Part 2 of Brian Burke's interview with TVO.
It's a collective message from prominent NHL players: "If you can play, you can play." Homophobia has no place in Canada's game.
The You Can Play project was created to honour the memory of Brendan Burke. His father, Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, sits down with Piya Chattopadhyay to tell us how professional sports can move beyond the concept of a "gay athlete," to simply an "athlete."
Brian Burke and Bob McCown dance a dance about unnamed goalies with long term contracts *cough*, unproven, but equally highly regarded young goalies playing behind established staters *cough* and older goalies that played well in defensively stiff teams *cough*.
As always, a good interview with Burke. [more…]
Maple Leafs' vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin joined Hockey Central @ Noon to update the team's plans in free agency yesterday and discusses how the thin free agency pool has opened up a trade market that hasn't existed for some time. Click to hear.
The Leafs have added some strength down the middle by signing Jay McClement to a two-year deal worth $3 million total.
They were also able to agree to terms with Matt Frattin on a two-year deal that totals $1.7 million, while resigning Ryan Hamilton and Jussi Rynnas as well as adding Mike Kostka to the organization, too.
It wasn't a banner day for the Leafs, but it was still an important one.
Most notably, they finally added the third line center they've needed for quite some time and that has serious ramifications on the rest of the roster. [more…]
The Leafs have signed Jay McClement to a 2-year, $3-million (1.5 mil. per) contract. McClement is a 29-year-old centerman from Kingston, Ontario (that one's for you, Don Cherry). A left handed shooter, he stands 6Â ftÂ 1Â in tall and weighs in at 205 lbs.
He is your prototypical shutdown centerman with little offense. But what he does, he does well.
A guy with good faceoff numbers, McClement is a player who is more mobile than Steckel, excels on the penalty kill and has decent size.
Ah, July 1st. The day we celebrate our nation's birth by tracking NHL free agent signings.
The Maple Leafs enter UFA Day with 14 million and change in cap space, but I wouldn't expect them to spend too much of it today, as all indications remain that Burke will do his heavy lifting via trade.
While Burke has made it clear he won't be in the mix for the two big fish in Parise and Suter in any meaningful way, one thing that may be on the mandate for Burke today is the addition of size up front (and possibly a right handed defenceman). [more…]
The Justin Schultz saga is finally over. The telephone lines closed and, in what would be best described as a reality show vote off, the young blueliner decided to sign with the Edmonton Oilers, leaving Leafs Nation and several other fanbases wondering what could have been.
This writer refuses to believe one young free agent defenseman would turn the fortunes of any franchise, but itâ€™s hard to argue we wouldnâ€™t be a deeper team with him in the mix. Did he really do that much to deserve the fanfare and media coverage he got? No, but I guess that is just the reality of a not so deep UFA pool coupled with the media doing their best to exploit the situation. Who knew...
In the end, we shouldn't be judging the kid for doing what he feels is best for his career and taking his sweet time to do it.
According to various sources including Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Leafs bought out winger Colby Armstrong:
"Colby Armstrong is being bought out by TOR. Will be on unconditional waivers at 12 noon ET."
According to capgeek.com:
If Colby Armstrong buyout goes through, MapleLeafs cap space will increase by $2M to $14.8M
McKenzie also tweeted:
Buyout of Armstrong, courtesy of capgeek, means TOR will have cap hit next season of $1M instead of $3M, but $1M year after instead of $0.
Roll the cameras. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, we'll find out tomorrow where Justin Schultz is "taking his talents" as the former University of Wisconsin defenceman will decide which of the Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators or New York Rangers is the winner of the highly publicized sweepstakes.
While the Oilers had alumni Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey dialing up Schultz to sell Schultz on Edmonton, former University of Wisconsin teammate Jake Gardiner gave his good friend a call: [more…]
Update from Team 1040: "Mike Gillis says still nothing imminent regarding a possible Luongo trade."
Vancouver Sun's Brad Ziemer: "Gillis vague on status of Luongo trade talks. Says sometimes you think you are close and things change."