All in all, there weren't any miracles performed that we can be over the moon about yesterday, but the hope is that there was some incremental improvements made and -- perhaps more importantly -- some major mistakes avoided with the type of money that was doled out to the likes of Brooks Orpik and Dave Bolland.
We’ll start with the new acquisition I’m most excited about.
Stephane Robidas has been a warrior in Dallas. He wears the evidence on his face. Maple Leafs management felt there was a need for more leadership, character, competitiveness and experience on this team, and...
We were not sure what direction the Maple Leafs would be heading entering today's free agency period. To some degree, we still don’t.
The team appears to be trying to build some depth back up while bringing in some veterans to help develop and mentor their young kids. As has been noted here before, this team had the worst bottom six in the League last season and they have taken some steps already to try and improve it, so that in and of itself could stand to notably improve the team. But there is still a lot of work to...
It's hard not to get excited about the return of a fan favorite like Leo Komarov.
Whether it was perceived or real, fans certainly felt he was a big piece of what made the team harder to play against in his short stay during the lockout-shortened year.
He came in at a steeper price tag than expected at $2.95 million per season, given his nine points in 45 games in his limited sample of NHL games.
Komarov always has been more of an offensive player in the KHL, where he's been around a .60PPG player for Dynamo. Perhaps there's more to give...
The Maple Leafs have dipped into the free agent pool to sign defenceman Stephane Robidas to a three-year, $9 million contract.
Dave Nonis has added a right-handed top-4 option here in the tough-as-nails veteran. Certainly he brings the element of leadership and tough-to-play-against qualities, but he also has a long track record of capably handling tough minutes, averaging 22:14 in the lockout-shortened season and just under 20 minutes in his curtailed 2013-14 season. He seems like a great fit on Jake Gardiner or Morgan Rielly's right.
The obvious risk comes in the form of signing a 37-year-old defenceman who broke his...
Strange first deal on July 1 from the Maple Leafs here, bringing back Matt Frattin in exchange for Jerry D'Amigo and a 7th round pick.
Bringing Matt Frattin back was an idea we bounced around these parts given the former Leafs sixth round pick has failed to catch on in two separate cities, Los Angeles and Columbus, and never showed the same promise as he did here, despite an opportunity in LA's top 6 initially. Frattin had 13 points in 25 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season.
The Leafs moved Frattin to LA in the Jonathan Bernier deal after bowing out...
Fasten your seat belts. There's always been something highly appropriate about Canada Day coinciding with the entire country ravenously following hockey transactions by the second.
The Maple Leafs have about $23 million to spend less the space they'll need to lock down RFAs Cody Franson, Jake Gardiner and Carter Ashton.
Their priorities appear to be "defensive defencemen" and bottom-six leadership/grit types based on their moves and rumoured targets so far.
These are dangerous waters the Leafs are navigating. A lot of the buyouts in the past couple of years have been on early-July free agent signings who matched those exact descriptions. They...
Elliotte Friedman is reporting that Toronto Maple Leafs' defenceman Tim Gleason is on waivers with the intent to buy him out.
The Maple Leafs now have three NHL defencemen who are right shots, which is something that Carlyle—and a lot of coaches—really harp about wanting and needing.
This punches a hole on the left side of the Leafs defence core and opens up a spot for either a Marlie, Paul Ranger to be promoted or an Unrestricted Free Agent signed to the Leafs.
The buyout saves the Leafs a shade over $3 million on next season's $69 million cap, but...
With #Leafs Reimer request 2b traded, strong speculation off #NHL draft floor were talks btw #Leafs / #Jets. Could b revisited at later date— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) June 29, 2014
Dave Nonis just a few days ago said, "there's a very good possibility James Reimer is back next year," but that appears to have been posturing as the Maple Leafs look to find a new home for the restricted free agent. The Maple Leafs were admitting interest in Martin Brodeur at the same time, so clearly they knew Reimer wouldn't be back.
Many assumed this was in the offing before...
The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defenceman Carl Gunnarsson and a 4th round selection (94th overall) in this year's draft to the St. Louis Blues for defenceman Roman Polak.
Gunnarsson was almost always played in situations above his head under Randy Carlyle in Toronto while also struggling with a chronic hip injury he just had repaired this summer. It would’ve been preferred to move Gunnarsson to a lower pairing in order see how he does when he isn't buried by the second lowest offensive zone starts behind only Dion Phaneuf among NHL defencemen and against some of the toughest competition.
According to Darren Dreger, the Maple Leafs have been talking to recently let-go Pittsburgh Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato about filling one of three assistant coaching vacancies in Toronto.
The off-season following Pittsburgh's Cup win, Granato joined Pittsburgh as an assistant to Dan Bylsma (also coached under Bylsma in Sochi). Granato's focus was the forward units and the penalty kill, which for the most part was a success under his watch.
Granato would also tick off the box of having prior head coaching experience having taken over the Avalanche bench on two separate occasions (2002-04, 2008-09, amassing an 104-78-17 record). The...
Some real Toronto Maple Leafs news is desperately needed,
but in the meantime here is what is being said about the Leafs.
From Chris Johnston at Sportsnet:
Nikolai Kulemin is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and agent Gary Greenstin tells Sportsnet that he plans to make full use of the interview window, which opens Wednesday, to start looking for a new home for his client. Discussions with the Leafs on a new contract have been limited, according to Greenstin, who noted that there is still some time for talks to pick up with Toronto.
Another player that could...
Too Much Cash for Komarov?
One other Nonis note re: Leo Komarov: Says he'd be open to having him back, but only at the right price.
— Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) June 11, 2014
One other note from a chat with Dave Nonis today: He doesn't see a fit financially for Leo Komarov and the #leafs.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 11, 2014
Obviously, the latter report conveys considerably less optimism when it comes to getting a deal done. Dave Nonis had no scruples about suggesting Komarov's departure last summer was "about money," not mentioning role, ice time or the Olympics.
Komarov reportedly made $2 million...
It's likely that Dave Nonis and Brendan Shanahan will want some prior head coaching experience in one of the three upcoming assistant coaching hires, knowing the leash is tight on head coach Randy Carlyle headed into next season. There have been a few AHL candidates mentioned, however, a discussion which has included Marlies head coach Steve Spott, who just completed a successful first season coaching pro hockey, and his assistant Derek King, who has been with the team since 2009-10. Two other names mentioned by Elliotte Friedman in his 30 Thoughts column this week were the head coaches of...
Yesterday, rumour broke that the Maple Leafs are one of six teams expressing interest Joe Thornton.
It's a rumour we've all fantasized about since Mats Sundin left in 2008: Trading for, as one esteemed AM640 post-game caller once called him, "Horton, the one who plays with Choochoo" .
Who doesn’t like the general idea of acquiring Joe Thornton, an elite playmaker and big-bodied center who is always near the top of the League in assists? He’s probably got a couple of good years left in him. In my particular fantasy, I’d play him with Clarkson and maybe JvR, creating a...
According to John Shannon -- note: the man who brought us the Roberto Luongo-(non)trade-got-Burke-fired report -- the Maple Leafs are looking at two former NHL head coaches, Rick Tocchet and Craig Ramsay, as potential assistant coach hires. Check out our previous piece on Adam Oates here.
Hearing the names Craig Ramsay and Rick Tocchet as possible assistant coaches in Toronto with the Maple Leafs.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 7, 2014
Craig Ramsay has 17 years of NHL coaching experience and has mostly plied his trade as an assistant or an associate coach, thrice taking on the role as head...
How crazy? Dion Phaneuf, Nazem Kadri and the eighth pick to the Panthers for Ed Jovanovski and the first overall pick, crazy.
In the real news world, nothing to report.
Ray Ferraro is less than convinced this is the draft class worth trading up to #1 for.
Maple Leafs Boss Tim Leiweke is Proud of the Kings. That's nice for him.
Maple Leafs have more role players than future stars on the Marlies says Michael Traikos
The Flyers and Leafs will again play a preseason game in London's Budweiser Gardens next September
Maple Leafs goaltending prospect Antoine Bibeau has been signed to his entry level...
With the dust settled, this was a good season for Leafs youngsters.
This year's Memorial Cup had a little added intrigue as we saw Leafs prospects skating on three of the four teams involved in the tourney (Finn-Guelph, Bibeau-Val D'Or, Rupert-London).
Matt Finn's Guelph Storm were the best team in the OHL and probably the best team in the Memorial Cup, too, final notwithstanding. Finn himself was second in OHL scoring among defensemen and acquitted himself well throughout both the OHL playoff and the Memorial Cup. Personally, I expected a bit more from Finn than what I saw this season. It's tough to...
Darren Dreger reported yesterday what many of us have speculated about for some time now, which is the possibility of former Washington Capitals head coach Adam Oates joining the Maple Leafs as one of Randy Carlyle's new assistants.
Granted, we had Randy Carlyle fired and Peter DeBoer hired literally before the season ended in April. But there appears to be some leg to this one.
With that in mind, we asked friend of the site Peter Hassett of the excellent Russian Machine Never Breaks blog to answer a few of our questions on the potential hire.
Thanks to Peter for taking the...
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...
Back and forth game leaves Wolves grasping for their playoff lives
TORONTO - On Wednesday night, the Toronto Marlies returned home for just their second home playoff game this post-season, game #3 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals versus the Chicago Wolves. Toronto only played one home game in the opening round, defeating the Milwaukee Admirals to complete the three-game sweep. The Marlies have been dominant in the first two games of the series, taking 3-0 leads in the first period of both games one & two. On Wednesday, the Marlies were looking to move one step closer to reaching the Western...