Sunday, May 24, 2015
Authors Posts by Gus Katsaros

Gus Katsaros

119 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Gus is the McKeen's Hockey Director of Analytics & Pro Scouting and has been writing at MLHS since 2009.

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    The interview between league Commissioner, Gary Bettman, on Toronto radio station, FAN590 segment “The Game Plan” featuring Doug Maclean and Jack Armstrong, was a first hand look at the battle the relocation to Hamilton has become. Stating that after Jim Balsillie’s attempts at hijacking the Nashville Predators to Hamilton, the commish indicated he sat down with the billionaire outlining what it would take to become an NHL owner.

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      This proposed offer to purchase the struggling Phoenix Coyotes by Jim Balsillie may be a better possibility this time around. It may seem impossible to fathom another NHL club so close to its flagship franchise, the Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres, but it’s not jurisdiction that’s at the heart of the issue here.

      It’s the salary cap, revenue and a return to the dead puck era.

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        There’s the notion that signing Christian Hanson and Tyler Bozak and other College Free Agents allows the Buds to trade off other picks, perhaps even to move up in the draft.

        The justification is having signed these free agent Collegians fills roster spots allowing them to maneuver around the draft, possibly even moving up to land a Hedman or Tavares at the number one or two spot.

        (My take is forgetting either of them and draft Brampton Battalion forward, Matt Duchene, but that’s a blog for another day.)

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          With Files from Gil Brown

          The current point system is most equitable for playoff races in January and individual franchise marketing, beginning as early as midseason.

          Part of the logic behind Detroit Red Wing’s GM Ken Holland’s proposal, shot down in GM meetings in Naples, Florida in March, to change the season ending tie-breaking measures from Wins, to Regulation Wins is incentive for teams to get the job done in 60-minutes.

          It’s about motivation, from puck drop in October through to April. But the current point system has greater connotations for marketing games, ticket sales and shaping the playoff race, the biggest issues for owners.

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            Editted **
            What? You were expecting Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin to top the leading scorers in March? Well then. You’d be wrong … sort of. AO actually was tied at the top with another player.

            Yes, Sid the Kid (11-6-12-18) ranked near the top of the list, tied with Ottawa’s Jason Spezza (14-8-10-18). Meanwhile, the Great 8, (12-8-11-19) scored two more than Sid, and two more than the NHL scoring leader for the month of March.

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              With Files from Gil Brown

              Brian Burke doesn’t take credit for the Maple Leafs drafting Luke Schenn 5th overall in 2008, but he’s sure glad they did.  Under different circumstances, which we’ll get into over a series of posts, Burke’s Ducks would have been in the mix for the Saskatoon native at the 2008 draft.

              Fortune shined on the blue and white allowing them to trade up to 5th overall pick.  There was an associated cost from their original seventh spot, but the end result is a potential future Maple Leafs captain of the Scott Stevens mold.

              Unbelievable as it seems; perhaps, even laughable, Schenn, could have been wearing Ducks colors.

              The story doesn’t begin in Anaheim, however.  It starts in Edmonton.

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                A message to those disappointed in yesterday’s anti-climactic outcome:

                Stop expecting the big deals (except Kaberle, see below). Watch the small things in the context of the big picture. Yesterday may not have been ideal, but it symbolically stamped the new regime in Toronto as legit. No more stop gap solutions.

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                  Just a quick note as this is a busy time for everyone. I’m inundated with a multitude of fantasy-related issue with the trade deadlines in individual leagues.

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                    The craft of writing fiction requires an author’s innate ability to capture – and maintain – the reader’s attention. It’s sleight of hand – or pen in this instance, with twists and turns deciphering an ending not envisioned by the reader. The process takes vision, vivid imagination, a well scripted story line and ‘sleight of pen’ to playfully mislead readers into a perceived outcome, while planting thoughts and doubts that in the end make for a fantastic story.

                    It happens in the hockey world, too, and might be happening to Leafs fans currently. It could be a main factor in drafting Victor Hedman over John Tavares in the 2009 draft.

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                      During my monthly fantasy hockey segments on Sportstalk Weekends with Rick Quinton on CKNW in Vancouver the fantasy scene always spills into analysis of real world NHL. Last night, with the segment winding down, knowing I’m from Toronto, the ultra-smooth basso-voiced host asked the question seemingly plaguing Leafs Nation.

                      Hey, B, where are the trades? Leafs Nation expected a roster overhaul with Brian Burke formally handed the keys to the franchise. So far, nothing.

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                        Delving deeper into the hockey world, interacting with players, coaches and organizational personnel, I’ve learned a big lesson.

                        We’re dealing with people.

                        Guess what; fans are people, too.

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                          In October 2008, a reporter set the Barilkosphere into a tizzy with a certain writing. The intention was simple, a deliberately cruel finger pointing at Leafs Nation.

                          The backlash was tremendous, and it inspired Pension Plan Puppets to trigger a massive response to the piece. It shows the unifying force behind the internet, allowing fans the opportunity to voice dissent.

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                            I know, you’re worried about value for Vesa Toskala and Tomas Kaberle. Well, don’t. Their recent performance(s) are killing their market value, right?

                            No. Market forces and low-ball offers may hinder dealing them now, but as the trade deadline approaches, true value is more likely for the Buds. And that’s good, because both players are underperforming.

                            Being in full evaluation/negotiation mode in fantasy leagues, posturing for position and propping up a sagging roster, it got me to thinking about reality-based trade evaluation, and how appraisals are distorted by current production .. or lack thereof.

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                              Former Maple Leafs captain, Mats Sundin may have inadvertently helped the Toronto Maple Leafs rebuilding effort. In signing with the Vancouver Canucks, Sundin may have already given Toronto the inside track at a piece Vancouver lacks to make them a contender in the West. That player presently wears blue and white. Tomas Kaberle.