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Most fans had Randy Carlyle fired before the 2013-14 season ended.  He wasn't. Instead, Toronto's front office opted to extend the former Norris trophy winner.  Quotables citing Carlyle's experience and Stanley Cup-winning pedigree have been bandied about as support.  Even his detractors are unlikely to admit his retention immediately spells the end of this year's playoff hopes.  But a failure to significantly overhaul his defensive system of the past two seasons is likely to do exactly that. By now, you're all familiar with the infamous "swarm" tactic that the Leafs have employed (unsuccessfully) since the beginning of the 2012 season.  Many recognize it as...

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Yesterday the Leafs partook in their annual golf tournament and pre-camp media rounds, where Joffrey Lupul touched on a topic that has popped up throughout the summer—the Maple Leafs have gotten older. I’m really excited with a lot of the guys we picked up. Robidas, Polak, Winnik . . . just a little bit of a veteran presence throughout the lineup is going to do a lot for us on and off the ice. The last couple of years we’ve been one of the youngest teams in the NHL and now we’ve added some more veterans, guys who have played in...

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The Maple Leafs offseason has had a central theme of analytics and 'Moneypuck' due to their off-ice hirings and firings, but they have also followed this mantra with their on-ice additions. One of, if not the, main original concepts of 'Moneyball' is finding undervalued players due to perceived flaws and maximizing your spend on quality contributors. This clip from the movie sums it up nicely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGf6LNWY9AI As discussed earlier in the summer, the Leafs brought in a collection of players with strong underlying numbers on relatively harmless contracts. Shanahan’s “island of misfit toys,” in this case, refers to the signings of David Booth, Mike...
Dion Phaneuf

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In the 2005-06 season, the Maple Leafs had the second best power play in the league and one of the biggest reasons was Tomas Kaberle’s ability to gain the zone and set up the attack. Any Leaf fan can tell you it was mesmerizing to watch 'Kabby' slice up the neutral zone and work the attack like a QB as he glided to open space and found uncovered teammates with ease. The Red Wings had the best power play in the league in the 2008-09 season, and one of the big reasons behind it was their zone entry breakout, which the rest...

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Kyle Dubas, Toronto Maple Leafs

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Toronto Maple Leafs’ assistant General Manager Kyle Dubas chats with Sportsnet590?s Eric Prime on the eve of training camp. Dubas touches on what his role will be at his first NHL camp, as well as the reception he has received from Dave Nonis and Randy Carlyle.

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Game Highlights The Baby Leafs beat the Penguins 2-0, with goals from Brett Findlay (second of the tournament to go along with a pair of assists) and Parker Bowles. Connor Brown contributed a nice set up and Antoine Bibeau pitched the shutout (he's really been gaining some momentum since last Spring). The Leafs prospects finished the tournament 2-1-0. *** The Maple Leafs' third and final game of the 2014 rookie tournament goes this afternoon (2 p.m. start) versus the Pittsburgh Penguins' youngsters. Josh Leivo, who stood out as not belonging on the ice surface in a good way on Saturday, draws back in and will...

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No William Nylander expected this afternoon when the Maple Leafs prospects wrap up their 2014 Rookie Tournament versus Pittsburgh. Frederik Gauthier is day to day with a back injury and also won't feature. 2013 6th round pick and Val d'Or Memorial Cup standout Antoine Bibeau will tend the Leaf net. Game thread to come later. Tuesday Links: James Mirtle: What should the Maple Leafs do with William Nylander? MLHS yesterday: 10 Questions Part 1 -- Will Randy Carlyle Change? MLHS yesterday: Viktor Loov returning to Sweden? Leafs invite goalie Cal Heeter to camp Ultimate Hockey: PTOs and the Maple Leafs Leaf Report Podcast: Season Preview - Defence...

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Most fans had Randy Carlyle fired before the 2013-14 season ended.  He wasn't. Instead, Toronto's front office opted to extend the former Norris trophy winner.  Quotables citing Carlyle's experience and Stanley Cup-winning pedigree have been bandied about as support.  Even his detractors are unlikely to admit his retention immediately spells the end of this year's playoff hopes.  But a failure to significantly overhaul his defensive system of the past two seasons is likely to do exactly that. By now, you're all familiar with the infamous "swarm" tactic that the Leafs have employed (unsuccessfully) since the beginning of the 2012 season.  Many recognize it as...

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We've got a day break before the rookie tournament wraps up tomorrow versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here's some Monday reading: Monday Links: Viktor Loov "probably" has to go back to Sweden if he doesn't make the big club. Unfortunate. Based on the rookie tourney showings, seems like it's time to get him over to Toronto and begin acclimating to the North American game with the Marlies. The Maple Leafs appear to have invited former Andirondack Phantoms goalie (ex-Flyers property, signed out of college) Cal Heeter to their camp. More options does seem prudent. Technically Garret Sparks is the #3 goalie right now and he's...

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An energetic second contest for the Maple Leafs saw a lot of players on the 2014 Rookie Camp roster take a step beyond Saturday’s initial impression – even despite the notable names (Nylander, Leivo) not playing. The group came out hungry, played hard, and displayed a consistent all-around “team game” that was encouraging to see from a squad of individuals largely thrown together for the purposes of individual evaluation. A night that should definitely have some positives taken away from it – despite the outcome. The Leafs were strong out of the gate tonight, with energy and physicality pouring over the...

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It's not a particularly strong lineup the Maple Leafs will be trotting out this afternoon. A new line of camp invitees plus Connor Brown enter the fray while William Nylander, Josh Leivo and David Broll get the game off. Here are your lines vs. the Senators: A former Soo Greyhound and Peterborough Pete, 21-year-old invitee Brett Findlay had a decent showing, including a good bit of work to set up Matt Finn's goal in the second period last night, and it appears they've moved him up next to Gauthier and Brown to gain a better look. Tyler Biggs has been rotated onto more of...

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For the diehard supporters of this team, this weekend always represents the earnest beginnings of the new Leaf season -- the annual prospects showcase known as the Rookie Tournament. Maple Leafs 2013 and 2014 first round picks William Nylander and Frederik Gauthier will be skating on the top two lines tonight. According to coach Gord Dineen, this may be Nylander's only game of the tournament; a little teaser for what's to come before saving him for the big camp. It's the first real peak at Nylander in a Leaf jersey in competitive action if we don't count the intrasquad scrimmaging at...