According to Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs have been talking to recently let-go Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato about filling one of three assistant coaching vacancies in Toronto.
The off-season following Pittsburgh’s Cup win, Granato joined Pittsburgh as an assistant to Dan Bylsma (also coached under Bylsma in Sochi). Granato’s focus was the forward units and the penalty kill, which for the most part was a success under his watch.
Granato would also tick off the box of having prior head coaching experience having taken over the Avalanche bench on two separate occasions (2002-04, 2008-09, amassing an 104-78-17 record). The Avalanche made the playoffs in both 2002-03 and 2003-04, but Granato was dismissed after 1st and 2nd round exits, respectively. A roster that included Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic, Paul Kariya, Teemu Selanne, Rob Blake, Milan Hejduk and Alex Tanguay was expected to go deep and Granato was reassigned to an assistant’s role.
Granato’s exit from Colorado in 2009 was acrimonious, as GM Pierre Lacroix began pursuing Patrick Roy as his next coach while leaving Granato to twist in the wind, technically still in possession of the head coaching job which he took over from Joel Quenneville prior to the beginning of the 2008-09 season. Lacroix’s pursuit of Roy failed and he didn’t really have a choice but to go in a new direction, hiring Joe Sacco and letting Granato go. The Avalanche scored under 200 goals that year en route to the third overall pick (Duchene) in the draft.
If Granato is brought in, it’s likely to take over the Leafs’ wayward penalty kill. His results in Pittsburgh suggest there’s some sense in that. The Penguins’ PK finished first in the League in his first season in Pittsburgh, 3rd the year after, 25th in 2012-13 (with a rebound to 92.3% in the playoffs), and 5th this past season (note: received a league-best .911 SV% in 4v5 situations, 15th in CF%).
Nonis Meets the Media Ahead of Draft
Nonis expects Leafs to remain picking at eighth tomorrow.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) June 26, 2014
Shocking, months of talk about the Leafs trading up isn’t going to come to fruition. Worry not, big changes are a—
I mean why bother, right? RT @mirtle: Nonis says Leafs unlikely to get big centres on trade market. Not really in those conversations.
— Alec Brownscombe (@MapleLeafsHS) June 26, 2014
#Leafs GM Dave Nonis says no talks yet with Nikolai Kulemin camp, ongoing dialogue w/ Dave Bolland camp, interest in Leo Komarov at right #.
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) June 26, 2014
Some good news for last:
Nonis doesn’t rule out Reimer coming back.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) June 26, 2014
Thursday Afternoon Links:
- ICYMI: Josh Ho Sang deconstructs some of the myths about him in this Simmons interview. What a bright kid.
- Darren Dreger: Dan Boyle update. There does appear to be some leg to this one re: Boyle and the Leafs.
- Jonas Siegel: No talks planned with Jay McClement for the Leafs
- TSN1050: Dave Poulin joins Mike Richards
- TSN1050: Darren Dreger’s segment on Leafs Breakfast
- Toronto Sun: At least 6 teams have contacted Dave Bolland
- Adam Proteau: Leafs must move heaven and earth to land a top center in the draft
- Grantland: DGB’s draft preview
Is Ehlers a bad pick at 8th? I have seen some footage and it seems like he can control the game on his own, we would need Roberts for him in the offseason though :)
Story of Pens Tanking for Mario (some tips for MLSE on how to do it right?) http://www.tsn.ca/VideoHub/Default.aspx?collection=184&show=387885§ion=Sports
@Kouba hes actually really strong for his size
@HHT A major reason I hate the Pens. It was a joke. It really was disgusting and Exhibit A for changing the draft system.
@Leafs_17 that just might be it man
@Hammertownleaffan no way, no how, there is a ton of more skilled offensive talent to be taken before him. If he goes top 10 it will because a team is reaching for a Dman not BPA.
@Hammertownleaffan It's an okay pick. A very safe pick, I wouldn't mind him, but I think there are better options at 8.
@Hammertownleaffan nope no one
@Dewy Keon Hogturd Best friends.
@Cloud09 How'd you guess ?:)
@wiski the Raptors and drafting lol
@wiski Ugh, worst movie ever.. I quit watching it 15 minutes in.
@deedrag when was dis
@Cloud09 me neither, maybe mistaken for Milan Lucic
@Cameron19 Not yet, probably in the morning.
@wiski Bombers had something to prove to Tim Burke.
@wiski "The Toronto Maple Leafs did inquire about the availability of Jason Spezza..." McKenzie said during an Insider Trading segment on TSN.caon Thursday afternoon. "Not because they wanted him in their lineup, but they were maybe looking at parlaying him, flipping him to someone else as part of another transaction..."
@Jay_Berg Leafs are getting everyone!!!
@Dewy Keon Hogturd They are trying to spin it as a 3 way deal, a-la The Cam Special.
@Dewy Keon Hogturd Bobbi mac stirring the pot
@Dewy Keon Hogturd quoting him