Friday, May 29, 2015
Authors Posts by Gus Katsaros

Gus Katsaros

Gus is the McKeen's Hockey Director of Analytics & Pro Scouting and has been writing at MLHS since 2009.

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    I often have to deal with a lot of commentary that seems when the Leafs skid, becomes more and more of the ‘I told you so’ variety. I don’t get many ‘hey great job’ comments when things are going well, however. With this six-game funk, there’s a boatload. But a couple made me think about why Schenn should be a candidate to sit on Saturday night.

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      Well, it’s official .. the most prolific scoring Maple Leafs player is officially retiring:

      Read the TSN story here

      When should the Leafs honor him? Tomorrow night? The 13th game this season? Should they at all?

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        The big news of the day, which turns out to be nothing, really, was the absence of Jonas Gustavsson from practice. Ron Wilson addressed the situation, talked about the goaltending situation, Matt Stajan and hinted on lineup additions for tomorrow in the final day of training camp.

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          It is unfortunate that I must formally announce the death of a beloved ideology by a faction of Leafs Nation. Actually, it’s not unfortunate … it’s about time, really …

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            Leafs coach, Ron Wilson made it clear, Nazem Kadri will not be getting a nine-game audition this season, just to be sent down to the OHL London Knights. Answering questions in the media scrum after the scrimmage at training camp in the Mastercard Centre of Hockey Excellence, Wilson was adamant about being against an audition for the young pivot. In order to stick with the Leafs, the 1st round pick in the 2009 draft will have to beat out one of Mikhail Grabovski, or Matt Stajan for a top-6 role in order to stick, and as of Wilson right now, both are ‘way ahead’ of Kadri for a spot at the moment.

            Kadri will get every opportunity to earn a top-6 spot, but unless he completely overwhelms, expect to see him in London for the entire season.

            More notes from Training Camp, Day 2.

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              The Maple Leafs began on-ice workouts today at their new practice facility, the Mastercard Centre for Hockey Excellence.

              I’ve been given credentials and was on site for the first day and will be attending all three days of on ice practice.

              The following are a series of notes from Day 1 …

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                It took me the weekend to devour and fully appreciate the Maple Leafs Annual, after receiving it late last week. So many different perspectives and writing styles between pieces don’t flatter the sheer magnitude of what’s actually been accomplished here and how much I believe Leafs fans will love the entire publication.

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                  Last season in a draft, I chose Evgeni Nabokov for an H2H league organized by James Mirtle. It seemed early, but I had reasons. To win in fantasy GMs must find an edge using unconventional analysis and strategy.

                  That’s what I try to do.

                  Facts don’t lie and I liked Nabokov (and Backstrom from Minnesota) better than any goalie last season. It’s also why Tim Thomas ranked higher. This season both Nabby and Thomas weren’t ranked as high. Maybe the Bruins and Sharks struggle this season.

                  Why? Find out here.

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                    The window dwindles. And so what?

                    I’m not a proponent of trading the smooth skating 31-year-old Czech native, yet not inflexible to believe the right offer would send him packing. Not so much due to lessened mobility, but because of the skill set he delivers and the fact there are other solutions that retain his services, yet keep the rebuild’s momentum.

                    But what’s the rush? What happened to the rebuild? Why all of a sudden is there a heightened sense of urgency in turning this ship around and would Kaberle bring the elite forward for the rebuild? What about drafting and development?

                    Fans clamored for a proper rebuild, understood it takes time to accomplish that, yet threw that out with a few well-placed signings. Turn around time seems to have gone from long term, to quick, fast, do it all now and get rid of that Kaberle to do so!

                    Assuming the only option to improve the club is by trading Kaberle alone is not entirely accurate. There are other alternatives.

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                      Yes, I know … it’s been a looooong time since I’ve posted anything here, but there is reason, and not because it’s off season. You’ll see a lot more frequent postings moving forward.

                      I’ve been working on the fantasy staple, McKeen’s Annual Hockey Pool Yearbook, writing up player scouting notes for about a dozen players each for all 30 teams.

                      Just finished up with my predictions for the NHL and thought it would a good discussion point for Leafs fans. The predictions process is a team effort for the Yearbook, but these were my contributions for the Maple Leafs next season.

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                        A short one, but I simply couldn’t resist this … I heard Greg Brady from AM640 mentioning something like this, but until I actually saw it, I didn’t believe it would be as funny.

                        Just click on the link below.

                        Hitler Doesn’t Like Heatley

                        [email protected]

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                          Justin Pogge
                          Justin Pogge

                          Newest goaltending consultant to the Leafs, Francois Allaire, father of the modern butterfly with exceptional credentials including working with Patrick Roy, Brian Hayward, as well as the guy who morphed Guy Hebert into an All Star in 1997 and J.S. Giguere. Most recently he worked with Ducks back up-turned-starter, Jonas Hiller to backstop the Ducks to a seven-game Round 2 of the 2008-09, Stanley Cup Playoffs.

                          Fine credentials indeed, but what can he do with the batch of Leafs goaltenders?

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                            Scouting service, McKeen’s Hockey Prospects released their 2009 Final Rankings, in conjunction with their 2009 Draft Guide which includes exclusive content and scouting reports on the top 90 draft eligible players. Patrick King, of Sportsnet familiarity talked about the draft in a Q and A session.

                            Following suit with the likes of the Redline Report and ISS, John Tavares was not listed at number one. NHL Central Scouting doesn’t release a consolidated rankings, ranks are broken down by North American and International, with Goaltenders ranked independant from Skaters.