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).
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:
Puckdaddy's Fantasy Rankings of Top 100:
Phil Kessel #8
Joffrey Lupul # 64
Dion Phaneuf #84
NHL.com's picks for Team Canada.
just in case people have forgotten how sick kessel is...
Without a doubt I'm most excited to see Granberg out of all our prospects, including Rielly ( because I basically know what to expect from him and I think he should be allowed to dominate in the dub )
The hype on Granberg is pretty substantial but how can you not be excited after reading this report ?
3. Petter Granberg, D: Granberg, 21, is coming to North America for his first professional season and is ticketed to play for the Marlies, but Poulin said the 2010 fourth-round pick (No. 116) definitely is on the radar to get to the NHL sooner rather than later.
Granberg, who is 6-3, 200, has played for Skelleftea in the Swedish Hockey League for the past three seasons. He played with Alexander Edler on Sweden's top defense pair and primarily behind Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin at the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Even when Edler was suspended from play for his knee-on-knee hit on Canada's Eric Staal, Granberg stayed on the top pair and was one of Sweden's best defensemen as the team won the gold medal.
"He is very strong, stay-at-home and very steady," Poulin said. "He had injuries last season, but he finished the year very strongly for Skelleftea. He played a prominent role. He played 10 games in the World Championship, heads-up against the other team's best line, played against Steven Stamkos, and had a really strong World Championship."
Keeping quiet day after expressing frustration over negotiations.
Does anybody know (and can explain) the inner workings of contract negotiations. I can't wrap my head around quiet spots in the negotiations. I feel that an offer should be tabled from both sides and then they should lock in themselves into a room and work until something is agreed upon.
Where does it stall, and how does it actually work?
Alec, any thought about trying to merg with other toronto sports websites? Just thinking out loud. For example, blue bird banter is like the MLHS equivalent for the jays. They don't get the interviews you guys get though. Having a one stop shop for all Toronto sports wold be cool. Not sure if there's something like that out there.
@Spayde_D what ive learned.....Bolland hits to hurt : )
@Jantz I feel the same way. Rielly is our best prospect, but we see him enough to know what he offers. Guys like Granberg and Gauthier are exciting because we don't know them and what they have to offer as much.
Jantz: I am eagerly looking forward to seeing Granberg, but TBT MR is where I am most excited and interested. I am most interested in how his game translates against NHLers. He seemed to get a passing to good grade against the AHL, but this is now a big step up. It will be interesting to compare and contrast MR and Granberg, and the two against Jake. Huge expectation, it will be all about the delivery.
@Burtonboy its just around the corner
@Shift_Disturber1 The philosophy of the owners: capitalism for me, socialism for thee. Seek public funding for arenas, suppress players' salaries below free market value, and charge whatever that same market will bear for seats.
@Shift_Disturber1 5 levels of greed.
One aspect: managers and agents have multiple employees/clients. The team offices are all across the continent. The face to face meetings have to be coordinated in advance in a lot of cases to accommodate all the meetings for different players terms of location, airplane flights, whether the player has to be there, etc.
@Spayde_D I would imagine each negotiation has it's own sequence of events. Many of the agents also work for many more clients so no doubt an offer gets tabled, considered over time and then another meeting gets scheduled. No doubt a certain part of some negotiations involves a game of chicken, for lack of a better phrase. I'm sure that's what is going on with Franson and Kadri, each side is waiting for someone to blink.
@Jay_Berg I think a major appeal of MLHS is that it's all Leafs, all the time. Could be wrong though.
@Jay_Berg BOOO. I fi wanted boring talk about the Jays I'd watch Sportsnet. Put me in the "If it aint' Hockey, ITS CRAP" camp.
@Jay_Berg The problem there is then we would have to sift through other Toronto sports. I think quite a few of us here can't stand baseball, and I would imagine most of us don't care about the Raptors or TFC.
@TheCanucksnaphook lol hahaha
@TheCanucksnaphook Haha. Check out the video to the right of an interview with Kessel from the course. He's so uncomfortable.
@TheCanucksnaphook One of the guys from here..happy_gilmour I think, was at the same tournament and sat beside Kadri at the poker table. His report is on this thread somewhere.
@Spayde_D ive also learned Clarkson's backhand is filthy and Bernier likes the pad stack
Hey O, best news of all is we have ridden ourselves of all the deadwood (not Lacking anymore), and have improved big time with Clarkson and Bolland. I feel pumped, but until Naz and Franson are signed, I'm not as pumped as I want to be. I expect Phil to hit the next level in points, and believe Naz has the opportunity to show his creativity. If the tenacity of the playoffs is embedded, and the trust in RCs system allows confidence in defending (and reducing the number of shots) and more offensive zone time, we are going to start living the dream.
It should be Pre-season, Predators, Regular, Premium, Habs-Are-Going-Down.
See at the top where it has links to all the various "sports talk" sites. That's all I meant.
So MLHS stays the exact same. Except on the main page it would promote and have links to the raptors, jays, etc.
Ok clearly you are not in the "make money and drive up web traffic" camp lol. I was thinking more from a business standpoint then a fan
Lol - I knew that. I'm going to the Sept 5 game against Chi and the Sept 8 game against the turds.
I just wanted to point out that today I got invited to watch the Sept 15th game against Philly in one of the Boxes. Free hockey, free food and free drinks. What a way to start the season!!!
I just hope Clarkson makes an impact on the second line if Naz is there. He'll give the kid a little more room to operate out there. Takes some of the scoring pressure and defensive coverage off the Kessel unit.
@Waiting4LSC I'm really hoping Clarkson makes a big impact on the team. I've always liked him and his type of player. Exactly what we need IMO. We are just starting to live the dream, and I hope it's a long time before we wake up.
@Shift_Disturber1 @MaxwellHowe - they forgot about the 3 levels of legal USA scalpers on top of all levels, which get handed the tickets out of the gate, then jack the prices 2 and half times....I know, I was an idiot buying the opening game tic's....fuck me...I do love my boy, and he loves the Leafs....that's worse than capitalism, no competitors - all fixed...here, lets create a biz model....I hand you priceless tic's, you selll, and cut me in, and we make it look legit....
We have kicked around the idea of 30 team site.
@Jay_Berg Hey, the same hot cougar is on that site too!
@Xxxxxnew Same here. Only time I will watch a sport that is not hockey is during the Olympics.
I was picturing something łike the NBC sports talk sites where they cover each sport but have separate sites for each so you don't have to read about the shit you don't want.
Glad to hear you're on the mend. Amazing how advanced medical treatment is getting. Out in 5 days! Keep us up to date.
@Robbies Get well soon. Hope you have a full recovery
@Robbies Nice stories, glad all's well. Recover fully because the Leafs are going to give those new arteries a workout come playoff time.
I was in the Montreal Gazette box as a client guest for the 6-0 beatdown
Last year (where Naz freight trained Emelin!!)....at 4-zip I took off my hoody
To reveal my Kess t-shirt ...free food, free drink and free humiliation......beautifiul
BTW ...got home today from emergency triple by-pass ( 5 days at the Royal Vic) and
Read MLHS to get by.....thanks Alec, Declan etc
I will be ready for camp for sure !!
@Knights2Leafs @Optimustic Ha, I was surprised that most of us wouldn't have had at least a good idea when the games were starting. I've been busy at work and haven't been keeping up with you all as much. I pop in when I get the chance and read post, but don't post as much.
I hope you have a good time at the game. I watched a game from a box once with a group of teachers a few years ago. It was a good time that would have been better if the Leafs didn't lose 2 - 0 to the Rags. Oct, 30 2001 I think.