Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes

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Today, Steve Simmons had a few interesting Leafs tidbits in his Sunday column.

“Don’t expect anything sexy when the Leafs announce their coaching staff shortly. In fact don’t be surprised if the Leafs two new assistant coaches aren’t internal promotions.”

If I was Steve Spott, I would rather be head coach of the Marlies than assistant coach of the Leafs under Carlyle, but I’m not Steve Spott. That said, Gord Dineen and Derek King have been rumoured to be in the assistant coach mix from the beginning. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were promoted. The Marlies have run an excellent and successful program for years, so they could do a lot worse.

I still wonder if anything will become of the Tony Granato meetings. Pittsburgh has generally had a very good penalty kill under him so that would make some sense, too.

[pull_quote_center]“When the Leafs traded Frattin to Los Angeles in the deal for Jonathan Bernier, they honestly believed they were trading away a 20-goal scorer. That’s why they’ve brought him back. They probably don’t think that highly anymore, but they see something in Frattin others don’t.”[/pull_quote_center]

In the 2013 season, Frattin and Kadri played some great hockey together, and playing them on the same line was always their plan then. From the Star in 2013:

[pull_quote_center]It’s not that much of a surprise. Kadri is a natural playmaker, Frattin a scorer. The organization recognized as much and the two played together during the lockout with the AHL Marlies.
‘That was the plan we had,’ coach Randy Carlyle said Wednesday. ‘They had success in the American Hockey League, so you might as well try and put them together.'[/pull_quote_center]
I can’t seem to find the link, but I also remember James Mirtle writing about how members of the organization viewed Kadri-Frattin as a second line combo of the future. When he went to LA, the second line spot alongside Richards and Carter was “his to lose” according to Sutter.

He struggled in LA and they traded him, but they didn’t exactly banish him from the team; they moved him in a deal to bring in Marian Gaborik.

I guess we’ll see what happens with Frattin ultimately, but the Leafs seem to feel he can be a goal scorer, and so did Los Angeles to start last year. A lot of people can see the potential in Frattin (and it’s easy to since he’s fast, has a great shot, is physical, has low center of gravity and can be a bowling ball), but it’s up to him to put it together. Maybe he will playing alongside a familiar face and someone he has had success with before.

A few other sporadic thoughts:

  • I knew it would become a story that Gorges didn’t waive to come to Toronto, but boy is it getting blown out of proportion. Sorry, but waiving to go to Buffalo instead of Toronto says a lot more about Gorges’ intelligence than anything about the state of the Leafs. The Leafs might not be a great team, but Buffalo is terrible. They don’t have one player even close to the calibre of Kessel or JVR, and comparing their two goalies (Neuvirth and Enroth) to the Leafs two (Bernier and Reimer) is laughable at best. They are paying some big bucks to guys like Myers and Meszaros to play defense. Even if you don’t like Phaneuf, he’s miles ahead of those guys, to say nothing of Gardiner and Rielly (and, yes, I know Buffalo has drafted a few D-men in the first round of late, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me any of them are more promising than Rielly). Whatever vendetta Gorges has against the Leafs, so be it. Picking Buffalo over Toronto says almost nothing about the Leafs and pretty well everything about him.
  • The talk about the hometown Bolland leaving Toronto for Florida is even worse. The contract the Panthers gave him was easily one of the worst in free agency not just this year, but in the last few free agency periods.
  • Hard to imagine Franson returning with everyone in the league knowing they agreed to move him to Montreal. Stranger and more awkward things have happened, but you have to figure he is still on the block and eventually going to move.

Sunday Links:

 

  • Biltmore

    I love Frattin and hated to see him go. Glad he’s back. Not everyone has to be Crosby good to be appreciated, and I appreciate his hustle and skills. Hope he has a successful return. I’d much rather see him on Kadri’s wing than Clarkson.

  • leafmealone

    I assumed from the announcement of the trade to bring back Frattin that the idea was to put him with Kadri-Lupul. Good to see I’m not alone. Clarkson was a horrible mix with those two, and could actually do quite well with two out of Komarov/Kontiola/Santorelli/Holland as all of them would make a better complement to him as a line that could play a cycling puck-possession game.
    Hope some chemistry is reignited with the reunion and that some more complementary players get Clarkson ignited in the first place.
    At the very least, the Leafs are rolling the dice with little risk as most of these players are all coming with low salaries, or low cap hits. So, if it doesn’t really pan out, then take another good pick in a strong draft and go back to the drawing board next year with even more cap space and roster flexibility. No harm no foul.

    Also, anyone notice how many contracts the Leafs have that could be buried on the Marlies with no cap penalty if things don’t work out (and assuming the player passes waivers if eligible)? So much better than having to hide a Komisarek/Liles/Gleason down there.

  • PEIleafnation

    Biltmore I recall his OT buzzer beater for a GW the year prior…giver Frats

  • Bruffins

    If Dion Phaneuf got traded to Montreal and declined only to end up in a worse city just because he couldn’t stand to play for a heated rival I’m sure we would all be loving it instead of questioning his intelligence. I hated Gorges going into this offseason but can’t help but respect his decision, I wish more players in the league felt that way.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    leafmealone Only 132 NHL games for Frattin, with really only this year as a complete burnout (new team, new conference, LA doesn’t really play hockey at his pace). Otherwise he’s been at least a productive NHLer.

  • Anthony Petrielli

    Bruffins He still got traded to a division rival…

  • Bruffins

    Anthony Petrielli Bruffins
    I wouldn’t consider Buffalo-Montreal the same as Toronto-Montreal

  • The_Polish_Cannon

    Anthony Petrielli Bruffins the two teams may be in the same division but there’s no real rivalry there. Montreals two rivals are Boston and Toronto

  • Leafs_17

    The_Polish_Cannon Anthony Petrielli Bruffins they got something going with the sens too. not to the same level tho

  • Anthony Petrielli

    The_Polish_Cannon Anthony Petrielli Bruffins Not like Leafs-Habs has been a playoff series or anything. They’ve had some heated some games in the last few years, but that’s really it. Fans dislike each other more than anything.

  • Xxxxxnew

    I live in BC and got to watch a lot of Kings games and it was sad watching Frattin last year.

  • wiski

    leafmealone I would like to see Frats Kadr Komo, Lupul Holland Clarkson for a while, see what happens

  • barjv01

    Xxxxxnew In what way? His level of play or how he didn’t fit in? Just curious I didn’t see him much last year.

  • phaneufoundlander

    Bruffins fuck Gorges, all he does is whine after every loss anyway…I’m delighted he declined, he’s overrated anyway…just a plugger who blocks lanes and shots, Gleason is just as good….and the Leafs are trying to develop a core that doesn’t turn the puck over and Gorges is horrible at that….not to mention slow. Franson should also send him a thank you text….

  • dlb Mad

    i think Franson’s going to have good year, here or somewhere.  but yes, if here…he’ll play well.
    – cubic zirconia ball

  • barjv01

    dlb Mad I thought Franson was going to have a really good season last year. I thought wrong.

  • dlb Mad

    Bruffins 
    MTL fans seem to have a rival with BOS and they tend to dismiss  TOR like a gnat.
    so instead of coming to a rival, maybe he felt he was being sent to a laughing stock

  • Loric76

    Anyone in a managerial or otherwise leadership role ever do the personality colors test for yourself or any of your staff?  We had to do it a while back and it was surprising how many otherwise perfectly logical people made decisions based on emotion rather than logic and reason.

    Gorges could be one of these people.

  • Murph2417

    I’m excited to see the mixture of lineups we can try, such a different feeling than last summer with almost no depth available for injuries.

  • Bruffins

    dlb Mad
    keeping Franson means moving Dion to the left side which I really really don’t want to happen

  • Murph2417

    Loric76 We did them in college last year yes, I could see that being a reason

  • dlb Mad

    barjv01
    first two games of the year he looked awesome.
    there was one other two-game-stretch (haha) where he looked equally great.  not good.  great.
    the rest of the time he was barely ok.
    tough to be optimistic, i know.

  • Loric76

    Murph2417 Loric76 I have too many emotional ninnies working for me lol

  • dlb Mad

    Bruffins
    or moving Polak, Franson or Robidas to the left side

  • Bobsyouruncle

    dlb
    Valiev can’t go to the AHL at 19. I think Morrison is misunderstood in the video. He is talking about options in a years time, not now. He’s not overage until 2015/16.

  • dlb Mad

    Murph2417 
    if we had this lineup last year we’d still have Marlies “too young” for a callu-up as opposed to this year.  last year was a real big growth year for Leivo, Carrick, Kozun, Granberg and others.
    so as much as we have some flex this year, we also have more options for injury replacement.  potential, that is.

  • Xxxxxnew

    He looked totally lost in the games I saw him. He started off on the top line and just didn’t fit, couldn’t anticipate plays and had a hard time against other top lines. There were two games in a row around the end of November where he was a giveaway machine and cost the Kings a game. He was going entire games with a shot on net. I didn’t see all of his games but in the papers out here Kings assistant coaches were quoted as saying the team couldn’t take chances on him playing at critical times in the game. They also said he couldn’t compete for a spot in the bottom six because they had better guys in that role. Eventually Jordan Nolan was playing more minutes and Frattin was a healthy scratch for almost 40 games.

  • dlb Mad

    Bobsyouruncle 
    i definately took it the wrong way.
    why the fuck would he be talking about 2015/16?  that makes zero sense.

  • NinetyThree

    Bruffins what did they do during the original 6 era where everyone was a rival? sorry but I feel Gorges is misguided with this issue. Regardless it’s done so oh well.

  • Bobsyouruncle

    dlb Mad  He was asked how far away he is.

  • Xxxxxnew

    John Ferguson would never have played for Toronto. He refused to speak to any Leafs during the off season.

  • Loric76

    barjv01 dlb Mad that’s what happens when you miss training camp.  Once the season starts it’s too late, you’re constantly a step behind.

  • wiski

    dlb Mad Bruffins bingo

  • dlb Mad

    Bobsyouruncle
    well there’s plenty of room for Marshal then still

  • Loric76

    dlb Mad Bruffins don’t mess with your shiny new toys.  Get rid of the less shiny old one (Franson) and be done with it

  • dlb Mad

    Loric76
    and get another shiny new one

  • Bobsyouruncle

    dlb Mad
    You’re not fitting in here.  
    Go back to the last thread and wait til you’re call for.

  • Marlies Man

    Bobsyouruncle dlb Mad  Play hard and you’ll be recalled in no time.

  • barjv01

    Xxxxxnew Thanks! Worse than I hoped to hear though.

  • ShiftyD

    Loric76 barjv01 dlb Mad Speaking of that I similarly think that 10 game suspension mixed with the new big$$ contract and playing in front of the crowd at home for your boyhood team was just too much for Clarkson to process last year.

    I’m reasonably certain he will be more the guy we thought we were signing

  • Loric76

    ShiftyD Loric76 barjv01 dlb Mad so he’ll be a 3m player this year then? :)

  • NinetyThree

    Xxxxxnew exactly and some of these players were still traded…part of the sport.

  • Loric76

    dlb Mad Loric76 absolutely.  Can’t be fickle without a instant gratification

  • newkb

    Back from the trailer…..damn…10 days of woodland and water bliss plus late night jam sessions.  Could definitely live there for the summer.  Like the Leafs moves more than horribly overpaying just to keep the status quo.

  • Xxxxxnew

    You never know. Leafs obviously see something. I remember the big criticism with the Leafs was he had to play a more physical game to get involved and be effective. Maybe he can recapture that aspect

  • Loric76

    newkb welcome back.  Wait till you see what Nonis did

  • newkb

    Loric76 newkb  He’s still GM?  Back to the woods….

  • barjv01

    Loric76 ShiftyD barjv01 dlb Mad I’d take that over last years shitshow.

  • ShiftyD

    Loric76 ShiftyD barjv01 dlb Mad 3.5….

  • Xxxxxnew

    Well, back then there was no such thing as free agency. You were owned by a team from the time you played junior hockey.