Toronto Maple Leafs general manager, Dave Nonis, has admitted that the franchise is ready to make a few waves during the off-season in a bid to assemble a squad that will be a real force next season.
As the Boston Bruins continue their playoff run, Nonis will be well aware that it really could/should be Toronto looking to challenge for the Stanley Cup instead. If it had not had been for a spectacularly blown three-goal lead in the third period of the crucial Game 7 against the Bruins, the Leafs would have pulled off the shock victory and progressed.
As it is though, Nonis must strengthen a squad still reeling from a dramatic season climax. With NHL betting pundits linking the Leafs with players in nearly every position, Nonis has admitted Toronto will not be shy this off-season when it comes to trading players.
“My position hasn’t changed. We’re going to look to upgrade at every position. That doesn’t mean that we are unhappy with the people we have at centre at wing or in net, but I think it’s incumbent upon every team to look at what’s available,” admitted the Leafs’ general manager.
“We’ve talked about a number of players that are available in free agency that we think could help us. How our team looks after the draft will (determine the direction). The trade talks are heating up now, it’s just finding pieces that fit.”
Likely to be top of Nonis’ list will be Los Angeles Kings goaltender, Jonathan Bernier, who has been linked with a move to Toronto.
But that will just be the beginning of Nonis’ work this off-season. Strengthening nearly every area of the squad will be required if the Leafs are to shed their long odds for the Stanley Cup (Toronto are a 30/1 bet on NHL in the early season betting), and avoid the disappointment they have been forced to endure for so long now.
Toronto Marlies defeat the Oklahoma City Barons 6-5 in OT
The 9-6-0-1 Marlies (5th in the Western Conference) are in Wilkes Barre tonight to play the Penguins (7 p.m., AHL Live) before heading to Hershey for a 5 p.m. puck drop tomorrow.
From Clayton Hansler:
Ben Scrivens is to get the nod in goal marking the netminderâ€™s fifth straight start. Other lineup changes could see Korbinian Holzer and Greg McKegg draw out of the lineup as Simon Gysbers and Kenny Ryan are rotated in.
Mats delivered a killer speech in the city he plied his trade so magnificently for 13 seasons, dedicating his HHOF induction to everyone who supported him throughout his career:
Photo: The Toronto Star
MLHS member “Dangle_My_Berries” was in attendance at Ricoh Colesium yesterday as the Marlies took a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series with a 5-3 win over Oklahoma City. He has some thoughts for us:
“The game had a good hop to it from the get go, with everyone finishing their checks. It didn’t seem like there was much time and space available. OKC took momentum from the start of the game peppering Scrivens with some solid scoring chances but the keeper looked solid from the get go. After they shook off the rust a little bit Marlies started to push back, scoring some timely PP goals, and the team did a good job of gaining the zone and cycling the puck for offensive chances. Their PK is very effective as they pressure the puck holder and force mistakes.
Photo: Puck Daddy
I thought this was worth sharing for those that missed Slapper_Mike‘s post in last night’s post-game thread. Chin up, Leafs Nation.
I have gone through the 5 stages of grief with this Leafs team. It all started with the 3-2 loss to the Sens in January, and the subsequent 3-1 loss on HNIC to the Habs. Then, the 5-0 loss to the Habs a couple of weeks ago on HNIC. And then the Nash rumours, the February swoon, and the uneventful trade deadline…
Slapper_Mike’s Five Stages of Grief:
DENIAL – No, we are better than this. This is not happening to us! The refs have it in for us. If only he had not hit that post. Their goalie was lucky. Wait until MacArthur gets healthy. And Armstrong. Once Reimer rounds into form, we’ll be playoff-bound for sure.
Bored awaiting a Leafs trade that might never come? Over the age of 19, hanging out with friends on deadline day and looking for an excuse to get drunk?
MLHS user “mcloki” presents MLHS Deadline Bingo/Drinking Game cards. Below is a Brian Burke themed card along two others for the TSN (or Sportsnet if you rather it over “those f*ckers”) panels of broadcasters during their all-day coverage.
Photo: The Star
On February 5th, 2011, the second anniversary of his passing, Maple Leafs Hot Stove observed a day of silence on its forums in memory of Brendan and his legacy, and in support of his cause (more). For those wishing to make a contribution, Brian Burke has asked that donations go towards the Miami University Brendan Burke Memorial Scholarship. You can donate via paypal by clicking below. MLHS will be collecting donations and issuing a cheque to the Brendan Burke Memorial Scholarship.
You can also donate to the USA Hockey Brendan Burke Internship here.