Questions for Cronin

Questions for Cronin

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.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
604 comments
81Kessel
81Kessel

Question for Cronin: News on Paul Ranger? Is he playing in the NHL this year?

81Kessel
81Kessel

Question for Cronin: What are the predicted line combinations for next year?

Dan39
Dan39

What about Eric Knodel? Anyone see Knodel in the scrimmages? He's fucking 6'6" - someone had to see him!

Mattmark
Mattmark

Question for Cronin: Why was Brennan given a one-way contract?  If he fails to crack the top seven, what then?

Mattmark
Mattmark

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.)

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Anyone remember three years ago when Sondre Olden was the star of Leafs' prospect camps?

maximus_asinus
maximus_asinus

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?

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

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.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Mattmark 

-

Gunnar - Phaneuf

Gardiner - Franson

Liles/Brennan - Granberg

Fraser 

-

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.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

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.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@Xxxxxnew He looked fantastic, don't know what happened, I know Detroit was very interested too.

Dan39
Dan39

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.

Dan39
Dan39

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.

Mattmark
Mattmark

@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...

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Turns out he wasn't an NHLer.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

That's why I pay no attention to prospects playing against prospects.

maximus_asinus
maximus_asinus

@Komas Taberle @maximus_asinus I don't see how that is a sweet spot? He would be looking at multiple nights playing less than 8 minutes a game. Sure they can rotate lines but someone has to be the odd man out.

Dan39
Dan39

Have you seen him play? Where and how often?

Dan39
Dan39

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.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@Ze_theLeafsFan @Komas Taberle If MacWilliam makes the team look out the guy is a beast an can hit like a Mack truck, he will demolish guys left right and centre.

I would love to see him paired with Granberg and see the pain they inflict.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

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.

KurtWhite
KurtWhite

@Xxxxxnew ya we just let him go he may turn up in a couple years as a euro star

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Dan39 @maximus_asinus @Cameron19 @Komas Taberle 

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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.  

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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
Dan39

@maximus_asinus @Cameron19 @Komas Taberle  

That's right, Colborne is the opposite of physical. He is almost amazingly soft for his size. It really stands out when you watch him. It's not uncommon for people to comment on that aspect of his (lack of) character when he's playing. 

Cameron19
Cameron19

@maximus_asinus @Komas Taberle LW next to Bolland and Kulemin he'd be getting like 14-15 mins, probably, but who knows if he can handle that role shutting down top lines. 

Dan39
Dan39

@Leafbites @rustynail @Pent_House @Cameron19 @maximus_asinus @Komas Taberle  

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? 


Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

They might platoon this year.

Dan39
Dan39

@rustynail @Pent_House @Cameron19 @maximus_asinus @Komas Taberle  

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. 

Favell66
Favell66

@Mattmark @Dan39 I thought the same thing about a player I watched a few times in Belleville, his name was Clarkson....you never know

Dan39
Dan39

@Mattmark @Dan39 @mike_84  

Hopefully not O'Byrne. Is he officially gone yet? Hearing about the 'Irish Traffic Cop' for another season is more than I can take.

Dan39
Dan39

@Mattmark @mike_84 @Dan39  

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).

Mattmark
Mattmark

@Dan39 @Mattmark @Cameron19 We traded up to get him, you'll recall.  Bizarre decision!  Chances are we would have got him anyway--I don't think he was that much in demand--and had a second shot at someone else.  Even if we hadn't, two-to-one is pretty good odds.

Dan39
Dan39

@Mattmark @Cameron19 @Dan39  

I have exactly the same thoughts as you on Biggs. He is not in anyway remarkable when you see him play except for his size. He just doesn't look like a first round pick.

Komas Taberle
Komas Taberle

@Mattmark @Cameron19 @Dan39 I saw Granberg at the Worlds, he was a beast shutting down the likes of Stamkos and the rest of team Canada, Team USA. Once this guy gets used to the small ice surface he is going to be deadly.

Mattmark
Mattmark

@Cameron19 @Mattmark @Dan39 I don't evaluate on the basis of accounts.  Every time I've seen him play his turns have been wide, his reactions slow, and his ability to anticipate where the puck is going non-existent or well-disguised.  Very much a work in progress compared with other prospects, IMO.

Cameron19
Cameron19

@Mattmark @Dan39 We could have done better, but I've never heard that complaint about Biggs  By pretty much all accounts he's a very good skater, especially for his size.  The knock on him has typically been a lack of offensive instinct. 

Mattmark
Mattmark

@mike_84 @Dan39 Fraser is big and strong and had the best plus-minus on the team this past season--as a first-year man.  What do people want from the guy?

mike_84
mike_84

@Dan39 From what people are saying Granberg is very close to ready. depending on how things go with fraser he might take his spot.

Mattmark
Mattmark

@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.  ;-)

 

Dan39
Dan39

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?

Dan39
Dan39

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.

burroz
burroz

Small correction....David Broll

Dan39
Dan39

Sorry, thought the subject was general prospect chat. My bad

Dan39
Dan39

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.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

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.

Leafbites
Leafbites

@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. 

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

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.

Leafbites
Leafbites

@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. 

maximus_asinus
maximus_asinus

@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.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

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.

Ze_theLeafsFan
Ze_theLeafsFan

@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

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

Saw that. I'm sure he'll get 9 games.

Xxxxxnew
Xxxxxnew

I saw him play live a bunch of times this year, I just though someone might have something new about him.