2011-12 Season

2011-12 Season

498

Thanks to Vintage Leaf Memories' Michael Langlois for stopping by to share some memories ahead of tomorrow's Alumni games, set to be played in Comerica Park at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on New Year's Eve. When Alec Brownscombe asked me if I was interested in developing a piece for MLHS about the Winter Classic Legends games, my first thought was: who is on the roster? Will I enjoy writing about these guys? As I jogged through the list of the “first” Leaf team, I didn’t see a lot of promise. Oh, they were all names of pretty solid...

176

Earlier this month, Maple Leafs Hot Stove was asked to contribute to Puck Daddy's National Hockey League of Nation Series. With the help of Michael Langlois from Vintage Leaf Memories, we identified who we felt was the best ever Leaf player to represent each of the major nationalities in the league:  Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. The results are after the jump. Note that the vast majority of Leaf greats could not be acknowledged in this list as we could pick only one Canadian. It would've been nice to pick two Swedes,...

1326

There’s still no movement on either Nazem Kadri or Cody Franson, and training camp is still about a month away, so it’s time for another clip show! The spin-o-rama has become a hallmark move in the NHL, even if it’s not without controversy.  Here’s the 5 best in blue in white at twisting and turning heads.   5. Nazem Kadri is really, really, really skilled.  Like damn skilled. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmmnOoE6u0I We’ll start of this clip show with a real beauty of a goal by Kadri during the 2011-2012 season.  Kadri passes off to Joffrey Lupul in the left wing corner and sneaks through to the...

370

So this week, I was going through another one of @MLHS_Mike’s fantastic write-ups and it brought back memories from my early 20s. Mind you, I’m not that old yet, but I’m getting there. I used to be a cook. I got to meet a lot of people in my line of work. Hockey players, baseball players, celebrities, and even a girlfriend I was with for most of my early 20s. But the memory I think fondly back on the most as a cook was meeting the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs team. I checked the dates and it appears to have...

445

From Conn Smythe’s likely-apocryphal quote, “If you can’t beat ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice” to Brian Burke’s tears for Colton Orr, the Toronto Maple Leafs have always encouraged fighting.  There’s not much to report on in Leaf land right now, and instead of lamenting unsigned RFAs and the cap woes, let’s take a look at some of oddest fights in Leaf history. The combatants are unusual, the results often surprising, and most of them leave one thinking fighting has no place in hockey (especially if you can’t fight).  But they’re all still pretty hilarious,...

323

The drought is over. I don't need to say much more than that. It's been a pretty awful nine years, but considering that we'll be tuning in to CBC for a Leafs playoff game next week, I think it's time to look back and exorcise some of the 2004-2012 Leafs' demons that we've hopefully talked about for the last time. Well, at least without crying our eyes out. This is part one, and the easy target would be the Dubeliewicz poke-check in 2007. But I'm not all about the glitz and glamor, and I'm going a little off the board first. I'm talking...

670

You often dream about things, things that are so far beyond your reach that you have a problem of thinking about them being more than just dreams. I am a hockey fan from Croatia, who wanted to write about the game and therefore, my biggest dreams consisted of being around the game with people who care about it as much as me. Be it writing, seeing things live, or learning the game. Of course, the biggest dream in a hockey fan's life is seeing the Holy Grail of hockey, the Stanley Cup. When Anže Kopitar won the Cup with the...

581

BigBadBoss' latest:

574

David Steckel John-Michael Liles

722

Joey Crabb Clarke MacArthur

1101

BigBadBoss has posted his latest video highlight package for the 2011-12 season, this one on Joffrey Lupul's resurgence. Be sure to check out his Jake Gardiner and Phil Kessel videos as well.

691

Cody Franson and James Reimer gave two of the more interesting interviews on locker clean out day. Watch them below. Additional interviews with Joey Crabb, Luke Schenn, Clarke MacArthur, Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and Tyler Bozak can be found here. Tomorrow Burke will hold the state-of-the-Leafs address we have all been waiting for, the first time the Leafs GM has addressed the media since the Wilson firing in early March. *** *** On a more uplifting note, BigBadBoss has put together a Phil Kessel 2011-12 highlight package:

181

A nice video package from "BigBadBoss" on arguably, with nods to the performances of Kessel and Lupul, the most positive revelation of the past season - Jake Gardiner. Enjoy:

479

For the early part of the season, when the Leafs were still planted in the playoff picture and the Oilers began to return to their rightful place at the bottom of the standings, there was plenty of debate over which team was truly on the right track to winning (seriously) again. Two popular Canadian clubs, two large fan-bases, and perhaps two of the most meticulous groups of bloggers and internet-y fans in the hockey world. The answer seemed pretty simple: give me the Leafs and their upswing (or so it seemed) with Burke over that joker Tambellini any day of...

242

While Brian Burke deserves much of the blame for the recent woes of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s also fair to point out that he didn’t exactly inherit a powerhouse.  The Leafs roster was in terrible shape when the big Irishman accepted the unsavory role of Maple Leafs president and general manager. Unfair expectations were placed on this current regime and miracles were expected overnight as he was quickly dubbed the ‘saviour of the franchise’.  Unfortunately, in the new cap-era NHL, a quick fix is nearly impossible and instead patience, money management and shrewd decision making is even more imperative. Is...

395

Being a Leafs fan is never easy (being a fan born in the early 80s is even worse). Oh, we have had a few shining moments over the past 25 years or so, but for the most part it has been pain, ridicule, frustration and heartbreak.  Even with the spotty track record over the last four decades Leafs Nation continues to grow and grow around Canada, the United States and even the across the globe (thanks to Mislav!). Having the biggest fan base in hockey is a blessing and a curse. With the great support also comes at times an...

604

How many different ways can you skin a cat? Rather, how many different ways can you look at the Mikhail Grabovski extension? "How is he making more money than Phil Kessel?" (At the time Phil Kessel signed his deal he was an RFA, not a UFA, and he was making a higher percentage of the salary cap than Grabovski currently is). "Blame the Oilers and Hurricanes for the money they gave Hemsky and Ruutu." "He would have got more on the open market." "Grabovski's never even recorded 60 points." "In five years will he be worth $5.5 million?" "How is he making more money than Ryan Kesler!?!?" On...

922

A worn-down looking Brian Burke explained what was obviously a personally excruciating decision to fire long time friend Ron Wilson and bring in Randy Carlyle. Some notes after the video. The wheels for this fire and hire were set in motion on Wednesday night, following the loss to the Capitals. Said Burke: "It would've been cruel and unusual punishment to make Ron coach another game in the Air Canada Centre." It won't come immediately, but it looks like we may finally see a team closer to the original "truculent" vision under Carlyle and Burke. Burke admits at one point that...

Brian Burke Fired

1396

A quiet deadline day has come and gone for Brian Burke and his staff. There was no move for goaltending, toughness up front, or Rick Nash today. Brian Burke's words in a Sportsnet interview early in the proceedings, where he seemed to show a oddly renewed sense of faith and confidence in James Reimer, were a good indication of things to come. It seemed to be a reflection of the temperature in trade negotiations; there wasn't much to his liking out there at a price he was willing to pay. The Leafs did make a move for the future, flipping...

1696

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:  Today may be a good day for you...