do spend all day here become a very tight group, and as such, even though unintentionally, it feels difficult to join in hockey discussions as it does feel like something of an established club.
People down below were saying no one has ever been made to feel unwelcome here. I certainly have! For context I'm not a stats guy per se, but after last season it's hard not to see the evidence of their efficacy in long term predictions. I mentioned something about stats (not as a zealot) and was immediately told by phook to go away. I defended myself and he replied that he doesn't care about my comments. 
My point is, the place seems welcoming if you're a regular, and most of the people here are good people, but there are lots of things that do hold people back from joining (not feeling part of the club, the rudeness of some members who have been banned like Phook and Fenton, having difficulty finding relevant hockey talk) that might not be obvious if you are one of the regulars.
Even if bans meant that the chat died down a bit, that is fine! This is a comment section and quality should trump quantity. When nobody is posting here, because there is nothing to post about, you often get a lot of complaints about how it is dead here and then random off topic discussion. But why does there have to be constant discussion? If people want to shoot the shit can't they just talk to their real-life friends or add MHLS friends to a chat room type discussion? I know the site can be addictive, but it might be healthy to take a step back and evaluate one's dependence on hanging out in the comment section.
Once again, I hope I haven't offended anyone, and I hope it has been helpful to hear from someone who might be representative of a lot of people who read the blog posts but don't commit to posting.

1 week, 2 days ago on Sunday Mashup: ‘Legends Row’ a great gesture, ‘Fan Fest’ goes septic

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@dlb Mad It needs to be pointed out that absolutely nobody is advocating reading spreadsheets at the expense of watching games. They illuminate (sorry Burke) aspects of play and long term trends that are hard to detect from purely watching games.

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Friday Mashup: Leiweke not long for Toronto

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@Chichikov I agree. I think MHLS is far and away the best source of Maple Leafs content, but there are some posters here (and I'm thinking of one in particular) who show up in every thread and bully/dismiss anyone with different views. The tone around here is often mean spirited, and its a shame because the blog deserves better than this.
But I'm sure nobody really cares.

1 month, 3 weeks ago on Poulin, Loiselle Fired as Assistant GMs; Leafs bring in Kyle Dubas

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@Jmessih That's the combined price of those outfits.

2 months ago on Maple Leafs re-sign Peter Holland to 2-year, $1.55 million deal

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@Gilbey93 I hope so, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. Remember how happy everyone was with Ranger last summer? Hopefully the new guys will do good, but a lot of the players are risks that could be duds a la Ranger.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Mike Santorelli signed by the Maple Leafs to 1-year, $1.5 million contract

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@BPsotka @skiingallday I would hope he would be a depth option, but knowing Randy he will play Bodie over Ashton.


2 months, 2 weeks ago on Mike Santorelli signed by the Maple Leafs to 1-year, $1.5 million contract

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Remember last year for the chandelier presser where he was 40 minutes late and gave a through the motions presser?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Dave Nonis Free Agent Day Media Address

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@Reether It's nice not to have to wade through corny jokes, cheesy music videos, and random thoughts to find some relevant talk though.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Maple Leafs’ Tim Gleason to be bought out

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@TheCanucksnaphook Don't we have a 1A 1B tandem, and the reason for getting rid of Reimer is that 1A 1B tandems seldom work out?

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Draft Day Two Wrap Up: Gunnarsson for Polak, offensive focus to Leafs’ draftees

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@CanuckUKinToronto Where did he say that? I got the impression from Morrison that he is primarily a winger who can play centre, an option they might explore in a few years depending on his development.

2 months, 2 weeks ago on Draft Day Two Wrap Up: Gunnarsson for Polak, offensive focus to Leafs’ draftees

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@wiski @Yaknowwhat If not maybe a bit piece like Percy or Abbot in addition.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes

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@TheCanucksnaphook All so that you can tell newcomers to go away :)

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Bob McKenzie’s 2014 NHL Draft Rankings + Mashup

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@TheCanucksnaphook @The Toronto Maple Leaf @Burtonboy Fine, but your hostility is uncalled for.


2 months, 3 weeks ago on Bob McKenzie’s 2014 NHL Draft Rankings + Mashup

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@TheCanucksnaphook @Burtonboy ...unlike this one built with a contempt for stats?

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Bob McKenzie’s 2014 NHL Draft Rankings + Mashup

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@dlb Mad You're not getting Ekblad with the third.


2 months, 3 weeks ago on (Monday Mashup) Schedule Released

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@Greg Fenton @The Toronto Maple Leaf Unless you have a link, it doesn't seem to be on youtube.


2 months, 4 weeks ago on (Friday Mashup) The Date before the Date

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Is there anywhere to find the 2013 edition of behind the draft? It aired in October but I haven't been able to find any trace of it other than a one minute teaser.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on (Friday Mashup) The Date before the Date

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@Anthony Petrielli @The Toronto Maple Leaf Haha, thanks for clearing that up. Boy do I feel stupid!


3 months ago on 2014 NHL Entry Draft Q&A with Brock Otten

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Excellent interview, based on his comments I would be happy with either Ritchie or Fabbri. I wonder what his take on Ehlers is?

3 months ago on 2014 NHL Entry Draft Q&A with Brock Otten

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@TheCanucksnaphook @The Toronto Maple Leaf @mcloki @Elliot Saccucci You won't be laughing when he uses his super power of shooting sap at his opponents. 

3 months ago on Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche’s Club-Elected Arbitration

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@mcloki @Elliot Saccucci @TheCanucksnaphook I'm quite surprised that last season didn't turn the tide towards Corsi. Certainly did for me.

3 months ago on Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche’s Club-Elected Arbitration

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@Murph2417 WUD ABOUT A DAD WHO'D TEACH YA TO GET INTA THE PLAYOFFS?

3 months ago on (Sunday Mashup) Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads

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@Pent_House @Doorman Very surprising the guy who opened his campaign with a pledge to cut 100,000 jobs lost.

3 months ago on (Friday Mashup) Two Weeks to Draft Day

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Any reason why Leafs fans keep talking about Bennett but are ignoring Reinhart as someone to move up towards?

3 months, 1 week ago on (Tuesday Mashup) One more Kings win until the off season

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I was away in Ireland for the last 11 days, how have the Leafs players been doing for Team Canada?


3 months, 4 weeks ago on What do the Toronto Marlies’ successes mean for the Maple Leafs?

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Just an idea for tomorrow - maybe the site could collect links to streams of all the TL, Shanny and Nonis interviews going on today for a post. Quite a high volume to keep track of.

5 months ago on So begins the Brendan Shanahan era

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Thank you MLHS for the stream, you guys are truly the best out there.


5 months ago on Brendan Shanahan Press Conference Stream

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@TheCanucksnaphook  To anyone who watches the Marlies regularly, is Broll ready for a spot yet? He is quite young, isn't he?

5 months, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – April 7

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@TheCanucksnaphook  What about D'Amigo?


5 months, 1 week ago on Leafs Notebook – April 7

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@Jmessih @Burtonboy @The Toronto Maple Leaf  Didn't he play in their play offs last year? If we send him down before the season ends can he still not play?

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Poll: Now What?

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Can Reilly play for the Marlies in the playoffs? 

5 months, 2 weeks ago on Poll: Now What?

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@Shift_Disturber1 @The Toronto Maple Leaf  Whoops you're right. #tanknation

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #75, Flyers 4 vs. Leafs 2

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@Shift_Disturber1 @The Toronto Maple Leaf  New Jersey lost their pick, so right now we are at 10 not 11.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #75, Flyers 4 vs. Leafs 2

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If Vancouver passes us we get 9th overall. I know there is a very small chance of winning the lottery, but is there a chance we could move up a few spots? I forget how this works.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Game Review: Game #75, Flyers 4 vs. Leafs 2

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If Phoenix (79 points, 2 games in hand), Columbus, Washington and Dallas (77 points, 3 games in hand) can all jump over us, we will be in position for 10th overall since Jersey lost their pick.

5 months, 3 weeks ago on Leafs Notebook – March 24

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@Xxxxxnew  Even with the Canadian dollar tanking?

6 months, 3 weeks ago on Dave Bolland Contract Extension is No Easy Call

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Anyone have a site that is streaming the CBC olympics coverage? I'm in Scotland and have one of the IP blockers or whatever you call them, but the CBC site itself is too slow for me to watch anything.

7 months, 1 week ago on Game Review: Game #60, Leafs 3 vs. Canucks 1

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@WendelGilmour  Dislike the "final time this season" part, however.


7 months, 1 week ago on Toronto Maple Leafs vs Vancouver Canucks Preview

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@Komas Taberle Heard that one in Scotland where England was the foil.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Game Day Notes: Game #54, Leafs at Jets

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@Shift_Disturber1 overlooking that he got  pulled in his last start there, isn't he?

9 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leafs Systems – Neutral Zone & Offensive Zone Forechecking

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@reenergized I may be incorrect, but wasn't the first Ottawa game a comeback win?


9 months, 1 week ago on Maple Leafs Systems – Neutral Zone & Offensive Zone Forechecking

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@NotSince67 @The Toronto Maple Leaf I have Bernier, Fleury and Niemi - I can play 2 of the three, do you think I should do Fleury and Niemi for that reason? Worry is that they are both teams who can score.


9 months, 2 weeks ago on Morning Mashup: Stars In Town Tonight

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Fantasy question: I have both fleury and niemi who are playing each other tonight. Who do I play?

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Morning Mashup: Stars In Town Tonight

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@Yaknowwhat @TheCanucksnaphook Don't be silly, its all Clarkson's and Ranger's and Carlyle's fault.

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Leafs Notebook – December 2

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@Leafs rule @The Toronto Maple Leaf Fair enough, but lets say hypothetically that they play roughly the same way they have in the last month throughout December. Would you rather push for the playoffs or push for a better draft pick?

9 months, 2 weeks ago on Game in 10: Game #27, Habs 4 vs. Leafs 2

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