Good news for critics of 'the swarm' and those who want to see the shots against reduced next season -- sounds like the coaching staff is making some defensive zone coverage adjustments in training camp and preseason that will attempt to address last season's glaring holes. Joffrey Lupul sounds more comfortable with it already.
As far as premature lineup projections go, we've gotten the following hints out of Randy Carlyle:
He believes Roman Polak and Dion Phaneuf could form a "minute-munching top pair," with Dion shifted to the left.
While Mike Santorelli can play center, he envisions him as a winger to start. He has mentioned there...
It's technically Leafs hockey! Give it a watch as William Nylander finds Phil Kessel with three nice passes (one particularly dirty sauce in the o-zone), Peter Holland shows off an NHL shot (scoring twice) and Matt Frattin torches Morgan Rielly.
Canadian Press: Maple Leafs make defensive zone changes at training camp
Wooo! We're covering the points more!
Mirtle: Splitting up the top line makes sense
Globe & Mail: Who will make the Leafs?
National Post: Maple Leafs worst sports franchise in North America, says ESPN
Toronto Sun: David Clarkson, Tyler Bozak listed as day to day
Maple Leafs.com: Leafs sign training camp invitee defenceman Cody...
He didn’t call anyone’s mother this time for a health report, but it’s bound to generate nearly as much noise just as training camp starts today: Dave Feschuk reported on Steve Spott's talk at a coaching clinic and got some scuttlebutt via unnamed coaches in attendance. The main subject was Phil Kessel, who it should be noted Feschuk has disparaged in the past (doesn’t mean this latest report is 100% untrue, it’s just history worth remembering).
We'll leave the Kessel stuff to your own interpretation. The thing is - Feschuk can extract these quotes from a bunch of different sources, frame his...
No William Nylander expected this afternoon when the Maple Leafs prospects wrap up their 2014 Rookie Tournament versus Pittsburgh. Frederik Gauthier is day to day with a back injury and also won't feature. 2013 6th round pick and Val d'Or Memorial Cup standout Antoine Bibeau will tend the Leaf net.
Game thread to come later.
James Mirtle: What should the Maple Leafs do with William Nylander?
MLHS yesterday: 10 Questions Part 1 -- Will Randy Carlyle Change?
MLHS yesterday: Viktor Loov returning to Sweden? Leafs invite goalie Cal Heeter to camp
Ultimate Hockey: PTOs and the Maple Leafs
Leaf Report Podcast: Season Preview - Defence...
We've got a day break before the rookie tournament wraps up tomorrow versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here's some Monday reading:
Viktor Loov "probably" has to go back to Sweden if he doesn't make the big club. Unfortunate. Based on the rookie tourney showings, seems like it's time to get him over to Toronto and begin acclimating to the North American game with the Marlies.
The Maple Leafs appear to have invited former Andirondack Phantoms goalie (ex-Flyers property, signed out of college) Cal Heeter to their camp. More options does seem prudent. Technically Garret Sparks is the #3 goalie right now and he's...
Stiff competition is going to be the theme of this Maple Leafs training camp, more so than your typical September anyway.
Up front, beyond the five firm top six forwards the Leafs have on the roster plus David Clarkson, there are going be as many as nine forwards with NHL pedigree plus William Nylander competing for the other six spots.
The Maple Leafs added a few more names to the mix on defence yesterday as well, extending camp tryout agreements to Henrik Tallinder and Brendan Mikelsson.
It seems unlikely the Leafs would sign both given they don't have many Standard Player Contract...
What was an honest effort by the Maple Leafs with this weekend's "Fan Fest" events —reaching out to the public and to engage fans that might not otherwise not be able to get up close and personal with their favourite hockey team/players -- turned into a mess reigniting many fans' frustration for an organization obsessed with making money at every opportunity, unwilling to do anything altruistic without the aid of corporate sponsorship.
The "free" pre-season hockey game sponsored by a monolithic corporate softdrink giant, "free" Maple Leaf scarfs with a bank's logo splattered across it, "free" Maple Leaf car flags with the same bank's logo prominently...
Hockey Graphs: Save Percentage vs. the Experts - Do shots against inflate a goaltender's save percentage?
MLHS yesterday: Breaking Down the Leafs' 'Moneypuck' Additions
Toronto Star: Maple Leafs' Matt Frattin back after a 'tough year' with Kings, Blue Jackets
National Post: Maple Leafs' Matt Frattin could be answer on the second line
Fan590: Stephane Robidas not cleared for contact yet (audio)
Toronto Sun: Daniel Winnik takes long way home to Maple Leafs
Your important dates to remember for the month ahead:
PPP: Top 25 under 25 - #16 Frederik Gauthier, #17 Tom Nilsson
VLM: The David Clarkson Rebound Factor
VLM: The first thing that comes to mind when I think about these Maple Leafs - past and present
MapleLeafs.com: 2014 Rookie Tournament Roster
Yahoo: Four potential new expansion teams and the not-done Las Vegas deal
Toronto Star: NHL denies expansion report, including second team in Toronto
The Score: The 3 Successful Traits of Successful Neutral Zone Teams
PPP: Top 25 under 25 - #18 Garrett Sparks, #19 Fabrice Herzog
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: The Phil skips the ice bucket and donates $1,000 instead - what a beauty
Edmonton Journal: Could the Maple Leafs' hypothetical expansion cousin reach to history for its name?
Vancouver Province: Maple Leafs only NHL team on Forbes' most valuable sports franchises list
TVA Sports: Tomas Kaberle and Scott Gomez invited to Devils camp?
PPP: 2013-14 First Half Zone Entries for Leafs Forwards
Toronto Sun: Leafs' David Clarkson ready to hit the reset button
Toronto Star: Randy Carlyle accepts ALS Ice Bucket Challenges from Mikhail Grabovski
Sportsnet: Leafs' David Clarkson practicing with Sid the Kid
Pro Hockey Talk: Leafs flex financial muscle in one of few ways they can
MapleLeafs.com: Who will join Teeder on Legends Row?
Puck Daddy: The 10 Most Fascinating Players in 2014-15
Puck Daddy: Most Disappointing Summer Series -- Detroit Red Wings
Champions Hockey League: Andreas Johnson leading the tourney in points
PPP: Top 25 Under 25 - #21 Teemu Hartikainen
Toronto Star: Under Leiweke, Leafs underwent huge philosophical change
Yahoo!: MLSE on the search for a new CEO
VLM: 10 Maple Leafs "pre" pre-season observations
A year and three months into his tenure and Tim Leiweke has already submitted his one season's notice. Never stable and ever bizarre, just another day at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
National Post: Tim Leiweke's early departure from MLSE a troubling sign for Toronto sports fan
The Globe and Mail: Future looks bleak for MLSE and all its teams
Elliotte Friedman: Tim Leiweke wouldn't commit to MLSE
Sportsnet: Leiweke's marriage to MLSE doomed from the start
VLM: Tim Leiweke's early departure -- good or bad for the Maple Leafs?
Sportsnet: Analytics hires are quick fixes to PR nightmares
MapleLeafs.com: Brendan Shanahan's kids gleefully douse...
A little morning listening courtesy TSN1050's Blue Lunch -- Hockey Abstract's Rob Vollman joined the show to discuss the summer of analytics and the Leafs' recent hires. One of the field's true pioneers, Vollman is a well spoken guy who does a great job breaking down the powers and limitations of the current state of hockey analytics in this segment. Take a listen:
What would you as an analytics guy say to a coach like Randy Carlyle when trying to fix the "possession game?"
Vollman: I don't often talk to coaches. It's two very separate things, what they do and what...
Brendan Shanahan told reporters yesterday that the Leafs' next front office hire (perhaps a cap guy to fill Claude Loiselle's position?) will be announced sometime next week.
In other Leafs news, pictured below is what the new Legends Row monument outside the ACC will look like once completed, courtesy of James Mirtle. Teeder Kennedy was the first name unveiled for the monument yesterday.
Toronto Star: Ted's son Mark Kennedy talks about how special the inclusion in the monument would be to his late father
Canada.com: Brendan Shanahan says Leafs off-season work still ongoing. He's also expected to meet with...
Wednesday Leafs Links:
PPP: The 'Top 25 Under 25' Leafs Prospect series is back
Reddit: Members of Kiss receive Leafs jerseys before their show at the ACC last night
Toronto Sun: Names of players on the new monument outside the ACC will begin to be unveiled on Thursday
Toronto Star: Maple Leafs to give rings to '60s champs
MLHS yestserday: What's Ailing the Leafs' Penalty Kill - Part 1
TSN1050: Down Goes Brown joins Macko and Cauz
Tuesday Morning Links:
Instagram: Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert accept JVR's challenge, take the IceBucket plunge and issue challenges to Clarke MacArthur and Joffrey Lupul
Russian Machine Never Breaks: Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin complete IceBucket challenge and challenge Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis
MLHS yesterday: Updated WOWY analysis of Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel
Hockey Analysis: Rush Shots and Defensive Zone Play of Maple Leafs Defencemen
TLN: Marlies Sign Patrick Watling of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds
VLM: Maple Leafs optimism heading into 2014-15 -- just summertime hope?
Puck Daddy: Is this the Red Wings' Last Stand?
In our interview with Steve Spott yesterday, we found out what the individual assignments of the new assistants on the coaching staff will be -- Spott will be running the powerplay, Peter Horachek the penalty kill and defence pairings.
Steve Spott is unlikely to change anything drastic on the powerplay in terms of system (1-3-1) or personnel -- Kessel on the half wall, JvR in front, Bozak roving the slot on PP1 -- but it will be interesting to see if Cody Franson and Dion Phaneuf remain paired together or if the Leafs accompany each of those shooters with puck...
Thursday Morning Links:
Greg Wyshynski: Will Claude Loiselle screw up the NHL's Department of Player Safety?
TSN: Canada downs Russia at World Junior Development Camp, Leafs' Rinat Valiev scores for Russia
50 Mission Cap: Why Your Team Sucks - Atlantic Division
50 Mission Cap: Why Your Team Sucks - The Metropolitan Division
The Leafs Nation: Some storylines entering 2014-15 season
Puck Daddy: Top 10 Most Improved Teams this Off Season
The Score: Hockey's Statistical Revolution is in full swing, and it's time to take the next step
TSN1050: Jamie McLennan and Bryan Hayes talk some Leafs (couple days old)
Tuesday Morning Links:
VLM: Breathing a sigh of relief: in keeping Jake Gardiner, it’s clear the Leafs are building around a mobile defense
NHL.com: Kessel confident in Leafs' chances this season
Globe and Mail: Kessel says Leafs will be prepared to prevent another tailspin
CBS Sports: Phil Kessel and Roger Federer play ball hockey
Pro Hockey Talk: PK Subban vs. the League's Other Big Money Defencemen
NY Post: Claude Loiselle to replace Brendan Shanahan as VP of Player Safety
Yahoo!: Ryan Johanssen talks now a standoff over money
Puck Daddy: How much did Gary Bettman make during the lockout? About $8.8 million
Times Colonist: Bryan Trottier, Artus Irbe...