Analysis

Analysis

In-depth analysis of the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Leading Leafs-centric website.

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James Reimer and the Toronto Maple Leafs will go to arbitration to determine what the embattled Leafs goalie is worth. Hint: he's getting a raise. In my last article, I discussed the upcoming Club-elected salary arbitration of Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche. The flipside of Club-elected salary arbitration is Player-elected salary arbitration, which procedurally is the mirror image of Club-elected arbitration with the Player driving the process and being given the opportunity to present his case first rather than the Club. Yesterday, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman broke the story on Twitter that James Reimer was among the first players to file...

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There’s nothing like draft weekend to prime the hockey world for free agency. It was an up and down weekend for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but hopefully it is a draft class we can look back on with a smile one day. It certainly started with a bang for Leafs fans. Here are some notes and thoughts on the weekend that was: William Nylander When a team drafts outside of the top few selections, they’re mining through a pool of players with at least one perceived flaw or deficiency, otherwise these players would have been at the top of the order. For the Leafs,...

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

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Congratulations to the L.A. Kings on winning the Stanley Cup. What a great season 2013-2014 was, one of the best playoffs I’ve ever seen, and all that other fun stuff people say at this time of year. Wayne Gretzky high-sticked Dougie and if it was properly called the Toronto Maple Leafs would have won that series. While Toronto didn’t make the playoffs this season, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any lessons they can glean from watching the games. Here are 10 things that were rolling through my mind while watching the “second season:” The Stanley Cup champs won the Cup with...

Morgan Rielly

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A warm welcome to new writer, Luka Ryder-Bunting, who looks at improvements to be made with the Toronto Maple Leafs' Power Play The Toronto Maple Leafs’ power play interested me this year. The power play was by no means a downfall of the Leafs this season, ranking 6th in the league with a 19.8% success rate. That being said, every franchise should be looking to improve themselves in any way possible, and there is definite improvement to be made on the Leafs man advantage. Much of the coaching staffs’ decision-making seemed odd to me this season regarding player usage. Carlyle seemed reluctant...

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One of the things we try to do in our analysis at MLHS is discuss possibilities for upcoming decisions facing the Maple Leafs in their pursuit of improving the organization. There is no perfect formula for building a winning team, so all avenues have to be explored from a multitude of angles. A few weeks ago, I discussed the possibility of the Leafs moving up in the 2014 NHL draft and why it might make sense to do so. Trading for the top pick is extremely rare; although the first overall selection appears to be more in play than usual...

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One of the “logical” things that is supposed to play out in Leafland this summer is the team trading James Reimer and officially running with Jonathan Bernier as their starter. All things considered, how logical is it really? How many teams want Reimer? Here is a list of every team’s goalies going into next season: I have emboldened/marked with asterisk the potential fits for Reimer based on him wanting to be a starter; otherwise, most teams seem to be at least comfortable with their starter or tandem going into next season. You could also potentially include Carolina should they manage to get rid of...

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Former Bruins GM Harry Sinden had a great quote on being a GM in the book Behind the Moves: “I think the bottom line is pretty simple: who can play and who can’t play. That’s the bottom line. That is the fundamental job of the GM. Most GMs, if they didn’t have to make that call, could do it, because administratively, it’s . There is a little more involvement because you have to play how you’re going to filed the team, make such things as a salary cap work, but that’s just mechanics. You read the CBA once and...

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Brendan Shanahan continues to make a lot of sense, at least in the words he speaks to the media. His one action so far, however -- sticking with head coach Randy Carlyle -- has been widely panned. It’s become clear how Shanahan views the situation, though, at least, and it sounds almost reasonable. He has respect for Carlyle, thinks he had an ‘off’ season worthy of some self-reflection, and believes he once was and can again be a good coach. Most of all, he seems to think Carlyle is open to and capable of adapting, something Carlyle must have successfully conveyed to him...

Sam Bennettvideo

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Why it makes more sense than usual for the Leafs to move up for the #1 pick In 2012, Dave Poulin gave an under the radar interview on Marlies TV wherein he talked about top centers and how they are acquired. For those too lazy to watch the whole thing, Poulin discusses an analysis of the top 24 centers in the league and how each of them wound up with their current teams. With that in mind, I took a moment to look at the top center of every team in the league this past season and marked down how they were...

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Maple Leafs fans were promised a culture change, however you may define it, when Brendan Shanahan was hired last month. A few weeks later, GM Dave Nonis remains and, with Thursday’s announcement, so does his head coach. It has been clear for weeks that Nonis wanted Carlyle to stay and he was selling Shanahan on it. I'm now left to wonder:  Maybe Nonis is a better salesman than we thought considering all the evidence suggesting Carlyle should have been fired. At this point, Shanahan may be a figurehead more than anything. Unless he completely overrules Nonis to make a move or...

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A mess, but an opportunity for improvement When a team bottoms out the way the Maple Leafs did, naturally there is going to be a lot of anger directed towards the team and its players. Next, factor in the manner in which the team failed to make the playoffs -- giving up the most shots ever over an 82-game season and plummeting during to an eight-game losing streak in March, prior to which they were ninth place in the entire league. Then, have it all take place in the tempestuous Toronto hockey market. It goes without saying there is going to be a lot of noise...

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We looked at options with the Maple Leafs under contract last week. Today, let's take a look at the UFAs and RFAs. UFAs Dave Bolland Quick Thoughts: Had a hot start with the Leafs before getting hurt and coming back playing on what looked to be one and a half legs. Really tough to get a read on him based on what he did in Toronto because he simply didn’t play long enough in good health to do so. Based on his past history, he’s a solid 3C and probably the Leafs best defensive center considering what else they have (Bozak, Kadri, McClement…)....

Joffrey Lupul

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When Brendan Shanahan came aboard, I made a quick passing comment about understanding selling low and selling high with the Toronto Maple Leafs players and cashing in on inflated value when the opportunity presents itself. The Leafs have made a habit of overpaying their own players after career years—for big money—then trading them for absolutely nothing once their play comes back down. That is a trend that obviously needs to stop. So, in saying that, who are the Leafs “sell low” and “sell high” candidates, and what should they be planning to do with these players heading into what...

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When the media asked who has final say on roster decisions at today's introductory press conference for Brendan Shanahan, there was a pause followed by some laughter shared on the podium between Tim Leiweke, Shanahan, and Dave Nonis. "I have a boss. It's Brendan. Your boss has the final say -- that's just common sense," Nonis finally said. And, with that, a changing of the guard has officially begun in Leafs Nation. Nonis is still the GM in title, but it is clear that this is the Shanahan show now. It remains to be seen if Nonis’ staff will stay in place,...

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Who would’ve thought we would be saying those words in reference to the Maple Leafs just a week ago? There was a palpable air of awkwardness present as Tim Leiweke called this ‘Shanny’s team and culture” while Dave Nonis sat listening at the other end of the table. Shanahan is his Leafs’ Masai Ujiri, and Leiweke made no bones about referencing that directly. Dave Nonis is saying all the right things as of now -- about knowing this role was in the offing for some time, looking at it as an opportunity to collaborate with another good hockey mind, Shanny...

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Head coach Peter DeBoer’s three-year contract with the New Jersey Devils is set to expire at season’s end. (Warning: What follows is a long-winded analysis of a potential head coaching candidate for the Maple Leafs, who haven't yet fired their own coach, when said future candidate is still currently under contract with another team). While Lou Lamiorello recently endorsed the work of DeBoer and his staff despite a second-consecutive season out of the playoffs, there appears to be an opportunity here if the Maple Leafs are interested -- which, it just so happens, jives with the latest dispatch from the rumour...

Dion Phaneuf / Phil Kessel

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Oh, how the mighty have fallen. “Personally, I think by a country mile he’s the best defenceman in the league. It’s not even close right now,” Ron Wilson said following a 4-3 win over the Penguins. “I think he’s comfortable in his own skin. He’s comfortable being the Captain, he’s healthy and I think without taking away from his play, the way Carl Gunnarsson’s played has made Dion’s job a lot easier. It’s just freed up Dion to play as best as I’ve ever seen him.”- Ron Wilson, Oct. 30st, 2011 It wasn't too long ago that Dion Phaneuf was a...

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This quote triggered the thought process behind this post. This is kind of a good analogy. You could go into a zone and take three shots from five feet off the goal line and five feet from the boards that hit the goalie. There is no shot taken within the dots – the proverbial home plate – not one shot was taken from there. It wasn’t a real fluid possession. The team that shot the puck three times in 30 seconds, lost possession of the puck on the third shot, and now we are attacking their end – we were...

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Don Cherry said something nonsensical with no basis in fact, guys. Let's talk about this. 1) Leafs love those College guys. Signed Eric Knodel from University of New Hampshire. Going to get a tryout with the Marlies. That means — Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) March 26, 2014   2) he takes a spot from some guy slugging it out on the buses. If you want to make the Leafs or get a tryout just go to a US College. — Don Cherry (@CoachsCornerCBC) March 26, 2014   We’ve heard Don Cherry rail about this type of thing before. It is one of my favourite misinformed Cherry rants...

Jonathan Bernier

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“We didn’t seem to be able to break the cycle, and they were using the points. We play with a lot of people down low in our zone so the points are going to be open. And yet they seemed to be getting the point shots through and a lot of tips and rebounds. Obviously something.. something was wrong there.” - Joffrey Lupul after the 5-3 loss to St. Louis. After the loss last night, Randy Carlyle and Joffrey Lupul both came to the conclusion that this Leafs team is tense -- on account of all the recent losing -- and...