Home 2013 Leafs Training Camp
The Leafs took a 3-2 decision in tonight’s preseason match on a late scrappy goal by Dave Bolland (he’s good at those). There was some injury concerns after Nazem Kadri blocked a shot with one of his patented nifty mittens, but early reports indicate it is just a bruise.
Jesse Blacker and Tyler Biggs will join Marlies training camp after getting released from the Leafs training camp roster today.
The Leafs dropped a 4-3 shootout decision to the Philadelphia Flyers in a sloppy second game of preseason. Remarkably, Phil Kessel took 6 minutes worth of aggressive stick infractions.
Photo: By MLHSer mcloki
The Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre this evening in the second game of a preseason back-to-back. They won the 1st game in London, 4-3.
The Leafs kicked off preseason with a 4-3 win over the Flyers.
Of course, you shouldn’t read too far into game one of the preseason with only three or four regulars playing for the Leafs, but it is fun to get a look at the likes of Gauthier, Rielly, Leivo and other youth playing all situations hockey at a higher level.
Thanks to Tony Ambrogio aka tips for telling me today’s 10 a.m. practice was at 9 a.m. All good, he was there at the same time and we were both confused.
Photo: Maple Leafs Hot Stove.com
As we filed into the arena today, it was mentioned that Lupul would be out again (back spasms) and that Phil Kessel would be returning home for a funeral for the passing of his Grandfather. Other absentees were Matt Finn and Colton Orr (leg bruise, one week).
Photo: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press
As training camps opened this week, the last of the RFAs have begun to re-sign with their clubs. Most notably, Leaf phenom Nazem Kadri signed a two year pact that will pay him $2.9-million per season. A hundred or so miles down the road, the Buffalo Sabres locked up their star RFA centre Cody Hodgson to a six-year deal at $4.25-million per year.
Last season, Kadri had a stellar 44 points in 48 games; Hodgson had a good but not great 34 in 48 games. For their careers, Kadri has a .636 points per game average (63 points in 99 games played) compared to Hodgson’s .554 (73 pts in 139 GP). So why does Hodgson get $20-million and four years more than Kadri?
Photo: The Globe and Mail
It was fun to be back at the arena again to see all of the familiar faces and some of the new ones. The Leafs were split into two teams/practice squads (Team A and Team B, very creative) that took over the ice on the Leafs rink and the Marlies rink.
Photo: Nathan Denette/Canadian Press
An interesting development in the Cody Franson contract talks today, one that seems to explain the reported desire from Franson’s camp to sign a one-year contract for the second summer in a row. Darren Dreger is reporting that the Leafs are not willing to give Franson the one-year contract he’s asking for as the negotiations sit idle with camp underway.
If Dreger’s information is accurate, this is an interesting case where the Leafs appear to actually want to bridge a player to unrestricted free agency rather than renegotiate with him as an RFA in an off-season where the team has a whack of important players on expiring contracts. The fear on Nonis’ behalf is that a one-year contract puts the Leafs in a situation where they could easily lose Franson next off-season, when the Leafs are vulnerable (may not be able to afford him, and he could file for arbitration).
Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press
Training camp opens today (physicals/media day), and one half of the dark cloud lurking over this awesome time of year in Leafland has been cleared up and squared away.
No surprises, unless inviting pretty much every member of the organization plus the rookie camp invitees and Mason Raymond is a surprise. Among the undrafted and unsigned are Matt Rupert, Zachary Yuen, Trevor Murphy and Kevin Raine. Raymond is the lone attendee on a PTO.
Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson are on the roster, of course, but will likely not attend tomorrow unless something changes with their contract situations. The players will do their physicals and meet with the media tomorrow before their first on-ice sessions on Thursday at 9 a.m. at the Mastercard Centre.
I’ve become known as a bit of a Kadri sympathizer in comment section debates on the Nazem Kadri contract negotiation. I’ll make this clear: I do not blame Dave Nonis and Claude Loiselle for the essence of what they’re trying to accomplish with the negotiation. Kadri’s situation is far from unique when it comes to high profile RFAs, both past (see below) and present (Stepan, Pietrangelo).
The Leafs wrapped up what was a pretty good weekend by imploding in the third period and losing handily, but that doesn’t take away from some of the positives that were shown overall.
There were some youngsters who had good weekends, others who had very good weekends, and a few who struggled. In other news, the Leafs also have a new player coming to training camp in Mason Raymond.
You know hockey is back when there are actual relevant games and players to talk about all of a sudden. Here are some scattered thoughts on the weekend that was:
A testament both to a sinking cap ceiling and a fall in the player’s stock, former 25 goal scorer in 2009-10 Mason Raymond went without a contract offer this summer (or at least, he went without one he was willing to sign). The GM who drafted him in the second round in 2005 (Nonis) has invited him to Leafs training camp on a Professional Tryout Agreement.
Update: More reports of exorbitant long term contract demands from Kadri have been denied by Nazem himself on Twitter. Just as David Alter did, Bob McKenzie stuck by his source and replied by asking Naz to clear the air with some specifics on his contract demands.
Headlined by first round draft selections Tyler Biggs (2011), Stuart Percy (2011), Morgan Rielly (2012) and Frederik Gauthier (2013), the Maple Leafs’ 2013 prospect tourney roster features one member from the 2008 (Andrew MacWilliam) and 2009 (Jamie Devane) draft classes and then four prospects from each subsequent draft class since 2010.
Awesome news as we filtered into the MCC this morning: the Blue vs. White Scrimmage is on!
MLHS rinkside reporter canucksnaphook with your Tuesday report from Leafs camp.
Canucksnaphook, aka MLHS’ Jonas Siegel, was on the scene today at Leafs practice and has notes, pictures and a little video for you lucky sons’a'guns after the jump.