Brian Burke gets asked if he would like to triangle choke Steve Simmons and more in this interview for News 95.7. The interview starts at the 9:00 mark and ends at the 29:00 mark Full audio here.
The Maple Leafs announced the details of this year's prospect camp this afternoon. Here's some information regarding on-ice sessions in Toronto, followed by the entire list of attending prospects after the jump.
The camp will include on-ice practice sessions at MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence and seminars on conditioning, media awareness, personal development and nutrition. The camp will open with on-ice workouts on Monday at 10:00 a.m. The week will be highlighted with three intra-squad games which will take place from Tuesday-to-Thursday. The tentative on-ice schedule for the camp is as follows:
- Monday, July 2: 10:00 a.m. â€“ On-ice testing (MasterCard Centre)
- Tuesday, July 3: 10:00 a.m. â€“ Intra-squad Game (MasterCard Centre)
- Wednesday, July 4: 1:45 p.m. â€“ Intra-Squad Game (MasterCard Centre)
- Thursday, July 5: 10:00 a.m. â€“ Intra-Squad Game (MasterCard Centre)
NHL Free Agency was, originally, to be a major component of the Brian Burke 'rebuild' model - or 'retool,' whatever you want to call it - when the Maple Leafs' new GM arrived in Toronto. And despite perpetual inflation, it remains the surest and easiest avenue for a team to obtain top-quality players in their prime without sacrificing any organizational assets beyond cash. Factoring in the promises of a quick turnaround and transactions we shall not name, lest we incite debate involving high-end draft picks exchanged for promising young stars, free agency to the Brian Burke model becomes...well, not quite a necessity...but a really, really valuable step in getting the Toronto Maple Leafs back to the Stanley Cup finals as efficiently as possible.
One can't exactly say it's worked out nicely, thus far.
The problem, as Burke's lamented, has been the distinct lack of premier free agents available. Teams have compensated for the league's attempts to "liberalize" the market by locking up their talented players before they become UFAs. [more…]
Some free agency news this evening, presented without comment:
Heâ€™s been associated with the Phoenix Coyotes (ne Winnipeg Jets) franchise for so long that no [more…]
The franchise's all-time goals and points leader is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee. Congrats Mats.
According to Darcy Regier, "The NHL Amateur Draft produces, on average, 54 players [who play at least 80 NHL games in their career] a year -- 1.8 per team -- I think."
Think about that. Only 54 players per draft play at least 80 NHL games. That means Mike Zigomanis qualifies as one of those "NHLers."
The draft is a time for many things: hope, optimism, change, but perhaps most importantly (and foolishly) it is a time for false belief. Fans, especially fans of teams who are struggling, look at the draft and expect so much from it. The truth is though, if you draft one really good NHL player, you've done well. If you draft two solid NHLers, you've done above average. Three? Well, that's basically a special draft all things considered.
So if you're apart of the Leafs organization and waking up this week, you have to feel pretty good about a draft that netted you two players that you (and many others) ranked as first rounders, especially when one is a guy you ranked first overall (more on that below). [more…]
As Darren Dreger tweeted:
"Breaking News!!!! Toronto trades Luke Schenn to Flyers for James Van Riemsdyk. Done deal."
In a deal that made a lot of sense for both sides - and perhaps a needed change of scenery for both former top 5 picks - the Leafs trade defenseman Luke Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for big skilled winger James van Riemsdyk. The whole drafting process was leading up to this point, as the Leafs stockpiled on defensemen that made this trade all the more probable.
A deal which was in the making for quite some time, and maybe would have gotten done sooner if not for JVR's earlier concussion problems, finally materialized. Burke pointed out that this team needed to get bigger up front and that's exactly what this move is all about. While JVR won't take people's heads off with hits, he offers that big body in addition to his goal scoring ability that will hopefully give the top six a new dynamic.
We need to thank Luke Schenn for the years he spent with the organization and wish him all the best with the Flyers. They get a player who can still become one of the better shutdown defenseman in the league.
On the other hand, Leafs get a player who not only brings size and good possession skills but is also a fit price wise. Van Riemsdyk is also a good skater with plenty of speed who loves to drive the net. He is listed as being 6 ft 3 in tall and with a weight of 211 lb and is 23 years old.
With their first pick of Day 2, the Maple Leafs quickly snap up one of the top [more…]
The Maple Leafs' draft team opted to add some high end skill to the backend with their fifth overall pick yesterday. Some didn't like the choice to go with a defenceman over a top end talent up front, perceiving it as safe, but as the reports on this kid continue to roll out it seems the Leafs did not shy away from rolling the dice a bit on a high-upside prospect. Similar to Galchenyuk, Rielly had a sizable chunk of his season wiped out to a knee injury, giving us only a small sample size of his draft season. Much like the suggestion that Galchenyuk would've been challenging Yakupov for first overall honours if he played a full season, a few scouts have wondered just how high Rielly might have gone if he didn't suffer the injury - perhaps challenging Ryan Murray for top defenceman of the 2012 draft class.
I know, it's easy to say things like that when you don't know, but the point is - when you hear comparisons like Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson and you take a peak at some of the highlight packs and witness the type of raw skill Rielly possesses, the Leafs didn't really shy away from swinging big on who they deemed the best athlete available at the number five spot, in a draft rife with defencemen in the top 10.
The second round gets underway this morning at 10 a.m. The Leafs won't have to wait long to pick as they own selection number 35. Dave Nonis suggested yesterday that there was as much interest in this pick from other teams as there was in the fifth overall due to the depth of the draft. If the Leafs opt for some offense at 35, here a few names to look out for:
Morgan Rielly is a Canadian defenseman who played his junior career for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. This 18 year old, 6 ft, 190 lb defenseman was born in West Vancouver and was Moose Jaw's second overall selection in the WHL Bantam Draft.
His honors include a bronze medal in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge and a selection to the 2011 Subway Super Series. Riellyâ€™s season was cut short by a torn ACL as the D-man played only 18 games for the Warriors scoring 18 points during that stretch, including 3 goals. We needed to add some more mobility on the back end and we got it now.
Hello fellow Leaf fans, welcome to the MLHS 2012 NHL Entry Draft Open Thread. According to Twitter, a lot of GMs are talking to each [more…]
"There's a chance we make a positional pick here but I don't think so."
Sounds like Burke will be sticking with the best-athlete available-philosophy and, as reported earlier, the Leafs GM says there's a "good chance" it's a defenceman based on his reading of the first four picks. Of course, the reading could be different than what plays out or a trade could impact the order.
Both Burke and Dave Nonis were quite clear about just how little is going on with trade activity at the moment.
After the jump is Dave Nonis' interview from yesterday and today's Leafs Nation Google+ live chat with Dallas Eakins. Be sure to look out for MLHS' own Mislav Jantoljak, who asks Dallas a few questions. [more…]