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@Loric76 @Burtonboy that's Matt Kassian, not Zach Kassian. Matt Kassian and Barch are the goons.

3 days, 21 hours ago on Game Review: Preseason Game #5, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Sabres 4

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@BoneChompski @NotSince67 @Yan28 Additionally, you can play Booth until the trade deadline. Then get rid of him for a low draft pick. It's not much, but he was picked up for nothing but his contract.

3 days, 21 hours ago on Game Review: Preseason Game #5, Maple Leafs 6 vs. Sabres 4

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@Bring the Cup Home @Sexyhairyman The question then becomes, how does how he is playing affect his career. If he's playing well, do the Leafs say that he's finally playing as expected and keep him, or do they say that he'll never play better so trade him while his value is hight? If he's playing poorly, do they keep him on the 3rd pairing with PP time, do they trade him for whatever, or do they make him their 7th D.

1 week ago on Wednesday Mashup: Undefeated Pre-Season Leafs Head To Ottawa

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@Hmmm @The_Polish_Cannon I think that Corsi for D should take into account goals scored against. A tough D-man blocks shots from the point because they block shots but also because they limit the number of opportunities for the opposition to get in closer to the net. Furthermore, shots from the point mean less when their is no one screening the goalie. Shots that miss the net often miss the net due to pressure from the D. There are dozens of reasons why an intimidating D-man increases the number of low quality shots. To me, shots towards the net is as misleading as plus minus.


Combining shots towards the net while playing defence with goals against would shed some light into which stay-at-home D get the job done and which don't.

1 week, 2 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 The season hasn't even started, so how can you bring up this "don't watch other teams..." line. He has not played a single regular season game for St. Louis so there's been nothing to watch. 


Your point is based on a GMs PR talking point after trading a guy that was liked by the players and fans. It might be true. It might be just PR. 


You say that he's going to be carrying Shattenkirk. That's odd, because he doesn't have a history of carrying anyone, unless you think he was carrying Phaneuf. 


I liked Gunnarsson, don't get me wrong. A great draft pick. Wish we could get more like him. But he is soft to play against. That line that Toronto was the easiest team in the league to play against rings true to me. 


Toronto traded a soft D for a tough D. They already have Rielley and Gardiner, so having Gunnarsson play soft isn't good. When Phaneuf is expected to play tough, he tends to get to emotional and starts playing stupid. Having a guy play tough allows him to play his game better. That's my opinion.


I don't think Polak is a top line guy. But I also don't think Gunnarsson is. With Gunnarsson playing with Phaneuf, Toronto was a team that was constantly outshot, that couldn't hold a lead and that allowed their goalie to be banged up too much.

1 week, 2 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 Funny. I just checked three different sites and all of them had Gunnarsson listed as ST. Louis's #6 defenseman. Somethimes GMs say things to the media for PR purposes.


Also, according to the last chart in the article, Gunnarsson has a better CA60ReITM than Phaneuf. I thought it was Phaneuf who played against the best players in the league. If their numbers are different, than that can only mean that Gunnarsson doesn't always play with Phaneuf. If that is true, than Gunnarsson is playing less often against the best players than you seem to think.

1 week, 3 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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@loomx @HeatherRickAkin I'm not sure anyone in the Leafs really believes that. They traded Gleason for Lyles because Lyles wasn't playing and wasn't going to be playing. They figured that Gleason would at least play. With Ranger, they were hoping that he'd regain some of his past flair. It might have been misplaced hope, but the Leafs are not a great defensive team and they didn't want to keep trading their prospects, so they had to try something. 

1 week, 3 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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@Cameron19 The point is not whether Polak is a top pair defender. It is whether Polak can make the Leafs better compared to Gunnarsson. What is Gunnarsson on St. Louis, their number 6 guy? Here he was playing on the top line. Polak might play some top line minutes. That would be contingent on how well Gardiner develops. And if he does, perhaps his playing style meshes with Phaneuf's better than any of the "not top line" defensemen he's been saddled with over the years.

1 week, 3 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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I'm trying to get my head around some of these stats.


In the last table, Phaneuf has a CA60ReITM of 5.6 while Gunnarsons is -0.1 This would lead one to believe that Gunnarsson's contributions to the Leafs has been better than Phaneuf's.


However, we also know that Phaneuf plays against the toughest competition.


So, don't those numbers just say that when Phaneuf is not playing with Gunnarsson, he's playing with a partner who can't handle the competition? Furthermore, don't they also just say that when Gunnarsson is not playing with Phaneuf, he's playing against inferior competition.


Furthermore, shouldn't goals for and against be figured into these charts. I mean, Polak clears the net well and plays a physical game that keeps opposing forwards honest. These stats might just be showing that when he's on the ice, the other team is shooting from the point but getting no rebounds or being forced to take low % shots instead of powering through to the net.

1 week, 3 days ago on Will Stephane Robidas and Roman Polak help reduce shots against?

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I've been reading a lot about the Kessel article and have to throw my two cents in. I didn't like his comments. They reminded me of the the story about the 1983 Oilers (maybe the story is just a myth..who knows, but it is a lesson to be learned) who walked past the NY dressing room to see everyone icing their wounds. Sure, Kessel can get by on talent. But what message is he sending to Bozak and Gardiner and Rielly and  Kadri. They can't help but be affected by what Kessel says. That kind of talk sets the table for another group of the Muskoka 5. You can win the President's Cup on talent. You need to be willing to push yourself through a heck of a lot of hurt and pain to win the Stanley Cup. Kessel might not want to be a leader, but his ability makes him one. If he pushes himself to his limits, others on the team will follow. If he doesn't, others will follow two.

1 week, 4 days ago on Thursday Mashup: Feschuk drops bomb, camp opens with physicals and media day

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@MaxwellHowe I use to work in the U.S. I had a guy work for me that spent some time in Central America where he got two bot lavae in his leg. He didn't have any insurance so he couldn't afford paying for a doctor to remove them. I friendly doctor told him to cover them with strips of bacon, and when they emerged, to pull them out with tweazers. Oddly enough, it worked. 

1 month, 1 week ago on Monday Mashup: 28 Days to Preseason

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Looking for someone with a better memory than me or better access to Leaf's stats.


I seem to remember that the Leafs played more aggressively on the PK two years ago. Last year, if memory serves me correctly, they started taking penalties on the PK which put them two men down. 


If this were true, it would explain why their PK was less effective.


Anyone else remember it that way?

1 month, 2 weeks ago on What’s Ailing the Maple Leafs’ Penalty Kill – Part 1

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@Optimustic I think that their has been a long term belief that the Leafs should play a "Canadian style" of game. I believe that that style is considered to be an attack focused game that is loose on structure. The premise seems to be that such a game is more entertaining to watch, and when played well, is more difficult to play against. Structures can be broken down. Creativity can't be because the opposition never quite knows what will happen next.


The problem is that such a game requires either a lot of hockey smarts or dependable veterans (both would be better). It worked fairly well in the Pat Quinn years. Over the past number of years, our team just hasn't had enough of those types of players. Where the theory breaks down on such a team is defense. The offence still scores. But the defense looks bad.

2 months ago on Friday Mashup: We’re Gonna Need a Montage

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@Beleafer29 You have some inside information, so maybe you can comment on  something that I read last year. Apparently, Anaheim was upset that Jake played his final year in Wisconson when Anaheim wanted him to play a year of Junior in Canada. From the article's point of view, this soured Anaheim to him.

2 months ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next

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@dlb Mad @Leafs2 Isles1 I've read that Anaheim was upset that he went back to College Hockey when they asked him to play a year of Junior in Canada. The feeling was that he thought he knew more than Anaheim's scouts and coaches on what was best for him. That would match some of the speculation that Carlyle thinks Gardiner has too high of an opinion of himself. 

2 months ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next

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@dlb Mad @Leafs2 Isles1  The difference with Doughty is that he was making mistakes while being targeted by some of the best teams and players in the NHL. By targeted, I mean that the other teams were studying video to work on his weaknesses. Gardiner gives the puck away against average teams and too often. 


I'm all for throwing him out there and showing confidence in him. That's the reason for the bridge. To see how he responds.

2 months ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next

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I don't like the idea of giving Gardiner a long term deal. He's got too many defensive flaws. I also question his attitude. People might want to think that the problem is more with Carlyle than with Gardiner. But he was traded by Anaheim for a reason. Some might say that he just has to mature. But he's 24 years old.

2 months ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next

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I like the hire. It is a little risky, due to his lack of experience, but the Leafs need some fresh thinking.


In conjunction with their other off season moves, I wonder if they're going to change their approach to getting better.


Over the last few years, they've let some pretty good players just walk away from the team when they could have been used to improve the team. They've also given some players a look for a low price who played above what they hoped.


This makes me wonder if they'll start trading some of these assets in the future. I can see them approaching free agents who have been passed over and telling them that if they play well and sign a decent contract, the Leafs will find a way of trading them to a playoff team. The same might go for Europeans.  


Players would go for it because it might be seen as a way to improve their careers.


This year, they're signing a lot of players which means that they have more ways of maneuvering and they have the ability to trade guys away without having to get someone back right away to fill it. 


For the Leafs, they could make a yearly habit of it in the hopes of always getting a few extra pics or prospects at the trade deadline. Picks and prospects can then be used in trades to improve (including moving up in drafts).

2 months, 1 week ago on Kyle Dubas: 5 Takeaways on the Leafs most recent hire

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@LeafsGuru @MaxwellHowe , he's playing for the Isles now. Guess that's why Bailey is on the trading block.

2 months, 1 week ago on Cody Franson Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs for 1 year, $3.3m

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@MaxwellHowe The closest I can come is that he's got wide shoulders and long arms to go along with his height. 

2 months, 1 week ago on Cody Franson Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs for 1 year, $3.3m

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@TheCanucksnaphook @Leafs2 Isles1 We don't. I guess my point of view is that picks always seem great the year that they are drafted. But over time they usually fizzle away. Most picks never turn out to be as good as Bailey (as mediocre as he is). 


As a guffaw...just noted that the Isles might think that he's expendable because they've signed some guy named Kulemin.


2 months, 1 week ago on Cody Franson Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs for 1 year, $3.3m

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A lot of people not liking Josh Bailey. The guy was the 9th overall pick in 2008. The chance of getting a better pick than that for Franson is highly unlikely. Additionally, he's been developed and is an NHL player. We'd be giving up a powerplay specialist on D (otherwise a 3rd pairing guy) for a defensive forward who can pop in some points over the year. He can also play center and on the wing, which continues to add our flexibility.


I really can't see getting someone better than him with a pick.

2 months, 1 week ago on Cody Franson Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs for 1 year, $3.3m

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@FRyan I think that one difference is their size. It opens up some possibilities for Ashton that go beyond scoring.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Maple Leafs’ Assistant Coach announcement to come next week

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@Bruffins @TheCanucksnaphook , I don't know if they'd dominate. But they would be hungry and play with a lot of zip. Who knows, their effort might even be contagious.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Maple Leafs’ Assistant Coach announcement to come next week

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Just read the article on how Gardiner is better than Phaneuf. More than anything, it made me appreciate the human brain in comparison to a computer model. 


The thing about models is that they are based on limited data. It reminds me of the argument between analogue and digital recorded music. Digital music has its advantages, and to the average listener, it is fine. But musicians and those with trained ears will almost always point out that analogue is better. 


The same goes for hockey. In reading the article, I kept wondering if the data used truly reflected reality. When watching a game, their are an immense number of variables that the avid fan notices that are never put into computer models.


I like Gardiner. But he is not as good a D as Phaneuf.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Wednesday Mashup: The Leaf – Episode 9

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@Zep2 , He might improve their Ds advanced stats compared to Eddie Lack playing in goal. Could help when trading them for prospects and picks for their rebuild.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes

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@rickpearce76 Part of the problem is the definition of a #1 D. Their are 30 teams in the league. That means that their are 30 #1 D. Phaneuf is better than most. Too many people want to define a #1 D as a Norris Candidate. 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes

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@Mind Bomb @Mitch_S2 @rickpearce76 , they got a used Silverado in Roman Polak.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes

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@dlb Mad @Anthony Petrielli, there's a difference between drawing penalties and diving though. Drawing penalties can mean that he's elusive with the puck, quick in tight spaces and always keeps his feet moving. It doesn't hurt that he's not overly strong or heavy. Opposition D find themselves having to grab him, hook him, stick their leg out to stop him etc.

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes

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@Gilbey93 @Leafs2 Isles1 , live is always different than the stats sheets. I've seen some players in person and they haven't been as tall as claimed by their club's websites. 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Maple Leafs Off Season: Assessing “Plan B”

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I've been reading about Leivo's size (from posters on MLHS). I haven't seen him play. On different sites, he's listed as between 6'1" and 6'2" and between 173lbs and 180lbs. Is this correct? Some have said that he is bigger than Lupul (who's about the same height but over 200lbs). What am I missing? 

2 months, 3 weeks ago on Maple Leafs Off Season: Assessing “Plan B”

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@LeafFan15 @Leafs2 Isles1 Never watched it. I can't help but think that it won't even compare. Slapshot got an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Slapshot 2 got 37%.

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@Bring the Cup Home , For the Leafs to get better, they have to start regularly making the playoffs. I think that the steps that have been taken the last couple of days have pointed them in the right direction.

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@Mattmark @Leafs2 Isles1 @Alec Brownscombe . Very true. Like I said, it is the conspiracy theorist in me. 

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@LeafFan15 @Leafs2 Isles1. If I remember correctly, he said he only made the movie for the money...and that had to do with why he regrets it. 


From an American perspective, the movie most likely doesn't connect to most. 


I agree though, it is my absolute favourite hockey movie and one of my favourite sports movies. The storyline and the dialogue play true to Canadian fans of the game. Newman is a great actor, so his acting is good too (even if he didn't invest his best into the film).

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@Alec Brownscombe @mcloki @Leafs2 Isles1 ...I do agree with you, at 4.9 x 5, Bolland would have been a bad idea.

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@Alec Brownscombe @Leafs2 Isles1 , Sometimes I wonder if GMs don't make pitches for guys just to up the price other teams eventually have to pay them. In a cap space world, affecting the payroll of a competing team makes some sense.   But that's just the conspiracy theorist in me talking.

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@LeafFan15 , I have a friend (going back many years) that went to Kenyon College in Ohio (where Paul Newman went). Apparently, he once made a comment their that Slapshot was the only movie he regretted making. I always wanted to write him a letter to let him know that many Canadians would say that it is one of his best films.

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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Two positives out of this move.


1. Nonis has learned that Free Agents are overpaid, ask for terms that are too long and have a good chance of not living up to expectations.


2. Nonis wants to make sure that Leaf prospects are developed on the Marlies instead of brought up to play before they are ready (both in their play and in their physical development).

3 months ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal

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@MaxwellHowe, agreed. At some point, the Leafs have to start getting their depth in-house. Calling some Marlies up when a player gets injured is way more cost effective than a free agent and it lets the Leafs know if they have anyone they can rely on. If no one steps up, their is always someone to be had during the season.

3 months ago on Maple Leafs submit an offer to David Legwand

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@peterbleafs @Jordan29 @Cloud09 , No. Even with all the goals he scored he was still minus 10.

3 months ago on Maple Leafs’ Tim Gleason to be bought out

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@Cameron19 @Dewy Keon Hogturd , I was just thinking the same. It would make good sense if their are some Marlies who will graduate to the Leafs.

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

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@Cameron19 , I'd imagine the Marlies will trade one of their D for a forward. Maybe trading some toughness (i.e., Holzer) for a skilled guy like Kozun. 

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

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@wendelsfist @Leafs2 Isles1 , ...and the reality is that neither Polak nor Gunnarsson are good enough or bad enough to make a huge impact. Got rid of a left D and got a right D. Lost some scoring, gained some toughness. Perhaps the intangibles were why we also gave them a 4th and retained some salary.

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

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I've been reading some of the St. Louis blogs to see their take on the Gunnarsson / Polak deal. The overall opinions seems to be that they're sad to see Polak go but are glad to be getting Gunnarsson. They are pretty certain that they won the deal. Their is a belief that Polak has lost a step due to injuries and is not as tough to play against as he use to be. I guess we could argue that Gunnarsson has also lost a step due to injuries.



One thing stood out though. Polak seems to be quite the character with a fun sense of humour. I can't help but wonder if the Leaf's management knew this and are trying to improve the dressing room atmosphere. Their has been talk by management of "intangibles" that can't be found by statistics. 

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

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@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 , he might have played more minutes with McClement and Kulemin (I'll take your word for it since I don't have the stats), but he still played enough minutes with guys who could score. Who do you think Polak has been playing with?

3 months ago on Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, 4th round pick for Roman Polak

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@Hmmm @Leafs2 Isles1 , I like the idea of playing Polak and Rielly together because you get some veteran experience to allow Rielly to take off and play his game. You also get a guy out there who can give Rielly a bit of physical protection.

3 months ago on Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, 4th round pick for Roman Polak

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@CanuckUKinToronto @Leafs2 Isles1 , I think so too. A guy like Polak can take pressure off of Phaneuf becaue he can be played up against the other teams stronger forwards.

3 months ago on Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, 4th round pick for Roman Polak

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I've been reading posts bemoaning the Gunnarsson / Polak trade all day and I really don't understand them.


Gunnarsson isn't that good. In fact, he's a pretty mediocre D-man in just about every way that you can measure. He happened to play O.K. with Phaneuf. Many of his points can be chalked up to playing a lot of minutes with guys who score a lot.


When comparing him to Polak, you'd say that he's a better skater and has a better first pass.


But when it comes to passing and skating, the Leafs have better options.


Polak plays a good, steady game behind the blueline. He gets a lot of D-zone starts and he plays those minutes well.


Where he is better than Gunnarsson is in hitting and clearing the net.  He's the kind of D who is better suited to hold a lead. The Leafs happen to need those attributes more than what Gunnarsson offers.


The Leafs are saving $200 grand a year in the deal and payed for it with a 4th rounder. 


All in all, I'd say the Leafs got better by selling a guy who played a role that they didn't need and buying a guy who plays a role that they do need. 

3 months ago on Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, 4th round pick for Roman Polak

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@Cameron19 @Leafs2 Isles1 @Anthony Petrielli I know a lot of people on this site don't like Franson much. But I think that he can be a solid third pairing D. Especially if the opposition has to always be wary of Rielly's speed and skill (edit..that is if they are partners on the third line).

3 months, 2 weeks ago on 10 Playoff Lessons for the Toronto Maple Leafs

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