An MLHS staffer will be interviewing assistant coach of the Leafs Greg Cronin in the next few days. While we have a lineup of questions already, we’ll take the best couple of reader-submitted inquiries and try to work them into the interview as well. Throw yours in the comments.
Monday morning links…
Dug up by @Steve_Dangle last night on Twitter – Leo Komarov plays the keyboard as Jussi Rynnas sings about him.
Two weeks later: The Maple Leafs
Michael Trakios of the National Post with an off-season review.
The Morgan Rielly conundrum
Jim Hughes hinted strongly that there’s nothing left to gain in junior for Rielly, Michael Langlois makes a few good points here to the contrary.
We don’t hear much about Bill Watters anymore, but it turns out he’s still saying moronic things.
Grabovski tops thin group of remaining UFA centers.
The next two in terms of points last season? Antropov and Wellwood.
What about Eric Knodel? Anyone see Knodel in the scrimmages? He's fucking 6'6" - someone had to see him!
Question for Cronin: Why was Brennan given a one-way contract? If he fails to crack the top seven, what then?
So if Rielly returns to junior after nine games (and he should--the notion that he has 'nothing more to learn' there at age 19 is silly), is it possible that Granberg and Brennan are both on the team? If so, what are the pairings? (I'm assuming Liles is history.)
Where does Colborne fit on this team? I am getting a little sick of seeing these projected opening night lineups with Colborne playing on the 4th line. Are we giving up on him as 2-3 center? Is he supposed to be a shutdown guy now? Even if you use the argument that Carlyle will be rolling the lines it does pretty much guarantee less ice time and pretty much stunting his development. Are we going to put him on the wing? Or is he going down to the minors? Or are Leafs management fucking his development by keeping him here?
Why don't we just sign the RFA's and see what we have.
I think MacWilliam and Granberg could surprise and their is always a possibility of Ranger playing too.
Or perhaps Reilly plays out of his mind, so many possibilities.
@Mattmark Then he's less likely to be claimed on waivers.
@Mattmark its only money
Gunnar - Phaneuf
Gardiner - Franson
Liles/Brennan - Granberg
And again, I would dress 7D every night. So someone on the bottom 4 takes a seat every night. I think Granberg has a good chance if only because he plays the right side. Of course, he will have competition from Holzer and Blacker though.
All the comments from the leafs brass I've heard so far seem to indicate they didnt bring Brennan in to play with the Marlies.
@Xxxxxnew He looked fantastic, don't know what happened, I know Detroit was very interested too.
@Xxxxxnew he looked great at the rookie tournament
@maximus_asinus 3rd line LW, beside Bolland and Kulemin
@Komas Taberle I can see Granberg making it out of camp
MacWilliam? Have you seen him play? He needs three more years if ever. The Brolldozer is much closer. Great point on Ranger - can only hope.
@Komas Taberle I have my doubts on Ranger
@Komas Taberle i can see Reilly playing out of his mind a la Gardiner
What's his overall ability look like, what about his skating, positional play, vision, passing? Can he hit, does he play physical, does he win battles? Much appreciated. He should be physically impressive given his age of 23.
@Xxxxxnew Would have been nice to have the option of sending him there, though, if things don't work out with the big club. Is the theory that he wouldn't clear waivers anyway? Still a hard move to figure...
@Dan39 Dan Broll plays wing.
I talked to a bunch of the Marlies after the season, Ranger hasn't said shit to anyone about what he's doing. There is literally no word on this. He's immediately top four if he plays though.
Not sure about the mechanics, I don't think that signing was over-analyzed. I just heard Nonis answer a question in one of the videos posted on Leafs.com something to the effect that they weren't thinking about the Marlies when they signed him.
@Xxxxxnew ya we just let him go he may turn up in a couple years as a euro star
That might be just a touch of exaggeration, as I have seen him motivated to throw his body around on occasion - but it's certainly not his natural disposition.
I wonder if they might be hoping to get him some prime shifts in Kadri's sheltered role from last year on occasion - especially when injuries occur. Get him drawing some attention and make him a nice trade asset.
@Dan39 @Leafbites @rustynail @Pent_House @Cameron19 @maximus_asinus @Komas Taberle You can dress both if you're expecting a divisional dust up, I never mind seeing the bombers in against rivals. I also don't believe the Neil's, Prust's, Smith's, or these types scare Clarkson, Fraser, or Phaneuf, if it's sparring partners you're looking for.
Uhhmm so how is it our one enforcer would deal wih Montreal with Parros and Tarnasky and Prust and White?
How about Ottawa with Kassian, Neil, Smith, Cowen?
And the Islanders I recall we had issues with - Carkner, Boulton, Martin, and Finley for Christ's sake!
What about Boston, Ottawa, etc?
Northeast is even tougher this year (!) and he dressed two last year so hopefully the same compliment of toughness along with Fraser to sure up the back end. Remember, we did lose Mike Brown mid way through the season and if you recall the Newbury fight you know that was a mjor loss of toughness that I don't think is replaced by Clark-son. So both of the bombers it is.
And he can fight well. And that doesn't get mentioned often in the anti-fighting internet blogger/journalist community but our coach thinks it's very important and so does the fan base that actually attends the games as do the announcers and Don Cherry.
Recall when Oreskovitch (sp?) started in with hard right hands on Kadri out of a scrum I believe - it was Fraser who bailed the young man out. That play was roundly applauded.
I also particularly appreciated when Fraser dealt wih McQuaid and also Prust during the season. The Crombeen and Aulie fights were also memorable though his AHL bouts were the most impressive (he got stage fright in the N and at times during the playoffs IMO).
@Dan39 From what people are saying Granberg is very close to ready. depending on how things go with fraser he might take his spot.
@Dan39 I've said more or less the same thing... I'm still waiting to be impressed. Biggs looks slow and awkward, but any suggestion that we could have done better with that pick is not well received here. ;-)
On that subject, Biggs actually sucks. I don't know what the scouts saw. Actually I do, big frame. When will hockey realize it takes more than that?
I know I want to see him though, everyone 's talking about him.
Has anyone seen Knoedel (Sp?)? A good hockey guy told me to watch out for him.
Leivo I can attest is as good as the hype. He is way better than Biggs, which given his selection is shocking.
@Dan39 just pulling it out of my ass
@burroz I know I was talking to Dan
@Dan39 NP you are right though Ranger could solve alot of problems.
Yeah, it's hard to comprehend. But if you're really cynical, y could say that he played a great season and lined himself up for a free agent pay day. In fact, he could put in another great season and still do that. I don't think that's the case - never did - but that's the only way I understand it.
@Dan39 thats why I have my doubts.
I've heard Moose Jaw will be a better team but we'll see. My thinking was the Marlies would be perfect for him but the rules are the rules. Toronto's AHL system is first class but I can understand why the league and probably parents dont want teenagers shipped off to dodgy cities in another country like Syarcuse or Albany.
@Xxxxxnew Yea, I think he goes back to Junior, but I also believe at the expense of his development. Not terrible, but not ideal. He'll still play 100 games next season as a teenager.
I didn't think he was bad in his own end either. I said he looked like he still had stuff to learn in his own end. Same thing Eakins said when he was with the Marlies. Not sure the ACC is the best place for that type of on the jib training. Jake had the same habit, playing the puck without paying as much attention to his man.
@Xxxxxnew I watched these games as well. He was head and shoulders above everyone else on the ice, IMo. In Victoria, he just played steady for the first two periods, then came out and dominated the third to earn the comeback win. Then, I thought he dominated in the Vancouver game, again, when he felt like turning it up. His team were flat in large portions of both games, but I didn't think Rielly was bad in his own end, no more than anyone would when at times at this level, on a mediocre junior, there's often a comedy of errors taking place from shift to shift.
@Xxxxxnew I don't think they will have Rielly in the opening night lineup. I have to think Leaf management will be playing for the playoffs, therefore playing the best players. Maybe if the Leafs hit the trade deadline and they aren't in a playoff position he will be played.
When I watched in in Vancouver and Victoria he had plenty to learn about his own end zone. I'm sure the Marlies had him working on it.
@Xxxxxnew I doubt he is ready for the NHL, but if he has nothing to learn from the W... then I would put him in. Play him sheltered minutes and be scratched in some games
I saw him play live a bunch of times this year, I just though someone might have something new about him.
@Xxxxxnew the fact that the development staff cant figure out if he should go back to junior
@Xxxxxnew obvious potential?