Declan came onboard for MLHS in 2011, combining forces with his old website and MLHS into what you see today. A life-long Leaf fan who counts his favourite player as Wendel Clark. A self-employed entrepreneur, he works in the web development area with an Internet Marketing focus.
Follow the main MLHS acct here: Maple Leafs HotStove
According to Darcy Regier, “The NHL Amateur Draft produces, on average, 54 players [who play at least 80 NHL games in their career] a year — 1.8 per team — I think.”
Think about that. Only 54 players per draft play at least 80 NHL games. That means Mike Zigomanis qualifies as one of those “NHLers.”
The draft is a time for many things: hope, optimism, change, but perhaps most importantly (and foolishly) it is a time for false belief. Fans, especially fans of teams who are struggling, look at the draft and expect so much from it. The truth is though, if you draft one really good NHL player, you’ve done well. If you draft two solid NHLers, you’ve done above average. Three? Well, that’s basically a special draft all things considered.
So if you’re apart of the Leafs organization and waking up this week, you have to feel pretty good about a draft that netted you two players that you (and many others) ranked as first rounders, especially when one is a guy you ranked first overall (more on that below).
While I had begun to sour somewhat on Schenn’s potential last season, it was a little odd to wake up this morning and remember #2 was now a member of an organization not named the Toronto Maple Leafs. Schenn was celebrated as the first pillar of the Leafs’ rebuild when Cliff Fletcher drafted him in 2008. Many a fan bought his jersey. Some said we had future captain material in Luke. Few would’ve predicted Schenn would be with a new organization before he turned 23.
I’m not going to call Schenn’s rookie season a mirage, but it was somewhat of a tease. We heard Pierre McGuire call this guy a Human Eraser and we saw it with our own eyes when he stepped onto NHL ice as an 18-year-old and tossed a 245-pound Keith Tkachuk to the ice. What seems to have happened between the Schenn we knew then and the one Burke just traded was a combination of expectations heightening and his development traveling the trajectory of a more normal young defenceman, as opposed to the beyond-his-years beast we came to know him as in junior and very early on in his NHL career.
“There’s a chance we make a positional pick here but I don’t think so.”
Sounds like Burke will be sticking with the best-athlete available-philosophy and, as reported earlier, the Leafs GM says there’s a “good chance” it’s a defenceman based on his reading of the first four picks. Of course, the reading could be different than what plays out or a trade could impact the order.
Both Burke and Dave Nonis were quite clear about just how little is going on with trade activity at the moment.
After the jump is Dave Nonis’ interview from yesterday and today’s Leafs Nation Google+ live chat with Dallas Eakins. Be sure to look out for MLHS’ own Mislav Jantoljak, who asks Dallas a few questions.
Brian burke tells me that there’s a good chance they’ll pick a defenceman at 5th overall. Little movement possibility as of now.#tmltalk
Meanwhile, an RDS reporter has suggested the Montreal Canadiens may go with Finnish center Teuvo TerÃ¤vÃ¤inen, who has been doing the reverse-Grigorenko in the rankings the past few weeks, with the third overall pick. If true, that would shake up the order of the top 5.
How do you feel about using the fifth on a defenceman (Morgan Rielly), especially if say, Filip Forsberg, is still around?
The Montreal Canadiens officially announced that Rick Dudley will be joining the organization as Assistant General Manager. Maple Leafs General Manager, Brian Burke, negotiated that Dudley will join the Canadiens after the entry draft (June 22â€“23,Â 2012 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA). Upon leaving, Dudley had yet more kind words for the direction in which the Maple Leafs are headed.
The Toronto Marlies continue their playoff march towards the Calder Cup finals after disposing of the Abbotsford Heat in overtime of game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Despite not playing a great game, it was good enough to get them the victory. Abbostford were the moreÂ desperateÂ of the two teams and it showedâ€”Toronto was down 2-0 during the first period and being outplayed, for the most part.
In the 2nd and 3rd period, The Marlies slowly started to chip away at Abbotsford, and ultimately, it was a game that came down to special teams. The Marlies league leading penalty kill and improving powerplay were too much to for Abbotsford to handle.
The Toronto Marlies have a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference Semi-finals and look to deliver a “kill shot” to a team that had their number at the end of the regular season tonight in Abbotsford. The Marlies started the series well in game 1, but had a tough time beating Abbotsford’s goaltender, Danny Taylor. Once the Marlies were able to crack Taylor, The Marlies have had a relatively easy time with the Heat in this series, easily picking apart a team that plays a very heavy trap system. Ben Scrivens has been the talk of this series and has played exceptionally well.
Line up notes
Jesse Blacker is back in the lineup, replacing Matt Lashoff. On forward, David Broll is out, Kelsey Wilson is replacing him. Joe Colborne is still out with a bad finger injury to his middle finger.
Abbotsford Heat’s top regular season and playoff producers, Kris Kolanos, is back in after being a health scratch over ‘internal issues’. That could be an interesting story to follow.
The Marlies took a commanding 3-1 lead over the Abbotsford Heat in their Western Conference Semifinal series with a 3-1 win last night. Toronto now sits one win away from the Conference Finals. The Marlies benefited from an unlikely source of offense in Greg Scott, who scored a natural hat trick including a great shot at even strength, a short handed goal, and an empty netter. Scott, who has posted a surprisingly productive 74 points in 130 games over the past two seasons, garnered Matt Mistele’s attention in Game 2 as Matt praised his understated shot and energy level. With an ’88 birthdate, he shouldn’t be ruled out as a potential 4th line energy guy for the big club.
Goaltender Ben Scrivens has allowed three goals against in his last three games despite facing 95 Abbotsford shots to the Marlies’ 72 in that span (last night the Marlies were outshot 38-17). It’s a tough situation the Leafs are in here as the pending restricted free agent, who boasted the league’s lowest goals against average in the 2011-12 Â regular season, is providing ample proof he’s above the competition. Ideally Scrivens stays with the Leafs, despite no guarantee of increased NHLÂ opportunity,Â in order to continue to work with long-time mentor Francois Allaire throughout the season (he’s repeatedly credited Allaire for helping him get settled down into this playoff run). Scrivens is 25-years-old however, and beyond thinking about his own career and desire to take the next step, would not be waiver exempt under a new deal. His trade value to the Leafs may prove too useful to risk losing him for nothing.
Game 1 of the AHL Western Conference semifinals kicks off this evening with a well rested Toronto Marlies taking on the Abbotsford Heat. With the Marlies fresh off a sweep of division rivals, the Rochester Americans, they will need all the rest they can get. Should the series go beyond 5 games, both teams will have traveled across the country 3 times between Ontario and British Columbia. The series will be a 2-3-2 setup, with the Marlies having home ice advantage.
The Marlies went 2-1-1 against the Heat this season, but the Heat have won the teamâ€™s two most recent meetings.
But Toronto Marlies head coach Dallas Eakins says he won’t make too many changes to the team’s gameplan.
TSN is reporting that Roberto Luongo will be submitting a list of teams he will be willing to be traded to next week and that the Toronto Maple Leafs will be one of them. Likely in no small part due to Luongo’s summer goalie coach Francois Allaire working for the team, it appears Luongo would accept a trade to the Leafs should one formulate.
Speculation has beenÂ rampant since the Vancouver Canucks were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and had turned to backup netminder,Â Cory Schneider over Roberto Luongo in their series against the LA Kings. Luongo’s latest meeting with the press sounded and read much like an exit interview. Even before the Canucks’ playoffs were over, the official team website was announcing the start of the Cory Schneider era. The writing is indeed on the wall.
The question now becomes one of price. Let the fun begin.
The Roberto Luongo speculation found another gear yesterday with the revelation from the 33-year-old himself that he would accept a request to waive his no trade clause. The big questions that surround any possible move to Toronto remain whether or not Brian Burke would trade for a contract he wouldn’t sign himself Â (backsliding and by his definition cap circumventing), and whether or not Luongo sees Toronto as a desirable destination. With Schneider in need of a new deal, Luongo will surely be actively shopped, and the market can’t be huge considering it’s narrowed by two parameters: 1) not every team is in search for a goaltender, certainly not one with Luongo’s price tag, and 2) the fact that Luongo controls his own destiny. Should the Leafs be a desirable destination of Luongo’s, the price shouldn’t be unreasonably steep considering those various factors.
I’ve talked about this before, but Luongo is made a much more attractive option for the Leafs if Burke believes an amnesty provision is a likely addition within the new CBA. An amnesty provision similar to the NBA’s that is, which allows the purging of one contract from the cap at any point during the duration of the 10-year CBA. You could certainly argue that, given the lack of options, Luongo should be a target regardless.
Never knew that if you type ":L", the emoticon is apparently this face.
Photo: Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images
With Cory Schneider starting his second straight game in goal for the Vancouver Canucks last night, and winning, there are some in the Vancouver media who are saying Roberto Luongo may have played his last game as a Canuck. They also suggest Â that the Leafs, of all teams, should take a run at him.
Connecting the dots, it’s easy to see a fit. Toronto is inÂ desperate need for a veteran,Â bona fideÂ #1 goalie and there aren’t many that are available that meet the criteria. Luongo hasÂ impeccable pedigree and a lot of hardwareâ€”save for a Stanley Cupâ€”which makes him even more attractive than the current crop of available goalies. Cory Schneider has performed very well for the Canucks and in spite of all odds managed to wrestle the #1 position from Luongo. With Schneider’s contract expiring, the Canucks find themselves at a cross roads when it comes to the goaltending situation, and in light of recent events it could well be Luongo, not Schneider, Mike Gillis opts to move.
There are a few things that stand in the way of that: #1. Cap hit (5.33 million, in itself, not too bad). #2. Length of term (10 more seasons). #3. Value of (young) talent going back the other way. #4. The fact that Luongo’s contract, with his salary dipping to $1 million for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons which the 33-year-old will never play, is clearly a cap-circumventing deal by Burke’s own rules, insofar as he spoke out against them and suggested he wouldn’t ever sign one. The key question here being “would he trade for one?”
He’s certainly able to provide a balanced view after building championship teams twice this decade, with two different clubs (Tampa Bay, 2004 â€“ Chicago, 2009). Here’s his take on the Leafs, after less than one year on the job.
The Leafs will be picking first, fifth or sixth in the draft depending on the lottery result tonight. Obviously, the likelihood is that we stay put at fifth (74.7%).There’s a 17.2% chance we fall further back to sixth.
Cross every limb and hope we can overcome 91.8% worth of odds. The lottery airs tonight at 8 p.m. on TSN.
What more can possibly be said about the way Mats got his 500th career goal? Slapper from the blue line? Check. Top corner snipe? Check. Third goal of the game, shorthanded, in overtime no less? You bet. In one of the biggest games of his career, Sundin performed with style. On a fairly disastrous 2006-07 Leafs squad, Sundin remained the sole bright spot of an aging core.
The game was a high scoring affair. As has so often been the case in Leafs games, defence was nowhere to be seen. Toronto would dominate most of the first, seeing vast stretches of time in the offensive zone on the cycle. Running into some penalty trouble, Calgary suffered the first goal against on a Tucker tally. Picking up a secondary assist on the goal was none other than Sundin. Not merely content with helping someone score, Sundin added his first goal of the night 7 minutes later. Sneaking into open ice near the side boards, Mats fired home a wrister as Calgary was caught sleeping. Number 498.
I am a young Maple Leafs fan, even around these parts. Not many know this, but I was born in 1995, and a Leaf fan from birth. Naturally, I donâ€™t remember the hard-fought series against the Sabres in the spring of 1997, and Iâ€™ve only seen video of Sundinâ€™s overtime winner against the then-powerhouse Senators in 2001. A year later though, I can say I truly started to bleed blue and white.
Only 7 years old at the time, I was slowly learning what it meant to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan from my father â€“ whoâ€™d been one (and still is) for over 30 years. I received my first Leafs jersey that year, the same white home sweater Sundin scored in against the Hurricanes in that bittersweet game six. I remember gathering around the television in the comfort of my own home for game one â€“ like we had for every playoff game that year â€“ with my father and I on one couch and my mother â€“ the farthest thing from a Leafsâ€™ fan â€“ sitting opposite from us.