Morning Mashup

Morning Mashup

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Interesting tweak to the pre-free agency interview period rule: Teams are now openly allowed to talk to free agents (both restricted and unrestricted) about their actual contract demands as well as their potential interest for six days before free agency opens (interview period begins Wednesday, June 25). This is a case of the League allowing to happen what it couldn't control from happening anyway. Nonetheless, it is now open season to hash out the parameters of a contract with a player who still technically belongs to another team. Apparently some do-good teams were peeved last summer that this went on...

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Things That Make No Sense: A team that needs to improve at center moving a good 23-year-old center for a less productive 26-year-old center. Converting a promising young puck-moving defenceman with top-4 ability to the less desirable wing position where he's never played a pro hockey game. Just about everything Darren Dreger says lately. 'Tis the season. All that craziness and more in the links below. Thursday Links: The Sun: GM Dave Nonis talks draft, Bolland, trades, moving Gardiner to forward NHL Trade Rumours: Nick Kypreos floats a Nazem Kadri for Patrick Berglund rumour Pierre Lebrun: Garth Snow is now looking to flip Dan Boyle's rights...

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It was a story throughout the entirety of 2013-14, dating back to the off-season buyouts and RFA negotiations, that the Toronto Maple Leafs were tight to the upper limit of the salary cap. While they weren't the only team feeling the squeeze of a reduced cap, they couldn't keep Joe Colborne around after preseason due to limited cap space and his waiver eligibility, David Clarkson's early season suspension put the Leafs in a cap bind, the Leafs straddled the limit for much of the season sending players up and down to pinch their cap pennies, and late in the...

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In the meantime, some offseason speculation and draft stuff to chew on in the links below. Tuesday Links: ICYMI: Petrielli's 10 Playoff Lessons for the Maple Leafs TSN 1050:  Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger with the latest scuttlebutt TSN 1290: James Mirtle joins Rick Ralph to discuss Buyout Candidates Hound Sports: Thorough breakdown of buyout candidates TSN: A table with all of the compliance buyouts used/unused OHL Prospects: Final Media/Scout Top 10 for the 2014 Draft Sportsnet: Aaron Ekblad an Easy No.1 for Florida ESPN Insider: Draft Strategy - Atlantic Division Denver Post: Avalanche elect for arbitration against O'Reilly. What does it mean? PPP: The First Ever Alberta Hockey Analytics...

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The Colorado Avalanche filed for club-elected arbitration ahead of yesterday's 5 p.m. deadline rather than qualifying 23-year-old RFA center Ryan O'Reilly at a $6.5 million price tag. O'Reilly is not going to want to take a pay cut from his $6.5 million salary last season during this negotiation (which is still ongoing, arb-file aside). O'Reilly and his agent are able to play a pretty hard line here, as even an unfavorable arbitration ruling gives him the option of bridging himself into UFA in two year's time. It's pretty clear from my gathering that Avs think ROR is $5 million player, which...

Fathers Day

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Happy Fathers Day to all the MLHS Dads. It's a little a thin on the news front, but tonight at midnight the news should pick up with buyouts on players being active and some more player movement overall. Links Toronto Maple Leafs AHL and CHL prospects flourished in the 2013-14 playoffs (Hockeys Future) How should the Sharks feel about the team that got away winning the Stanley Cup? (Fear The Fin) What should the Leafs pay Gardiner this summer? (PPP) Harkening back to some summertime Maple Leaf memories… (Vintage Leaf Memories) Jake Gardiner and the Toronto Maple Leafs blueline (Ourhometeam.ca) Mirtle: Do the L.A. Kings have the makings of a dynasty? (G&M) Doughty drove Kings as...

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Say what you will about the commentary of Jim Hughson or Glen Healy (it's awful), but to wave goodbye to Saturday night HNIC tradition as we’ve known it for our entire lifetimes is going to be a heck of a loss. Nothing could have hammered that home harder than the closing montage last night. In related news, congratulations to the 2014 Stanley Cup Champion LA Kings.  Two more Cups in 3 years than the Leafs have in the last 47. Life’s not fair.   Saturday Links: The Globe and Mail: Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup, in case you hadn't heard PPP: Can Teams Suppress...

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Trade up? Trade down? Stick at 8? Friday Links: TSN Radio: Sharks analyst Drew Remenda joins TSN 1050's Brian Hayes and Jamie McLennan to talk about the Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton rumours TSN Radio: Leafs legend Curtis Joseph on TSN 1050 National Post: Brad Richards, likely on his way out, gets another demotion (Ed Note: Credit to Brian Burke for knowing enough not to sign 31-year-old players who can't skate to 9-year contracts). National Post: Senators GM Bryan Murray says he'll 'do what he can' to trade Jason Spezza Globe and Mail: NHL revenues hit record high 3.7 billion - current projected cap for...

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Too Much Cash for Komarov? One other Nonis note re: Leo Komarov: Says he'd be open to having him back, but only at the right price. — Jonas Siegel (@jonasTSN1050) June 11, 2014 One other note from a chat with Dave Nonis today: He doesn't see a fit financially for Leo Komarov and the #leafs. — Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 11, 2014 Obviously, the latter report conveys considerably less optimism when it comes to getting a deal done. Dave Nonis had no scruples about suggesting Komarov's departure last summer was "about money," not mentioning role, ice time or the Olympics. Komarov reportedly made $2 million...

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And maybe then we'll get some real news. For now... Edmonton Journal: Should the Edmonton Oilers push to acquire Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner (Ed Note: With pretty similar needs, Edmonton and Toronto do not seem like suitable trading partners when it comes to a major deal). NHL Trade Rumours: Darren Dreger points out the obvious with the Thornton rumour Sportsnet: This piece titled "Kypreos: Leafs trying hard for Thornton" has been deleted Denver Post: Avalanche and Stastny are Playing the Waiting Game MLHS: Maple Leafs Assistant Coaching Candidates - Mark Morris and Ted Dent Tip Of The Tower: Dissecting the Draft for the Maple Leafs Puck...

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Yesterday, rumour broke that the Maple Leafs are one of six teams expressing interest Joe Thornton. It's a rumour we've all fantasized about since Mats Sundin left in 2008: Trading for, as one esteemed AM640 post-game caller once called him, "Horton, the one who plays with Choochoo" . Who doesn’t like the general idea of acquiring Joe Thornton, an elite playmaker and big-bodied center who is always near the top of the League in assists? He’s probably got a couple of good years left in him. In my particular fantasy, I’d play him with Clarkson and maybe JvR, creating a...

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How crazy? Dion Phaneuf, Nazem Kadri and the eighth pick to the Panthers for Ed Jovanovski and the first overall pick, crazy. In the real news world, nothing to report. Ray Ferraro is less than convinced this is the draft class worth trading up to #1 for. Maple Leafs Boss Tim Leiweke is Proud of the Kings. That's nice for him. Maple Leafs have more role players than future stars on the Marlies says Michael Traikos The Flyers and Leafs will again play a preseason game in London's Budweiser Gardens next September Maple Leafs goaltending prospect Antoine Bibeau has been signed to his entry level...

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More good Leafs-related news out of the Memorial Cup tournament last night as 2013 sixth round pick Antoine Bibeau's resounding 47 saves on 50 shots guided his Val-d'Or Foreurs to the semifinals after a 4-3 OT win over the Edmonton Oil Kings. Among the 47 turned aside by Bibeau was a penalty shot in the first period. Traded to Val-d'Or from Charlottetown midseason, Bibeau went 16-4-4 in the playoffs with a .913 save percentage en route to a QMJHL championship and individual MVP honours. Passed over in the 2012 draft, Bibeau is the hottest goalie in junior hockey at the...

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Leo Komarov will not take up a contract option with Dynamo in the KHL and appears certain to return to the NHL next season. Leafs fans have been tracking him all year since his return to the KHL as Leo has worn Leafs apparel against his team's wishes and told KHL news outlets he would love to return to Toronto. Leafs fans love Komarov and want their favorite polyglot pest back on the team, but where it gets tricky of course is Dave Nonis' job of setting aside emotional ties to the player and trying to arrive at fair value with a contract offer. Something Nonis attempted to...

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According to Damien Cox, the decision on the futures of Randy Carlyle and his staff is expected to arrive sometime this week as Brendan Shanahan is on the verge of his first big decision(s) as Maple Leafs President. Shanahan wasn’t going to begin clear cutting in haste without a thorough evaluation, top to bottom, of the organization he’s newly seized the reigns of. Indeed, as expected, he was seen meeting with many Leafs players in various spots throughout the city before they took off to their off-season locales. He's also worked his way through the management and coaching staffs and took...

NHL Playoff Matchups

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Links The Emergence of Sam Carrick The LeafsNation Henrik Lundqvist leads New York Rangers past Philadelphia Flyers National Post Bigger, stronger Boston Bruins beat Detroit Red Wings again National Post Montreal Canadiens complete sweep of Tampa Bay Lightning National Post Don Cherry says there’s ‘no excuse’ for Matt Cooke’s hit on Tyson Barrie National Post Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars both felt for Stéphane Robidas when he broke his leg for a second time National Post: Ron MacLean apologizes after French-speaking referee comment - The Globe and Mail Globe and mail sports Canadiens' 'nudge theory' catches Lightning in a bottle - The Globe and Mail Globe and mail Duhatschek: The old Matt...

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Why didn't the Leafs call up T.J. Brennan? Toronto Maple Leafs WOWYs: Randy Carlyle Edition Some Perspective On Nazem Kadri Marlies Lose To Utica, Locked Into 3rd DRAFT Maple Leafs fans should hop on Raptors bandwagon and enjoy the ride Detroit Red Wings beat Boston Bruins in playoff opener on Pavel Datsyuk’s late goal Your favourite (and least favourite) NHL playoff broadcasters—past and present Evoking memories of the Maple Leafs in the playoffs in the spring of ’93: Episode 19 of “The Vintage Leaf Memo..

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No miracles in yesterday's draft lottery. Here's the history of the eighth overall pick dating back to 1990: The top 20 prospects per the March ISS rankings: Nick Ritchie is going to get a lot of play in Leafland because he's this draft's "next Lucic," while Jared McCann should also be the center (wink) of much discussion as he might the best natural pivot available if the Leafs remain in the eight spot and he's also an Ontario boy. Bob McKenzies Top 10 NHL Draft Prospects Hump day links... James Reimer and Morgan Rielly are headed to the World Championships for Canada. Bozak might be...

Brendan Shanahan

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The Maple Leafs are walking out another mouthpiece for their organization today. Between Leiweke, Nonis, Poulin, Loiselle and now Brendan Shanahan, will there will be some difficulty "staying on message"? Color us pessimistic, but it doesn't seem like a move that will affect the on-ice product in the immediate future. The Maple Leafs need to make the same moves they did last year, but failed to do: Phaneuf needs a LD partner, along with a RD for the 2nd pairing. Bozak needs to be replaced with a proper 1C, Bolland needs replacing if he is asking for anything more than...

Peter Deboer

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Toronto Maple Leafs Do Smart Thing, Lose 4-2 to FLA End of the line for Leafs TV live game coverage? New Maple Leafs hockey boss Brendan Shanahan brings impressive credentials to job Randy Carlyle rips Maple Leafs after loss to Panthers Brendan Shanahan will need help fixing the Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle's future with club won't be determined right after season Devils coach Pete DeBoer on job status: 'Do you have a question about the game tonight?'