It’s not that we should be identifying a group of players or a particular line or a defence pair that needs to be changed in order for the Leafs to get back on track after what, in fairness, has been three really poor games in a row despite the win over Minnesota. It’s better team play overall that is required.
The Leafs forwards need to commit to getting back, supporting the defence, and transitioning up the ice as a unit by breaking out with good puck support. What I thought Carlyle's team did better, in the very general sense last...
The Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to sweeten the pot to get John-Michael Liles back in the National Hockey League and off of the Leafs' books.
Toronto will retain a significant portion of Liles's salary for the remainder of his contract to encourage a trade.
- Darren Dreger
The Leafs are officially in the midst of their first losing "streak" of the season. Tuesday's contest sees the 7-1 Anaheim Ducks visit town, which will be another difficult test for a Leafs team who have yet to really hit their stride despite being 6-3 on the season. The Ducks shellacked the Stars 6-3 last night, and Getzlaf, Perry, Jakub Silfverberg, Selanne and Mathieu Perreault, who is getting a chance to center their second line, are all off to hot starts.
While the hope will be that the return of Kulemin and Clarkson from injury and suspension will help the...
I was perusing Twitter Saturday morning when I came across this gem from @hockeynight:
How strong is the rivalry between the @MapleLeafs and @NHLBlackhawks? You'll see tonight 6:30pm ET. #hockeynight
— HockeyNightInCanada (@hockeynight) October 19, 2013
There are few words in the sports world that are as overused and over-debated as the word “rivalry”. What does it mean? From thefreedictionary.com:
n. pl. ri·val·ries
1. The act of competing or emulating.
2. The state or condition of being a rival.
OK, in that case, every single matchup in sports is considered a rivalry, because every team is in an act of competition with every other team....
The Leafs have moved Nikolai Kulemin onto long term injury reserve, freeing up $2.8 million in cap space which they've used to call up some extra personnel in Josh Leivo, David Broll and TJ Brennan.
While I'm still a little peeved about Kadri's 13 minutes of usage last night, calling up an inexperienced but skilled enough top 9 option like Josh Leivo is a good call given the options at the Leafs disposal. With wingers Kulemin and Clarkson out of action for a significant number of games still, Carlyle has been playing one of Orr or Bodie next to Kadri...
Nikolai Kulemin broke a small bone in his ankle blocking a shot in yesterday's practice and will miss 2+ weeks of action.
With Clarkson still on the shelf for 8 more games due to suspension, the Leafs are looking paper thin at right wing all of a sudden. They've called up Spencer Abbott to replace Kulemin in the top 9 forwards. Jamie Devane was recalled in wake of Mark Fraser's injury, as the Leafs have opted for 14 forwards and 6 defence for the time being. Morgan Rielly will step into Fraser's place, and is expected to play alongside Cody...
Dave Nonis completed arguably the best and most important contract negotiation of the offseason this morning, as the Toronto Maple Leafs locked up star right winger Phil Kessel to an 8-year contract worth $64-million. The annual cap hit it comes to a round $8-million, shirking the annoying trend of players getting paid their Jersey number, and is the biggest and most expensive player contract ever signed by the Leafs, nearly doubling David Clarkson's contract signed in July.
As of this writing, Phil Kessel will have the eighth highest cap hit in the National Hockey League next, behind Ovechkin, Malkin, Crosby,...
As we talked about last week, there seems to be a concerted effort to get an inevitably massive Phil Kessel contract extension signed before the regular season begins tomorrow. Kessel is reported to have no interest in the distraction of negotiating during the regular season, which never made sense to me, because getting a deal done in Toronto is far less interesting to the circling mob of Toronto media members than it is to have him playing out the string unsigned. That's like 8 months of question material out the window.
Darren Dreger, Chris Johnston and Bob McKenzie have all...
The Leafs have moved Frazer McLaren to the long-term injury reserve with a broken finger, availing $700,000 in cap space, and recalled Troy Bodie after passing him through waivers yesterday. Bodie can be sent down again without passing through waivers provided he doesn't stick longer than 10 games or 30 days.
The #leafs have recalled Troy Bodie, sent John-Michael Liles to the AHL and placed Frazer McLaren on LTIR. Let the season begin.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 30, 2013
The Leafs have opted for Bodie and his 100+ games in NHL experience to replace McLaren on the 4th line. Bodie's skating...
The Maple Leafs placed John-Michael Liles, Trevor Smith, Korbinian Holzer, TJ Brennan, Troy Bodie and Drew MacIntyre on waivers at noon today. If they clear by noon tomorrow, all will join the Toronto Marlies.
Liles has been waived to save $925,000 of his $3,875,000 on the cap, which could be used to keep Morgan Rielly with the team, at least for the first nine games. It is not out of the question yet, should Rielly get sent to junior after 9 games, that Liles could return to the top 7 with the big club.
Carter Ashton looks to have grabbed...
6’6 Centerman Joe Colborne has been traded to the Calgary Flames for a 4th round pick in 2014.
Count this as Brian Burke‘s first move as GM of the Calgary Flames President of the Calgary Flames.
Colborne was drafted by the Boston Bruins in the first round (16th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, and in 2011 was traded to Toronto along with a 1st round pick in 2011 (Tyler Biggs) and a conditional 2nd round pick in exchange for Tomas Kaberle. The Leafs parlayed that 2nd round pick into John-Michael Liles (who ties back into this, if you keep reading).
When the Hockey World woke up today, there was some good news if you are a Leaf fan.
James van Riemsdyk summed it up best:
Always nice waking up to good news #sneakybeast pic.twitter.com/Tdv7vYwRMN
— James van Riemsdyk (@JVReemer21) September 26, 2013
David Nonis took care of his last contract problem by signing defenceman Cody Franson, 26, to a one-year contract for $2-million. Franson reported to Maple Leafs training camp Thursday morning and played with Mark Fraser.
Franson was looking for a longer, multi-year deal in excess of $4-million per year to reflect the fact he played his way to the top of the...
Dave Nonis and Tim Leiweke addressed the season seat holders and fans at the ACC in their "Leafs Nation Season Preview" event.
The Maple Leafs have signed Mason Raymond to a one-year, $1 million contract after a strong showing from the 28-year-old winger in his preseason tryouts.
You can't get too carried away by preseason production, but the versatility Raymond seems to offer and the two-way responsibility he demonstrated - with several strong backchecks and good plays off the half board in the defensive zone, plus his ability to serve on the second penalty killing unit if need be - suggests this was too useful of a player for the Leafs not to sign at such an affordable price.
There was some suggestion...
Darren Dreger is reporting murmurs of offer sheet speculation on Cody Franson (for more details about the current holdout, see this earlier article).
Some offer sheet speculation on Cody Franson. Anything above $3.3 mil pretty sure Tor would take the 1rst rnd pick. Anything under...match.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 12, 2013
Here is the relevant list of offer sheet compensation:
It goes without saying the Leafs should definitely match anything below the $3,364,391 threshold. If a team submits something just below that threshold the Leafs would have to bury a contract or something, because losing Franson for a 2nd round pick is...
Live streaming video from MapleLeafs.com
Some of the interviews in case you missed them during the live stream:
Training camp opens today (physicals/media day), and one half of the dark cloud lurking over this awesome time of year in Leafland has been cleared up and squared away.
I can only see one potential "but" in yesterday's good-value Kadri contract. An Adam Henrique or James van Riemsdyk contract (long term at a little over $4 million) might be the type of contract we wish we snagged Nazem on down the road. There's no knowing if Kadri would be amenable to locking himself in long term at that low of a figure, however, and in the short term, with the...
About that catastrophic cap crunch. Bob McKenzie has confirmed Nick Kypreos' initial report of 2 years, $5.8 million (split like so: $2.7 million in 2013-14, $3.1 million in 2014-15) for Nazem Kadri's new contract, avoiding a training camp holdout.
Dave Nonis and Claude Loiselle got their terms by waiting out Kadri, from the looks of things.
$2.9 x 2 years for Kadri. $25,000 more per year than the Leafs offered 1 month ago.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 11, 2013
This should leave a little under $3 million or so to get Cody Franson done.
Kadri's only real play for further leverage in...