An interview with Scott Gordon

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MLHS’ Anthony Petrielli chatted with assistant coach of the Maple Leafs Scott Gordon this morning. A wide range of Leaf topics are touched on in a more rapid-fire style of interview. If you missed them, be sure to check out previous MLHS interviews with Greg Cronin, Dave Morrison and Dave Poulin. .

AP: What was your role last year?

Scott Gordon: I did the penalty kill. But we’re all involved as far as input in our system play and practice planning. It’s not just one thing for all the coaches, it’s a shared effort.

AP: How much input do the coaches have on management decisions? What’s the process here?

Scott Gordon: That’s really a question for Randy. He’s more involved in that type of thing. Randy will ask us our thoughts on players but at the end of the day that’s between Randy and Dave. There’s a lot more factors than just liking a player; obviously salary, years in their contract, age. We as assistant coaches don’t have a lot of input on players other than our opinions that are asked, that’s usually between the head coach and GM.

AP: How familiar are you guys with the Marlies coming into training camp this year?

Scott Gordon: Last year, during the lockout, all of us coaches came in at different times and we were able to watch them usually one or two weeks at a time. That way everybody was getting watched on a regular basis. It wasn’t about all of us being there at the same time as opposed to trying to stagger it so there’s an eye in the sky all the time.

AP: What’s the takeaway on Colborne, including his stint in the NHL to end the year?

Scott Gordon: I think he’s starting to get stronger and all indications are that he’s having a great offseason. He’s put on some good weight, his legs are getting bigger, and that’s going to make him harder player to play against if he can maintain that over the course of the season. So we’re encouraged by his willingness and wanting to get better and stronger. To him that’s an important thing because when he was drafted he was about 180 pounds, 6’5, and there’s a lot of work that goes into being bigger and stronger and he’s putting in that time.

AP: Do you view Colborne as a center or winger?

Scott Gordon: Well he’s been a center his whole career [editor’s note: he played wing in college], so I don’t know if that will change based on what our personnel is but as of right I will imagine we’ll see him mostly at center.

AP: So that means McClement moves to the wing?

Scott Gordon: I guess. I mean, those are things that are still being talked about.

AP: Your top six is basically full, whereas last year you had Kadri on a scoring line and he thrived there. Since the roster dynamic doesn’t allow that for Colborne, does that mean you’re comfortable with him as a grinder?

Scott Gordon: Yeah. The makeup of the team is a little bit different. Last year we had what would probably be considered three lines of scoring, maybe not as much depth on each line as far as scoring numbers. Whereas this year our top six is all guys who have had pretty good track records of scoring goals so hopefully that has the same effect as it did last year.

AP: In 2008, Ron Wilson said he’d only take Luke Schenn at 18 on the Leafs if he could crack their top 4. Is the thinking similar for Morgan Rielly now?

Scott Gordon: That hasn’t been a discussion at this point. I think you go into training camp and let everybody do what they can do and then you make your judgement on them. We haven’t spent much time talking about Morgan Rielly and what his role will be or anything like that. It’s just a question of how he’ll do in training camp and then you go from there. That’s a discussion you have later down the road after training camp.

AP: Why was Gardiner in and out of the line-up, and what’s the plan this year?

Scott Gordon: Well, obviously he had a pretty good start last year with the Marlies. Then, he had the concussion and I think it was about six weeks off, and it was a little bit harder for him to get up to speed. He just didn’t seem sharp, then he went down to the Marlies. Even coming back from the Marlies he wasn’t the same player we had seen before. Then, he ended up finishing the year with us and I think he figured out something and ended up having a pretty good playoffs for us. I thought he was strong defensively [in the playoffs]. Randy had some pretty good talks with him down the stretch, he seemed to take it to heart and got better in the areas he needed to get better in.

AP: Do you envision him as a top four guy next season?

Scott Gordon: Whether it’s next year or down the road, he has that ability. He just has to put it altogether.

AP: What does a bigger role for Bolland mean?

Scott Gordon: His role with Chicago might have been a little different just because they have a lot of guys that can put the puck in the net. Not that we don’t but, you know, he’s for us a guy that Randy seems to have a lot of confidence in just having seen him play against his teams in the past. That in of itself might lead to a bigger role than he had in Chicago.

AP: You dressed two enforcers for most of last year, and then stopped in the playoffs, so is the plan to go back to two enforcers or add another guy to that fourth line?

Scott Gordon: As far as adding another guy, that would come down to what happens with the players that aren’t signed, and where the salary cap is, and if we have room or not. I’m not sure what the exact numbers are, but something will play out in the next month. But, as far as Frazer and Colton Orr, we all like that element they have as far as making our players feel comfortable, so I’d say there’s probably no reason that that would change.

AP: Why are two necessary?

Scott Gordon: Well, I think part of that is the confidence that the coaching staff has in their ability to play the game. Some teams might have two on their roster but only dress one because they are maybe not the same calibre of player that our two guys are. You have to be confident that they can step on the ice and not cost your team. I think our two guys do a great job at that.

AP: Randy talked about three types of giveaways this year; do you split scoring chances up the same way?

Scott Gordon: There are probably around six categories, whether it’s the result of a neutral zone play, offensive zone forecheck, faceoff, power play, penalty kill, defensive zone coverage/turnovers, there’s probably six or seven categories that we track just so we can keep tabs on where our breakdowns are happening or where we’re generating our scoring chances from.

AP: What are the plans to reduce own-zone time?

Scott Gordon: The best way to reduce that is to spend more time in the offensive zone. Those are things that since Randy’s come in we talked about and it doesn’t happen overnight. We saw a significant improvement in our team being able to use the offensive zone more effectively even though it didn’t show the results in each zone as much as we’d like. I think some groundwork has been done that’s going to make it easier for us next year.

AP: Do you view Clarkson as a key guy in this regard?

Scott Gordon: Well, New Jersey is probably one of the better teams in the league as far as puck possession in the offensive zone. He’s a bigger body, he uses his body effectively to get in on the forecheck and manage the puck down low. When you have more heavy players it’s a little bit easier to maintain puck possession.

AP: Cronin mentioned “quality possessions” as a point of emphasis, can you explain them?

Scott Gordon: It’s a different thing. It’s more of wearing down the opposition by keeping puck possession in the offensive zone. Just being able to make the opposition defend entire areas and create confusion in the offensive zone. That’s something that you can’t really measure in a stat other than time of possession, but certainly it’s something that we work on all the time and stress it.

AP: How reliable are NHL.com stats?

Scott Gordon: Every building is different. The people that take the stats, they have different discretion from building to building. It’s not so much the shots as those are usually pretty much a standard rule of thumb, it’s blocked shots and hits. We’ll chart hits after a game and it’s clearly not right because we’re watching the video. If you’re making contact with somebody that’s a hit, but there’s some buildings where the discretion is you have to separate the man from the puck. But that’s not how you define a hit. A hit is a hit. That’s where you look at the NHL stats and there are some inconsistencies from building to building.

AP: Do the shot counts not do you justice?

Scott Gordon: Well, as far as shots go there are a lot of things that factor into your team giving up a lot of shots or getting a lot. I don’t think we look at the numbers as far as totals on just shots. Where our concern is, is the more quality of shots we get. We had a discussion yesterday and usually the goalie coaches are pretty good at deciphering whether they think your team gives up a lot of shots. Our goalie coach [Rick St. Croix] was of the opinion that we did a good job of keeping shots to the outside. And that’s usually what most teams say when they give up a lot of shots, but I think it is a good indicator because our scoring chances were pretty much even with the opposition all year long. Even though we might have given up more shots, I think there’s a commitment to making sure that we defended the front of the net better and the middle of the ice versus the perimeter play. There are areas we can get better at on the perimeter play, and like I said, the biggest way to cut down your shots is to spend more time in the offensive zone.

AP: Are you guys okay with getting better scoring chances, while getting outshot?

Scott Gordon: Well, at the end of the day the most important stat is the actual score. We don’t judge our games based on shots for and shots against, we base it on the score. But we’re also judging our players on other categories that don’t show up on the stat sheet that have a lot more significance than what the shots are.

AP: Do you think Bernier’s puck handling can help reduce own-zone time?

Scott Gordon: If your goalie is effective at getting out and stopping the puck,  putting it to good spots and making not just puck plays but the right puck plays at the right time, then yeah it can help you. But just to go out and play the puck doesn’t make you a good puck handler.

AP: What about Reimer and his puck handling?

Scott Gordon: It’s something he has improved at. There’s still room for improvement, he wants to get better at it, and if he continues to work at it I’m sure he will.

AP: Upfront you added Bolland Clarkson, and subtracted Grabovski, MacArthur, Frattin and Komarov. Are you concerned about losing depth?

Scott Gordon: Well I think with adding Bolland and Clarkson those two players are probably guys that are going to fit our style of play more consistently, with the exception of Komarov. Komarov was a guy we would have loved to have back but obviously he got a good deal in Russia and has to do what’s best for him. But the style of play of Bolland and Clarkson play fits our team identity and we’re excited about them.

AP: Do you view Kadri as the eventual 1C?

Scott Gordon: I mean it’s something that he needs to grow into and if he does we’re a better team for it.

AP: What about Colborne as a top six center?

Scott Gordon:  It’s hard to say right now, but we’re hopeful. Sometimes when you don’t get it right away, it’s better to grow into it by being a good third or fourth line center. Opportunities present themselves from injuries, and different play. I think with Joe he might have a bigger learning curve but at the end of the day there are a lot of tools there and we just got to try to get it out of him.

AP: What are your thoughts on Ranger?

Scott Gordon: Well, obviously he’s not a rookie. He’s played some significant time in the NHL. From the reports that we had from the Marlies he was a very good player for them and he’s trying to get back into the NHL and if he’s going to be near the same player he was when he was with Tampa Bay that’s obviously good for us.

AP: Is Ranger a guy you’d throw in the top 4 from the get-go?

Scott Gordon: It’s too early to say. He hasn’t played an NHL game in I don’t know how many years. We have to give him an opportunity to get back a feel for the pace of the NHL game and get comfortable. I don’t think any player that’s playing his first games in the NHL or been away from the NHL, I don’t think you want to jam it down their throats. He’s going to want to have a comfort level of knowing that he can go out there and play and not feel like he has to be the saviour. But you know, in saying that, he’s a guy that’s played in the NHL so it’s a different situation.

  • rustynail

    awesome as always Thanks so much !!!!

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Gordon’s a tough cookie to crack, but I did what I could. Hope you all enjoy.

    • rustynail

      Anthony Petrielli great insight on a few areas I thought like different categories of give aways

    • Black_Hawk

      Anthony Petrielli good work

  • WendelGilmour

    Well done, Anthony. Thanks.

  • MikeGartner11

    Pretty straight forward guy. Cool interview though. It’s awesome to hear from all these people in the organization we don’t normally hear from

  • WendelGilmour

    Sounds like Joe is pencilled in as 4C, with McC playing LW.

    • .JVR.

      WendelGilmour 
      I think alot of us were expecting that anyways.
      If more offence in needed late in a game, I’m guessing Colborne might be moved up to play with Bolland and Kulemin.

  • daveybolland

    Nice to see so much of what was talked about here on the forums and blogs about Clarkson and Bolland being confirmed here and with the Poulin interview. Both of them being down low possession guys capable of generating more offensive zone time as part of the solution to the shots problem.

  • wiski

    Good direct to the point questions Anthony, enjoyed it. 😉

  • daveybolland

    -Keon- Most interesting part to me was saying of Mac, Frattin and Komarov, the one guy they’ll actually miss is Komarov. Dunno how I feel about it, but it’s interesting

    • wiski

      @daveybolland -Keon- Komarov never missed finishing his check not once.

      • Mind Bomb

        wiski -Keon- Hell he hit the Camera Guy on the way by, every time ! lol

    • daveybolland

      -Keon- As in unlike Komarov they have some skill? Not every player is gonna bring top notch physicality.
      I hope we haven’t sacrifice too much in the way of speed and skill. It’s going to be interesting to see this season.

    • Xxxxxnew

      Borland is as quick as any of the guys we dumped. Frattin seemed to be good in stretches but it seemed he would fade. I barely have any memory of Mac at all for last season.

    • playoff nut

      Xxxxxnew And I had high hopes for fratton ,oh well lol,Bolland will be okay to ,kinda remember his days in London ,was a favorite then

    • Xxxxxnew

      I liked Frattin but I sure had some questions after he was sent back to the Marlies after training camp last year

    • playoff nut

      Xxxxxnew Me to as it seemed he knew when to get that timely goal.still remember injuring that knee during the marlie game ,Im sure it didnt help

    • Xxxxxnew

      The knee was a factor for sure. But for me, I was starting to get the feeling what we saw with Frattin was what we would see even a few years down the road.

    • Mitch92

      @daveybolland -Keon- I felt the same way when I first heard that Komarov was not returning.  All successful teams seem to employ at least one player that gets under the skin of opponents and Komorov was that guy last year.  Hopefully Bolland can handle those duties now.

      • Xxxxxnew

        http://youtu.be/A20E25u-NJ4

    • playoff nut

      Xxxxxnew But he looked like the kind of player that might get better but be injury prone unfortunately,that play he was injured looked a little flakey or silly to me

  • TML__fan

    Nice interview Anthony.  You could sense with some of the questions Gordon was holding back, like he didn’t want to reveal any corporate insider-type information.  Glad to see they still have positive hope with respect to Colborne and will try to get him time at centre.  Also nice to hear his off-season is going well and his weight is up.  That’s something he has struggled to do in the past.  Not sure I want to see Colborne in between Orr and MacLaren though.  He won’t get much ice time, and little hope of producing offensively.  We’ll see how the season unfolds.

  • Kouba

    Outstanding job on all of the interviews guys. You make the offseason enjoyable, thanks for that.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    -Keon- On your Toninato and Cameranesi questions: I went back and Morrison singled out Toninato a few times without me bringing him up. Said he’s on a great development track and is excited to see what he does in college next year. Noted Cameranesi’s good season but wasn’t as excited talking about him. Got the impression he likes both as potential scoring forwards in the future though.

    • Anthony Petrielli

      -Keon- Nah he didn’t say anything about him. Watched a few of his games last year and he’s massive. Was also getting PP1 time which I thought was impressive.

  • Pent_House

    Nice interview AP. You went pretty direct with some of those questions.

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Pent_House Thanks. Was trying to get as much out of him as I could on roster decisions and such. The top 6, Gunnarsson, Phaneuf, etc. are pretty much set so there isn’t much to say there. No point in bringing up Franson since he’s not even signed.

  • Burtonboy

    Thanks for a job well done Anthony. Would dearly love to know exactly what they track and obviously combine with a lot of video work to do there evaluations and coaching.. I doubt they would tell us much about that though.

    • rustynail

      Burtonboy why would they? I doubt they want other teams for one thing knowing that

      • Burtonboy

        rustynail Burtonboy That’s why I said what I said in the last sentence lol. I’ve always been of the opinion the Leafs are miles ahead of these so called internet experts in the sophistication of what they do with stat tracking and combining that with video.

  • Pent_House

    I’ve been saying for a while that it’s okay if Colborne is 4C because any time in the NHL will help, and there will always be injuries, or occasional poor play that allows him to move up in the line-up. It’s nice to see Gordon basically saying the same thing.

  • Savo43

    Nice interview, good job!

  • LyrkiJumme

    New to this site, found the links to these awesome interviews over Reddit.
    Curious as to what the deal is, how long it’s been around, who the writers are, how it all works. If anyone has any insight, thanks!

    • Anthony Petrielli

      @LyrkiJumme Well I did this interview and I’m one of the main writers here. Alec Brownscombe is the founder. The sites been around for years, maybe 2007? or 2008? Something like that. 
      Every year we usually publish a magazine with these interviews, but this year we’ve put them up here instead. Any and all Leafs news is covered throughout the site: Some stats, some opinion, some speculation, etc. All Leafs. 
      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Alec Brownscombe

      @LyrkiJumme Spy!
      Seriously, stick around and post and learn some more about it. It’s a fun place to talk all things Leafs. The bloggers are usually pretty good, but the founder sucks.
      Welcome.

      • rustynail

        Alec Brownscombe if you sign in turn off notifications or you will get swamped

      • Burtonboy

        Alec Brownscombe The founder may suck but he certainly aced the competition this yrs :)

      • playoff nut

        Alec Brownscombe founder sucs Lmao ,welcome LrkJumme ,lol

        • Mind Bomb

          playoff nut Alec Brownscombe See our illustrious Leader just Liked this, like I said, They are pretty Cool Lyrki, well for writers Lol
           And you have already one up’d me I dont think Alec has every Liked one of my comments lol

        • playoff nut

          Mind Bomb playoff nut Alec Brownscombe Ha ha colour me victorious and Im no writer either lol

    • Mind Bomb

      @LyrkiJumme  Haha Lyrki, Lurkie , err Lyrki Jumme :)
      Cool name bro, and welcome. Alot of us have been on here for years probably 4 for me. The writers here are Fantastic, because, they can handle other points of view, we can even argue with them respectfully, but they are not all full of themselves.
       The other posters are equally awesome, even the ones that I totally dis-agree with, argue with etc. I love the diversity of opinions, as delusional as some are lol 
      Information: BAR NONE, it is the fastest and best place to get Leaf info, dissected for you to consider.

    • LyrkiJumme

      Thanks everybody. I’ll be sure to check in now and again. Sounds like a cool place with good people and good writing.

      • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

        @LyrkiJumme Follow on twitter: @mapleleafshs,  @leafsnews on facebook at: fb.com/mapleleafshotstove or on Google+ google.com/+MapleLeafsHotStove

  • Xxxxxnew

    I’ve heard those same complaints before about the wide difference in stats keepers results from rink to rink. I can’t remember which team or player it was but someone happened to have an isolated camera on a forward one game that showed he was involved in one hit, and yet at the end of the night he was credited with six. They figured out that the stats guy was giving credit for a hit to players who took a hit in a corner but came up with possession of the puck.

  • Favell66

    Another excellent interview, very nice job!!  I love all the material you guys are putting up here, helps to get  through the “dog days” of summer…

  • Mind Bomb

    Thanks Anthony, well done, some thoughts to bore you :)
    1) He did not seem to be overly optimistic that either Gardiner, or Ranger are a Lock for a Top 4 D
    Gardiner: Whether it’s next year or down the road, he has that ability. He just has to put it altogether.
    Ranger:  It’s too early to say.
    Riely : Not even discussed waiting on Camp
    Franson Not signed. 
     So I am left wondering, on the Board, who do they have Penciled in our Top 4 . I have always hoped for an upgrade, if you remember some of my Posts, but so far, all I have seen is a Chevalier attitude towards our Top 4 D, especially as there Jobs depends on Results. Are we Keeping Liles, or do you know there is another D coming via trade maybe ?

    • rustynail

      Mind Bomb maybe he is leaving that up to training camp and also not stepping on RC’s toes.

      • Mind Bomb

        rustynail Mind Bomb  Aye Rusty, its just Mystery Defense’s scare me !

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Mind Bomb My guess is if they are able to retain Franson he’ll be one of the second pairing guys, and then it’s an open competition to play alongside him between Gardiner, Ranger, and Fraser. But that’s just a guess.

      • Mind Bomb

        Anthony Petrielli Mind Bomb Aye Guessing sux :) I want to Know !! lol.

         But anyways thanks again, must of been a great time for you. Colour me Jealous lol

        • wiski

          Mind Bomb Anthony Petrielli We can’t know if they don’t know. lol

        • Mind Bomb

          wiski Mind Bomb Anthony Petrielli True, I bet the know, they just wont tell us :)

    • Xxxxxnew

      Like Cronin said, Gardiner was shaky last year after the concussion and only started to loo alike the real deal after Carlyle talked to him about his defensive play a few times. Probably wait and see over a bigger sample of games to see how far he moves up, but he may get enought PP time anyway.

  • wendelsway1

    Thanks Anthony….another job well done…..you guys are quickly putting all other Leafs reporting to shame with the outstanding writers on board here at MLHS.  :)

  • Uncle Otis

    Another aces interview..great work Anthony
    Yes Gordon is being the good soldier and not overspeaking his position/authority…but you know a head coach looms underneath the surface in both he and Cronin.
    Next year may I suggest having a MLHS party and inviting them over for interviews…with comp booze
    Well plied hockey guys sing like canarys 😉
    Cheers

    • wendelsway1

      Uncle Otis LOL…….triples all around!

      • Uncle Otis

        wendelsway1 
        Boilermakers,Shooters and Shotguns!
        WooHoo!!!

  • .JVR.

    Damn guys, keep up the great work!!

    Loving this interview series :)

  • ErikGruber

    Think Randy Carlyle will ever do one of these?

    By the way, great job!

  • Jordan29

    Fraser contract is good. I wanted lower but he’s still a steal at 1.275 if he plays like he did last year. If so the. We give him a bigger longer deal. So now Franson and Kadri need to do the same. Take a show me deal and cash in next contract when the cap is up

    • ErikGruber

      Jordan29 If only we signed Jeff Finger to that price. Ahhh, Free Agency….

    • rustynail

      Jordan29 you do realize this is Franson’s 4th contract and he took a show me deal last season

      • Mitch92

        rustynail Jordan29 Yep!  The Leafs NEED to SHOW Franson the money now!

        • Xxxxxnew

          How much? He’s at $1.2 million now. Triple?

  • .JVR.

    So, when I got off work this morning, we were discussing how the team is gonna get under the Cap if they wish to sign Kadri and Franson.

    I think the majority of us were predicting that Liles will be moved out, but we never got into possible suitors for him before I hit the sack.

    Just wondering if a list of teams were discussed at all this morning?

    • Xxxxxnew

      I’m wondering about the Islanders, they’re a cap floor team and they’re at 44 million right now with 23 players signed. Just spitballin’ here.

      • skiingallday

        Xxxxxnew and they have a weak defense.

      • Burtonboy

        Xxxxxnew Snow will wait for waivers :)

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Xxxxxnew Ha no Joke lol

        • Burtonboy

          Mind Bomb Burtonboy Xxxxxnew Has he ever made a trade lol

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Mind Bomb Xxxxxnew  Haha not that I remember

        • .JVR.

          Burtonboy
          That works for me, as we don’t have to eat any of his salary or give up an asset, just to get arid of him.

      • ErikGruber

        Xxxxxnew .JVR. I mentioned the Islanders a few days ago because they have a need for NHL defenceman. They only have 2 or 3 proven NHL defenceman on their roster.

      • .JVR.

        Xxxxxnew 
        What’s the floor at this year?

        • Xxxxxnew

          $44 million. I’m thinking the Isles need to move up on that though because they need to impress fans in their new Brooklyn rink year after this.

    • n1ck13

      .JVR. How bout Calgary & Colorado, they both have plenty of cap room and need blue liners, even Buffalo if you are willing to move in division

      • Xxxxxnew

        Liles came to the Leafs from Colorado.

        • .JVR.

          Xxxxxnew 
          Yup, we gave up the 2nd round pick we acquired from Boston for Kaberle.

        • n1ck13

          .JVR. Xxxxxnew Yeah I know, situations change they could take him back. The whole front office/coaching staff is new.

        • rustynail

          Xxxxxnew many Avs fans wish he hadn’t

        • .JVR.

          n1ck13
          I agree, didn’t say otherwise.

  • LyrkiJumme

    I am on board with the way the Leafs value quality possession and high quality scoring chances over shots. I know the data has been disputed about whether or not the Leafs outchanced the opponents, that’s not a reliable stat we have at the moment. But I do think from the sounds of things that the Leafs do internal tracking.
    Between the Cronin and Gordon interviews I could not get over how convinced they are of McLaren and Orr’s hockey abilities. This does not compute with Lyrke Jumme.

    • Xxxxxnew

      I’ve seen a distinct change in the team since those guys have been in the roster. Two seasons ago posters on here was screaming about how we were getting shoved around and how Boston was kicking the snot out of us every game. You can see teams physically go quiet hen Orr is on th ice. I don’t think they’re the most talented guys but we’re only talking about guys who fill a role seven minutes a game.

      • LyrkiJumme

        Xxxxxnew Seeing the other team go physically quiet with Orr on the ice seems like something you would perceive because you want it to be so.
        Orr wasn’t as big of an oaf last year, his foot speed was a little better. However with Clarkson signed and Fraser coming back I cannot see a sound reason for playing McLaren and Orr on the same team.

        • Xxxxxnew

          It was actually remarked upon during games by a boston announcers last year. It was something heard them say. I wasn’t emotionally invested in it one way or another.

  • Mitch92

    While it may appear that Liles is the body that needs to be moved out to accomodate Franson and Kadri, I think it will more likely be Kulemin that moves.  Kulemin has (on paper at least) fallen out of our top six.  I have long been a Kulemin supporter but I foresee him joining Grabbo wherever he lands.  I think the Leafs can fill his third line roll with someone cheaper.

    • .JVR.

      Mitch92 
      Blasphemy!!

      • Mind Bomb

        .JVR. Mitch92  Heresy !!

    • LyrkiJumme

      Mitch92 Kulemin is our most underrated forward and is very cheap for at least one more season for what he provides. Pass. We should buy out Liles before doing that.

      • Mind Bomb

        @LyrkiJumme Mitch92  See your getting it bro lol !

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          The kid’s a natural :)

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Hahah

      • .JVR.

        @LyrkiJumme
        Have we determined yet if we are eligible for the extra buyout period?
        I know it said something about having to have two arbitration hearings.  We had two players (Fraser and Gunnarsson) apply, but both settled before their hearing.  Does that count?

        • rustynail

          .JVR. even MSM has clued in that we are

      • wendelsway1

        @LyrkiJumme Mitch92 Agreed….he’s a power forward that brings intangibles….just as important to prevent the opposition from scoring as it is to put pucks in the net…..Kuli will look great on our third line shutting down the opposition and will chip in some goals along the way.

  • .JVR.

    Any chance the Devils would be interested in Liles?  
    They have 7 players under contract, but two of them are Fayne and Harrold and Liles is definitely an upgrade on both of them.  Hell, he’s probably also an upgrade on Larsson at this point and possibly Salvador and Greene.

    • .JVR.

      Another Liles destination could be Florida.
      Like New Jersey, they also have 7 defenceman under contract, but Liles is an upgrade on Weaver, Gilroy and Mottau.

      • wiski

        .JVR. Jersey is broke, broke, no takers so far.

        • .JVR.

          wiski

          You sure wouldn’t know it, they way they threw money around on washed up veterans like Jagr, Ryder and Clowe.

        • wiski

          .JVR. wiski 200 million in the hole and for sale last time I looked?

        • .JVR.

          wiski
          I realize that, but the way Lou is throwing money around, you wouldn’t know it.

        • wiski

          .JVR. wiski I guess he’s counting on uncle Garry to bail him out, but they couldn’t even meet the payroll last month.

    • Black_Hawk

      .JVR. maybe

  • amarshall

    First time posting to this site, however I have been following the post for about 2-3 years now. (I figured why not create a profile). Anyways I have to say this is another great interview! Very please with every article I have ever read, and enjoy reading all the comments!
    Anyways Im very happy with the Fraser signing, as his toughness alone will bring out the best in the whole group everytime he touches the ice. (I always remember when he jumped in from the blueline to help out kadri versus petrovick). 1.275mill isn;t that much, but it will be interested to see what kadri + franson get, and also who gets shipped out (Hopefully Liles).

    • .JVR.

      amarshall 
      Well, I guess I can “officially” welcome you, even though you’ve been coming here for a few years now.

    • wiski

      amarshall Everyone is coming out of the closet today, welcome 😉

    • amarshall

      Thanks guys! I figured I would have to start voicing my opinion, however its always interesting to see what the MLHS world has to say 😀

  • wiski

    Why was the cookie crying?
    His mother was a wafer so long.

    • Uncle Otis

      wiski 
      ’cause Phil ate the family 😉

  • Pent_House

    http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/7/29/4567518/save-cody-franson-liles-buyout-arbitration-leafs

    I don’t really like PPP as everyone knows, but this was decent. Tough buy-out on Liles.

    • whalz

      Liles wont be bought out,,,,,,,,,,if freakin Horcoff can be traded, LILES could easily,,,,,,my guess is Nonis will make a move before the season starts.

    • Uncle Otis

      Pent_House 
      I’ll have to take you’re word for it 😉

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Pent_House b1rky is good.

  • Knights2Leafs

    Nicely done AP!!!
    I thought the comments on Bolland were interesting…..might have a bigger role here than in Chicago.  Any idea what he meant AP?  It’s not like he was playing 4th line minutes in Chicago.  If he drives possession, is it possible that he might see top 6 minutes from time to time?

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Knights2Leafs He’s probably first in line when someone gets hurt. As I just said above, I’m assuming a bigger role means just a ton of TOI in a shutdown role.

      • Dink

        Anthony Petrielli Knights2Leafs I think you will see him play with Clarkson a lot when needed…my take on it all

        • Anthony Petrielli

          @Dink Anthony Petrielli Knights2Leafs Agreed/hope so.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/LeafsPR
    The https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash have signed forward Spencer Abbott to a one year contract. He had 33 points (13g, 20a) in 55 games with the Marlies last season
    .

    • .JVR.

      CanuckUKinToronto
      Either way, he’ll be with the Marlies

    • Dink

      Burtonboy err whoopie

  • getyourselfsomerest

    whoa. Slow down there MLHS. There’s still a month to go before we can even talk about training camp. 😛 good work

    • .JVR.

      getyourselfsomerest 
      haha, by the middle of August, they’re gonna be interviewing the stick boy 😉

      • mORRganRielly

        .JVR. getyourselfsomerest Or the former Burkie dog vendor.

        • Alec Brownscombe

          mORRganRielly .JVR. getyourselfsomerest Already have him lined up.   See what he thinks about puck possession.

        • maple1967leafs

          mORRganRielly .JVR. getyourselfsomerest  i thought he got an assistant coaching job in vancouver

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Or, “do you mainly concern yourself with the quantity of your output, or the quality of the ‘dog?”

  • Jay_Berg

    Amazing job Anthony.
    Question:
    I’m a little confused about managements comments regarding Bolland. The common theme is that he will have a bigger role than he did in Chicago. However, it seems fairly apparent (IMO) that our top 6 is relatively set (Bozak, jvr, Kessel, Lupul, Clarkson, Kadri). Meaning that it would appear Bolland would be our 3rd line centre in a bottom 6 role. I’m struggling to see how it would be that much different than what he did in Chicago. Even if you consider the fact that Bolland could be our shutdown centre whereas in Chicago Toews typically did that it still doesn’t explain this inclination that he would have an expanded offensive role?

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Jay_Berg Pahlsson was playing like 19 minutes a night in a shutdown role with RC so that’s what they’ve been implying. I’m assuming bigger role actually equals more TOI, but basically the same role Bolland’s always had except when he played with Sharp+Hossa this year.

      • Burtonboy

        Anthony Petrielli Jay_Berg Stands to reason if the Bolland line is the shutdown line they will play very significant minutes against other teams top lines. Maybe they are expecting some decent offense from that line as well.

  • Leafbites

    Excellent, lads, these interview pieces. I’m not sure how I feel about this potential Mclar-Colbo-Orr 4th line. I’d really like to see a little more speed on one of those wings, interchanging as they wish.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Great interview Anthony!  Didn’t you find his responses concerning Bolland and Colborne a little perplexing? In the sense that bigger roles for both players, plus the expectations for Kadri, leaves one wondering why the Leafs bothered to sign Bozak to a $4 million contract.

    • Anthony Petrielli

      MaxwellHowe Bolland a little bit, but not Colborne. He made it clear that he’s going to have to ply his trade on L3/L4 and work his way up.

  • Black_Hawk

    Also Pavelski got done today too. 6M a year is a lot but he is clutch in the playoffs. Guess they are going to move Thorton and marleu soon as they have Pavelski and Couture as there guys there now.

    • whalz

      yeah those contracts start next season……im sure SJ will receive some good young players and draft picks for either one of them

  • whalz

    just looking at capgeek,,,,Franson deserves what LILES is making at 3.87mil per,,,,,,LILES needs to go and the only way that happens if he is put on waivers or packaged with a decent prospect or 2nd or 3rd pick.
    good thing is NONIS has the power here awaiting Franson or Kadri to sign…

    • Black_Hawk

      @whalz trade liles for a 7th if you have to. Im sure teams in need of d will take him as he is solid. But i think we can move him for more.

      • whalz

        im wondering if teams realize that the LEAFS need to move him and are willing to wait and see if he is placed on waivers?

    • wiski

      @whalz If we could trade Lombardi we can trade Liles.

      • Uncle Otis

        wiski 
        That’s is if we = Burkie
        Miss the horse trader at times like this.

        • wiski

          Uncle Otis wiski the grasshopper has learned from the master, I’m sure he proud. 😉

      • whalz

        yup….but the point was horcoff has a caphit of 5mil+

  • wiski

    https://twitter.com/kevin_mcgranhttps://twitter.com/kevin_mcgran/status/362252756226023424
    Maple Leafs: Dave Bolland to hold Stanley Cup parade

    • Uncle Otis

      wiski 
      hmmmm…..not sure what to make of that
      The Brass Rail might have been a better choice 😉

      • wiski

        Uncle Otis wiski Is that hole still there. lol

        • Uncle Otis

          wiski 
          damned if I know…was gonna say the Zanzibar lol

        • wiski

          Uncle Otis wiski even worse slippery floors. lol

        • Uncle Otis

          wiski 
          Stanley would definitely need a steam clean 😉

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    we finally did it! We got Abbott locked up!

    • whalz

      we have a lot of young forwards this yr, glad to see Management thinking future. im guessing the lineup looks something like this,
      leivo–smith-abbott
      ross-mckeeg-ashton (latsch if ashton is with leafs)
      d’amigo-cresenzi-ryan
      broll-carrick-biggs (devane)
      holzer-blacker
      percy-marshall
      granberg/brennan-macwilliam
      ?
      macintyre
      sparks

      • skippysleafs

        @whalz looks good but lasch, signed in europe, one day i wanna see the rupert twins added to that

        • whalz

          ahh didnt know that, but thats good bc i forgot troy bodie,,,:)
          ruperts will be there next yr i beleive or atleast echl

        • skippysleafs

          @whalz havent seen them sign Matt yet though

        • whalz

          all in good time

  • Dink

    Of all the interviews, which of the four,  Scott Gordon, http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/07/17/an-in-depth-chat-with-associate-coach-of-the-leafs-greg-cronin/, http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/07/26/an-interview-with-leafs-director-of-amateur-scouting-dave-morrison/and http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/07/29/an-interview-with-leafs-vp-of-hockey-operations-dave-poulin/.seemed the most excited?
    Most annoyed?.

    • Uncle Otis

      @Dink 
      The PPPeople

      • Dink

        Uncle Otis hahaha

  • skippysleafs

    -Keon- Wow an actual farm team that looks and feels promising, gonna be awesome to follow all the kids

  • CallumConnorKnight

    It seems like even though the McClement/Bolland/Kulemin line is the 3rd line but I for see them playing as much as the first 2. They’ll be playing the oppositions top line night in night out. It’s going to be nice to be able to roll out these 3 consistently on a nightly basis..

    • whalz

      they will get alot of mins as that 4th line wont see much at all…….
      orr colborne frazer or ashton

      • rustynail

        @whalz D’amigo

        • 4evrblue

          rustynail D’Amigo is who I will be watching for at camp. He has a real shot at the bottom 6 I think

    • skippysleafs

      CallumConnorKnight excited to see what happens

  • skippysleafs

    -Keon- Gotta love it, its complete turn around from the Quinn era, maybe thats why im so giddy, bc we are actually developing our own, and doing a good job at it. Proud to be a leafer

    • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

      skippysleafs -Keon- 
      I thought Quinn was a fool for discarding Stevie Sullivan and Jason Smith.

      • rustynail

        Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs -Keon- how about playing no corner Reichel?

      • Uncle Otis

        @Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
        He was..
        Never  a big fan of roll on 4 Quinn
        I know this is not a popular refrain.

      • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

        rustynail Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs -Keon- 
        Heh!!  Or for that matter….Dmitri Kristitch (sp).

      • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

        Uncle Otis 
        I liked Quinn as a coach (for the most part)…but not as a GM.

      • Tommy Cat

        Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs -Keon- I remember the shitty little comment he made about Smith … something about guys had to stay on their skates.

      • Uncle Otis

        Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
        He had great presence and commanded respect in the room.
        I found him very simple as a coach in that he seldom line matched,nor changed strategies in game.
        Then there was the way he disrespected Wendel.
        I might be biased.

      • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

        Uncle Otis Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
        Quinn had far too much power, imo.

      • Uncle Otis

        Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
        And yet he desired more.
        Wendel became a pawn in his battle with Dryden…and it was petty

      • JMAC17

        Uncle Otis Bon Scott was a Leaf fan What did he do to Wendel?

      • Uncle Otis

        JMAC17 
        Clearly never wanted him on the team,yet owner/Dryden pressure brought him back.
        Never had a complimentary word when the trade happened and thereafter. Wendel was getting into his twilight,but was still an effective player….relatively speaking anyway.
        Quinn sat him extendedly in the playoffs that year(even for Kris fackin King)
        Leafs were losing Wendel drew back I and was a catalyst …raised a lot of eyebrows.
        When pressed,Quinn would get defensive,and only give the most backhanded of compliments post game 
        Pure douche behaviour…and that cinched it for me(wasn’t really a fan of his decision making prior)
        Says here Quinn’s goalers made the team it was during his era,not the coach.

  • Dink


    really
    don’t
    know
    what 
    to 
    think 
    anymore

    • 4evrblue

      @Dink no worries, your thoughts were never worth much in the first place!!! lol

      • Dink

        4evrblue hahahaha (farts)

  • MaxwellHowe

    -Keon- This information only makes the struggle to get under the cap seem more bewildering.

    • MaxwellHowe

      -Keon- Such a young roster, you’d think salaries would tend to be lower.  Many teams have veteran laden rosters, yet manage to navigate the cap with seemingly little difficulty.

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Another fantastic interview.  Props to Alec, Antony, Declan, and the boys.  You guys make MLHS the pinnacle of hockey sites.
    Keep up the great work!!

    • skippysleafs

      Bon Scott was a Leaf fan Hey bon where u the one that suggested the AC/DC, floyd documentaries the other day?

      • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

        skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan
        There was an AC/DC documentary that was put out recently.  The link to the download is here:
        http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/8745308/The_Story_Of_AC-DC_Dirty_Deeds_%282013%29-DVDRIp-AC3-Xvid-THC

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs it was u, ya man I got it its good, also someone suggested greatest mob hits really good too

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          Yup…that DC bio is pretty good.  I watched it on Sunday.  Loved the 70’s footage with Bon (there isn’t much that I haven’t seen already).  I’ve got thousands of bootlegs (audio and video).

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs I was raised on the oldies, but Pink Floyd is the top for me no offense, mind u whole lotta rosie, and long way to the top are my favs

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs use to drum when I was younger, now I can only keep up on rockband..sad

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          I seen Floyd a couple times back in ’88.  I was really drunk, mind you…..and I came to the conclusion that Floyd without Waters really isn’t Floyd (I remember wanting to blow them up with a rocket launcher at the CNE).  Great band….love the early to mid 70’s stuff.  My fave Floyd would have to be Echoes (Pompeii version).

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs I got Live at Pompeii the VHS AWESOME, all the behind the band, and they are starting to work on Dark Side, good movie. I went to division bell tour in toronto when I was a kid

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan but I love waters on his own, radio chaos is good and amused to death is good

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          I was at the gig in Toronto where some kid named Benji was on mushrooms and took a long walk off a short pier into Toronto harbour afterwards.  I was on the same shrooms (methinks)….but I was able to contain myself.

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          Pros & Cons of Hitch-hiking is awesome.

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs I was a tweener just getting into the herb

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          Pompeii is awesome!!  One Of These Days is another one from that session that I really enjoy.

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs I even have uumagmma, forgive the spelling holy acid rock, actually check out old kenny rogers hes the same, check out kenny rogers and the first edtion, just dropped in

        • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

          skippysleafs Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
          HA!!  I was listening to Ummagumma last weekend.
          Several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave grooving with a pict.

        • skippysleafs

          Bon Scott was a Leaf fan skippysleafs nice

    • Dink

      Bon Scott was a Leaf fan 
      yes it was a-very nice

  • skippysleafs

    GOD I hate baseball, come on sept, cant wait for rookie tourny

  • Tommy Cat

    Solid interview.