Midweek Leafs News and Notes

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The other thread was getting a little exhausting with those Kessel sexy eyes staring us down all  day.  Let’s restore normal heart rate levels and get into some Leaf news and notes.

NHL.com’s 30 in 30: Toronto Maple Leafs – NHL.com continues their off-season, 30 in 30 series with a look into some of the biggest questions facing the ’13-’14 Leafs. Some obvious story-lines include the forthcoming goaltending battle between Reimer and Bernier, re-signing Kadri and Franson, and whether Clarkson will live-up to his new contract. Other interesting questions include whether Gardiner is ready to bounce-back with a full-time and significant role (I believe he is) and whether Bolland will deliver more offense. As far as Bolland goes, if he was truly brought in to serve the role that Grabovski didn’t relish, should we really expect production from Bolland, especially if his usage resembles anything like Grabovski’s (mostly defensive zone starts and usually the opposing top lines)? I’m tempering my expectations, but I think we’ll be fortunate if we got some secondary scoring from a Bolland-centered third unit, but I wouldn’t count on it.

National Post: McClement excited about Leafs’ new identity – “I think when teams come into town they know it’s going to be a hard night…That’s Randy’s style of team…Last year we started to build that identity.”  Last season, the Leafs’ home record of 13-9-2 was good for 18th place in the league. A winning record is certainly nothing to sneeze at but it’s also some ways away from the “fear of God” we are attempting to instill in visiting opponents.  When compared to their divisional rivals, from 2002-2012, the Leafs have the least number of cumulative home games won (194).  To their credit, the Leafs did have the 7th best away record, 13-8-3, in the league last season but my bet is that a part of that is attributable to the Leafs catching teams off-guard.  Still, hopefully with players who are better-suited for the roles assigned by Carlyle, and continued excellence (and/or luck) in goaltending, the Leafs should be able to improve their home record and push into the upper-half of the league in that category. (Check out their odds this season at Canadian sportsbook reviews).

Cumulative Home Wins Northeast

Backhand Shelf: Nazem Kadri only has to worry about one guy: Nazem Kadri – There is a large, and vocal, contingent of fans who are deeply unsatisfied with how Nonis has handled the cap space he inherited, and created, during his first off-season as GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs. When it comes to re-signing Nazem Kadri, whether it is through a 2-year bridge contract (a la Subban), or a longer term contract (a la Henrique), there is inherent risk in pursuing either contract. Sign the player short-term and you run the ‘risk’ that said player will greatly surpass expectations and demand max salary, along with your first born son, when his bridge contract is up.  On the other hand, sign a player who is still proving himself long-term and run the risk that he will regress and become a hard-to-move asset, anchored by a $4-5M contract.  Either way, it sounds like Nonis can’t win. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that GMs are eight-bit idiots and nothing bad will ever happen if you pay for future production…if only he had the cap space to work with like a real GM.  Salary cap management aside, the fact of the matter is that there is risk no matter how you slice up a contract, and if Nonis were to sign Kadri to a short-term bridge contract that fit under the cap, Lambert’s follow-up would probably look something like this.

Puck Daddy: Wilson vs. Bylsma: Can the US Olympic coach match legacy of his predecessor? – An interesting read on Ron Wilson’s impression on the US men’s national team, and how Dan Bylsma, who has little international experience, is tapping into Wilson’s legacy and experience prior to Sochi 2014. In this article, many of the players from the 2010 US men’s national team, including Partick Kane, Paul Statsny, and Erik Johnson offer rave reviews of Coach Wilson. Kessel, interestingly enough, when asked about the similarities between Wilson and Bylsma, said “I don’t know yet”.

THW: 2010 Gold Medal Game: Where were you when it happened? – Glad to read that van Riemsdyk’s head is in the right place. Hopefully his skates will be on the ice for Team USA next February.

For your enjoyment, a “fit-looking” Milan Lucic at Team Canada orientation camp:

milan-lucic

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Re: Lucic. That’s nothing.
    http://t.co/WDfMckUTM9

  • Aaron Chan

    Babcock: Lucic, I asked for pylons, not tires.

  • .JVR.

    It’s bad when the coach is in better shape than you, haha
    (Although I’m willing to bet Eakins was in better shape than the vast majority of his players)

  • .JVR.

    Alec Brownscombe 
    Wow, I thought I read somewhere that he was actually in good shape this summer, haha.

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

    I’m guessing those are kidney pads on Lucy?

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ingy56 looks like he packed a spare tire for the trip to Calgary

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Alec Brownscombe just a big big man

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

    Dangle_My_Berries ingy56 Home cookin’

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries lots of home cookin lol

  • MaxwellHowe

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries Looks like he’s waiting to eat the first guy dumb enough to call him chubby

  • happy_gilmour

    Right… so here’s my report from the Kessel report:
    * David Alter is a pretty fit dude (sat next to him at dinner)
    * Kadri (sat next to him at poker)
       * very respectful… called me sir the whole time!
       * I commented on him laying out Ghalleger of the Scabs and he commented “yeah, he talks too much”
      * mentioned the site here… says he doesn’t get into reading the site too much (or other sites), and said “oh yeah, the guys from Oakville”… not sure if Alec and co are from Oakville?
      * I told him we talk him up and are the real Leafs fans and he said he knew 
      * didn’t ask him any of the “fun” questions as he seems like a good kid and is just trying to keep his head down
       * I did tell him I’d look out for him for team Canada at the next olympics and he said he hoped so 
       * congratulated him on the great year he had and he said he has another one coming up for us

    * Kadri and Kessel were a foursome away from us
    * Blake Kessel and his crew played in from of us – he had some awesome drives… maybe if the A doesn’t work out for him he can golf 😉
    * During one of the tee offs they hit Kadri’s cart waiting at the next tee-off :)
    That’s it… nothing new, but was a good 18 holes on a short course with beers and fun to be had (and beautiful young ladies serving up the bevvies)

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    MaxwellHowe ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries #milkbag

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    happy_gilmour NAZ TALKED ABOUT ME?!? IM FROM OAKVILLE!

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

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour I’VE BEEN TO OAKVILLE!

  • happy_gilmour

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour lol… could have been… oh, also, the waitress didn’t know who he was.. .and he gave out a “are you serious? you don’t know who I am?”  (he was one of 8 celebs at the event)

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour AMAZING!

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    happy_gilmour Dangle_My_Berries hahah awesome, thanks for the insight man, good work!

  • happy_gilmour

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour lol  I also told him that I played street hockey with Wendel and Russ Courtnall and that it was only 15-20 mins, but here I am 20+ years later talking about it, and it matters… and he said he knows… hopefully he gets out randomly in the community like the Buds of the 80s

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    happy_gilmour Dangle_My_Berries hes hosting charity events do it does sound as if he wants to give back to the community

  • happy_gilmour

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour Well, it was Kessel’s sponsorship of right to play… need not split hairs though

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour 
    lol

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    happy_gilmour Dangle_My_Berries ya i know lol, but naz hosted a charity golf tourny a couple weeks back I believe

  • happy_gilmour

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour damnit, why wasn’t I invited?!?!? 😉

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour im just happy to see Naz is aware we exist lol

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    happy_gilmour Dangle_My_Berries MLHS needs to wedding-crash one of these golf tournaments

  • happy_gilmour

    Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour True story

  • Alec Brownscombe

    happy_gilmour Kadri: “CAN I GO TO A FUCKING GOLF TOURNAMENT WITHOUT GETTING HARASSED BY MLHS!?”

  • Cameron19

    Spare tire on Lucic, holy.

  • LightmyLeaf

    Cameron19 maybe he was swimming, and left his inflator ring on….better safe than sorry….

  • Cameron19

    Alec Brownscombe He looks worse in some of the non-photo-op pics from the event.

  • LightmyLeaf

    Shift_Disturber1 happy_gilmour awesome stuff, appreciate the insight…

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    A Sens site (probably) ranks the Sens above the Leafs this year. Interesting.
    http://senshot.com/2013/08/28/2013-14-season-preview-toronto-maple-leafs/

  • http://mapleleafshotstove.com/ DeclanK

    Cameron19 Look how fit Babcock is. Jeez.

  • .JVR.

    happy_gilmour 
    What are the so-called “fun” questions you didn’t ask him?

  • .JVR.

    DeclanK
    Are you trying to say he’s in better shape than Carlyle, haha?

  • LightmyLeaf

    Shift_Disturber1 LightmyLeaf Cameron19 maybe its an implant ……like bumper cars…..

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    DeclanK “PREDICTION:  The Leafs should assure themselves of a playoff spot.  4th in Atlantic Division.” —– at least the article is reasonable in some respects

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/Burkie2020https://twitter.com/Burkie2020/status/372884764631379969
    Here is Matt Horner’s story!
    http://t.co/8H8yfEpHZr

  • LightmyLeaf

    Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK  – the only time I’m seeing the Turds  is layin on the ice in a pool of blood opening night!…not for the faint of heart…but taking my boy….:)

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    LightmyLeaf Dangle_My_Berries DeclanK im sure you’ll both have a great time….season cant start soon enough!

  • LightmyLeaf

    Dangle_My_Berries LightmyLeaf DeclanK we are pumped up already…let party begin!

  • mcloki

    If the shape was circle. I’d say he was doing a good job. Lol

  • LightmyLeaf

    mcloki maybe he’s working out differently, working up to arm wrestle Rob Ford for the twinkie awards

  • theacs1966

    ingy56 Dangle_My_Berries happy_gilmour I’VE HEARD OF OAKVILLE!

  • .JVR.

    Dangle_My_Berries
    Still don’t understand why both the Red Wings and Blue Jackets were moved to the East.
    Would have made so much more sense to leave one of the in the West, that way each Conference would still have 15 teams.  Especially when you consider Quebec and Seattle are probably going to get teams within the next 5 years, which would give each Conference 16 teams.

    (I still the the best solution would have been to leave the Division setup alone and move Detroit to the East, Winnipeg to the West and make the following small changes)
    Northeast: Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Detroit and Buffalo
    Atlantic: Boston, New York, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia
    Southeast: Pittsburgh, Carolina, Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay

    Northwest: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Minnesota
    Pacific: San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Colorado and Phoenix
    Central: Chicago, St. Louis, Columbus, Nashville and Dallas

  • whalz

    heres my question, if NAZ holds out which lineup would you guys prefer? (we need NAZ signed asap)
    jvr-bozak-kessel
    lups-bolland-clarkson
    colborne-mcc-kuly
    mclaren-smith-orr
    lups-jvr-kessel
    colborne-bozak-clarkson
    mcclemn-bolland-kuly
    mclaren-smth-orr

  • .JVR.

    @whalz 
    Neither, I’d probably go with something like this:

    JVR/Bozak/Kessel
    Lupul/Colborne/Clarkson
    D’Amigo/Bolland/Kulemin
    McLaren/McClement/Orr

  • .JVR.

    Could also put McClement on the wing with Bolland/Kulemin and have Smith centre the fourth line.

  • Black_Hawk

    @whalz we need him asap is right

  • Black_Hawk

    Shift_Disturber1 dont mind it