Monday Mashup: Center Rumours Heat Up

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Good evening! Prepare for a long week of distraction as the Leafs are off until Friday’s tilt with the New Jersey Devils. With Bolland going down on Saturday the team’s strength at centre is about as weak as you could imagine. Not too many people count themselves as big Bozak fans, but with him and Bolland both out, there is a gaping hole down the middle. It’s all but guaranteed this week will bring a deluge of trade speculation, and maybe even a trade to bolster the position. While the Leafs’ record is still pretty good, it’s difficult to feel optimistic about a team featuring Kadri, McClement and Smith up the middle.

Today’s practice lines were as follows:

Lupul – JVR – Kessel

Raymond – Kadri – Clarkson

Kulemin – McClement – Bodie

Orr – Smith – McLaren

That top line is juicy on paper, but that’s on paper. The transition to center for JvR, who did play down the middle in college but never at the pro level, is far from guaranteed to be a seamless one.

Bolland underwent surgery over the weekend to repair a lacerated Achilles tendon, basically identical to the injury Erik Karlsson suffered last season. In other words, don’t expect Bolland to suit up again until the new year. In Ebner’s post-game from Saturday, he said Bolland was wearing protective socks and still suffered the injury when Kassian’s skate blade found the back of his leg. In other words, this injury was even more a freak incident than usual for that type of play. Hopefully the severity of the injury is lessened as a result, but it’s still too early to know for sure.

Bozak was placed on LTIR meaning he will be out a few weeks, so something must be done to fill the holes at centre. If the team opts to dive into the Marlies roster for help, they could go a few different ways depending on how they want to try and address the situation. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Greg McKegg to show how close he is to NHL-ready, although he should really be left to prove himself in a top 6 role with the Marlies if we’re being fair. I would like to see someone with some offensive ability or upside slotted in ahead of McClement and Smith, but the team may opt for more of a checking type player.

Either way, with no games until Friday followed by a back-to-back), expect a lot of talk around how the Leafs are going to handle the injury situation and a tonne of trade speculation.

Surprise to know one, the Maple Leafs are in the market for a forward, preferably a centre. Not a lot available right now.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 4, 2013

Some Monday evening links:
Anthony’s Notebook from this morning!
http://mapleleafshotstove.com/2013/11/04/leafs-notebook-november-4/

Dave Ebner has the Globe’s recap from Saturday’s game in Vancouver
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/leafs-look-to-put-worst-game-of-the-year-behind-them/article15236747/

Traikos at the National Post has an article about Mason Bang-For-Your-Buck Raymond
http://sports.nationalpost.com/2013/11/02/toronto-maple-leafs-mason-raymond-a-prime-example-of-nhls-salary-cap-disparity/

NHL.com’s story on the Bolland injury, including video
http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=689760&navid=nhl:topheads

JP Nikota has a post up about the Leafs collapsing defensively (no fancy stats!)
http://www.pensionplanpuppets.com/2013/11/4/5059676/collapsing-defensively-leafs-coaching-breakouts-101

  • peterbleafs

    Lupul   JVR     Kessel
    Leivo   Kadri    Clarkson
    Raymond   McClement   Kulemin
    McLaren    Smith    Orr

  • Alec Brownscombe

    @LikeThisBitches IDon’tLikeThisBitch

  • BPsotka

    TheCanucksnaphook Jay_Berg In Buffalo.

  • Jordan29

    peterbleafs Too front loaded. We need to spread the wealth out

  • peterbleafs

    Jordan29 peterbleafs TheCanucksnaphook That works for me too.  See there are still ample options.  We have a deep set of forwards this year.

  • BPsotka

    TheCanucksnaphook BPsotka Jay_Berg I prefer Ott at least that far away ahha I’m not in favour of giving anything up to get him.

  • Reversethecurse67

    Cameron19 Reversethecurse67 Well i said their defense is sub-par…and as you said, a catalyst for why they suck. My point was that they traded 3 top players without netting much in return…and now they have an identity crisis: are they going for it or building for the future? I’m not sure anyone there has acted with any sort of plan…
    I guess the thing to do would be rape/pillage what you can while you can and stand back from the blaze as it burns to the ground. Because that team is unsalvagable.

  • Jordan29

    OMG. dont tell me Raymond has centre experience. For FUCK sakes, you all know whats gonna happen now. Hes gonna play with kessel. Its just going to happen we all mus know it. Stajan, to Connolly, to Bozak, now to Raymond

  • Reversethecurse67

    Jordan29 Maybe he’ll do better away from the boards..

  • Jay_Berg

    Go to your happy place man…. Happy place

  • DARF24

    UFA Andy Mcdonald
    21 pts in 37 games 36 years old

  • Bon Scott was a Leaf fan

    Jay_Berg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsqUZkmO-zk&feature=related

  • Jordan29

    DARF24 retired brA

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook DARF24 Why?

  • Jay_Berg

    145 concussions

  • DARF24

    Sorry nvm just saw that

  • DARF24

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 DARF24 he did

  • Jordan29

    Cameron19 TheCanucksnaphook DARF24 yes im curious to why cameron would be happy that a playing suffering from post concussion syndrome would make cameron happy while centring the top Toronto Maple Leafs line……..?????

  • LikeThisBitches

    TheCanucksnaphook Jay_Berg Take out Raymond. 😉

  • Jay_Berg

    Lupul – B.Lindros – Kessel
    ?

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Jay_Berg done

  • BPsotka

    I want Duchene.

  • Jordan29

    Im only gonna say it once more
    Lupul-Wallin-Kessel

  • LikeThisBitches

    Jay_Berg Might as well if we’re talking about Centres who have retired due to concussions. How about Savard?

  • Cameron19

    TheCanucksnaphook Cameron19 DARF24 I just thought he might be a guy Burke would sign.  I didn’t really want him persay.  I would have at 31 though – he was a great player.

  • LikeThisBitches

    Jordan29 Only if he wears that awesome gold chain

  • Jay_Berg

    He’s still on Boston. GOD CANT YOU DO ANYTHING RIGHT!!!
    Kidding :)

  • LikeThisBitches

    Jay_Berg We could trade them one injured C for another :)

  • Jordan29

    @LikeThisBitches Jordan29 I’ll pull some strings

  • Jordan29

    BPsotka if only we could randomly pick players from another team to come here

  • Pent_House

    Bolland didn’t suffer an Achilles tear from what I’ve read.

  • theacs1966

    MaxwellHowe Alec Brownscombe TheCanucksnaphook There’s a Maroon playing in Ana.

  • Pent_House

    Peroneal Tendon.

  • reenergized

    Pent_House a tendon on the outside ankle … is what the reports said

  • Jordan29

    Pent_House ya said something about the outside. Coming from me who is a as close to a medical technician as you can get, I think a perpneal tendon tear is bad……not good

  • Cameron19

    Jordan29 Pent_House Achilles is pretty much the worst though, right?

  • reenergized

    Jordan29 Pent_House but not as bad as the achilles

  • Pent_House

    Jordan29 Pent_House I have medical expertise, it is bad, I was just pointing out that it’s not an Achilles.

  • Jay_Berg

    Bazinga
    https://twitter.com/friedgehnic/status/397522850375933953

  • Jordan29

    Cameron19 Jordan29 Pent_House HAHAHAHAHA did you not even notice how I spelled it? lol I wouldnt know the difference between a tendon and a man dressed as a waffle

  • Jay_Berg

    Thought that said Brian Burke…. Who gives a fuck what Sean Burke says

  • DARF24

    Jordan29 BPsotka okay, ummm ummm crosby!

  • happy_gilmour

    Bonnie Lindros had a cobcussiob? ;p

  • Pent_House

    Cameron19 Jordan29 Pent_House They’re both debilitating, I don’t know If I would say one is worse than the other. It’s apples to oranges. Any Tendon tear is bad. Same goes for Ligaments for that matter.

  • Cameron19

    Jordan29 Cameron19 Pent_House Oh I know, I wasn’t actually seeking your medical advice, lol.  I was just saying, regardless of what the fuck unknown tendon it is, as long as it’s not achillles, we’re doing okay.

  • Pent_House

    Cameron19 Jordan29 Pent_House Peroneal Tendon

  • Jordan29

    Pent_House Cameron19 Jordan29 peroneal says “can take up to 6 weeks to heel” but I also read usually doesnt leave a full range of movement left ince healed. 
    So he may never be the same player again

  • theacs1966

    Jay_Berg Didn’t he break a Leafs arm with a slash?  Might not be him.

  • Cameron19

    Jordan29 Pent_House Cameron19 Just the fact that he’ll be able to rehab constantly probably means he’ll come a hell of a lot closer to full movement than the average person would.

  • DARF24

    To TOR: Shawn Matthias
    To FLA: Ashton + 3rd