Just some quick links to toss along.
The Leafs' season is over, but playoff prediction talk is starting to gear up. Right now we have a pretty good race in the East for the last playoff spot, but it looks as though the Caps should take it. The West is simply loony - Calgary, Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Jose are to the wire for those last two spots.
My prediction for the SC Final at the beginning of the season was Washington and Vancouver, but now I don't feel the same way. Looks like Pittsburgh and Vancouver could be the way to go. I'd like to see the Blues take it far, personally.
What are your predictions? Any team you'd like to see go on a good run now that the Leafs are in "look ahead to the draft" mode?
Tonight the Lupul-less Leafs lock up with the Penguins for the fourth time this season. It's a national broadcast on TSN and will also be streamed on TSN.ca. Toronto will be without Colby Armstrong as well, after he sustained a broken face in a fight with Dennis Seidenberg of the Bruins.
Heading into tonight's matchup the Leafs have a 2-0-1 record versus Pittsburgh so far this season. Unfortunately this doesn't seem like an ideal time to run into the Penguins.
Toronto Maple Leafs forwardÂ JoffreyÂ Lupul will be sidelined for three to four weeks with a separated shoulder.
Lupul suffered the injury after taking a check fromÂ DavidÂ Krejci in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Boston Bruins.
It's possible Lupul may not see much more action this season with Toronto's final regular-season game slated for April 7.
This is a tough shot to the Leafs' already thin playoff chances. I'm guessing that Lupul's potential return would depend on how the team plays in the next couple of weeks; it's doubtful they would push him to come back unless they're right back in the race again.
Shutting it down until next season may be the best move for Lupul who has also been experiencing a nagging wrist injury.
Lupul has 67 points in 66 games.
From the Leafs official PR account:
#Leafs announce forward Mikhail Grabovski has agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension.
Elliotte Friedman reports 5.5 million per season for Grabovski. The UFA market gets even thinner.
So what's the verdict? Too much, or just right? Have at it.
The Legion of Blog posts a weekly piece attempting to decipher what Don Cherry says on Saturday night's Coach's Corner segment. We're all aware that Grapes can say some pretty outlandish things from time to time, and whether you agree or disagree with him, the way it's all presented will often leave you saying "Don lost it on (fill in name, city, something)" immediately afterward.
I don't believe everything Cherry says is garbage. I've always thought his stance on getting rid of the military armor that players wear as hockey gear these days is right on. But there's usually a dose (or full onslaught) of foolishness we get to sit through every weekend on Hockey Night in Canada.
The Leafs are truly a hilarious team to follow right now. A couple weeks ago it was frustrating to watch them drop some games, but now things have gone to such an extreme that I'm not upset in the least.
The next four games are against Montreal, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia - a possible eight points. I'd be absolutely floored if the Leafs can come away with three. Managing to push one to overtime would be a minor miracle in itself it seems. The Leafs playoff chances have now plummeted to 11.1%. I think everyone should enjoy a good chuckle at the Leafs' expense this season, considering the Lightning and Sabres (both one point back of Toronto, with a game in hand) have been ridiculed so often. It's our turn to field some insults.
I'm still expecting things to turn around for this club at some point in March. To what extent remains unseen. It's likely that the Leafs let themselves go to ten points out then rip off a few at the end of the season to land in 9th, giving everyone one last laugh before the playoffs start. Perfect.
Links after the jump.
We're rolling over into our second thread for Trade Deadline updates. Here are some of the [more…]
Trade Deadline Day is finally upon us, and here at Hot Stove we've got things covered. Today we'll run a live blog that I'll be updating with any new trades that happen to go down. All across the country there will be eyes glued to networks and websites like TSN, Sportsnet, and the Score for a full 7 hours of coverage -- it isn't easy sitting around slamming coffee and eating like a pig all day, but I'll have to make the necessary sacrifices.
Just a quick tip before things get rolling: Â Today may be a good day for you to get a Twitter account if you haven't already. Oh, and have your bingo cards ready.
Once the first trades start to happen, they will show up here, so hit refresh once in a while.
1:22 - Nabokov mulling over a contract. Not expected to be moved regardless. Lebrun says Montoya is being shopped by the Islanders.
12:55 - Nick Schultz dealt from the Wild to the Oilers for Tom Gilbert. Trade count: three.
12:45 - Commodore traded to Tampa for a conditional 7th round pick (who cares). Total trade count so far; two.Â McKenzie had this to say: "Popular theory: DAL is holding up a lot of teams. Many in on Steve Ott and not looking elsewhere until that's resolved."
12:40 - Burke tells TSN and Sportsnet that deadline could very well pass without a move from the Leafs. Ferraro and McGuire on TSN point to Burke's ability to manipulate the market a little with these types of comments - both believe the Leafs get something done before the deadline.
12:08 â€“ Aaron Portzline in Columbus reports that the Jackets have had up to 15 offers on a number of players. Kypreos confirms Clitsome claimed by the Jets.
11:50 â€“Â Ryan Rishaug of TSN had this to say: â€œSense out of one NHL war room is the Nash situation is causing a massive holdup in other deals. If that drops, dam breaks?â€
11:20 - Burke tells Sportsnet that he doesn't expect to address the goaltending situation today.
11:15 - Tony Ambrogio at Sportsnet reports that Burke turned down an offer for Reimer
11:09 - Dreger reports that another NHL GM has said that Grabovski is in play. Bruins are in on Oduya in Winnipeg, and Jones in Colorado.
11:05 - Looks like the Red Wings are trying to add Paul Gaustad
10:55 - Kypreos reports that Nash will not waive his NTC to go to the Predators. The Habs get a 2nd round pick for Kostitsyn, and cancel the 5th round conditional pick from the Gill trade.
10:23 - Kostitsyn to Nashville is done - RDS reporting. The Predators are rumored to have an offer in for Nash as well.
10:15 - Sportsnet reports that the Leafs have made an offer for Nash that includes Joffrey Lupul. McKenzie from TSN says there's a strong rumor about Andrei Kostitsyn going to Nashville.
10:00 - This was pointed out by Dreger earlier on air; the Sharks apparently offered up Niemi to the Flyers for Van Riemsdyk. Turned down.
9:30 - Dreger and company at TSN mention Jason Garrison and P.A. Parenteau as players that could be on the move - not sure either would garner any interest from the Leafs. Ryan White's name out there too. I like him.
It appears as though the price for Rick Nash has climbed to an unattainable level for some clubs, including even the most aggressive of all; the New York Rangers.
Darren Dreger had this to say only a few minutes ago:
Hard to blame NYR for not blowing up team to make Nash trade. For sake of deadline, let's hope CBJ softens to keep possibility of trade open.
NYR wasn't willing to pay price established for Nash prior to today + today CBJ asked for more than they were originally after
Now, I'm not sure if this indicates that the Rangers' most current offer was matched and Howson went back to Sather to see if he wanted to go even higher. But that could be the case as it appears there are still others out there who remain interested in Nash.
A few quick updates today; the Leafs have recalled Matt Frattin from the Marlies, Rosehill has been assigned to the AHL club, and Darryl Boyce did not clear waivers and was claimed by the Columbus Blue Jackets - this news coming from Darren Dreger over Twitter.
On the Nash front, the Rangers have sent Wojtek Wolski to the Florida Panthers in a salary dump move, so it looks like they're getting close to landing the big winger. The rumored price out there now looks like Del Zotto or McDonagh, along with a 1st round pick and prospect Tim Erixon. It's unclear as to whether the Leafs are in on this bidding, but that price seems too high anyway so let's hope not.
We'll pass along more updates throughout the day if anything else goes down.
It's no surprise that after news broke of Dustin Brown's availability in the trade market, he's been the new topic of conversation heading into the last weekend before the deadline. As the captain of the Kings and a member of the American Olympic squad, Brown has a pretty big profile and manageable cap hit, making him an obvious target for most teams.
Bob McKenzie had this to say about who looks interested right now:
BOS, BUF, EDM, NJD, NYR, PHI, TOR, VAN are amongst teams with high levels of interest in Brown.
So we know there is plenty of interest, and many of the clubs involved are also rumored to be in on Nash. It's no surprise that the Leafs are involved with Burke stating that he wants to add some physicality to the top six. Brown hits everything he sees.
It's a game day for the Leafs, as they welcome the San Jose Sharks to the ACC. Of course Leafs fans everywhere will be looking for an important win tonight as the team tries to collect as many points as possible during this home stand, but perhaps the biggest focus will be on goaltending. Jonas Gustavsson's gaffe in overtime on Tuesday night has sent the entire fanbase into a bit of a panic, not so much about the current standings, but because the Leafs are getting some rotten goaltending heading into the final stretch here. It's basically the exact opposite of last season with the way things are playing out.
Burke made it known on TSN Radio yesterday evening that the Leafs have decided to at least explore the goaltender market and see what's out there. Probably a good idea.
The Leafs got a little help from the Senators last night, as their win kept the Capitals in scramble mode and away from the final playoff spot. It seems like Toronto, despite this horrendous skid, are one of the luckiest teams in the league right now while still clinging (and I mean, really, clinging) to that number eight slot.
Links after the jump.