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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.
9 hours, 19 minutes ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next
@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.
9 hours, 26 minutes ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next
@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.
9 hours, 35 minutes ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next
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.
10 hours, 2 minutes ago on Monday Mashup: Gardiner’s Up Next
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).
5 days, 21 hours ago on Kyle Dubas: 5 Takeaways on the Leafs most recent hire
@LeafsGuru @MaxwellHowe , he's playing for the Isles now. Guess that's why Bailey is on the trading block.
1 week ago on Cody Franson Signs with Toronto Maple Leafs for 1 year, $3.3m
@MaxwellHowe The closest I can come is that he's got wide shoulders and long arms to go along with his height.
@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.
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.
@FRyan I think that one difference is their size. It opens up some possibilities for Ashton that go beyond scoring.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Maple Leafs’ Assistant Coach announcement to come next week
@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.
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 weeks, 5 days ago on Wednesday Mashup: The Leaf – Episode 9
@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.
3 weeks ago on Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes
@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.
@Mind Bomb @Mitch_S2 @rickpearce76 , they got a used Silverado in Roman Polak.
@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.
@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.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Maple Leafs Off Season: Assessing “Plan B”
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?
@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 weeks, 4 days ago on Petri Kontiola Signs with Maple Leafs on a 1-year, $1.1 million deal
@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.
@Mattmark @Leafs2 Isles1 @Alec Brownscombe . Very true. Like I said, it is the conspiracy theorist in me.
@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).
@Alec Brownscombe @mcloki @Leafs2 Isles1 ...I do agree with you, at 4.9 x 5, Bolland would have been a bad idea.
@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.
@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.
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).
@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 weeks, 4 days ago on Maple Leafs submit an offer to David Legwand
@peterbleafs @Jordan29 @Cloud09 , No. Even with all the goals he scored he was still minus 10.
4 weeks ago on Maple Leafs’ Tim Gleason to be bought out
@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.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Draft Day Two Wrap Up: Gunnarsson for Polak, offensive focus to Leafs’ draftees
@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.
@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.
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.
@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?
1 month ago on Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, 4th round pick for Roman Polak
@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.
@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.
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.
@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).
1 month, 1 week ago on 10 Playoff Lessons for the Toronto Maple Leafs
@Hifi75 @Leafs2 Isles1 , yeah, Ranger's good at 7th. You don't think that Franson and Reilly are capable at 3rd pairing? I think they could complement each other quite well. Reilly can rush the puck and make a good outlet pass, Franson has a good shot and the ability to play physical.
@Anthony Petrielli @Leafs2 Isles1, It would be great to knock down Phaneuf's minutes to about 22 a night. Hopefully, the Leafs D depth will be better (because of growth and development) this year and the second pairing could play about 20 minutes while the third pairing plays around 18. Might be wishful thinking.
@Hifi75 @Leafs2 Isles1 , why a new 3rd pairing D man? I think that of Franson, Ranger and Reilly, there are good options for 3rd pairing at the start of the season. That would put Gardiner and Gunnarsson on second pairing.
@MaxwellHowe @Hifi75 @Leafs2 Isles1 , I think those attributes make Gardiner a very good second pairing D.
@Cameron19 @Anthony Petrielli @Leafs2 Isles1 , The only thing with playing Gardiner with Phaneuf is that their is no way of protecting Gardiner. He'll always be up against the other team's top lines. It would be awesome if he transitioned well. But that's not an example of nurturing him.
To me, there seemed to be one inconsistency. It was suggest that the defense needs to improve and one way to do that is to shift Gardiner up to the top pair while moving Gunnarsson down. Later on, it was pointed out that Gardiner and Reilly need to be developed, nurtured and supported.
I completely agree with the latter point of view. From that perspective, I wonder if moving Gardiner up to the top pairing is a potential mistake. He's not very physical and he can cough up the puck at the wrong time. In the tough Toronto market, putting him on the top line might adversely affect his confidence and growth. I like Gardiner, but I really see him as a 3-4 D. I really don't think Reilly is ready for top D pairing either. He's got plenty of skill but is still really just a kid.
Saying all that, to develop these guys and promote their success, either Gunnarsson needs to stay on the top line (and Toronto will continue to struggle against the league's best lines) or a veteran, stay-at-home, dependable D needs to be brought in for a couple of years.
@Great Dane But you are forgetting that the Leafs were firmly in a playoff position at the trade deadline. No team sells off their players in that situation. That is what was really infuriating with the Leafs this past year. The team was collectively given a vote of confidence from management (long term contracts handed out, team chemistry maintained) and they responded by absolutely tanking as soon as the trade deadline passed.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Maple Leafs Assistant Coach Candidates: Ted Dent and Mark Morris
@peterbleafs He's got 100 pts in 132 games. That's 0.76 pts per game in the playoffs, where the checking is closer.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on [Sunday Mashup] A Jumbo Rumour
I think that Thorton would be a good fit in Toronto.
Leadership, experience and hockey smarts are all things the Leafs need.
He would give Holland and Gauthier a chance to develop.
I don't buy the knock on him that he isn't elite because he hasn't won the Stanley Cup. Neither did Sundin. Their stats are almost identical.
Of course, it does come down to asking price and whether he wants to be here or not. The reality of the situation is, there is more talk to this move than anything else.
@Anthony Petrielli @Leafs2 Isles1, I think what Carlyle does is play players who are playing to their abilities. If Franson was playing the best he can play, than Carlyle would play him. Now, that would mean that Franson just isn't that good. However, he is better right now than anyone on the Marlies. Too many people can't see the difference between potential and current ability. There is no one on the Marlies who could get as many points as Franson right now. Any rookie D brought up would make more mistakes than Franson. Clarkson would probably be in the same boat. He's not that good and Carlyle could see that he didn't know the system. However, the Marlies available to bring up to replace him are not stars in the making. Furthermore, maybe he just liked Clarkson's attitude. I'm speculating a lot here, but there was talk that Clarkson wasn't that well liked. Maybe the reason he wasn't liked has nothing to do with the rumours and more to do with him being a jerk to players who didn't give their all. Finally, the dressing room might have some weaknesses and, as said before, maybe Carlyle didn't want younger players to learn bad habits.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Reforming Randy Carlyle
@Anthony Petrielli @Leafs2 Isles1 The thing about scratching players, to me, is that Carlyle has been criticized for not being more of a player's coach in the past. Didn't he actually show some adaptability by not scratching young players (because they're all young) in the hope of improving their confidence.
I find that Toronto fans are being overly critical of Carlyle. In the Globe and Mail article the other day, interviewing Scott Gordon, we see a different view about what is actually going on.
In that article, Gordon pointed out that they did make numerous changes to their system, that Randy sees a lot of positives in Gardiner and Kadri and that there aren't nearly as many problems in the locker room as the fans think.
The main point that Gordon had was that their were some losses of players who competed and that the remaining players were too complacent, despite the coaching staffs efforts to change that. He eluded to the idea that their is a lot of skill on the team but the team didn't compete hard enough and that they didn't put enough effort into the system even when changes were made to improve it.
One of Carlyle's strengths as a coach, historically at least, has been his line matching abilities. That shows that he has a good ability to figure out which players will succeed in which situation. Everyone is giving him a hard time because of his line up decisions and the amount of playing time he portions out, but he has a history of knowing what he is doing. Not playing a fourth line much is actually putting more confidence in your top 9. People miss that point. He showed confidence in his core and even his secondary players. They just didn't respond well.
The more I think of it, the more I believe that guys from the Marlies were purposefully left on the Marlies so as to learn a winning, high compete style of hockey. Bringing them up to the Leafs might have been looked upon as teaching them bad habits.
@DJBrianBurke @Leafs2 Isles1@Great Dane, no problem. The way I read that is that teams are looking for guys who'll give their left nut to win. If a guy thinks his education is more important than becoming a better hockey player, than maybe the team will question whether that player will think that blocking a shot or going into the boards hard against another player is worth the risk of injury instead of thinking that they'll do anything for the team.
Carlyle might have wanted Clarkson for that exact reason. He's the kind of guy who'd risk injury for the team.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Carlyle Returns