Maple Leafs Hot Stove's renowned, exclusive interviews with front office staff provide Leaf insight you won't find anywhere else. From the GM, to the Director of Scouting, to the Goalie Coach—MLHS has the in-depth analysis no other media outlet offers.
MLHS' Alec Brownscombe chatted with newly-appointed Maple Leafs assistant coach Steve Spott this afternoon. There was lots to cover ahead of the new season.
Alec Brownscombe: As a guy who grew up in a soccer family and whose father emigrated from Germany, you must be pretty pleased with last month’s World Cup result?
Steve Spott: It was awesome. I come from a traditional German background. For our family, it was pretty special watching it. Obviously, with TFC in our city, it’s great to see the sport growing here close to home.
AB: I’m a season ticket holder at TFC, actually. It’s a...
The final installment of Anthony Petrielli's interview with Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison touches a little more on the ins and outs of the scouting process, catches up on the progress of a few members of the 2013 draft class (including Frederik Gauthier), and looks ahead to the 2015 Draft. Here's Part One and here's Part Two.
Anthony Petrielli: I’ve noticed a theme in your draft history where you give a late pick or two to Thommie Bergman to use. Has there been any thought in bringing him overseas to pick apart the OHL or the...
Part Two of Anthony Petrielli's interview with Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison focuses on the scouting process, touching on the logistics of running one of the League's larger scouting staffs as well as the role of statistics and third-party information. To read Part One, click here.
Anthony Petrelli: How long is your draft process and what all goes into it?
Dave Morrison: It’s the whole year. In many cases it’s their underage year. We all start out with a list from the year before which has basically been started by the reports you do on them as...
MLHS' in-depth off-season interview with Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison—conducted by Anthony Petrielli—will be split into three parts and rolled out over the next few days. Part One touches on the summer prospect development camp, some draft philosophy questions, and the Maple Leafs' 2014 draft class.
Anthony Petrielli: How was the development camp?
Dave Morrison: Good. I was really happy with the group. I like the mix that we have going right now. We were able to add, as you know, quite a bit more skill over the last few years. We've got a nice mix...
Happy NHL Draft Day. Below is a quick interview between Alec Brownscombe and Peterborough Petes' head coach Jody Hull about projected top 10 pick, Nick Ritchie.
MLHS: Size can be a bit of a double edged sword when it comes to evaluating hockey prospects. Nice to have -- and much preferred, skill sets being equal -- but can sometimes allow a player to dominate a junior league in a way he won’t be able to in the pros. How much stock should we put in physical maturity when talking about 18 year old kids in general and Nick Ritchie specifically?
The Maple Leafs signed 23-year-old defenceman Eric Knodel to a one-year entry-level contract today. Knodel was the Leafs' 2009 5th round draft pick who played four years at the University of New Hampshire, finishing his college career with a heartbreaking loss to UMass Lowell in the Hockey East Championship last Saturday.
Knodel registered 28 points (7 goals, 21 assists) with 28 penalty minutes and a +16 rating in 41 games as captain of the Wildcats this season. Over his three-year career at the University of New Hampshire (2011-12 to 2013-14), Knodel posted 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points...
Maple Leafs VP of Hockey Ops Dave Poulin joined Bryan Hayes on TSN1050 a few minutes ago. On the Dave Bolland front, Poulin suggested Bolland playing a game before the Olympic Break isn't out of the question, but it's simply a matter of "he'll play when he's medically cleared," whenever that is.
Below are some of the other topics discussed:
On the Olympics and JvR and Kessel injuries:
It would have to be a a significant injury to take them out of the time slot. There would have to be a decision by the federation or team that they were going to...
MLHS' Alec Brownscombe recently caught up with Director of Player Development Jim Hughes to check in on the progress of the younger Maple Leafs.
Hughes and Claude Loiselle had recently traveled to the World Juniors together to take in Frederik Gauthier and Andreas Johnson's performances for Team Canada and Team Sweden respectively, as well as one viewing of Fabrice Herzog for Team Switzerland.
On Connor Brown's eye-popping production:
JH: In Connor’s case, the goals and assists are in a lot of ways just the result of his whole makeup. He loves the game, he works extremely hard day in day out, he’s...
Dave Nonis stopped by TSN 1050 a few minutes ago.
Here is the rundown of the topics discussed:
How good is this team?
"I think we have a quality team, but we still haven’t played to our potential. We have at times, but in terms of consistency, we haven’t seen it. The last little stretch I think we have played our best hockey of the year. Our game in Washington was the best road game of the year. I would like to to see us get healthy and the lines where they want them, and then evaluate where we are. There is...
On Friday, hockey fans in Zagreb, Croatia got to see the fantastic Dynamo Moscow, without a doubt the best hockey team outside the NHL. Their 'pest' is also a fantastic player, one particularly familiar to Leaf fans - Leo Komarov. Our beloved Finnish grinder is doing a bit of everything in the KHL, including throwing opponents off their game. In last night's 5:0 trashing of Medvescak, he managed to get Hugh Jessiman thrown out of the game on a major penalty for spearing; the former Rangers prospect completely lost his mind...
'Yeah, you know, they're supposed to know who I...
Alec Brownscombe caught up with Director of Player Development Jim Hughes to touch base on the performances and progress of the younger members of the Leaf organization after the completion of 2013 training camp.
Alec Brownscombe: If you can make a general comment, were you happy with the training camp - dating back to the rookie tourney - in terms of what you saw on display from the younger members of the organization?
Jim Hughes: Yeah, I think we’re all really happy with the forward transition from the prospect camp, to the rookie camp, to the NHL camp. We’re all happy...
Dave Poulin stopped by the Brady and Walker Show on the Fan590 this morning (you can listen to the full audio here), touching on the subjects in the title above as well as JvR, the goaltending battle, Cody Franson, and the Leafs' cap situation.
On JvR's impressive preseason:
"Even since the moment he's joined us, we've seen a change in JvR. I think he's just scratching the surface, I really do. The goal last night, which we've seen a couple of times now... the hand skills, and I think it's the combination of the mind going is growing into the body...
MLHS’s Michael Stephens conducted an in-person interview with Steve Spott, head coach of the Toronto Marlies, at the Mastercard Centre earlier this week. Spott touched on a wide variety of Marlies-centric stuff, including the biggest challenges facing the team headed into the new season and the opportunities the Leafs prospects will be embarking on in the 2013-14 campaign.
Here’s a handy list of links to all the other Summer Interviews:
Michael Stephens: As a Toronto boy you must be excited to be back here coaching for the Marlies. What’s the experience been like so far?
MLHS' Anthony Petrielli chatted with Garth Malarchuk, amateur scout for the Maple Leafs, earlier this week. Topics covered include the ins and outs of his job, Frederik Gauthier, Morgan Rielly, and a little on Tyler Bozak.
Anthony Petrielli: What are your specific job duties as an amateur scout of the Maple Leafs?
Garth Malarchuk: My priorities include the Western Hockey League (WHL) and the Western Canadian Jr. A teams along with “cross over” viewings of the identified prospects from the QMJHL, the OHL, US Colleges & High Schools, and the top end players on the European teams. It's a heavy...
MLHS' Alec Brownscombe chatted with Maple Leafs Director of Pro Scouting Steve Kasper this afternoon. Topics covered include the process of pro scouting, the new off-season additions, and how the Leafs stack up at centre compared to the rest of the league. Enjoy.
Alec Brownscombe: What does the job of Director of Pro Scouting of the Maple Leafs involve on a day-to-day basis?
Steve Kasper: I stay in touch with Mike Penny, Rob Cowie and Tom Watt, as well as Dave Poulin, Claude Loiselle and Dave Nonis. We're basically out watching games. Pretty much every night one of us is...
MLHS' Alec Brownscombe caught up with Leafs Director of Player Development Jim Hughes this morning to talk about some of the younger Maple Leafs. While much of the Leafs scouting staff heads to Bratislava next week for the Ivan Hlinka U18 tournament, Hughes will be taking in the World Junior exhibition games in Lake Placid. Dominic Toninato will participating for Team USA while Ryan Rupert, Matt Finn, Morgan Rielly and Frederik Gauthier will be playing for Canada.
Alec Brownscombe: What does the job of Director of Player of Development involve on a day to day basis?
Jim Hughes: My job...
MLHS' Anthony Petrielli chatted with assistant coach of the Maple Leafs Scott Gordon this morning. A wide range of Leaf topics are touched on in a more rapid-fire style of interview. If you missed them, be sure to check out previous MLHS interviews with Greg Cronin, Dave Morrison and Dave Poulin..
AP: What was your role last year?
Scott Gordon: I did the penalty kill. But we’re all involved as far as input in our system play and practice planning. It’s not just one thing for all the coaches, it’s a shared effort.
AP: How much input do the coaches have on...
MLHS' Alec Brownscombe chatted with Vice President of Hockey Operations and GM of the Toronto Marlies Dave Poulin earlier this afternoon. The conversation starts with a discussion of Poulin's role in the organization and touches on the promotion of Chris Dennis to assistant coach, before leading into a discussion of the team's possession play, team identity, and the off-season moves. The interview wraps up with a few questions about next season's schedule. Enjoy.
Alec Brownscombe: How's the summer going?
Dave Poulin: It's pretty continuous right now in the summer, because you go from the season, into the draft, into free agency,...