Toronto got an early power-play goal to take the lead against the Panthers, but Florida dominated the second half of the period, and got a goal themselves in the last few minutes.
Another power-play early in the second put Florida ahead, and Toronto's offense sputtered before former Leaf prospect Jimmy Hayes scored what would prove to be the winning goal. Florida went into a complete defensive shell in the third period, not generating a single chance. Toronto weren't able to do much about it for the first two-thirds of the period, but in the last few minutes were able to...
Olli Jokinen makes his Leaf debut tonight hoping it's his first and fifth-last game in Toronto.
The Leafs and Jokinen both will be pulling for the same thing, which is that he returns to his natural center ice position and convinces some GM tout there that he could be of some use to a team in the playoff mix down the stretch as a veteran depth player. From there, the Leafs might be able to grab a late conditional pick that's dependent on playoff results. It would be nice to get him out of the way of Holland and Carrick and...
Pierre Lebrun joined the Bryan Hayes Show to discuss, among other things, the Kessel to Florida rumour.
How real is the Panthers-Kessel connection?
Let’s go through this together. I can tell you, from sources in both front offices, there have not been any conversations between the two teams concerning Phil Kessel. Having said that, if you’re going to look for a team to get into the mix -- and I think this is a June conversation more than anything -- the Panthers have a tonne of cap room, a new owner, have had trouble scoring this year, and I think Tallon...
Ian Pulver joined Hockey Central at Noon to discuss his client’s situation, from being dissatisfied with his role in Nashville, to wanting to play on a contender, to his eventual trade to the Leafs.
How ticked were you about the trade?
It was quite a surprise to say the least. Having said that, we have been in dialogue with the Predators in the last short while about Olli’s situation, but really it all dates back to when he signed there this past July. Olli chose to go to Nashville, there were other suitors to participate and play for, and they were...
Dave Nonis speaks to Hockey Central at Noon about rebuilding the Maple Leafs, the Franson & Santorelli trade, and more.
How long were you working on the trade?
Quite a while. We played in Nashville earlier in the month. I stayed behind and spent a couple of days, with Dave and I after that just talking about potential of a deal involving various players, including the two we ended up moving. Dave is a very thoughtful guy who takes a long time to evaluate things. We spent a few days doing that and then over the next 10 days or...
The Maple Leafs have pulled the trigger on a few expiring contracts, sending Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson to Nashville for Olli Jokinen, Nashville's 2015 first round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic.
The first round pick is obviously the centerpiece and the must have in this deal as the Leafs begin their rebuild and commit to the draft. Right now it’s the 30th overall pick, and add in a mid-level prospect and a salary dump in Olli Jokinen for Franson plus Santorelli and the knee jerk reaction might see this return as underwhelming. What might have been underestimated, amid the talk of...
Did the Maple Leafs miss out on a chance to include Cody Franson in their core going forward? Yesterday's trade with Nashville has some asking the question.
The Leafs had two additional opportunities to do so: One came after his good season in the short lockout year, and the other was the negotiation before the current season began. Both presented an opportunity to sign Franson to some term at a value reflective of a bargaining position that was weaker then than it is now.
A complete afterthought when the lockout lifted, Franson returned to have a very nice surprise season in 2012-13. He finished an impressive sixth in even strength point production among...
There wasn't much separating Montreal and Toronto in this game, with both teams having strong stretches. The two teams exchanged goals midway through the first, with Toronto getting out-chanced, but not badly.
The second period was quiet, with Montreal unable to do much on the power-play, and the Leafs finishing strongly, but not scoring. Montreal started the third period well, but they weren't able to find a breakthrough either, and Toronto looked the more likely to score in the final ten minutes of regulation and overtime, when they out-chanced Montreal 6-3 at even strength. In the end, the game went...
Games like this, on a day dedicated to celebrating hockey in Canada to boot, transcend the standings and draft pick positioning. It's about representing the crest on the jersey in the game's oldest rivalry. Let's hope the boys show up. It's as simple as that.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – Mike Santorelli
David Booth – Trevor Smith – David Clarkson
Morgan Rielly – Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak
Korbinian Holzer – Stephane Robidas
Scratched: Petter Granberg
Injured: Joffrey Lupul (lower body), Dion Phaneuf (upper...
The Maple Leafs had another horrible start, similar to their game against the Rangers, as they finished the first period behind 2-0 and down 12-3 in chances.
Toronto had a great response in the second, scoring twice in the first five minutes and getting the first seven chances. In the last ten minutes of the period the Islanders took control again, including getting a third goal. Toronto had some chances as they chased the game in the third, but couldn't get another tying goal, and lost yet another game.
Other than the first ten minutes of the second, the Islanders were always...
Amid the sense of the relief that seemed to sweep over Leafs fans concerning the report that Brendan Shanahan is set to tear things down and commit to the draft, came this downer moment after the game last night:
Blame a faulty attempt at a fast tracked rebuild, or the flawed thinking behind the timing of the original Kessel trade, or blame Dave Nonis for subsequently dropping the ball on the hand off, but either way it doesn't change the fact that Phil Kessel is an elite talent who was let down by poor management and things outside his own control. If he does go sometime in...
Not much left to say at this point.
We've got quotes like this surfacing:
Which, while anonymous, do match those of late last season.
The Leafs clearly sense the end is near, who doesn't, and so far knowing the season is over and the team is soon to be dismantled hasn't seen them loosen up and play better hockey; it's seen some of their best players check out entirely. Not a bad thing for the ubiquitous pro-tank faction of the fanbase, but it's been the toughest stretch of Leafs hockey to watch, arguably ever and certainly for those born after the 80s.
Phil Kessel spent good chunks...
A major story breaking this morning from The Globe and Mail’s Cathal Kelly, with some big implications for the coming weeks and months ahead.
According to Kelly, Brendan Shanahan concluded last Spring’s initial evaluation period and asked the new ownership group for the mandate to strip the team down. Reportedly, the board wasn’t yet ready to commit to a likely 3-5 years without sniffing the playoffs, and voted to give the core of the team once last chance after attempting to shore up the depth with some low-commitment adds to the bottom end of the roster.
Mr. Shanahan and his lieutenants...
Four roster players of name value plus three prospects and a first round pick changed hands in a rare modern day multi-player NHL blockbuster.
Buffalo may well end up with the two best players in the deal if Bogosian and Kane can stay healthy and progress, with the convenience of Kane not being able to hurt their draft position at all for the rest of the season. For Winnipeg, Tyler Myers has flashed a lot of upside in his mixed career to date, plus there's futures heading Winnipeg's way, and for the stretch run they add a veteran scorer in Drew Stafford...
Toronto had a horrible opening period, out-chanced 12-2 at even strength, but after a late power-play goal they managed to get out of it down by a single goal.
The second was much more even, but the Rangers managed to extend their lead after former Leaf Dominic Moore scored New York's fourth. The Leafs then had a great third, scoring twice in the first seven minutes, setting up a great last part of the game. The two teams both had great shifts, and exchanged a number of chances, but it was the Rangers who got the winning goal, off the...