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." [more…]
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.
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 a piece of their defensive depth in Keith Aulie for young forward Carter Ashton, a 29th overall selection in 2009. [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.
In addition to the trade speculation, adÂ nauseamÂ analysis of what could happen is the natural side effect when the trade deadline nears. Itâ€™s never a matter of hearing of a certain rumor, then waiting to see how everything unfolds. In fact, during this silly part of the season we usually analyze a trades that never comes to fruition more than those that actually become reality. Thatâ€™s the beauty of the deadline. We can analyze and discuss all we want because the speculation and rumors are endless.
Time to touch on the recent swirl of Rick Nash speculation. First, a little background according to what Iâ€™ve heard and read â€“ Nash had supposedly become available in Columbus in late-January. All still speculation, general manager Scott Howson eventually broke the ice, stating that heâ€™s â€˜listeningâ€™. Going in accordance with immediate speculation, Toronto was reportedly interested, and now we have numerous, probably unnecessary analyses of a possible move here. [more…]
Junior wraps up the MLHS 'Memories of Mats' series:
On June 28th of 1994, Cliff Fletcher, the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, traded Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson and a first round draft choice to the Quebec Nordiques for Mats Sundin, Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner and a 1st round draft choice.
I resolved that day to hate that bastard Sundin forever.
I was 27 years old and had been a Leaf fan all my life.Â I can remember the Dave Keon posters my Dad hung for me on my bedroom wall, around about the time I was starting kindergarten; inspiration for a smallish six year old wondering whether a little guy could play hockey against bigger opponents.Â When I got a bit older, and Keon had been lost to the WHA, Darryl Sittler was the Leaf player I focussed on, curly hair flying as he racked up his ten point night, suiting up with the game's best on Team Canada - and beating the Czechs in the Canada Cup.Â I liked those players well enough, but my admiration for them couldn't hold a candle to the way I felt about Wendel Clark. [more…]
You could see it, feel it â€“ even hear it. It was the complete overtime game-winning-goal experience, and in the playoffs, no less. Their first round opponent was the Ottawa Senators. It was here, in this newfound playoff rivalry, that the Battle of Ontario was truly born. And by the searing power of our Captainâ€™s blade, it roared off to a memorable start.
Game 1. The Senators were second seed in the standings and the apparent favourites, but the Leafs â€“ on the back of their oft-underappreciated gem of a leader â€“ fought out a tight 0-0 tie into overtime. Steve Thomas executed a fairly textbook give-and-go at the Ottawa blueline. As he dished the puck to his Swedish linemate and dashed toward the net, Thomas couldnâ€™t see Sundin step forward and take what has to be one of the most interesting shots Iâ€™ve ever seenâ€¦ [more…]
With 987 points in 981 games as a member of the Maple Leafs, Mats Sundin created his fair share of memories for Toronto fans. While most can recall where they were when he achieved many of the moments of greatness which will long live in the lore of Leafs' history, few can recall either his first goal or first assist in a Toronto uniform.
At the NHL draft in 1994, Cliff Fletcher shocked the Leafs' fanbase with a blockbuster deal that sent fan favorite Wendel Clark, stalwart blueliner Sylvain Lefebvre, prospect Landon Wilson and the Leafs' 1st round pick to Quebec for the then-23 year old Sundin, veteran defender Garth Butcher and the Nordiques' 1st round pick.Â The Leafs subsequently dealt the Nordiques' pick, along with winger Rob Pearson, to Washington for veteran centre Mike Ridley and the Capitals' 1st round pick.
Since I didn't have a chance to watch many Leaf games in Crotia prior to 2004 (ones I caught were on satellite TV on a German program called DSF and tapes I got from virtually everywhere â€“ thatâ€™s how I got to see Gilmour and Clark), I took every opportunity to watch Leaf players play international hockey. Occasionally, our national television took pity on us hockey fans and gave us World Championship games, like the quarterfinal in 2003, which featured Sweden and Finland in Helsinkiâ€™s Hartwall Areena.
As you are well aware, Sweden and Finland are big hockey rivals. To add to the flavour, the 2003 World Championships were held in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere, all Finnish cities. Coming in you already knew it was going to be a really emotional game. It turned out to be one of the most memorable moments Iâ€™ve ever witnessed in hockey. [more…]
Mats announced that he would be exercising his no trade clause on February 25, 2008. Â It may not be a popularly shared sentiment at this time, but this decision should be considered one of the Swede's great moments as a Maple Leaf. Of course, it almost certainly won't be remembered as such, as it is one of the few contentious things Sundin did in his career in Toronto (perhaps the only contentious thing, aside from his January 2004 attempt to use a broken stick as a discus-like instrument of Swedish wrath and frustration).
Sundin made a difficult choice knowing that many would not understand it. Painfully aware that in a city like Toronto, many would also lash out at him for it. Â But as he said yesterday, loyalty was both his biggest strength and his biggest weakness. Â The Swedish centerman was loyal to a fault, literally.
What more can possibly be said about the way Mats got his 500th career goal? Slapper from the blue line? Check. Top corner snipe? Check. Third goal of the game, shorthanded, in overtime no less? You bet. In one of the biggest games of his career, Sundin performed with style. On a fairly disastrous 2006-07 Leafs squad, Sundin remained the sole bright spot of an aging core.
The game was a high scoring affair. As has so often been the case in Leafs games, defence was nowhere to be seen. Toronto would dominate most of the first, seeing vast stretches of time in the offensive zone on the cycle. Running into some penalty trouble, Calgary suffered the first goal against on a Tucker tally. Picking up a secondary assist on the goal was none other than Sundin. Not merely content with helping someone score, Sundin added his first goal of the night 7 minutes later. Sneaking into open ice near the side boards, Mats fired home a wrister as Calgary was caught sleeping. Number 498. [more…]
I am a young Maple Leafs fan, even around these parts. Not many know this, but I was born in 1995, and a Leaf fan from birth. Naturally, I donâ€™t remember the hard-fought series against the Sabres in the spring of 1997, and Iâ€™ve only seen video of Sundinâ€™s overtime winner against the then-powerhouse Senators in 2001. A year later though, I can say I truly started to bleed blue and white.
Only 7 years old at the time, I was slowly learning what it meant to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan from my father â€“ whoâ€™d been one (and still is) for over 30 years. I received my first Leafs jersey that year, the same white home sweater Sundin scored in against the Hurricanes in that bittersweet game six. I remember gathering around the television in the comfort of my own home for game one â€“ like we had for every playoff game that year â€“ with my father and I on one couch and my mother â€“ the farthest thing from a Leafsâ€™ fan â€“ sitting opposite from us. [more…]