More than ever before, NHL management involves getting out of bad contracts. Always better to move a contract a year early, than a year late.
When the full season lockout lifted, free agency was an event with the capacity to shift team’s trajectories and quickly push them up or down the ranks. For example, the Anaheim Ducks signed Scott Niedermayer, their Captain, when they won the Cup. The Blackhawks—and Red Wings—signed Marian Hossa, who was a key piece in their Cup quests. Other teams did not win the Cup, but the Philadelphia Flyers signing Peter Forsberg; the New York Rangers signing...
The evaluation period might not be over, but the reality has hit Leafs Nation.
This team is not very good, and it needs a face lift. Not a face lift to the bottom six this time, but to the top players on the team.
The real question, though, is who is going to do it?
The Leafs have nine players making at least $3M as a capped-out, lottery team, and current-GM Dave Nonis signed every one of those deals save for the JVR contract, which is easily the best bang-for-the-buck deal the team has locked in. Talk around town...
The other day, over at my hockey analytics blog, I wrote an article on the relationship between Possession/Corsi (CF%) and Shooting Percentage (Sh%) in 5v5 close situations.
I figured I'd piggy back on that analysis a little and take a look at the Leafs over the past three and a half seasons spanning the Randy Carlyle era.
In my HockeyAnalysis.com article, I showed that, while some elite level teams or truly bad teams can break the trend, there is generally a strong negative correlation between a teams CF% and shooting percentage. Recall that CF% stands for Corsi For Percentage, which is the percentage...
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Sam Carchidi: Flyers not looking past lowly Maple Leafs - Philly.com
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David Pagnotta: Leafs, Kings engaged in serious discussions - The Fourth Period
Mark Easson: Rumors: Flames, Kings, Canes, Leafs, Ducks, Coyotes and Canucks - My NHL Trade Rumors
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Mark Easson: Rumors I: Vermette, Winnik, O’Reilly, Legwand and the Canucks - My NHL Trade Rumors
Chris Nichols: McKenzie on possibility of...
For those watching this game with an eye on draft positioning:
It's been tough sledding of late watching the Leafs play, to say the least; the meaninglessness of the game as far as playoffs go and the fact that it was a classic Jersey game tempted the clicker finger of even the most devout Leafs fans last night.
And we're still in late January with 30+ games to go. With the 16-25-6 Coyotes on the docket, the combined playoff odds in this matchup are just as low as last night.
At the same time, with Phaneuf out, seeing Rielly and Gardiner in serious-minute territory...
In their first game back since the All Star break, the Maple Leafs showed the type of defensive effort that new coach Peter Horachek has been looking for.
While their offensive struggles continued in New Jersey, they had one of their best defensive games of the season. They held the Devils to only three ES chances in the first two periods and the game was up for grabs heading into the final twenty minutes. James van Riemsdyk put them ahead in the third, and they seemed well placed to hold the lead, until a bad icing was followed by a...
The reality for both these teams is that the trade deadline and draft positioning have become the only real talking points of relevance down the stretch.
The Devils are trotting out a roster that was best suited to contend just after the 04-05 lockout.
The Leafs have one win in the year 2015 and are now without a top pairing defenceman; the current solution with Phaneuf out is moving Korbinian Holzer over to his weak side and playing him on the top pairing with Cody Franson.
The Leafs do have Leo Komarov, expected to start with Kadri and Kessel, and Peter Holland, expected to play with Winnik...