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Thursday Thinkers

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Some links for your Thursday afternoon enjoyment:

Mark Sutcliffe of the Ottawa Citizen makes the case for banning Leaf fans from attending Leafs-Senators games at Scotiabank place. Apparently the Senators’ front office have been getting complaints from their supporters about Leaf fans “ruining the experience”.

The National Post‘s Michael Traikos praises winger Clarke MacArthur on his tremendous start to the season thus far. Not only have his contributions to the scoresheet been impressive but his enthusiasm and work ethic has been contagious. The 25 year old former Major Junior star is currently on pace for a 74 point campaign, and attributes his success to simply getting an opportunity to play. In his words, Toronto was really the only city that would “give a free-agent bum like me a chance.”

The Globe and Mail explains that Brett Lebda has had a horrific start to the ’10-’11 campaign and is beginning to feel left out. The veteran blueliner has somehow managed to accumulate a team worst -9 rating despite very limited ice-time in the ten games he’s actually managed to dress for. For his part, Lebda feels that he has generally been working hard, but realizes that the numbers are ultimately the bottom line and that he will have to continue to work at picking up his level of play.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star takes an early season look back at the Versteeg trade that sent forward Viktor Stalberg along with prospects Chris Didomenico and Phillipe Paradis to Chicago. McGran asserts that both teams have done quite well thus far, as Stalberg is slowly getting more ice-time and trust from head coach Joel Quenneville while Versteeg has been fantastic over the past handful of games handling the point on the Leafs‘ powerplay. Steeger’s versatility and strong two-way play have been leaned on heavily by Ron Wilson thus far, as the youngster has averaged 20:23 minutes of ice-time a game, good for 18th among league forwards.