Crafting a winning vintage

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Alec conducted a terrific interview with Marlies GM and VP of Hockey Operations, Dave Poulin, earlier this week.  While the article that touched on several great topics, Poulin raised the comment of acquiring ‘like-aged’ players to construct a winning team.  He stressed that to build a perennial winner everything must move like clockwork, from the crease womb out.

This quote from Alec’s interview jumped out at me:

“There’s so many different variables, besides the cap going down nine percent, that go into a final product of a hockey team. The timing has to be incredibly efficient on every single front of what I just described. You have to have a like-aged team; it’s no good for us to have a player who fits in good now but isn’t going to be available in three years from now or two years from now. You’re trying to grow a group of players.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard this said about the Leafs roster.  Here’s what Poulin said to me about roster construction from the 2012 Maple Leafs Annual a little over a year ago:

“If you look at the top end of the age of the team, there’s a lot of balance.  You have to grow like-age players to be successful at the NHL level. People are stunned when I tell people that Phil Kessel is still just 24.  And he’s scored 30 goals four straight seasons.  So if you look at him as the median, and that’s probably a fair point to look up and down from, you want players around that age.”

 

It may not sound earthshattering, but basing the composition of the Leafs roster on players of a similar age, much of the team’s recent strategy can be gleaned.

Taking a quick look at the Leafs roster, Poulin’s comment about using Kessel as the franchise cornerstone for player acquisition appears to hold water.  Practically everyone on the team is between the ages of 22 and 30, falling within four years of the soon-to-be 26 year old Kessel.  The only outliers are graybeards John Michael Liles and Colton Orr in their early 30s and are usually maligned much more for their marginal value to the club than their age.

That tidbit becomes important given the Leafs cap crunch.  I can’t say for certain what the future holds for either player, but by the numbers they do appear to be the most expendable. It could mean that Orr, with his cap-friendly if debatable contract, could end up in the minors to make space for Carter Ashton or Jerry D’Amigo.  Both are closer in age to Kessel and should warrant a look on the fourth line this season.  It could also mean that Liles, could be bought out for being a relic from the previous regime with decreasing value.  It could be done to ensure that Cody Franson and Nazem Kadri can get re-signed and this team can retain some of its offensive dynamism.

It’s not without precedent.  Last season, Dave Nonis moved or demoted David Steckel, Mike Komisarek, Matthew Lombardi and Tim Connolly to make room for younger players closer to Kessel’s age range.  Kadri, Leo Komarov, Matt Frattin, Frazer McLaren, Mark Fraser and Mike Kostka all got to see ice time (for better or worse) in 2013 because of Nonis’ efforts to move old dead weight.  It’s looked at as a youth movement, but it was certainly a ‘like-age’ movement.  And it did help make the Leafs a playoff team last season.

But the age-specific roster also serves to explain some of Dave Nonis’ acquisitions in the past couple of months.  All of David Bolland, Jonathan Bernier and David Clarkson are of an age with Kessel, and have a lot of recent Cup Finals experience to varying degrees.  Bolland is 27 and twice a cup winner, having scored the series clincher for the Hawks just two months back.  In Clarkson, the Leafs are paying a premium in term to get a tough, former 30-goal scorer in the short term.  He’s someone with Cup experience that actually wanted to play here.  Bernier has more dubious honours as a Cup-winning backup, but he provides the Leafs with a highly regarded if contentious tandem in nets.  He also comes with a ceiling as high as any goaltender the Leafs have had… since James Reimer.

What the Leafs gave up to get them? It could be costly – but even if it is – it won’t be immediately costly anywhere outside of the salary cap.  In giving up Frattin, Scrivens, two second round picks and two fourth round picks, the Leafs either gave up on like-aged talent with minimal championship pedigree or distant futures.

Now, there’s nothing to say that Frattin won’t become a 20-goal scorer, or that the picks given up won’t become meaningful NHLers four years down the road.  But they won’t be meaningful contributors to the Leafs in the present, and that’s probably why they were shipped out.

In growing this like-aged team centred on Phil Kessel, the Leafs have indicated that they’re looking to win now.  The Leafs brass are hoping to develop into a Stanley Cup contender.  But MLSE sees their ‘cup window’ as about to open, with Kessel near or at his peak of ability right now.  The team has a mandate to ‘grow’ a winner, and have tried to do just that with an infusion of prime or near-prime talent with a winning pedigree to do it.

We’ll soon learn if an infusion of past success begets success.  But make no mistake: Nonis and Co. are banking on it.

LINKS:

An Inside Look at the Leafs’ Approach to Advanced Stats:
Pension Plan Puppets spoke with Chid Finds, who does all manner of statistical analysis for the Leafs.  Turns out that the team tracks scoring chances, who shows up first to practice AND wins.

Dave Bolland brings Stanley Cup to Mimico
Turned out this was a pretty big deal, because…

Leafs Twitter Says Dumb Thing
Jeffler won’t let the Leafs twitter off the hook, and good on him.

Can the Leafs afford a lame duck Kessel this coming season?
Looks like we’ll find out.

Do these Leafs look better than the old Leafs?
Ryan Fancey asks the million dollar question.

Why you don’t want your team’s goaltender to play in the Olympics
Turns out that that Reimer snub could be a good thing.

  • Dink

    oh

  • Burtonboy

    Good article Mike and I agree with your thoughts. Management seems to be indicating a window might be opening in the next couple of yrs.  Totally goes against the grain of all the other protagonists that seem to think the Leafs are totally devoid of talent and their corsi sucks . I’ve said for over 2 yrs now this team is far more talented then they were given credit for. This year should prove whose right or wrong.

  • Uncle Otis

    Some good  thoughts,but still  trying to figure out how Orr’s contract is “cap friendly yet debatable”?
    Randy clearly likes what Orr brings..uber toughness and contagious swagger
    So best get used to seeing Colton patrolling the wing….he isn’t going anywhere.

    • Burtonboy

      Uncle Otis I would be willing to bet McLaren is waived before Orr.

      • Uncle Otis

        Burtonboy 
        Ditto BB

    • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

      Uncle Otis yep orr isnt goin anywhere , if one is demoted mclaren will go first ….. just common sense really .

    • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

      TheCanucksnaphook Uncle Otis no softies allowed anymore ……. good times

    • Alec Brownscombe

      Uncle Otis I wouldn’t say that excludes it from being up for debate.
      With Clarkson coming in and Fraser back in the mix, I cannot see the logic in having 2 enforcers again.
      But it is true that Leafs management and coaching staff is less high on McLaren than they are Orr and it would be FM who would be demoted in favour of an Ashton or D’Amigo

      • Uncle Otis

        Alec Brownscombe 
        I’m not sure its debate but rather a slag against enforcers in general.
        I base this on the contradictory term of “cap friendly yet debatable”
        If the contract is such,why bother to bring it up? Are there not bigger fish to fry?
        You know there is a camp that sees Orrs and McLarens as  ineffective goons with little merit on a team..this is the not so subliminal message I read most often
        Fortunately,we have a Coach and managerial staff who do not.

  • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

    so , who is predicting liles on waivers today ????

    • Burtonboy

      unclejakescards I think they wait till Sunday . Might as well try till the last minute to make a trade

      • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

        Burtonboy unclejakescards could they put him on waivers today in hopes of someone claiming him , then if he doesnt get claimed put him back on waivers sunday to be bought out if not claimed again ??? that be legal ??? lolol

        • Burtonboy

          unclejakescards Burtonboy Don’t know if they even do the waiver thing in this situation tbh

        • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

          Burtonboy unclejakescards ya me neither , thx

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/KyleTheReporter
    Petter Granberg will play this season with Leafs or Marlies. Tom Nilsson will stay in Europe for at least one more season https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash

    • Burtonboy

      hoolihan TheCanucksnaphook Burtonboy Tweeted 22 hrs ago

  • dutchman27

    heading to grand bend for weekend. Hope we get a few signings done and move off some cap. I think liles might be staying a kulemin and his 2.8 might be on way out. i love his ability on the cycle and on boards but not a fan of his dzone play. Never blocks shots.

    • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

      dutchman27 if your goin with the wife i recommend dark sunglasses so she cant tell where/who you lookin at ……… eye candy galore there ..

      • playoff nut

        unclejakescards dutchman27 cany tell eh .she knows u r a sneaky peaker lol

    • Alec Brownscombe

      dutchman27 we are moving Kulemin because he doesn’t block shots? He is one of our strongest wingers on the half wall, and I don’t know anyone that would argue with you about his weak dzone play.

  • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

    heres an interesting thought …… everyones always open to trades , but after/if liles is gone , who are the expendables that could be put into a big deal ????? gunnar , kulie ??? lupul ????

    • Alec Brownscombe

      unclejakescards no, I wouldn’t use the word expendable on any of those players….

      • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

        Alec Brownscombe unclejakescards so who would you say are the expendables ?????

    • Burtonboy

      unclejakescards Trades are becoming really really hard to do. Most all the teams are signing up all their top end talent long term . Trading is becoming relegated to mid tier talent

      • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

        Burtonboy unclejakescards unfortunately that is the truth ….. just stirirn the pot , too boring ……..

  • MaxwellHowe

    I certainly don’t think its out of line to believe the Leafs could challenge for the cup this year.  The personnel is there.  You get the right chemistry, goaltending, and everyone hitting their stride the same time,  why couldn’t the Leafs win like the Hurricanes did a few years back, or the Ducks?  Or the fuckin’ Habs, who won cups out of nowhere in 1986 and 1993?
    Look thru the League.  With very few exceptions (Hawks and kings for instance), no team is without issues and weaknesses.  The Bruins rely heavily on Chara – he is slowing and that team will begin to show its age.  The Pens have huge problems in goal and with the cap.  The Habs goalie, Price, has been faltering.  The Caps are weak at D and Ovechin is inconsistent.  The Red Wings have an aging core.  The Rangers are perinneil underachievers.
    No one can deny that each of the top 6 forwards are capable of excelling.  The dmen were a weak point last year, but they are capable of playing much better.  And Bernier or Reimer seem capable of providing solid, if not exceptional goaltending.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Leafs catch fire this year.  Not at all.

    • Burtonboy

      MaxwellHowe Optimism ……Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      • MaxwellHowe

        Burtonboy MaxwellHowe If u look at the other teams in the east (even the West), you have to ask:  Why not us?

    • Alec Brownscombe

      MaxwellHowe I’ll settle for proving we are as good as last year over 82 games.

  • Knights2Leafs

    From Ryan Fancy:”Grabovski turned in to Bolland, who doesn’t look to be on the same level in terms of skill. Even if you’re from another planet and argue that Bolland is as good, there’s no upgrade here.”
    Complete and utter bullshit.  Grabovski could do one thing very well; get the puck and skate at full speed with it under relative control most of the time.  Not that Bolland is bad at doing that but when it comes to other skills like shooting, -Bolland is at least equal, passing – Bolland is better and being aware of players around you – Bolland is way better.  Oh, and defense – pretty sure Davey gets the edge there.
    Bolland was an elite scorer and two way player in junior.  Not that that means he carries that over at the same level at the NHL, but he has way above average skills across the board.

    • Alec Brownscombe

      Knights2Leafs Difference in PPG isn’t actually massive… Bolland .51 PPG vs. Grabovski .59.
      However Grabovski has broken 20 goals 3 times, 29 once, and 50 points twice… Bolland has not broken 20 goals or 50 points.
      If we are to assume Grabovski was never going to get placed in a scoring role under Carlyle, Bolland is an upgrade at shutdown centre given it’s a role he’s more suited for.

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

        hoolihan Alec Brownscombe Knights2Leafs Exactly.

      • Alec Brownscombe

        hoolihan Alec Brownscombe Knights2Leafs I suppose that’s true if we ignore important facts. 
        Bolland played primarily with Sharp and Kane last season and played 2 minutes and 28 seconds a game on the powerplay.
        He put up 14 points in 35 games.
        I am a fan of Bolland but I think we’re being grossly unfair to Grabo here.

      • Alec Brownscombe

        On a PPG basis, Bolland was only marginally better playing with Kane/Sharp and playing nearly a minute more on powerplay per game than Grabovski, who played with Kulemin and McClement.

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

      Knights2Leafs @bobsyouruncle posted a beauty goal by Bolland in the previous thread, turned Ryan Suter inside out. Bolland looked like he had plenty of speed going and full control. No doubt you saw plenty of him in London. The kid can skate from what I’ve seen.

    • Uncle Otis

      Knights2Leafs 
      Once again another neophyte who only measures “worth” on points, excluding other areas of play
      “Utter bullshit” is bang on.

      • Alec Brownscombe

        Uncle Otis Knights2Leafs If we are debating on skill, production is a good place to start, lol.
        If you want to make the argument that Grabovski is an inferior shutdown center, that makes sense. Not sure there’s much to back up the claim that Grabovski is a less skilled player though other than the complete stripping down of all of his value on the basis a bad 48 games in a miscast role

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe
          Fancy didn’t mention “offensive” skill..only the latter.
          To assume being a superior defensive center doesn’t require “skill” is supremely ignorant of hockey.

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe Except Knights2Leafs began arguing on both offensive and defensive bases that Bolland is the better player.

        • Uncle Otis

          Yaknowwhat 
          Exactly..and people will soon come to that conclusion once the games begin.
          Well,some will 😉

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe 
          But Fancy wasn’t..and that’s my point.

        • rustynail

          Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis I agree with him and he didn’t say Bolland was a better offensive player, mentioned better passing and awareness of players around him. I take that as complimentary to Bolland not a slam on Grabo.

        • Uncle Otis

          Yaknowwhat 
          Haven’t seen that “philosophy” since the Pat Burns era…and that got us closer to Stanley than any other method of play.
          ‘Bout time…doubters be damned.

        • Knights2Leafs

          Alec Brownscombe
          Maybe I’m making too much of Bolland’s offensive skills, but I guess I was trying to say he does have offensive skill and IF Grabbo is better in that area it’s rather marginal whereas Bolland is clearly the better 2 way player.

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Knights2Leafs Alec Brownscombe Ok.
          Complete and utter bullshit.  Grabovski could do one thing very well; get the puck and skate at full speed with it under relative control most of the time.  Not that Bolland is bad at doing that but when it comes to other skills like shooting, -Bolland is at least equal, passing – Bolland is better and being aware of players around you – Bolland is way better.  
          Just took that as a statement that Bolland is a superior offensive player when, as much as I’d like to see it, I don’t think it’s the case.

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Yaknowwhat Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe Sorry YKW, if you’re going to make a statement about one player being superior to another offensively you kind of need some evidence in the production.
          I know it doesn’t fit the narrative you’re trying to push about Grabovski, but still.

        • Uncle Otis

          Yaknowwhat 
          I know..it bugs me too.
          Which is why stats can be very misleading,and complete conclusions based on stats alone is folly
          Where have we seen that before? (not here often thankfully)

        • Dink

          Alec Brownscombe Yaknowwhat Uncle Otis The teams coaching staff does have something to do with how well a player looks…Bolland probably would look out of place playing for the Leafs previous coach where Grabovski fit right in his style (or lack of style)

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe 
          Who is it pushing the Grabovski narrative again?

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe My “narrative” comes with facts.

        • mcloki

          Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis and a banhammer. lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe
          No,it wasn’t
          The debate was about Fancy’s general overview of Bolland not being a  “skill” upgrade..and then you henpecked the “offensive skill” point with KTL
          That’s ignoring the main point to further a pretty consistent narrative..one that is getting kinda old.
          IMHO

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis Yes, I do know this, if you read further up the page at all. I’ll copy/paste.
          Bolland played primarily with Sharp and Kane last season and played 2 minutes and 28 seconds a game on the powerplay.
          While he wasn’t always in that role in Chicago, he didn’t exactly light the world on fire with 14 points in 35 games.
          On a PPG basis, Bolland was only marginally better playing with Kane/Sharp and playing nearly a minute more on powerplay per game than Grabovski, who played with Kulemin and McClement.

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe How is that henpecking? K2L implied Bolland is a better player in every facet of the game. I disagreed with him.

        • B_Leaf

          Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis 
          All I know is that three years ago Grabovski was one of the best forwards in the NHL. He could pass, shoot, and defend way better than given credit for at the time. Two years ago he was still good but something didn’t look the same especially near the end of the year. Last year he had some resemblance of himself…he brought the intangibles but he was losing puck battles all over the ice…this is something that never happened before, he looked slower at times…this something that never happened before. I can’t believe that his role, or the coaching had anything to do with these things. I can only assume a soldier like Grabovski had health issues, ie: stomach?
          I would have loved for this team to move forward with Grabovski if they felt he could get back to himself. The Grabovski from two, three, four years ago is better than Bolland. But I think the team felt he wasn’t bouncing back so they made a decisive move. An excellent shut down centre with upside, with 2 cups, were available and they went that way. No problem here. The Frattin trade is another story…don’t like that one.

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe 
          But you directed your comments at me.
          And like Rusty,I didn’t read what you saw in 2 comments
          Better question..do you agree with Fancy?
          This is what you seem to be ignoring in all this.

        • Uncle Otis

          mcloki 
          brown noser 😉

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

          Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis Or look at it this way, if Bolland and Grabo were both in the open market right now which one would sign first? I know my answer.

        • Dink

          B_Leaf Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis The day Burke signed him for over 5Mil was the start of his exit, he could not live up to the contract…

        • Uncle Otis

          ingy56 Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis 
          I think you speak for the vast majority Ingy

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe In the shutdown role, is Bolland better than Grabovski? Very possible. I tend to say yes. If Grabovski was only going to play that role under Carlyle, Bolland is an upgrade.

          Is Bolland a better player than Grabovski overall? No.
          You are correct that Bolland does some things better, but you do understand that offensive skill is valued more highly than defensive skill and physical play, and for a reason?

        • B_Leaf

          @Dink B_Leaf Yaknowwhat Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis 
          I dont really get that. If his play was similar he would be fine. His health went downhill and couldn’t perform the same. The same thing could happen to any player with a serious stomach problem or head injury etc..

        • Uncle Otis

          ingy56
          And that’s NOT taking into account that Bolland comes almost to 2 million cheaper

        • Alec Brownscombe

          Uncle Otis ingy56 Also a separate argument.
          In the shutdown role, I take Bolland at 3.3 or whatever  it is over Grabovski at 5.
          We were just talking about a genera comparison of the players though.

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

          Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis ingy56 I understand, I’m talking from scratch though basically, as UFA’s…no existing contracts to consider.

        • rustynail

          Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis ingy56 well Grabo isn’t an ex Knight either. I will admit my view on Bolland may be tinted just a teeny by watching him in junior. I still think he is the fastest Knight I ever saw play.

        • Uncle Otis

          Alec Brownscombe 
          And wins are the most desired.
          Bottom line,Bolland helps this team achieve WINS better with his overall play than does Grabo IMO and is an upgrade under Randy Carlyle’s style of play…you don’t disagree with that do you?
          Oh,and I liked Grabo

        • B_Leaf

          Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis ingy56 
          When comparing Grabovski….I really think the debate is more about which Grabovski. Grabovski prior to a year and a half ago OR Grabovski last year?? Two different players in my opinion in that the Grabovski of late wasn’t able to do what he could do before.

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

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe I really liked Grabo too, but it became clear that he was a square peg trying to fit in a round hole and we’d seen enough of that under that old coach who shall remain nameless.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe man its been ages since I read square peg round hole and I don;t miss it. :)

        • Knights2Leafs

          Alec Brownscombe
          What I took offense to was Ryan’s comment that “…even if you’re from a different planet….” Unnecessary cheap shot.
          “…..there’s no upgrade here”. On this he’s at least entitled to his opinion, but this planet aside, there seems to be many on this site who disagree.

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

          rustynail ingy56 Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe There’s a few other phrases I don’t miss too.

        • Uncle Otis

          Knights2Leafs 
          Bang on..it was Fancy’s inflammatory comments that started this.
          Don’t know why Alec felt compelled to defend him,albeit indirectly.
          His Grabo love knows no bounds 😉
          Jk boss

        • Knights2Leafs

          Uncle Otis
          I was and remain a big Grabo fan, but his big salary and the reduced cap hit in the short term made him a less valuable player in the eyes of the Leafs management.  I don’t intend to diss him at all, but the skills he has or had didn’t fit in as well in RC’s system.

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis ingy56  Morning O, yes Bolland comes in cheaper, This year, but we could lose him to UFA after this season depending on the amount he wants.
          If Bolland is as good as everyone is implying, he will want Grabo Money

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Alec Brownscombe  Bolland has not helped us win Jack ATM :) And walks in to a Stacked Leafs team, Grabo pretty much had us on his back, now he is casually tossed aside

        • Knights2Leafs

          Mind Bomb
          Agreed, but I meant Bozak vs Grabo salary.  If Kadri develops into a 1C, then Bozak is the more flexible player compared to Grabo in terms of playing 3C at some point.

        • Mind Bomb

          Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb  Kadri is a Winger :) P
          And Agreed, Grabo needs to be playing top minutes to be effective, he is not a 3C

    • Ratzshite

      Knights2Leafs people are placing to much importance in one individual (Grabageski) and not enough in how we made the play-offs last year under Carlyle’s leadership. Grabov biggest point season and no play-off’s, Grabov least point season we make the play-offs with a fourth line having Orr and Mclaren on it.

      • Dink

        Ratzshite Knights2Leafs lol

  • Dink

    CanuckUKinToronto TheCanucksnaphook I don’t see any future as a Leaf for Blacker, Holzer or even FInn 
    Be tough for those boys

  • Burtonboy

    hoolihan CanuckUKinToronto TheCanucksnaphook I can see them claiming him off waivers

  • Dink

    Is the site acting odd?

    • Mind Bomb

      @Dink Nope its just us Posters P

      • Dink

        Mind Bomb lol

      • Burtonboy

        Mind Bomb Your quick laddy .  I was just about to post the same thing lol

        • Mind Bomb

          Burtonboy Mind Bomb hahha, :)
          Morning BB

        • Burtonboy

          Mind Bomb Burtonboy And a Good Morning to you as well young man lol

  • Jmessih

    Might be a bit high of a spot for Granberg, never played a game on north american ice, surely needs some time in the minors.
    I’d hope not and that he is good to go but that may be a stretch.

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

    “Like aged” groups are nice but a sprinkling of vets in the lineup is always good.

  • leafscapguru

    I know that I will be very happy with the team for next season if we sign Kardi, and Franson and move JML.  For once I will believe that we are in the right direction

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

    Do I see an edit function now? Nice.

    • ErikGruber

      ingy56 editing is for sissies lol j/k

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

        ErikGruber ingy56 This guy will use it (if I catch it in time…looks like it’s 6 minutes or less)

  • ErikGruber

    So does this mean Liles is gone? :-p

  • Jmessih

    Gotta be happy with waht J-bo signed as a comparable to Dion, Wish they would have signed that contract a little later tho

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

      Jmessih Dion is much better than Jay-Bo though. I’m not a huge Dion fan, but I can sure see that.

      • Jmessih

        I hope Nonis does something like that where the salary drops after a couple of years so the cap hit takes a bit of a dip :)

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

        CanuckUKinToronto ingy56 Jmessih Sounds fair to me, whether he gets that here or elsewhere is the magic question.

      • mcloki

        ingy56 CanuckUKinToronto Jmessih It’ll be here.

  • Burtonboy

    The Toronto Star ishttp://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/2013/08/01/stanley_cup_parade_in_toronto_live_updates_with_kevin_mcgran_starting_at_1_pm.html.
    http://deadspin.com/the-toronto-star-is-trolling-the-shit-out-of-maple-leaf-990760351

    • mcloki

      Burtonboy Could we just have a ban of all Star articles on MLHS. We’d all be smarter for it. I keep praying for a better class of sports journalist in Toronto. sometimes it takes drastic measures.

  • mORRganRielly

    Really excellent read, Mike.  Assuming that you’re as vain as I am about reading the comments, then my comment won’t go to waste.
    So much of your analysis makes sense.  The mere fact that Poulin has mentioned ‘like-age’ twice in one year, in two different interviews, suggests that this is the path management is taking.  Since you’ve narrowed in on the Leafs philosophy and core building process, I wonder what that means for the kids like D’Amigo, Ashton, Biggs, Percy, Rielly, etc.  Will they be used to upgrade?  
    The like-age stance partially explains why management is in love with Bozak.  I really dislike the idea of having him on the team because the coaching staff will take the path of least resistance if they can, but it also explains why they went younger and began looking for versatility with Bolland, Bernier, and Clarkson.  Key seems to be versatility in the top nine.  So it sounds like management wants to have as much line-up options as possible.
    Hopefully they rebuild the defense on the fly.  I hope it doesn’t come at a cost of Gardiner or Rielly or Franson or Phaneuf.

    • Dink

      mORRganRielly If  Gardiner continually improves, Ranger impresses and Gunnerson, Fraser and Franson play steady…there will be a lot of debate this season about Phaneuf

      • Jmessih

        Potentially yes, but if those players all step up and give Dion a decent supporting cast that will take a lot of pressure off him and allow him to play more favourable minutes which should allow him to excle.
        Those players developing will potentially show how good Dion is, it will let him play more of his game and will help our team greatly.

      • Alec Brownscombe

        @Dink mORRganRielly There will be a lot of debate this season on Phaneuf whether any of that happens or not.
        If things go south, the first thing fans will do is talk about Phaneuf’s leadership or something. And apparently if the team succeeds Phaneuf will also be “debated.”
        It’s an unfortunate reality of the fan base.

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

          Alec Brownscombe mORRganRielly This is true, and the longer he goes without renewing it will only get worse. I hope the team makes a move one way or the other early into the season. I get that they have other business right now.

        • Dink

          Alec Brownscombe mORRganRielly  and how long can you keep the youngsters “down on the farm” will also play into it

        • Dink

          ingy56 Alec Brownscombe mORRganRielly I would be surprised if Phaneufs contract is even addressed until after the trade deadline, for obvious reasons

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

          @Dink ingy56 Alec Brownscombe mORRganRielly I hope it doesn’t go that long. The media will whip it into a frenzy and provide a giant distraction. I hope they get Kessel done and if they want Dion here, get him done too. Then let this team go to work.

    • rustynail

      mORRganRielly the cap does mean you need at least some players on ELC’s so although the core is Kessel like age not the entire team will be IMO.

      • mORRganRielly

        rustynail mORRganRielly I agree, but there’s only so many spots available.  We don’t want players like Biggs or Gauthier playing on the fourth line.  We want them getting top-nine minutes.  Same goes for the defense — eventually something has to give if Rielly breaks out and becomes a force.

        • rustynail

          mORRganRielly rustynail nice problem to have. One we as Leafs fans don’t have much experience with.

        • Dink

          rustynail mORRganRielly Lol precisely right, we don’t know how to react when the team starts to look good

        • mORRganRielly

          rustynail mORRganRielly A great problem to have, but an uneasy one.  Asset management always worries me.

        • rustynail

          mORRganRielly rustynail but without those decisions this place would be much more boring. :)

  • HeatherRickAkin

    With all the talk about, and sympathy for Grabo, clearly the issue isn’t that the Leafs think Bolland has as much or more upside than Grabo . Bolland is a useful player who brings a strong physical presence . Grabo became redundant once the Leafs resigned Bozak (doesn’t matter if the resign came after or before Grabo was shown the door). The Leafs obviously see Bozak and Grabo as similar values, and at well under a million per year less, they chose Bozie as their keeper. Hopefully they are right. But any mention of Bolland in the discussion is off base. Apples and oranges .

    • Dink

      HeatherRickAkin and prunes

    • rustynail

      HeatherRickAkin It was actually the trade for Bolland that made Grabo expendable IMO

      • Burtonboy

        rustynail Partly . Still think once they got an idea that they could get Bozak at 4.2 is what turned out to be the final nail

        • rustynail

          Burtonboy rustynail Don;t disagree but with Bolland on board at least one of Grabo/Bozak were not being here this season

        • Burtonboy

          rustynail Burtonboy No doubt of that too

      • HeatherRickAkin

        rustynail HeatherRickAkin don’t think that was the straw. Grabo and Bozie celing out as, at best, second line centres . Bolland will be their #3 centre and draw the hard checking assignments that Grabo is not suited for. Is was either going to be Grabo or Bozie staying ,,,,not both (but I will give you that it made it easier to cut Grabo loose once Bolland was added). Still, for me, the crucial factor is that Bozie and Grabo are similar players, and Bozie is much cheaper.

    • mcloki

      HeatherRickAkin GRabo became redundant after the MAc in the USSR line stopped producing. IT made MAcArthur and Kuli useless. Kuli at least has transitioned. MacA showed spiurts but those 3 just became a log jam of players stopping Marlies from breaking the lineup. Somehting had to go and the Leafs decided that building the team around Grabo was not the way to go. The contract talk is just a sideshow.

      • HeatherRickAkin

        mcloki HeatherRickAkin ya, you may have something there , that 3some never did recapture the karma they had a while ago. And, for whatever reason, the org seems to like Bozie more that they do Grabo. Not saying they are wrong .

        • mcloki

          HeatherRickAkin mcloki The Leafs had to make a decision otherwise we would have had onother year of stalemate. The Grabo move breaks the logo jam and lets management better mold a 2nd and 3rd line.

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

    Man, I loved how Bobby used to settle his own scores. Today, you aren’t allowed to touch a superstar no less have him face you down.
    http://hockey-time-machine.tumblr.com/image/57128683026

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/TorontoMarlies
    Details for the Leafs rookie tournament in London can be found here :: http://t.co/q8GJzNGdtb
    http://t.co/q8GJzNGdtb

    • mcloki

      Burtonboy Come on Labour Day.

      • B_Leaf

        mcloki Burtonboy thanks BB

    • rustynail

      Burtonboy damn tickets aren’t that cheap 25 bucks apiece per game

      • Burtonboy

        rustynail Burtonboy I can’t go regardless of the price .:(

      • Mind Bomb

        rustynail Burtonboy  You Going Rusty, or K2L ?

        • Knights2Leafs

          Mind Bomb
          Thursday game for sure against Chi and probably Sunday against Turds.

        • rustynail

          Mind Bomb rustynail Burtonboy I plan on going just gotta stop downtown and pick up some tickets

        • Mind Bomb

          Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb  I may travel down for beers and a game Be nice to get together with the Londonites for beers before the game.
          And I promise I wont wear my Sting Gear :)

        • rustynail

          Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs they actually make that ??? :)

        • Mind Bomb

          rustynail Mind Bomb Knights2Leafs hahha!

        • Knights2Leafs

          Mind Bomb
          Sounds good.

        • Mind Bomb

          Knights2Leafs Mind Bomb  Will let you know closer to Game time, Its a lot closer drive than Uncle O up in Alaska ! :)
          P

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Yer just ‘fraid Dman and I will play banjo’s and pull out our teeth 😉

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Hahha Yes ! p

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Dman and I are aiming for the 19th fyi
          Betsy and the pikers will be there…so u should be safe 😉

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb  I am in Port Perry then on Lake Scuggog

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Roadtrip! lol
          We’ll post you a photo

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Hahhaha

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          We’ll find you… 😉
          Can you still post photos here btw?

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb No idea, I tried did not work.

  • Dink

    My cousin (Grabovski fan) and I debated back and forth about Grabbo and Bolland quite heatedly until I ended it with..
    How many Stanley Cup winning goals does Grabovski have?
    He cursed and left…

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

    https://twitter.com/RenLavoieRDShttps://twitter.com/RenLavoieRDS/status/363302702547083265
    Theo Peckham signed with the Blackhawks. 1 year / $575 000 (2 way) https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RDS&src=hash

    • rustynail

      ingy56 guess the twitter unlink didn’t work :)

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

        rustynail ingy56 Did they try that? I see we can edit now.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 rustynail Was in comments from Alec earler

  • B_Leaf

    The one player who I really would have loved to grow with this group and he is the same age as Kessel is Frattin. Frattin showed some remarkable skill the last couple years in the AHL where he dominated, and then transitioning that to the NHL. When healthy he was fantastic for us, great speed, and strength, with deadly hands. He scored so many huge goals for us last year. I would have just loved to have seen him with one healthy full year…I think he could be special. I think LA thought the same thing.

    • Jmessih

      Same, Think the kings got themselves a plyer in that trade.

  • Uncle Otis

    I saw MindBomb refer to Radar’s yesterday winking that “nobody has seen fit to p/u Grabo yet ” as a continuation of the Grabo “hate”.
    Thing is,and I can’t speak for ROR,I actually liked Grabo,but also feel the need to react to the never-ending handwringing over his departure….from both the MSM and here as well.
    Most of the “hate” to Grabo is reactive, mostly to the constant criticism of Management’s decision. 
    Like we were admonished with the endless debate over the Kessel deal a short lifetime ago…”let it go”
    I think it’s time we bid fair adieu to our old friend Grabo too.

    • Mind Bomb

      Uncle Otis  Morning O, Grabo fought * Tooth * and Nail for us, and as such deserves as much back, I wish him all the best and Thank him for the years he played here. This is not Connolly we are talking about, Grabo earned his salary 
      I agree and Bid adieu to Grabo, May your Teeth be with you always !

      • DWCMLHS

        “May your teeth be with you always”
        Or in Pacioretty’s arm. That was pretty awesome.

        • Mind Bomb

          DWCMLHS Thanks bro

      • Uncle Otis

        Mind Bomb 
        Hey MB…just wanted to point out that most of us don’t “hate” Grabo,but “hate” having to debate him vs Bolland vs Bozak vs Carlyle
        It often appears we are dissing Grabo,but I don’t feel that way…think most feel similarly
        Yep teeth and Hab flesh..just don’t sign with the Sens ’cause then all bets are off :)

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Aye just my Nature, I defend those I like, Friends, players etc to a Fault some times, and over react
          Sorry

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb
          No need to apologize,and only used your example as I missed the debate yesterday…there have been plenty others.
          Just trying to illustrate how we get sucked into these debates and often like Grabo very much…kinda like arbitration

  • DWCMLHS

    Nonis needs to hurry up with signing Franson and Kadri. He can buy-out Liles today of he has to, which he probably will. Then he can work on extending Kessel and Phaneuf, both of whom should retire as Leafs.

    • DWCMLHS

      Because he should have Kessel and Phaneuf extended before training camp, IMO. Avoid mid-season negotiations. No need for distractions. But Kadri and Franson being signed is obviously the top priority at this time.

      • Mind Bomb

        -Keon- DWCMLHS  Keon, do you not anticipate us going to the Playoffs? I cant see Dion Traded at the Deadline. Trading your Captain on the Eve of a playoff Run ?

      • Mind Bomb

        -Keon- Mind Bomb DWCMLHS  Shit I should have know better lol

      • mcloki

        -Keon- Mind Bomb DWCMLHS italisise it.

    • NotInsane

      -Keon- DWCMLHS 
      PK Subban didnt sign until the beginning of February.  Why do the Leafs have to rush?  Certainly they are capable of negotiating more than one contract at a time.

      • rustynail

        NotInsane -Keon- DWCMLHS this season Feb signing means no play this season :)

      • mcloki

        rustynail NotInsane -Keon- DWCMLHS he means just before the season stars. Let’s not get ourselves into a tizzy this early into August.

  • wewantstanley

    I wonder if Grabo is going to sign anywhere in the nhl? His exit speech, a rip on Carlyle probably did him no favours and there seem to be rumours of him being a bad teammate. Or am I reading it situation wrong?

    • Area49th

      wewantstanley Locker room chemistry is hard to achieve sometimes, perhaps he just did not fit. A place like Detroit might be perfect for him. I am only speculating as well.

    • Alec Brownscombe

      wewantstanley Tough to say. I always thought he was an honest player who gave it his all and was team first, while he was here. He lost his temper once he felt he was wronged by the buyout and he clearly wanted to be in Toronto for at least the duration of his contract.

      • wewantstanley

        You’re probably right. Perhaps it was just the term and dollar amount of his contract. BTW, anyone hearing if Liles will be bought out? Is today the day for second buyouts?

  • Uncle Otis

    Real question…can you get an impaired charge for sailing? (Or just motorized..16 Hobie cat)

    • Area49th

      Uncle Otis I know you can here in Vancouver.

      • Uncle Otis

        @Area49th
        Waters are federal…hmmm
        Thought it had to be “motorized”..fack that means windsurfers etc

        • Uncle Otis

          -Keon- 
          Brushing off the 80’s vintage cat this weekend as its gonna be blustery
          Slight hook in mast,hole in tramp but goes great all the same
          If anybody is up Bluewater Beach this weekend and sees an all white 16 Hobie tits up in the bay….
          I’ll be drinking a pint on the pontoon waiting for the waves to blow me to shore haha

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis -Keon-
          hole in tramp : Must be a big one )

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Has to be..I fit 😉

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Shit that deserves 2 lines bro lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          haha…the tramp may disagree 😉

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb  We wont tell her till after then :)

        • LeGoon

          Uncle Otis It doesn’t have to have motor, guy on our lake got a open alcohol fine and DUI while on his paddle boat.

        • Uncle Otis

          LeGoon 
          Starting to sound like it depends on the cop…law appears to be on the books

    • Uncle Otis

      Murph2417 
      yep..couple guys up here on golfcarts too.
      Anything motorized for sure

    • Alec Brownscombe

      Uncle Otis A local here in Peterborough got an impaired charge for riding on a picnic table in the middle of a river. So I’m going to say yes.

      • Uncle Otis

        Alec Brownscombe 
        Did he have a 9.9 on it lol?
        That’s crazy!

      • mlclearwater

        Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis Hey im a peterboroughtonian too!

        • Uncle Otis

          mlclearwater 
          Sorry to hear that 😉

        • mlclearwater

          Uncle Otis mlclearwater hahaha i hear ya. Reggie’s poutine is fucking great tho, and there are lots of pubs so that helps

        • Uncle Otis

          mlclearwater 
          Just messing..nothing ’round here but golfcourses and moguls maskerading as ski moutains…but the LCBO is only 5 away :)

        • mlclearwater

          Uncle Otis mlclearwater thats the key. Most of Southern Ontario mid size towns are same shit different pile

        • Uncle Otis

          mlclearwater 
          Still,beats the rat race eh? I wouldn’t trade it.
          Only thing Peterborough suffers from is Greg Millen :)

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

          mlclearwater Alec Brownscombe Uncle Otis Me three…Peterborough “resident” though..not born or raised here.

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

          Uncle Otis mlclearwater Only if you listen to him.

        • mlclearwater

          ingy56 Uncle Otis mlclearwater I believe he has a smoking hot daughter actually my buddy entered her

        • Uncle Otis

          mlclearwater 
          TOO MANY JOKES! hahaha

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis mlclearwater  hahha thats to easy O lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          Ya, something about five holes 😉
          Lord knows Dad’s was loose

        • mlclearwater

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb ouch

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Dude lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          hahaha…roll with it :)

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

      Uncle Otis I think it’s just motorized, but I wouldn’t want to find out the hard way. A guy here got busted on one of those electric scooters…still motorized I guess.

      • Uncle Otis

        ingy56 
        Always thought u were safe under sail…the smokies are pretty thick on long weekends though.
        Nothing’s scared lol

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

          Uncle Otis ingy56 It may not be an impaired charge under the motorized guidelines but you could still possibly get charged under another statute.

        • Uncle Otis

          ingy56
          Im still trying to figure out the picnic table lol
          That cop needs parking ticket duty

    • wendelsway1

      Uncle Otis Afternoon Gents……I’m pretty sure you can be charged with impaired while operating any water vessel….motorized or not.  Believe one of my cottage neighbours was charged while canoeing.

      • Uncle Otis

        wendelsway1 
        Thanks WW…well the choices are sobriety or dry dock it appears
        Too close to call haha
        Guess there’s a reason that old girl is covered in sand 😉

        • wendelsway1

          Uncle Otis wendelsway1 LOL….but seriously, not like it used to be when you could go out and enjoy a few/several beers on the lake.  Wouldn’t chance it……especially on a long weekend……they will be out in full force.

        • Uncle Otis

          wendelsway1 
          I can’t count on all the fingers and toes I could have pinched in retrospect…unless this is a new law
          Thing is,If your sailing by yourself(or canoeing for crying out loud) there is nobody to hurt but yourself.
          Dumb enough to kill myself?
          Throw some dirt on me,say some nice? things and call it a day.
          Police state protection…arrrg

    • playoff nut

      Uncle Otis Yes you can,even when anchored says Ex policeman ,I know it sucs but…..

      • Uncle Otis

        playoff nut 
        I am buying a submarine

        • playoff nut

          Uncle Otis playoff nut LMaoooo ,theyll find you my boating friend ,good try though lol

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Wonderful chat with Jimmy Hughes. Transcription in process.

    • Burtonboy

      Alec Brownscombe Excelante

  • NotInsane

    -Keon- 
    Yep. I’m not sold on him as a top 4, tough minute defenceman.

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/longleysunsport
    50 per cent off sale. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bruins&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23thankyoukessel&src=hash http://t.co/YNdhwipWS7

    • mcloki

      Burtonboy Makes a great bird cage liner or puppy training pad.

    • wiski

      Burtonboy Just about to post that. lol looks like there is no more tweeter attachments

      • rustynail

        wiski Burtonboy BB has been exempt, he is SPECIAL

        • wiski

          rustynail wiski Burtonboy LOL looks like someone did something. 😉

      • wiski

        Burtonboy And we can edit now too. cool

  • mcloki

    -Keon- Keon, you’ll see what you want to see from the highlights.

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nhl-puck-daddy/anaheim-ducks-national-hockey-league-nations-194448966.htmlPuck Daddy is looking at franchises’ best players by nationality.

    • wiski

      DeclanK I’ve seen that before somewhere 😉

      • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

        wiski DeclanK Sry if it was already posted. :-(

  • wiski

    Testhttps://twitter.com/longleysunsporthttps://twitter.com/longleysunsport/status/363321955430043648
    50 per cent off sale. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Bruins&src=hash https://twitter.com/search?q=%23thankyoukessel&src=hash http://t.co/YNdhwipWS7 Retweeted by https://twitter.com/CorporalKomarov

    • Burtonboy

      wiski Retweeted by Leo eh .Seems the guy is having some trouble cutting ties with the Leafs

      • NotInsane

        Burtonboy wiski 
        I’m glad his time with the Leafs rubbed off on him.  Perhaps there were personal reasons that forced him to return to the K.

        • Eye of the Tiger

          NotInsane Burtonboy wiski Tell him to come home, all is forgiven.

        • Ze_theLeafsFan

          NotInsane Burtonboy wiski money, playing time, Olympics all contributed I think

        • http://twitter.com/jmckelvie RielledUp

          Ze_theLeafsFan NotInsane Burtonboy wiski 
          I have a funny feeling he’s back next year.

      • wiski

        Burtonboy wiski Maybe when the cap goes up, we’ll have room for him?

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/VintageLeafhttps://twitter.com/VintageLeaf/status/363314608431304706
    Former Maple Leaf great Carl Brewer: a remarkable history of hockey comebacks: today at VLM-
    http://t.co/LKNsmUG7kD

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

      rustynail What a skater he was, Michael compares him to Jake Gardiner and the comparison fits IMO.

      • rustynail

        ingy56 rustynail loved how he cut the lamspalms out of his gloves so he could hold and not be detected.

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

          rustynail ingy56 He could chuck the knuckles too.

        • rustynail

          ingy56 rustynail yup smart guy too

  • Pent_House

    The PPP interview was clearly a joke

    • Uncle Otis

      Pent_House 
      That’s appropriate…so is the site 😉

      • NotInsane

        Uncle Otis Pent_House 
        Yep.  PPP is a joke.  They might as well wander off into oblivion

        • wiski

          NotInsane Uncle Otis Pent_House Once the team starts winning they will if they don’t change their tune.

        • Uncle Otis

          wiski 
          Won some last year…didn’t seem to take 😉

        • wiski

          Uncle Otis wiski One last kick at the can 😉

        • Uncle Otis

          wiski 
          glub glub…hope those pocket protectors are buoyant :)

    • rustynail

      Pent_House we should stop talking about them

      • Pent_House

        rustynail Pent_House great point.

      • wendelsway1

        rustynail Pent_House Agreed…..personally I don’t like the site and won’t give them the hits, but plenty of people do.  To each their own…..live and let live  :)

  • mlclearwater

    First thing I thought when I saw J-Bo’s new contract was “excellent, could bring down Phaneuf’s asking price” Different players I know but still comparable

    • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

      mlclearwater Not comparable at all in my opinion. 
      http://www.hockey-reference.com/play-index/psl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=combined&year_min=2006&year_max=&season_start=1&season_end=-1&age_min=0&age_max=99&birth_country=&franch_id=&is_active=&is_hof=&pos=D&handed=&c1stat=&c1comp=gt&c1val=&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=games_played#stats::8
      Phaneuf is going to get 6-6.5 his next contract.

      • mlclearwater

        DeclanK mlclearwater Fair. Those stats support my comparable statement though. Phaneuf has better goals and +/- but J-Bo more games and minutes, and played for the Panthers.

        • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

          mlclearwater DeclanK +/- isn’t a stat that is considered for contracts and arbitration (not that he’s going to abs).

      • wendelsway1

        DeclanK mlclearwater I agree….to me, Dion is a better player and a couple years younger.

        • mlclearwater

          wendelsway1 DeclanK mlclearwater I think Dion is better too hence the soft word comaprable. I would rather have Dion on my team anyday

        • rustynail

          wendelsway1 DeclanK mlclearwater How does Peca feel about playing against Dion? :)))

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

        DeclanK mlclearwater I just remember Peca’s statement that they looked forward to playing against Jay-Bo, still haven’t heard anyone say that about Phaneuf.

  • mlclearwater

    Been watching the game in 6’s too
    I agree with Keon that Franson looks lost in his own end sometimes, specifically when players take him on wide. I like him but he got sheltered minutes. Offensively great, defensively hopefully improving.
    Grabovski, god bless his soul, was a give away machine last year, played his butt off yes, but he made more bad plays then good ones.
    Reimer’s puck handling skills are embarrassing, really, yelled at my tv a lot over it, I like him too just saying

    • MaxwellHowe

      mlclearwater Significance of goaltender puck handing skills, and confidence in same, is understated.  Goalies who are not confident will leave dmen in toight spots, or cause faceoffs in the defensive zone that could be avoided.  Anyone recall the game the Leafs lost against the Sens later last season (I think it was the Sens).  Late goal by Greening I think.  Anyway, Scrivens, who is also a poor puck handler, froze the puck with less than a minute remaining when there was virtually no pressure on him.  He was that uncomfortable handling the puck. Sens got the puck after the ensuing faceoff and scored the winning goal.

      • mlclearwater

        MaxwellHowe mlclearwater Ya Scrivens fell down a lot to when he left his net. Reimer is a good goalie but didnt do the team any favors with his puck handlin skills

        • wendelsway1

          mlclearwater MaxwellHowe IMO…Reimer was very good for us last season.  Yes, he has weaknesses…..but he’s young and still learning the game.  I like his compete level and his mental make-up.  I’m hoping Bernier will play well for us and we will end up with a very good 1a/1b tandem. :)

        • mlclearwater

          wendelsway1 mlclearwater MaxwellHowe Agree. I love Reimer, just pointing out his puck handling scares the shit out of me, no player is without faults

      • NotInsane

        MaxwellHowe mlclearwater 
        If memory serves, Scrivens mishandled the shot on the winning goal, too.  I’m looking forward to seeing what Bernier canbring to the table this year.  Also to see if Reimer can shore up his rebound control.

        • Pent_House

          NotInsane MaxwellHowe mlclearwater Leafs need to get Reimer into a summer baseball league. One season at 1st or 3rd base and he’ll be catching everything.

        • wendelsway1

          Pent_House NotInsane MaxwellHowe mlclearwater IMO, his glove is a weakness, but not nearly as bad as some think.  Just that in TO, every player tends to be put under a microscope and weaknesses, which all players have, tend to be exaggerated.

        • toleafs

          I agree with that statement, I coach hockey and baseball and my goalie plays 1st base for me, he has developed an amazing glove hand!

      • GreekLeafer

        MaxwellHowe mlclearwater The Sens game was a mid-February game. I was there sadly. Chose not to see the 2 other games because I feel like I have bad luck. Turns out my luck was only bad because I’ve only seen Reimer live once, and the rest of the times have been Gus, Jiggy, or Scrivens.

  • mr_hanie

    Sport writer Dave Perkins is retiring from the Toronto Star. A very good journalist. Sadly, The Star is going downhill with its newer generation of writers…who I will not honour with any names.

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

      mr_hanie You said the magic word there Mr. Hanie …journalist. No idea what to call some of the hacks out there now, none of them are for mixed company.

      • mr_hanie

        ingy56 mr_hanie Sports journalism is a dying craft…especially in Toronto….maybe small towns still have professional writers.

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

          mr_hanie ingy56 Just look right here sir, lots of good writing going on. The mainstream guys just can’t adjust to the fact that their voice isn’t the only one.

  • mlclearwater

    Armstrong signed is Sweden, WTF happened to that crooked nose piece of shit

    • wiski

      mlclearwater He couldn’t stay healthy, maybe the big ice and playing with euro’s will be good for him.

  • B_Leaf

    I would not be opposed to signing Phaneuf for five more years at $6M per. I don’t think I would be prepared to go a cent higher or any longer in term. I support Phaneuf and see his value but he is not elite. I would be comfortable walking away if he wanted anymore. My guess is that he would work with that. With the new cap that is really like a raise.
    With Kessel I would go 6-8 years on term because he is younger and his style etc. However in the new cap I think we have to be really careful with the dollars we give. Kessel has improved as a player and he is likely to perform well in that contract. But what is Kessels value to helping us win the cup? To me that is a tough call…I mean he does not have the value of a guy like Toews…but IMO he is getting more valuable each year. I actually think Kessel is about a $6M a year player on a 7 or 8 year term. I don’t think we should go above that.

  • leafscapguru

    Hears a question for you, if Seattle get a NHL team will that increase the cap for every team as it will create more revenue for the NHL? if it does these payroll will change in 3 yrs dramatically

  • Uncle Otis

    Yesterday at the Bayfield Street beerstore….
    You know you’re getting old when you order 2 28’s and the young girl asks;
    ” sir,would you like help with that” ?
    Wasn’t quick enough on my feet.. :(
    “Drinking it?… sure ! “

    • wendelsway1

      Uncle Otis LOL…..tongue tied and twisted, just an earth-bound misfit, I     :)

      • Uncle Otis

        wendelsway1 
        You betcha…the best lines always are 10 seconds late
        She had me boondoggled me at “sir” :)

      • Uncle Otis

        wendelsway1 
        In retrospect,it may have been for the best..may have come with a slap
        I’ll get enough of those watching the bikinis stroll by on the beach this weekend.
        Who says looking’s free? 😉

        • B_Leaf

          Uncle Otis wendelsway1 
          Where are you beaching?

        • Uncle Otis

          B_Leaf
          Bluewater/Georgina beach..we are right  on the divider
          Look for the big white catarmaran..and the cops 😉
          https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=bluewater+beach&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x4d2ad406c437948b:0xfb5f744bb8f3ad89,Bluewater+Beach,+ON&gl=ca&ei=Gen7UbN7s93gA5jYgZgO&ved=0CJABELYDMA4

        • wendelsway1

          Uncle Otis wendelsway1 Looking’s free…..it’s the catcalling that comes after the looking that gets you in trouble…lol  :)

        • Uncle Otis

          wendelsway1 
          I wouldn’t dare lol
          …tipping the sunglasses,rubber neck, long stares, and chin drizzle is usually all I need 😉

    • wiski

      Uncle Otis LOL

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

      Uncle Otis Got a senior’s discount at Shoppers Drugmart the other day without asking. After first being indignant, I then realized I save 12 dollars..bought my lunch LOL.

      • Uncle Otis

        ingy56 
        $12?..that’s a days worth of groceries for us older cats 😉
        (excluding bevies)

  • wiski

    New thread 

    http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/08/02/an-interview-with-leafs-director-of-player-development-jim-hughes/

    • Uncle Otis

      wiski 
      Gotta pack/split…always fun gang
      Have a great Long weekend everyone..and if you are near Bluewater Beach..look for the white cat/stop by
      Ask for Otis

      • B_Leaf

        Uncle Otis wiski 
        Happy travels!

  • dlb eh

    good stuff, michael.
    but anyone who hasn’t seen this since Kessel was acquired simply has not been paying any attention