Thursday Links: A tough 2011

Thursday Links: A tough 2011

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Despite the tragic news of yesterday’s plane crash that rocked the hockey world, I’m going to try and change gears a little and keep things as NHL and Leafs-related as possible.

Why? Because we could probably use a few distractions for a minute, and anything I write isn’t going to hold a candle to the many thoughts and tributes outpouring from friends, colleagues, journalists and teammates that have a close relationship with those involved in what is surely the most terrifying hockey story of our time.

Two former Leafs were involved in the Lokomotiv crash; Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev, both assistant coaches. Their ties with Toronto still run deep, as you’ll read in a couple of the links below.

Mislav wrote a short piece yesterday that was both saddening and sincere, as you could tell he was deeply affected by the event. For someone who is more in tune with the international hockey scene than most, that sort of news has to be tough to wrap your head around. It’s been an absolutely terrible year for hockey, but we’ll keep going.

We’re about a month from the start of the NHL season, and there are a few things that keep popping up. For one, on the Leafs side of things, fans are eager to see how things will pan out with Luke Schenn and his pending contract extension. And from a league standpoint, the game’s biggest star still seems to be a major question mark health-wise.

First up; Schenn.

As James Mirtle from the Globe and Mail pointed out this week, last year’s negotiations between Marc Staal and the New York Rangers went all the way up until the last day before training camp. Since we’ve been using Staal as a comparable to Schenn, it probably isn’t all that surprising that things are going so slowly, and we could be in for the same type of scenario. Though, has there ever been any doubt about this deal getting done? Even now I don’t see a chance of the Leafs suiting up on opening night without #2.

On the Crosby front, we’ve basically learned nothing. After a press conference yesterday that involved doctors, scientists, dogs, cats, you name it, what I basically took away was that there is no real timeline for Sid the Kid’s return, and he may or may not play this season – which is unfortunate because I’m heading to Toronto for the Leafs and Penguins game on October 29th, and would’ve liked to see the best in the world in action.

On to the links

Schenn still a priority

Ya think?

Armstrong meets long-time Leafs fans

The Leafs delivered season tickets to fans on Wednesday

Korolev a King among Leafs

Lance Hornby speaks with Kris King about losing his friend

Crash tragedy hits home for Maple Leafs

Kulemin and Gustavsson speak about their relationships with many of the victims of yesterday’s crash. Unbelievable.

Leafs’ optimism mingles with sense of urgency

Good article re: Wilson, from Mirtle at the G&M

Remembering Brad McCrimmon

Craig Custance with a moving tribute

No timetable for Crosby’s return

What the title says

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If you have any more links you’d like to share, toss them in the comments, along with any memories or hockey moments you want to share that involve the players who lost their lives yesterday.

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