What to Expect: David Clarkson

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Crazy eyes Clarkson

Heading into free agency, nearly every Leafs fan knew that Nonis wanted to bring in David Clarkson, considered your prototypical Carlyle guy. Well, I’m sure you all know that Nonis got his man, and at a hefty $5.25 million cap hit for 7 years. There’s been much discussion since the signing about the contract Nonis gave to Clarkson and I don’t particularly want to beat a dead horse. So, without really delving into the subject of whether or not I think he’s worth that money or term, I want to give Leafs fans a look into what Clarkson brings to the table.

HOW WAS HE USED?

The following is a table of Clarkson’s ice-time over the past 4 years:

Season ES TOI/G PP TOI/G PK TOI/G Rank among NJ forwards (ES/PP/PK)
2009-10 12:04 2:22 0:00 (11/7/18)
2010-11 11:56 1:39 0:00 (11/11/18)
2011-12 13:17 3:03 0:01 (9/4/18)
2012-13 14:01 3:33 0:01 (3/3/15)

 

What do these numbers tell us? Well, the first thing to note is that Clarkson is not a guy who sees the ice when his team is down a man. He is, however, a guy that who, over the past two seasons, has seen extensive power play time (I’ll talk about how he did in that time in the next section).  His use in even strength situations has taken big steps forward in each of the past two seasons (+1:21 from 2010-11 to 2011-12 and +0:44 from 2011-12 to 2012-13). Where would his most recent numbers place him on the Leafs squad? His 2012-13 ES TOI/G would have ranked him 5th among forwards behind Nik Kulemin and ahead of Mikhail Grabovski. His PP TOI/G would have him ranked 1st ahead of Phil Kessel by 0:15 and beating second place Tyler Bozak by over 0:30.

When judging the difficulty of Clarkson’s minutes based on his offensive-zone start percentage, it’s understandable that one might think he’s been sheltered: his lowest figure in the past five years is 49.3% in 2010-11. However, he’s been consistently in the back half of the team using that measure. It does not appear that the Devils have forwards that consistently line-up in the defensive end, like our own Jay McClement or Kulemin. The closest they had was David Steckel in 2010-11 and he wasn’t below 40% (in fact he was the only forward lower than Clarkson that year).

The next component of judging the difficulty of a player’s minutes is his quality of competition. Clarkson has faced some pretty easy competition (relative to his teammates) during his time in New Jersey: He finished 10th among forwards (min 10GP) in 2009-10, 11th in 2010-11, 9th in 2011-12 and 12th in 2012-13.

Last up, we need to examine which players Clarkson had for linemates. The following table shows the forwards Clarkson was most commonly paired with over the past few seasons:

Season Linemate Linemate TOI % Linemate Linemate TOI % Linemate Linemate TOI %
2009-10 Niedermayer 49.2 Rolston 28.6 Zubrus 19.6
2010-11 Pelley 37.2 Zubrus 20.7 Sestito 20.2
2011-12 Tedenby 25.8 Sykora 23.4 Carter 21.5
2012-13 Elias 65.1 Zajac 42.5 Henrique 34.6

 

The 2012-13 season saw Clarkson with consistent line mates in Travis Zajac and Patrik Elias. Prior to that, Clarkson appeared to move around quite a bit, seeing time with such offensive dynamos as Rod Pelley, Ryan Carter and Mattias Tedenby. In fact, over the past four seasons Clarkson has only spent at least 40% of his TOI in a season with a player three times: once in 2009-10 with Rob Niedermayer and with both Elias and Zajac this season.

Let’s take the bigger picture by putting these pieces together: Clarkson’s role at even strength has been strongly trending upwards of late, he isn’t a penalty killer but sees enormous ice-time on the man advantage, his linemates were only stable (and skilled) this past season, and he faced relatively sheltered minutes in New Jersey.

HOW DID HE DO?

A quick look at Clarkson’s possession numbers show him finishing among forwards (relative to his teammates, so using Corsi Rel) 14th in 2009-10 with a negative number, 10th in 2010-11 with a very small negative, 9th in 2011-12 with a positive number, and 1st this year with a massive positive . It’s worth noting that setting aside his relative position (so switching to Corsi On), Clarkson has been a positive possession player (on ice for more shots for than shots against) each of the past three years.

Now we’ll look at Clarkson’s production statistics. The following table shows Clarkson’s production in ES/60 among New Jersey forwards with a minimum of 10GP:

Season G/60 A1/60 A2/60 P/60 Rank among NJ forwards (G/A1/A2/P)
2009-10 0.87 0.54 0.54 1.95 (5/10/6/6)
2010-11 0.67 0.18 0.12 0.98 (5/15/11/11)
2011-12 1.21 0.17 0.29 1.66 (1/14/10/6)
2012-13 0.83 0.32 0.37 1.47 (2/12/4/4)

 

To throw in some context regarding Clarkson’s linemates’ production this season, Elias finished 1st in P/60 with 1.84 and Zajac finished 7th with 1.24.  The good news here is that Clarkson can score and that he’s not too terrible reliant on secondary assists in his point totals. The bad news is that he doesn’t appear to be great at distributing the puck and setting up his linemates.

Clarkson’s career SH% is 9.4% but looking at it year-to-year, it’s all over the place. Considering his volatile SH%, it’s interesting to note that Clarkson finished 4th this season in shots on goal (with a SH% of 8.3%), following up last season where he finished 45th (with a SH% of 13.2%). It appears as though he’s determined to score, whether it’s by volume or precision.

Giving Clarkson’s PDO (on-ice SH% + on-ice SV%; a measure of luck among other things) a glance shows that he’s been below 1000 each of the past three seasons, an indication that he may be having some bad luck (or that his natural PDO is in fact lower than 1000). Clarkson’s on-ice SH% was 13th among New Jersey forwards this season (which linemates Zajac and Elias close by), 9th in 2011-12 (despite shooting a 13.2% himself) and 14th during the 2010-11 season. It’s possible that these numbers aren’t helped by Clarkson’s unskilled linemates (prior to this season) and a New Jersey defense that contributed just 29 goals combined over the past two seasons. (Phaneuf has 21 alone).

There’s one last element of Clarkson’s game that I want to look at from a production standpoint, and that’s his power play production.  This past season Clarkson had the highest G/60 with the man advantage (among NJ forwards min. 10GP) and finished with 3rd amongst NJ forwards with PP points.  Last season he finished 6th in power play G/60 and P/60 (amongst NJ forwards min. 10GP).

Overall, what can we say about Clarkson’s production? He’s a positive possession player; he can score goals but doesn’t really set up his linemates; he shoots the puck a lot but his SH% is inconsistent; and he’s pretty good on the power play.

WHERE DOES HE FIT HERE?

David Clarkson has produced like a top-six forward in three of the past four seasons (and scored like one in all four). At even strength this season Clarkson shot poorly from within 10 ft. but generated 15 shots, while the season prior he scored 6 goals on 28 shots (21.4% SH%); you can expect to see Clarkson mucking it up around the net, likely flanked by Kadri and Lupul. Odds are that line will play some sheltered minutes in terms of quality of competition and o-zone starts if Carlyle can swing it.

It’s also a pretty good bet that Clarkson will continue to see extensive power play time. This past season on the power play, Clarkson scored 4 goals on 11 shots from within 10 ft. The entire Leafs team scored 5 on 20 from within 10 ft. So this season, when the Leafs are on the power play you’ll just need to look to the opposing team’s crease to find Clarkson.

Thanks for sticking around to the end, I know it was long (I prefer thorough) but I really wanted to give Leafs fans an in-depth look at David Clarkson. Love it or hate it, number 71 (Clarkson’s chosen number) is going to be around for a while.

Scoring Stats Goals Assists Ice Time
Season Age Tm Lg GP G A PTS GC +/- PIM EV PP SH GW EV SH PP S S% TOI ATOI
2006-07 22 NJD NHL 7 3 1 4 2 -1 6 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 18 16.7 119 17:02
2007-08 23 NJD NHL 81 9 13 22 8 1 183 9 0 0 1 11 0 2 151 6.0 975 12:02
2008-09 24 NJD NHL 82 17 15 32 13 -1 164 13 4 0 3 13 0 2 158 10.8 988 12:03
2009-10 25 NJD NHL 46 11 13 24 9 3 85 8 3 0 2 10 0 3 106 10.4 664 14:27
2010-11 26 NJD NHL 82 12 6 18 8 -20 116 11 1 0 1 5 0 1 192 6.3 1117 13:37
2011-12 27 NJD NHL 80 30 16 46 20 -8 138 22 8 0 7 8 0 8 228 13.2 1309 16:22
2012-13 28 NJD NHL 48 15 9 24 11 -6 78 9 6 0 5 7 0 2 180 8.3 844 17:36
Career NHL 426 97 73 170 72 -32 770 73 24 0 20 55 0 18 1033 9.4 6017 14:07
Provided by Hockey-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/16/2013.

  • leafscapguru

    Just like JVR I think Clarkson will be best crashing the net and screening the goalie.  Have a feeling we see a career high in points for Clarkson this year, playing with Kardi, and hopefully a healthy Lupul.  I’m a fan of this signing I think he will make Kardi play even better, this has the potential to be a very dangerous line to play against.

  • Jordan29

    All I expect from Clarkson is to hit, score 15-20 goals, and protect Kadri so that Lupul can focus on jus scoring and not trying to be the head basher on that line

  • Burtonboy

    Good write up Taylor. It will be very interesting to see how he does with line mates like Kadri and Lupul. From a purely point production perspective Clarkson is overpaid. However I don’t think he was bought here for that reason. It the intangibles ,the things you can’t stick a #fancystat number on that makes Clarkson worth his contract. A hometown boy who wants to play here ,a heart and sole type of players who will leave it all on the ice every night. A guy who will stick up for his teammates and will bring considerable leadership in that dressing room. Mark my words ,Toronto fans are gonna love this guy .

    • Jordan29

      Burtonboy I didnt realize how good of hands Clarkson had till I watched his goals from the last 2 season though. He may score 20+ with those two.

      • Burtonboy

        Jordan29 Burtonboy He does have good hands and can put the puck in the net. Don’t expect him to put up a massive amount of points . He’s just not that type of player

      • leafscapguru

        Jordan29 Burtonboy I think he will have a lot of tip in’s.  Kadri is the playmaker, Lupul is the sneaker to get that shot off but Clarkson will screen. Love it so pumped to see it all play out!

  • Komas Taberle

    I expect him to scare the hell out of the sens and habs rats and score 20 goals and I will be very happy.

  • Jordan29

    Its going to be a hard top 6 to stop when you think about it. Even with the same season as last year Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson could be our best line, and I expect Kadri to be more consistent this year. Then you add in that JVR-Bozak-Kessel is pretty much guaranteed 180 pts and we should be a high scoring team

  • Jordan29

    ALRIGHT THATS IT EVERYONE CALM DOWN, BUT IM PLAYING NHL13 WITH THESE LINES. I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS IMAGINING!

  • Dink

    Let’s not get too excited now and put too much on his shoulders…
    He will never be able to live up to all the expectations
    lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    While I am not a fan of the face punching, I concede the value of Clarkson lies largely in his ability to play effectively with the top 6 while providing an element of protection for his skilled linemates.  There are not many forwards like that.  Last season’s enforcers Orr and McLaren were lost on the 4th line, not around to offer instant protection and reduced to staged fights.  All begs the questions – why did the Leafs resign Orr AND McLaren again?

    • Tommy Cat

      MaxwellHowe Its not just about today but planning your team towards a point you think you should be able to compete for the cup.  Orr and McLaren are just signed for another two years.  By then we should see Biggs and Broll etc in the lineup.  Toughness with more skill and size throughput all lines.

  • B_Leaf

    Thanks for the details. Hard to measure Clarkson’s value with stats. I know that in many games between Toronto and NJ he was the Devil with the most desire to win…working the hardest. He is good in the corners, he is good along the wall, he forces defencemen to rush the puck because they know he can hit and hit hard. He is not really a gifted goal scorer but he is always around the net. He can cycle the puck well when defending the lead. 
    I know he will probably start out with Kadri and Lupul. And it will be interesting to see where that goes. With Carlyle the top nine all play pretty even minutes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Clarkson with Bolland. Kulemin could jump up to play with Kadri and Lupul. 
    Just a quick observation on Kadri. I dont think we will see him play sheltered minutes any more. I thought he played really well on the defensive side of center last year…and he got better as the year went on. The next step for him is improvement on faceoffs.

  • leafscapguru

    personally I don’t think the comparison to Clark is fair to Clarkson. Personally I think Clarkson can be compared to a Gary Roberts type of player more, high energy will go into the corners and bring life back to the team.  I loved watching Gary for that reason if Clarkson just does those little things man this will be great hockey to watch.

    • Tommy Cat

      leafscapguru Clark … Clarkson … its just easy for the media.  They like easy.

  • GeorgeCastanza

    Gary Roberts was statistically on the downside of his carreer while a member of the Maple Leafs but I never questioned his value to the team playing with Mats Sundin. David Clarkson brings that kind of element back to the top six that I have sorely missed on this leaf team since the days of  Clark, Roberts and Tucker.

    • leafscapguru

      GeorgeCastanza haha wow are we twins, just said that just yours may have sounded better.

      • GeorgeCastanza

        leafscapguru GeorgeCastanza cool. didn’t see yours as we posted simultaneosuly.  right on!

        • leafscapguru

          GeorgeCastanza leafscapguru The thing is that it’s true, we needed a player that could do those type of things and bring life back to the team. Gary was famous for that.  The fans would go crazy after a hard hit in the corner and the team would wake up and hold on to win. would have been a different outcome in game 7 if he was here.

  • B_Leaf

    At this point I am satisfied moving forward with our D. Our top five of Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Franson, and Fraser (when all signed) is one year more experienced, they are well balanced, and have some considerable upside still untapped. There seems to be plenty of competition for the 6 and 7 spot, so someone should emerge, chances are they won’t play many minutes anyway until injuries. 
    The area I would like to see the Leafs give attention to is freeing up cap space by removing Liles. I would like to see a legit top nine player brought in with some more sand paper and a little scoring prowess. Matt Frattin would have been more than perfect…sigh (Leafs will regret that trade). That aside I think they could use more depth up front. 
    It would be nice to move Liles for a top nine forward, We may have to throw in a prospect especially if the move allowed us to free up another 1 or 2 million in cap space. I feel like this team turned itself into a contender last year. And there are likely going to be some significant internal upgrades this year like Gardiner. I am not sure how the changes will be felt…but I think we have a real shot at a championship, probably one of the top 8 teams. We have brought in some solid experience with Clarkson and Bolland, and some depth in net. Anyone else think we need one more top nine forward? Are DAmigo and/or Colborne enough? Do we add this piece mid season? What do you Leafers say?

    • Tommy Cat

      B_Leaf I’d say let Marlies compete for the last spots.  If Liles can be traded lets hope there is a pick or a prospect coming back.

      • B_Leaf

        Tommy Cat B_Leaf 
        Liles contract is a mill stone in both term and the hit…not an easy one to unload. And now that I think we are contenders I wonder if just letting the Marlies fill in holes will really work. But I dont want a grey beard either.

    • MaxwellHowe

      B_Leaf I bet at this point the Leafs are trying to give Liles away.

      • Cameron19

        MaxwellHowe B_Leaf I doubt they’ve even really tried to move him yet.  They’ve known all along that any shot they have at moving him will come after the market gets cleared out.

        • Mattmark

          Cameron19 MaxwellHowe B_Leaf [From yesterday’s discussion:]
          Thanks for the speculative pairings.  From them it’s apparent you don’t think much of Fraser, but I can’t find much fault with the Fraser-Franson combo we iced last year, which was the best we had at clearing the zone (damning with faint praise, admittedly).
          I’d be inclined to keep them together, which leaves:
          Gunnar – Phaneuf
          Gardiner – Granberg
          Or, the equally intriguing alternative:
          Gardiner – Phaneuf
          Gunnar – Granberg

        • B_Leaf

          Mattmark Cameron19 MaxwellHowe B_Leaf 
          Fraser is a star.

        • Mattmark

          B_Leaf Mattmark Cameron19 MaxwellHowe If we subtract him from the mix there’s only Phaneuf left for size and toughness… not enough, IMO, by rigorous NHL standards.

        • Cameron19

          Mattmark Cameron19 MaxwellHowe B_Leaf 

          I like Fraser well enough.  That is why I added I would always dress 7D.  I just don’t think Liles should be sitting in the press box very often, if at all.  Our D is not so smooth and well rounded that we can just have a veteran watching.  Many games last year where he was out, another D man would get hurt or just be playing like crap, and a 7th D would have been far more useful than say McLaren. 

          The Fraser/Franson pairing became inadequate in the playoffs, and it was clear to me that Gardiner and Franson were ready for top 4 duties.  Problem is, Fraser isn’t.

        • Mattmark

          Cameron19 Mattmark MaxwellHowe B_Leaf If Gardiner – Granberg emerges in the way I hope, you won’t have to worry about the top 4 part.  Fraser – Franson would be a fantastic third pairing.

        • Cameron19

          Mattmark Cameron19 MaxwellHowe B_Leaf 

          True enough.

        • B_Leaf

          Cameron19 Mattmark MaxwellHowe B_Leaf 
          I dont have a problem with Gardiner and Franson as the second pairing, but Fraser is a solid number 5 who will play big minutes for a 5. He had a couple rough playoff games but that could have been nerves, bad puck luck, or what ever. The guy was incredible for us. He needs to play minutes…he provides real time security for our small players.

        • mcloki

          B_Leaf Cameron19 Mattmark MaxwellHowe Yes Fraser is a keeper.

      • mcloki

        MaxwellHowe B_Leaf no body has the cap space for him.

        • MaxwellHowe

          mcloki MaxwellHowe B_Leaf Therein lies the dilemma.  Of the teams with cap space, several like the Islanders have their own self-imposed limits.  I wager the Leafs will give him away for a nobody prospect or late round pick and still have to retain salary.  Lotsa teams trying to dump contracts like this.

        • B_Leaf

          mcloki MaxwellHowe B_Leaf 
          Thats why I think you need to package a decent prospect with him. I know it seems crazy but we have depth in our D prospects. Moving Percy with Liles to get out of the cap hit could work. We might get a player back as well. NJ doesn’t have a first this year…maybe them…they have new cap space. 
          I guess my point is I think we can legitimately go for it this year so if it means sacrificing a prospect to have true depth on the roster…I would do that. What do you guys say? I am not saying we should get old…but deeper.

        • MaxwellHowe

          B_Leaf mcloki MaxwellHowe Well if keeping Franson and Gunnarsson and Kadri is priority 1, the Leafs might be pushed to make a crazy deal to unload Liles.

    • Dink

      B_Leaf I say if you move Liles you need to make a play for Nyquist

      • B_Leaf

        @Dink B_Leaf 
        What is Nyquist status

        • Dink

          B_Leaf RFA

    • Mattmark

      B_Leaf Good analysis… we’ll certainly regret Frattin’s loss if he shines and Bernier doesn’t.  The ‘top nine’ forward we acquire had better be a centre… he would certainly add more to the team than Liles will, playing in the sixth or seventh spot.  However, if we do manage to swap Liles as part of a package for such an upgrade, the prospect we include had best not be a defenseman.  Ashton, perhaps?  Might take a 3rd round pick as well.

      • B_Leaf

        Mattmark B_Leaf 
        Good points. I would love a good third line center/winger who cam play LW on third line or 4th line C. Basically a MacClement but one more with maybe a little more scoring prowess.

        • Knights2Leafs

          B_Leaf Mattmark 
          Let me introduce you to Joe Colborne.  In this cap world it’s mandatory that you start bringing in your ELC guys or 2nd contract guys.

        • B_Leaf

          Knights2Leafs B_Leaf Mattmark 
          You might be right. I guess my only issue there is if this team is going for it…having the right guy in place from the start might be the difference between home ice.
          But on the other hand we need to see what Colborne has.

        • Knights2Leafs

          B_Leaf
          If we’re that good that we’re contendng by the trade deadline,  you make a move then.

        • B_Leaf

          Knights2Leafs B_Leaf 
          That is likely how it could go.

    • leafscapguru

      B_Leaf I think everyone wants JML gone, bag of pucks would be fine. IMO  I’m hoping some of the Marlies step up I think adding young talent will be good for the team I would rather a marlie than McLaren personally but an upgrade in defence would be nice just a hole filler to teach and mentor. Just not sure who we could get i’m hoping Nonis can pull of JML for a stay at home defenceman but probably not

    • Knights2Leafs

      B_Leaf 
      Trading Liles is of paramount importance for cap purposes.  We are so tight right now to get all 4 RFA’s signed, so getting his cap space is huge. IMO however we don’t need it for another top 9 guy.  It’s time to start building from within.  Colborne will do fine.  If we needed a top 9 guy, then there would have been nothing wrong with keeping MacA.  He was a 3rd line guy that could fill in on the 2nd from time to time.  Having said that it was time to move on with MacA and bring in the youth; not another top 9 guy.

      • B_Leaf

        Knights2Leafs B_Leaf 
        MacA would have been perfect but didn’t he sign for $3.5M…We need someone under $2M.

      • Mattmark

        Knights2Leafs B_Leaf The problem with Colborne is that he risks being miscast… and we saw what this can mean with Grabbo.  Colborne has been groomed as a swooping centre, not a mucking 3rd-line winger.

  • mcloki

    Morning Gents. Beautiful Day here in Toronto. Just trying to keep cool.
    Stats are nice in all in a masturbatory way and all. But really until the games are played it’s just going to be you fondling and stroking your numbers until puck drop. 
    Have a great day all.

  • Jordan29

    If the cap doesnt make us trade Liles then we should be keeping him. Hes far from our worst defence. 
    Phaneuf-Gunner
    Gardiner-Franson
    Fraser-Liles
    Nothing is wrong with that

    • Dink

      Jordan29 this will probably happen as I really don’t think Liles will be traded.
      He is not the worst defenseman in the league by any stretch.

      • leafscapguru

        @Dink Jordan29 I can see this being played but would like a young guy in there a couple of times to see if he can handle the big show “granny anyone”

        • Greg Fenton

          leafscapguru Jordan29 Nonis will probably handle prospects in the same way Burke did. He’ll make sure he has enough known NHL talent to fill out a defense. If/when a prospect shows he deserves a spot in a NHL (either during training camp or during a call up) he’ll then make room for that prospect. 
          That way they aren’t playing young players who aren’t ready, and they won’t be left in a position of having a hole on the defense/team if none of the prospects are able to fill the roll.

      • Jordan29

        @Dink Jordan29 Hes was probably 3-4-5 on our team all year last year when he played too. People just want new blood I think. After he recovered from the concussion he was money

        • Knights2Leafs

          Jordan29 
          I agree that Liles is fine and the only reason to “dump” him is his cap hit. Having said that you can only have so many PMD and I’m really counting on Gards to take it to the next level.

        • Jordan29

          Knights2Leafs Jordan29 Liles was a better 2 way guy then Gardiner ever showed so far too though. Thats where Gards needs to obviously improve. Also, I think people are forgetting how poor Franson was in his own end for most of the year. Fraser picked up alot of slack for him I think

        • leafscapguru

          Jordan29 Knights2Leafs im hoping with the game 7 collapse the defense learns from it! That may have been the best experience they could have ever got!

        • leafscapguru

          Jordan29 Knights2Leafs it worked for Maverick in Top Gun lol

    • J_hardt

      Jordan29 I agree except that it might be prudent to get rid of liles based purely on the fact that he and Phaneuf, Gunnarsson, Gardiner, Fraser, Rielly are all left handed …. Maybe blacker is due for a looksie, just based on that. Looks like it might still be a playoff capable D. Two offensive lines, with a nice shutdown/tough line with fraser and blacker.
      Phaneuf – Gunnarsson
      Gardiner – Franson
      Fraser – Blacker

    • theacs1966

      Jordan29 Another off season, another year removed from having his head bashed.  If he is healthy this year, and they play him, he might improve, if they only put him in now and then, he’ll  never find a rhythm or confidence.

  • mcloki

    http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/07/15/doubling-mlses-value-among-ceo-tim-leiwekes-big-plans/
    pretty telling and insightful article on how Tim Leiweke will end up running MSLE. Seems  he likes Nonis. I’m still a bit worried about him though.

    • Burtonboy

      mcloki Why ? Because he wants to win ?

      • Jordan29

        Burtonboy mcloki Trust no rich man, for the rich man is he who runs the world

        • Burtonboy

          Jordan29 Burtonboy mcloki LOL so you’ve become a prophet this morning

      • mcloki

        Burtonboy mcloki No it’s not that. Just a vibe. I watched that Bloomberg video and he seemed very aggressive to the point where I think he may interfere with the running of the teams. I think he;s more worried about the Raptors. right now.

        • theacs1966

          mcloki Burtonboy Good, let him run the raptors right into the lake for all I care.  Good project for him, leave hockey to the hockey people and stay out.

      • Cameron19

        Burtonboy mcloki I like his line about not lining the walls with pictures from the 60’s. Tell you what, once we’ve won something in this century, we can go back and honor the heritage of the team again.

        • leafscapguru

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki perfectly said!

        • mcloki

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki Maybe it’s just me. I’ve just seen his type of CEO before. Very slick, Very political, very smooth. They never seem to get the job done. But that may be my bias.

        • Burtonboy

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki Pretty sure he will leave the running of the teams to his GM’s . He will demand performance and he’s hell bent on changing the culture that surrounds that organization from the looks of it. Bottom line will be accountability . If you don’t deliver your out the door.

        • Cameron19

          Burtonboy Cameron19 mcloki He also talked about patience with the Leafs though – understands that hockey has a little bit more of a development angle than maybe some of the other, star driven sports.

        • mcloki

          Burtonboy Cameron19 mcloki We’ve been around long enough to have heard this story before. Hence my apprehension. But as you say he should be given a chance to show what he;s all about. Firing Colangelo was the right thing to do. Resigning Nonis is a step in the right direction. Not sure about the Marlie coaching hiring. I guess time will tell.

        • reenergized

          mcloki Cameron19 Burtonboy he got it done in LA …

        • Mattmark

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki I don’t know… if you’re unable to sustain interest in and honour your own heritage, why should anyone else take an interest in it?  And if the memory of Mahovlich, Bower, Keon and Horton can be so easily erased, how can players on the current roster have any confidence that they’ll be remembered, even if they’re good enough to win four Cups?

        • Cameron19

          Mattmark Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki 

          Good question, but I think the sentiment is just that we’re relying on the past too much for our source of pride about the team.

        • Mattmark

          Cameron19 Mattmark Burtonboy mcloki Depends on what counts as ‘past’ for you, I suppose.  There are lots of Leafs fans my age for whom that ‘past’ doesn’t seem so terribly far away.  We see a continuity there that younger fans perhaps don’t.  But are we going to forget about Sittler, Salming and McDonald too, heroes for the generation that came after mine?

        • leafscapguru

          Mattmark Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki we wont forget but we need to create something new to cheer about and create a legacy for this generation.  it pretty hard to argue with people when they say the leafs were the best when there were only 6 teams

        • Mattmark

          leafscapguru Mattmark Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki ‘Legacy’ is a word that gets its meaning from context.  We wouldn’t even be having this discussion in Montreal… Canadiens’ fans have no problem remembering Rocket Richard or even as far back as Howie Morenz.  When a new generation of players comes along–the Beliveau generation, the Lafleur-Dryden generation, the Roy generation–they fit right into that legacy and take their contectual meaning from it.
          Leafs are the only team that compares with Canadiens for this kind of deep history–we’ve got Broda, Apps, Kennedy, Clancy, Conacher, etc.  Failing to emphasize this heritage seems insane marketing to me… I don’t see how it helps to sell the team or make things better for the new generation.  It’s one thing not to live in the past, quite another to cut yourself off from your roots.

        • jcg_4

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki To be honest, I find it ridiculous to turn our backs on our glory days; yeah lets take the pictures down and pretend it never happened… sounds kind of gimmicky to me

        • Dink

          Mattmark leafscapguru Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki 
          I agree…if we cut from the past, who the hell will remember Jiri Crha?

        • leafscapguru

          Mattmark leafscapguru Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki im not implying that we forget about the past but is it so wrong that we create something new? Gilmour, Clark, Roberts are all part of history for the leafs as well and we should always remember these players.  On the same note kids growing up look up to these current players and want to cheer for a team that wins and create memories for them. So that they can say to there kids I remember the time when…  That’s should be the goal is to win and create memories for this generation our past will be there and I’m not saying to forget it but I agree enough will idolizing the past lets look to the future. It benefits all of us in the end as fans i think

        • theacs1966

          mcloki Cameron19 Burtonboy Leafs are worth 1 billion.  HIs job is to make them worth 1.5 or 2 billion, cash out his stock options and bonuses and fuck off to the next gig.  One thing the Leafs have done well through all eras, is make money, lots of it, fuck the fans, raise the ticket price, and give me my bonus.  If we happen to win, all the better.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Cameron19 Burtonboy mcloki Absolutely hated that line from Leiweke. Sounds like a Harold Ballard move. Too much talk. WHEN this team DOES something worth honouring, put up new pictures. No need to dishonour those greats of the past in the meantime.

  • Mattmark

    “…he can score goals but doesn’t really set up his linemates…”
    Figures.  You could say the same about Wendel Clark, Clarkson’s role model.  Clark’s NHL totals were 330 goals and 234 assists.

    • Tommy Cat

      Mattmark The year Clark had his 49 goals I think he had 11 assists that year.

      • Dink

        Tommy Cat Mattmark actually he had 30 assists with his 46 goals in 64 games

        • Tommy Cat

          @Dink Tommy Cat Mattmark I was a bit off hey.

        • theacs1966

          @Dink Tommy Cat Mattmark And one awesome fight!

    • dlb eh

      Mattmark 
      i bet they were happy to have him on their line, nonetheless

  • Dink

    BTW …Wendal Clark wore #71 in Detroit

  • Komas Taberle

    We have Clarkson to take care of the rats, will have Fraser to take care of top middleweights and Blue Bombers for the heavyweights, i don’t see anyone messing with us.

  • Dink

    Anyone else sick of the road team wearing the white uniforms? 
    I know I am, every game is blue vs white at home.
    Had enough of that Bettman !!

    • Mattmark

      @Dink Watch more road games.  😉

    • theacs1966

      @Dink That’s the way the NBA does it.  I”m sick of Bettman running the show we need a hockey person, preferable a Canadian, who doesn’t just do what the NBA does.  I want the names back on the refs sweaters, actually I like the KHL Ref sweaters.  I was always used to the home team wearing their white unis or their light color unis in the case of the original Pens and Vancouver ones when they were yellow for home.  Get rid of as many black jerseys as possible, and more third jerseys.  I love the BJ’s third jersey with the cannon on it!  The Boston one with the Bear, that one can go in the ocean tough.  Even if Bettman must stay, get someone respected by the game to hand out the Cup……Gretzky or someone.

      • Dink

        theacs1966 It is nice to see a little variety coming into the home rink I say.
        lol, don’t get me started on the NBA tho…

        • theacs1966

          @Dink theacs1966 Remember the year he took the logos off the pucks?  No clue what he is doing.

    • mcloki

      @Dink Totally. I want home whites. I’d rather see opposing teams in their colours. It’s kind of dumb that every road team wears white.

  • Cameron19

    Someone down the page mentioned that there were lots of players teams were trying to dump.  Well, I rifled through the rosters and looked at who would be a dump candidate. I excluded guys like Ville Leino, who are so overpriced, it’s obvious they can’t be traded, and instead looked at guys in Liles category of being a useful player with a bad contract.  I also avoided cap circumventing deals likely to be bought out (ie. Brad Richards). Here’s what I came up with:

    Tuomo Ruutu
    James Wisniewski
    Mikael Samuelsson
    Todd Bertuzzi
    Sean Bergenheim
    Ed Jovanovski
    Dany Heatley
    Anton Volchenkov
    Nicklas Grossman
    Martin Havlat
    David Booth
    Tobias Enstrom (buyout candidate more than likely)

    The list is not as extensive as you would think – especially since I think the Detroit guys are probably a stretch.  I think the Wings would be fine just letting the natural course of injuries make room for their younger players, and either way, Bertuzzi/Samuelsson both have just 1 year left. 

    Would you guys swap problems with anyone on this list?

    • leafscapguru

      Cameron19 would rather keep JML and get his value higher and trade him mid season

      • Dink

        leafscapguru Cameron19 yes

    • Mattmark

      Cameron19 I haven’t seen Havlat play in a while, but he used to be pretty good. ‘No’ to Bertuzzi under any circumstances.  Couldn’t root for him.

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Mattmark Cameron19 Havlat just had surgery, pelvic floor restoration whatever that is … sounds drastic. Otherwise he would have been bought out I’m sure. I’d pass.

        • dlb eh

          ingy56 Mattmark Cameron19 
          unless he had a heart transplant, Havlat has no heart.  not interested.

    • Greg Fenton

      Cameron19 Volchenkov. Good, steady, defensive guy.

      • Cameron19

        Greg Fenton Cameron19 Yes, he makes the most sense.  But of course, there’s Carlyle’s xenophobia to worry about…

        • theacs1966

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton Didn’t he coach him in Ana?

        • Cameron19

          theacs1966 Cameron19 Greg Fenton No.

        • dlb eh

          Cameron19 Greg Fenton 
          i would prefer Wiesnewski
          tougher, great shot, more skill than he’s given credit for … could probably pair him with Phanuef OR a young guy.
          he’s an SOB.
          but i think i’d still keep Liles since the CAP would get even tougher to manage if we made that move, and i’m hopeful Liles can play himself back onto the 17+ minute crowd.

        • Cameron19

          dlb eh Cameron19 Greg Fenton Terrible defensively though.

        • dlb eh

          Cameron19 dlb eh Greg Fenton 
          is he?  i can’t say that i’ve noticed one way or another, no t enough camera time.

        • Cameron19

          dlb eh Cameron19 Greg Fenton Well, he was in Montreal and Anaheim anyways. Can’t say I’ve seen much of him the last couple years – he’s been injured a lot and plays for Columbus.

    • Jordan29

      Cameron19 Looking at Heatley its a wonder if they would have swapped us for Grabo straight up? If Liles wasnt on the roster via buyout and we had Heatley for a year maybe it wouldnt be a horrible idea to same cap space? I dont think he would fit though, probably not

      JVR-Bozak-Kessel
      Lupul-Kadri-Heatley
      Kulemin-Bolland-Clarkson

      • hoogy

        Jordan29 Cameron19 Heatley has been a slacker wherever he has played. Please do not bring him to the Leafs.

      • WatsonB

        Heatley, although has a great shot is one of the laziest slowest players in the NHL, MIN can keep him, and as far as I heard Nonis exhausted all trade options for Grabbo, he even opffered to retain salary and there were no takers, no body wanted him, and the fact that he is still not resisgned says a lot too…

    • MaxwellHowe

      Cameron19 Grabbo was the problem the Leafs should have made an effort to swap, but the buyout deadline probably came too quick to work anything out.  The Leafs still need an upgrade at D.  Wisnewski, Grossman or Volchenkov might be useful.  Shoulda taken either in a swap for Grabo.  For Liles, maybe Sean Bergenheim?

    • WatsonB

      I would trade Liles for Wisnewskie or Grossman.

  • mORRganRielly

    One big benefit of having someone like Clarkson around is that the forwards now has a diverse set of skills in the top nine that allows them to play any style, any game, and dictate the pace they want to play. 
    I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Clarkson gets some reps with Kessel when they need someone to do some dirty work on that line.  Clarkson DOES fill a multitude of roles that the Leafs badly needed in the top six, and he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. 
    But the term still sucks.  I just hope that in between now and the end of his contract that we see this franchise lift the Cup in Toronto.

    • Dink

      mORRganRielly He will definitely get “some” time with Kessel, no doubt about that.

    • Ze_theLeafsFan

      mORRganRielly Clarkson is a good player so let’s worry about the terms later… who know he might retire early or he might be traded… things seems to sort out by itself. Look at the NYR or the Flyers

    • WatsonB

      Clarkson’s ACTUAL salary the last couple of years of his contract are a lot lower than 5.25M. MEANING, that any team who is trying to hit the Salary Cap floor those years could find Clarkson a very attarctive piece. Verteran Experience and helps them get to the cap floor. If Alfie can sign a new contract at the tender age of 41 Clarkson should be EASY to trade away at the age of 33-36.

  • leafscapguru

    I hope the leafs sign Kadri soon, I’m hoping he comes back with a nice cap friendly contract, would set up the other contracts as well, for amounts demanded.  If they could sign Kadri and Franson at the same time would eliminate any chance of an offer sheet

    • Dink

      leafscapguru they will

  • peterbleafs

    Clarkson has a high work ethic, as do the majority of the Leafs now.  We have ample offensive talent on the team, more than enough to challenge for a cup.  Clarkson along with our other strong fowards such as Kulemin and our tough guys allow us to play any type of game necessary to win.  We can play Chicago and Boston style hockey.  

    The team is well structured now to succeed.  All the guys who continue to whine about the Grabo vs Bozak discussion need to just shutup, its making this site seem like a bunch of cry babies.  Team is far better today than it was at the end of last season.

    • leafscapguru

      peterbleafs fully agree

    • Cameron19

      peterbleafs For basically the last week the only reason the topic comes up at all is because someone starts it off by saying how we should stop talking about it.

      • wiski

        Cameron19 peterbleafs One of the mods 😉

    • wiski

      peterbleafs Yeah baby Yeah 😉

    • mORRganRielly

      peterbleafs Better, yes.  Long-term? Very debatable.

    • Tommy Cat

      peterbleafs Yeah, time to change the topic.  I see the Bruins are not looking at Jagr to make room for some younger players like Jared Knight.  Maybe now the Kessel trade can ….
      Hhahha

    • WatsonB

      Amen Brother! i’ve been saying this since Free Agency.

  • Dink

    I thought the uniforms the prospects wore with the gray looked really sharp, made them look mean !!

  • wiski

    Off topic but funny stuffhttps://twitter.com/wyshynskihttps://twitter.com/wyshynski/status/357126363867652096
    This Matt Harvey video from Fallon deserves all your RTs. Amazin’ Mets fans/idiots. http://t.co/NxABmm6Awe (via https://twitter.com/thebiglead)

  • leafscapguru

    Does anyone know if there is any truth to the Dion rumours?

    • Cameron19

      leafscapguru It was started by Bill Watters.  So no.  It’s completely without merit.

      • leafscapguru

        Cameron19 leafscapguru good, would have been pissed, I just think he needs a good pairing for the guy. He has his faults but when you play 25min a night your going to make a mistake, he needs the rest of the defense to play better not just him.

        • dlb eh

          leafscapguru Cameron19 
          we did have fun here, though.  pretending Phanuef for Bogosian or Pieterangelo.  short of that interesting (for some of us) conversation, what Cameron said.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/kevin_mcgranhttps://twitter.com/kevin_mcgran/status/357131375633117184
    Didn’t taked MLSE boss Tim Leiweke long to turn Leafs back into joke: parade route planned http://t.co/Cqs3BIkinU

  • Tommy Cat

    There’s a good article in The Star about Barb Underhill ..

    • Dink

      Tommy Cat she’s a tiny little cuss ain’t she?

      • Tommy Cat

        @Dink Tommy Cat Little pixie

        • Dink

          Tommy Cat she is short

  • Dink

    Those numbers above don’t mean a thing to me, somebody must like them though.

    • dlb eh

      @Dink 
      you hate numbers, and anything with measurement, don’t you, Dink?

      • leafscapguru

        dlb eh lol

      • Tommy Cat

        dlb eh Besides women of course.

      • Dink

        dlb eh lol yup..

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    As a kid I used to go to MLG all the time and explore the hallways looking at the old pictures of King Clancy, Syl Apps, Teeder Kennedy, Charlie Conacher, Turk Broda and many many more. I had never seen these men play, but they were Leafs from another era and inspired my loyalty to the franchise that still exists today. In fact, it’s those memories that kept me sane through all the dark eras this team has been through since. To summarily take down these pictures is an extremely short sighted move in my opinion. Somehow seeing Bower, Mahovlich, Keon and many others replaced by Bill Berg, Nathan Dempsey and Rikard Wallin just does not inspire the same memories that would last as long as mine have. Bad move Mr. Liewieke, bad move.

    • wiski

      ingy56 I cringed when I heard parade route. lol

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        wiski ingy56 That was just stupid.

    • Burtonboy

      ingy56 I don’t think he’s going to take them all down . He may have an area in mind or a wing to place all the old memorabilia and the past history of the team. The rest of the ACC should be all about today’s team not the past

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Burtonboy ingy56 Respectfully disagree, the Yankees wouldn’t remove the monuments in center field to make room for a BBQ pit. It’s not memorabilia that should cause a team to not win, in fact it should be the opposite.

        • Burtonboy

          ingy56 Burtonboy Whats wrong with a dedicated area for all this stuff . You can do both you know

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Burtonboy ingy56 Depends where it is, you aren’t allowed to ram into all areas of the building anymore. That’s why it should be mixed in with more current pictures throughout the building.

        • Burtonboy

          ingy56 Burtonboy Its not like he’s going to take all this stuff and lock it up in a vault somewhere

        • Dink

          Burtonboy ingy56 lol what about the banners in the raftors?

        • Tommy Cat

          @Dink Burtonboy ingy56 That’s just old junk … throw it out.  Or sell them off to turn a few extra bucks.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Burtonboy ingy56 Who knows, Harold burned a lot of it, including the original gondola, and used the Stanley Cup pennants as paint tarps. This guy has zero connection with the history here and my guess is he’ll be gone to greener pastures in 3-5 years.

        • Burtonboy

          @Dink Burtonboy ingy56 Has he taken then down yet? Go look at the rafters in LA and see whats there . I bet there are lots of retired Jerseys and banners hanging there

        • wiski

          ingy56 Burtonboy He used some banners as drop cloths when they painted lol

        • Tommy Cat

          ingy56 Burtonboy I’m sure there is another slick talking American CEO that MLSE can bring in to replace him.

        • Burtonboy

          wiski ingy56 Burtonboy Yeah Ballard did

        • Tommy Cat

          Burtonboy wiski ingy56 The man had no class.  To people or objects.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Tommy Cat ingy56 Burtonboy That’s just it, these guys are mercenary’s…they travel from corporation to corporation either plundering assets or chopping and slashing before moving on. I’ll give this guy time to operate but this just rubbed me the wrong way already. I think Mclocki said it below, seen these types way too often before.

      • Tommy Cat

        Burtonboy ingy56 It should be a balanced mix of the past and present.  Most other teams would love to have the rich history of the Leafs.  Talk about taking down photos of past greats is terrible.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Tommy Cat Burtonboy ingy56 The times I have been to the ACC I have found that to be exactly the case. This team has one of the richest histories in the sport, to summarily dismiss parts of it because of perceived pressure or failure is ridiculous.

      • dlb eh

        Burtonboy ingy56 
        i guess.  the kids will be happy to see players’ faces they know now, but there are still some parents and grandparents who smile when they see the old farts they grew up loving.
        i hope they have a good plan.  no sense getting all pissed off, i guess, until i know.

    • dlb eh

      ingy56 
      i agree.  it was meant to give players a sense of history.  pressure to compete as hard as the champions did.
      i guess everything is right when you win, and wrong when you lose.
      if i was a Maple Leafs player in one of those pictures i don’t know how i’d feel, but i assume it wouldn’t feel good.
      if i grew up a Leafs fan and just was coming to play for the team this year i think i’d be pissed off.  those memories that i honoured growing up are being removed as if they don’t matter.

      • Dink

        dlb eh ingy56 Harold Ballard banner would be cool….err but where to put it?

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          @Dink dlb eh ingy56 Stall #3, mens washroom, basement level.

        • Tommy Cat

          ingy56 dlb eh Just right inside the front doors … on the floor.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Tommy Cat ingy56 dlb eh Yeah, was thinking that too. I have a buddy who is a huge Hab fan. When we play hockey, I always grab his stupid Hab towel out of his hockey bag and use it as a bathmat for the shower. Boy does he get pissed.

  • dlb eh

    heres my idea for the fuckers who run the store down there at the ACC.
    have SOMETHING with the logo of the visiting team on it that i can buy.  ten years ago when i started taking my kid down to a game each year i wanted to start the tradition my dad started with me when i was a youngster: buy a pennant of the visiting team so i could put it on my wall under the Toronto Maple Leafs pennant.
    i don’t know what happened to those, but i do remember having a few on the wall in my memory (damned mothers)  i’d like to litter my rec room with the teams we’ve played.  at least one of my kids seems to like to know all the competition and it’s just one thing to remember them by.

    • Dink

      dlb eh seems odd that you can’t get them

      • dlb eh

        @Dink dlb eh 
        tell me about it.  i don’t know what they’re thinking down there.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    https://www.mlsemarketing.com/Speak.jsp?cid=155&scid=19
    FYI: MLSE’s marketing dept. comment page…I said my piece already today.

  • WatsonB

    Advanced stats make me sleepy….and suicidal

    • taylor_wright

      WatsonB Sorry to hear that.
      I tried to keep the jargon to a minimum and use more accessible production statistics (G, A, P) and usage numbers (TOI, zone starts) so that the article would be engaging for everyone. 
      I try to take commenters suggestions into consideration when writing these, so please feel free to provide suggestions on how I can make these more enjoyable. Note: this is why I added more focus on past linemates for this article after reading suggestions about it on the Bolland piece.

      • Cameron19

        taylor_wright WatsonB 

        Don’t stop writing articles with numbers in them.  This numbers backlash will end soon enough.

        • rustynail

          Cameron19 taylor_wright WatsonB As long as it is not all numbers we appreciate it. The backlash is mostly against PPP etc who use them to trumpet their particular cause

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        taylor_wright WatsonB Keep writing Taylor, I’m not a stats fan myself but this site should, and does, encourage discourse on this and other subjects (including barbeques, pets, who’s hot vs. who’s not, music, etc.). I’ve made jokes about the stats movement myself, but I do believe they hold some value if used in context.

      • dlb eh

        taylor_wright WatsonB 
        maybe next time…more advanced stats would clear that problem up

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/HockeyBrophhttps://twitter.com/HockeyBroph/status/357145512392146944
    Leafs CEO must be intimidating to tell staff to plan Stanley Cup parade route and have nobody shout, “Bad idea boss.”

    • Dangle_My_Berries

      wiski a bunch of yes men lol

      • Tommy Cat

        Dangle_My_Berries wiski Boot Lickers and Yes Men are worse than stupid bosses.

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      wiskihttps://twitter.com/CorporalKomarovhttps://twitter.com/CorporalKomarov/status/357147702749966336
      as if Blackhawk are let Tim Leiweke parade around Chicago. what an idiot.

      • Burtonboy

        ingy56 wiski The Blackhawks bought in a guy just like Leiwieki . His name is John McDonough. Since he came on board in 2007 the Hawks have won 2 cups. Lets give this guy a chance before we cut the nuts out of him. It not like anything else has worked the last 47 yrs.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McDonough_(sports_executive)

        • theacs1966

          Burtonboy ingy56 wiski Thats because they brought in someone that wanted to win.  Dollar Bill Wirtz didn’t give a shit as long as he made  coin and he almost ruined the franchise.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Burtonboy ingy56 wiski In the bio it mentions he reached out to the past to bring back Hull, Mikita and Esposito back to the franchise. Sounds like Lieweke wants to erase the past or at least hide it. I’ll be glad to give him some time but I’d like less talk frankly. Deliver results.

        • Burtonboy

          ingy56 Burtonboy wiski I think you need to give the man a chance to see just what he will do . I don’t think for one minute he intends to turn his back on the past . Rather I think he wanst to focus on the task at hand which is building a champion . Its time we stopped living on past laurels and got this franchise back to its past glory

        • rustynail

          theacs1966 Burtonboy ingy56 wiski him croaking was the biggest contributor to Hawks turn around

        • theacs1966

          rustynail theacs1966 Burtonboy ingy56 wiski It looked like things were going to start to go well when Ballard kicked it,  oh well good for them.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          rustynail theacs1966 Burtonboy ingy56 wiski True, but I think Dale Tallon, Jonathon Toews, Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrooke, Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa may have had a hand in things too.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 rustynail theacs1966 Burtonboy wiski how many of them would have been there with Wirtz senior still around? Not many I bet

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          rustynail ingy56 theacs1966 Burtonboy wiski True, as soon as they would need a raise they’d be gone.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 rustynail theacs1966 Burtonboy wiski yup and no Hossa UFA signing

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Burtonboy ingy56 wiski I will, as much as I liked Burke some of the stuff he said just made me cringe. Such as ” I’m going to draft John Tavares”…ultimately (in my opinion) it was his bluster that ended up painting a target on him. Hey, this guy’s no Richard Peddie and already that puts him up several notches in my books.

        • Greg Fenton

          ingy56 Burtonboy wiski He didn’t say he wants to erase or hide from the past. He just wants the current players to focus on the present. To create their own Legacy, not to be trying to live up to one from 1962.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Greg Fenton ingy56 Burtonboy wiski That should happen in the dressing room and on the ice, not in the hallways.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 Burtonboy wiski The jury is still out on whether he is Peddie or not, it is early still. :)

        • Greg Fenton

          ingy56 Greg Fenton Burtonboy wiski He doesn’t want them seeing those pictures in the hallways and bring up that legacy. Sounds like he thinks the focus int he ACC should be on the current team and the current players and what they are doing. Not what happened in 1962. 
          Thats not the same as forgetting or ignoring. Over the last 5-6-7 years the Leafs have been very into celebrating their past, even starting that stupid “honoring” a jersey thing instead of retiring them like every other franchise in every other sport, to allow them to parade past stars out frequently. It just seems like Leiweke wants to the current team and current players to be the focus of the fans, and to focus on their own legacy instead of the past.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          Greg Fenton ingy56 Burtonboy wiskiLeaf Stanley Cup photos from the ’60s at the Air Canada Centre will be mothballed. “I don’t want the players walking in the hallways … and seeing pictures from 1962,” Leiweke said. “Get rid of those pictures and tell them, this is your legacy.”
          “Get rid of” is a direct quote.

        • Greg Fenton

          ingy56 Greg Fenton Burtonboy wiski Yes. I’m sure SOME elements of the past will remain (captains row for example), but there are hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures in the ACC, probably a majority of them celebrating the past. There nothing wrong with that and MLSE won’t start suddenly ignoring its past, but putting more of a focus on the current players, putting a focus on their legacy etc…. Not a bad thing.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Lewieke, I like the mans ambition but he didnt help himself with those over the top comments. Any statement with “parade” in it doesn’t go down well in T.O…..I even cringe when Santa comes to town…

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      Dangle_My_Berries Blaming memorabilia for failure is as bad as a CEO spouting off about what he’s going to do before he’s done anything. Look wise, say little and deliver results. That’s what I expect.

      • Dangle_My_Berries

        ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries Lewieke will soon learn that comments like that may go relatively unnoticed in markets like LA….but in the centre of the hockey world, no way in hell…..we know when the guy sneezes….

      • peterbleafs

        TheCanucksnaphook ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries 100% agree.

  • Area49th

    Forbes released it’s of the 50 most valuable franchises in the world and the Maple Leafs are the NHL’s sole representatives. Toronto,  is worth $1 billion, which is good enough to put them in a tie with the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Lakers for 31st place.
    Take that scabs

    • Dangle_My_Berries

      TheCanucksnaphook Area49th suckers…..or real fans….? …….mind blown!

    • Area49th

      TheCanucksnaphook Area49th I think of us as hardcore fans, who will not give up, even when the going gets tough.

      • theacs1966

        Area49th TheCanucksnaphook When we win the victory will just be that much sweeter.

    • KingTon

      TheCanucksnaphook Area49th real fans stick it out.

    • MaxwellHowe

      Area49th Great! WOW!  So now how do we lower team salary to $64 million so we might be permitted to compete on a level playing field with the $130 million dollar St. Louis Blues? 
      Oh yeah, the NHL sucks balls.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

    Today people are not talking about advanced stats or Grabovski and Bozak, good job Mr CEO.

    • Cameron19

      Radar O’Rielly 

      …until now.

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      Radar O’Rielly Did they take down Grabo’s picture already??? That bastard!

    • rustynail

      Radar O’Rielly until now :)

  • theacs1966

    TheCanucksnaphook I can wait.  The train’s been off the track for the last half century,  I want to see a CUP!  I want to see us win many CUPS!  I don’t care who’s running it or who is counting the beans, I care about what happens on the 200x100ft of ice.   So long as the keep the raptors

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

    This is a guy who understands that in order to double up on that 1 billion, you win.  I like that.  A CEO who gets it.

    • rustynail

      Radar O’Rielly This is a guy who knows what ownership and fans want to hear.

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/felixpotvinhttps://twitter.com/felixpotvin/status/357154562437685248
    New MLSE revenue stream idea: $100 to throw a tomato at an MLSE executive.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

    So yesterday at rehab they made me move my room, which I was fine with until I discovered a crucifix above my bed. I politely asked for it to be removed and when I got no response, this morning I got up on a chair to take it down. This caused a massive freak out, requiring a couple of nurses, a nun and a social worker to come rushing in to tut tut at me. How dare I want the removal of the crucifix and why can’t I understand that this is Catholic institution and what kind of heathen barbarian am I. Oddly enough, I do believe in God and am a Christian but every fiber of my being rejects what the corrupt Catholic Church does in the name of God. How many GLBT deaths are they responsible for with their hate teachings? What about the years that they allowed children to be abused by simply shifting pedophile priests? What about the fact that they then incorrectly named these pedophile priests gay? What about the laundries in Ireland? What about the denial of women’s rights and the continual fight by the church itself to deny a woman’s right to choose? What about the Churchs continual attack on birth control? How many women have died because of their anti-woman teachings? When was the last time they had a Pope who wasn’t corrupt as hell? No, I don’t want to support them and their twisted corrupt hateful twisting of a religion I believe in. Furthermore, I don’t think Christ, who was patient, all forgiving and kind should be associated with this corruptness.

    A facebook rant from my wife today.

    • Dangle_My_Berries

      Radar O’Rielly ……

    • rustynail

      Radar O’Rielly You have a winner there

      • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

        rustynail Radar O’Rielly She speaks her mind :)

      • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

        rustynail Radar O’Rielly Was just talking to her on the phone and we got cut off, and we can’t reconnect.  There’s some DaVinci shit going on here!

    • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

      Aaaaaand she was told by a fellow patient that she is going to burn in a lake of fire!  LOL!

  • Jmessih

    I support all of Tim Lewike’s comments, except getting rid of the vintage Leafs pics.
    The current players need to understand and respect the history of this team. They need to know how it is a privalige and an honor to play for this club and that they should always give 110% as did those (most) who came before them.

    • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

      TheCanucksnaphook Jmessih Currently taking down old pictures of my wife and I, told her it was “too intimidating” and we need to focus on the future. The eye will stop swelling once the ice pack starts working.

      • Greg Fenton

        ingy56 TheCanucksnaphook Jmessih The “apples to apples” comparison would be pictures of your ex-wife or ex-girlfriend. 
        You don’t leave those up to remember the good times you had with them and give your current wife something to “live up too” do you?

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Greg Fenton ingy56 TheCanucksnaphook Jmessih Nope, surf porn instead LOL.

    • Jay_Berg

      Ya that’s a reasonable comparison…

    • Jay_Berg

      Honestly it’s a little embarrassing how much this club honours the past considering that basically all our success came in a 6 team league.

  • DWCMLHS

    Other than Kovalchuk “retiring” from the NHL, did anything major happen since Thursday? I was camping all weekend, and my phone was dead for most of the time. I saw the stuff about Bernier, Fraser and Clarkson’s jersey numbers. Did Clarkson mention why he’s wearing 71 for the Leafs? With O’Byrne gone, 23 is available.

    • Cameron19

      DWCMLHS Inverse of his hero, Wendel Clark.

      • DWCMLHS

        I was wondering if that may have had something to do with it. 17 itself should have been available, but taking it would have put some crazy pressure on him. Although it seems like expectations are pretty high already.

        • rustynail

          DWCMLHS Having the name Clarkson doesn’t help that and its not like he will change his name :)

    • Xxxxxnew

      TheCanucksnaphook DWCMLHS Clarke wore it in Detroit.

    • Pent_House

      TheCanucksnaphook DWCMLHS I like it

    • dlb eh

      TheCanucksnaphook DWCMLHS 
      no way.  Foliigno was all heart and soul … i have good memories of that number

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Interesting read, Thanks Taylor. However, I thought everyone here thought advanced stats was the work of the devil

    • rustynail

      The_Polish_Cannon Naw just that they are used by the devil and his followers too often

      • wiski

        rustynail The_Polish_Cannon Not sure, had to be a Dman

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/Aportzlinehttps://twitter.com/Aportzline/status/357157037806862337
    Maple Leafs fans must be a pessimistic bunch. The No. 2 ‘buyout’ search on https://twitter.com/capgeek is David Clarkson.

    • rustynail

      wiski That search is by haters

      • Marlies Man

        rustynail wiski Leafs Nation is vast and yeah about 20 per cent of it is bipolar.

        • wiski

          Marlies Man rustynail wiski Wasn’t me that’s for sure. 😉

        • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

          Marlies Man rustynail wiski 20%???

    • Area49th

      wiski PPP has more puppets than real fans

    • Tim Horton

      wiski He is a 46 point scorer in his prime making over 5 mil… when he is 36 and playing 8 minutes a game it will make a lot more sense. I like his game and our top 6 is amazing right now, but 5 years from now his contract will be shit no doubt about it.

      • Xxxxxnew

        Tim Horton wiski It won’t be that bad against an $80 million cap.

      • dlb eh

        Tim Horton wiski 
        plenty of character players are worth their weight in gold in their mid-30’s, so why worry about something so stupid right now?

        • Tim Horton

          dlb eh Tim Horton wiski How is thinking of the future stupid. I can’t think of any mid 30 year old that is getting 5 + mil for their character.

        • rustynail

          Tim Horton dlb eh wiski Hossa?

        • dlb eh

          Tim Horton dlb eh wiski 
          then you’re not thinking

        • Tim Horton

          dlb eh Tim Horton wiski please. do tell.

        • Tim Horton

          rustynail Tim Horton dlb eh wiski Even though that’s a shitty contract. Hossa was a 100 point player in his prime and regressed to a 30 goal scorer. Clarkson is a 46 pointer in his prime that will regress to what 30 – 25 – 40?

      • lou19

        Tim Horton wiski who cares about points or the money for Clarkson. just having him on the team and helping the young players is great.

    • darthNihilus

      wiski What was no. 1 – dave nonis? Must be those clowns at PPP. Twitter twats and internet warriors all.

  • Jordan29

    Anyone else here investing in gold companies right now?

    • Jordan29

      TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 yes and I need some advice on what will happen this week when the US people talk about whatever they are going to about the economy. Im tempted to sell with 13.35% up right now

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Jordan29 TheCanucksnaphook Last time Bernanke spoke the market melted down. Never a bad thing to take profits or buy a put option to hedge.

      • wiski

        Jordan29 TheCanucksnaphook I know prices have been dropping

      • Jordan29

        wiski Jordan29 TheCanucksnaphook well they are on their way up and companies are up today. but im not sure if thats a was to set up a short sell or if its actual good investing

      • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

        Jordan29 wiski TheCanucksnaphook Probably safe haven for people betting on the market going down when Bernanke speaks. Gold generally has an inverse relationship with the stock market.

      • Jordan29

        TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 I usually use the 10% rule on stocks Im well aware about. I just think BTO (the one I have ) is worth much more in a year. Not sure I can wait that long though

      • Jordan29

        ingy56 Jordan29 wiski TheCanucksnaphook ya Thats what Im thinking. I hope its what happens this week

      • Jordan29

        TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 ….so do i smash a laptop in the process too?

      • wiski

        TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 I just opened a tax free savings account, any downside to these things?

      • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

        wiski TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 None

      • Jordan29

        wiski TheCanucksnaphook Jordan29 only that you cannot claim your losses as tax rebate. But thats obvious because you dont claim your gains

  • Marlies Man

    There’s a fine line between ambitious and madness and Tim Leiweke is standing right in the middle.

    • Xxxxxnew

      Marlies Man He’s a sizzle guy. I;m waiting for the steak.

  • wiski

    Well if you think about it, we won’t hear start planning the parade anymore, cause it’s already planned. 😉

    • Marlies Man

      TheCanucksnaphook wiski lol I suppose

    • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

      wiski Does anyone remember the parade from MLG to the ACC?

  • taylor_wright

    Thanks for the positive comments everyone. I posted this down below, but it was in a response so here it is again:
    I tried to keep the (possession statistics) jargon to a minimum and use more accessible production statistics (G, A, P) and usage numbers (TOI, zone starts) so that the article would be engaging for everyone. 
    I try to take commenters suggestions into consideration when writing these, so please feel free to provide suggestions on how I can make these more enjoyable. Note: this is why I added more focus on past linemates for this article after reading suggestions about it on the Bolland piece. 
    Keep the comments coming and thanks for being part of this great Leafs community!

    • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ Radar O’Rielly

      taylor_wright Stop pandering 😉

      • wiski

        TheCanucksnaphook Radar O’Rielly taylor_wright LOL

    • Tommy Cat

      taylor_wright You keep doing what is your strength.  The numbers.  There are lots of other bloggers here like Anthony that can get right into it technically.  I’m not real big on the number crunching either but there are those who like it.  If I don’t like it I can just skim.

      • dlb eh

        Tommy Cat taylor_wright 
        crap, i didn’t read down to see this haha.
        what he said.

    • dlb eh

      taylor_wright 
      even those of us who don’t love stats appreciate the odd article that uses them in a discussion.  this site has plenty of variance, so i’d say just stick your neck out and do what you love most

  • wendelsway1

    Morning Gents…..and thanks for the write up, Taylor.  Just as you don’t have to be the best team on paper, to be successful, nor do you have to be the best player on paper to be successful.  Clarkson brings intangibles that cannot be measured by stats but will contribute nicely to Carlyle’s cycling game…..IMO, we are a better team with Clarkson, and will be much tougher to play against.  Looking forward to watching both Clarkson and Bolland in the blue and white.  :)

    • Jay_Berg

      Fully agreed. Clarkson contributes a lot more outside of the stat sheet.
      It gets frustrating when people get so stats driven. “Oh why wouldn’t we just resign Mac for way less because he gets just as many points”. Brutal

    • taylor_wright

      wendelsway1 Thanks for the compliment! 
      I’m hoping (to quote Aristotle) that the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” for this team next year now that Carlyle has “his” guys. It’ll be interesting to see how Carlyle will use Clarkson and Bolland (especially in light of Nonis’ comments regarding an expanded role for Bolland) and if the acquisition of them changes the use of other players. 
      I agree that Clarkson was a positive addition, but the term and cap hit of that contract aren’t things that I like (though my concerns with the cap hit could be reduced depending on the growth of the salary cap).

      • wendelsway1

        taylor_wright wendelsway1 Agreed….it is a team sport, after all.  We saw what a difference McC made….can’t wait to see the teamplay and dynamics with Clarkson and Bolland now in the mix.  I really don’t care or concern myself with money and cap……couldn’t care less.  Capologists can worry about it……as long as Leafs are progressing and winning games…..it’s all good in my books.  :)