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...
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 Phaneuf shortly.
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...
PPP: The Case for Cody Franson
The Star: Newly signed Jake Gardiner eager to get started with revamped Maple Leafs
National Post: Maple Leafs' Stephane Robidas happy to play role of defensive mentor
Hockey Fights: Maple Leafs announce two-year extension of their ECHL Affiliation with the Orlando Solar Bears
Nilsen Report: 10 Thoughts -- Toronto Maple Leafs, Kyle Dubas, Advanced Stats
Some montages on the new Leafs to aid in the mailing in of your final work day before the long weekend.
Petri Kontiola (updated version):
With James Reimer's negotiations settling on Friday, only Jake Gardiner remains of the Leafs' outstanding contract situations, and this contract quietly might be most interesting among all of the Leafs' RFAs this off-season. Do the Maple Leafs bridge him with a 2 year deal or buy some UFA years on a long term contract, pay a little more than they would have in the next few seasons, and hope it pays off down the road?
The comparative thinking here being that $4.25 million for James van Riemsdyk until 2018 is ridiculously good value. We could also point out that the...
Domenic Galamini (@MimicoHero) is a good follow on Twitter for his daily insights and data visualizations, usually with a Leafs focus. Yesterday, he put together an updated chart on the Leafs off-season additions and subtractions (stats encompass the last three seasons):
Overall, the Leafs' new additions have had their past linemates own more of the shot attempts with them than away from them. Better than the alternative, but what the Leafs' coaching staff changes or doesn't change about their 5v5 systems is going to be the biggest wildcard in all of this.
Newest addition David Booth shines particularly bright in the...
The online hockey world reacted to news of the hiring of an assistant GM like it was its own version of the LeBron sweepstakes when the Leafs brought aboard young hockey executive Kyle Dubas yesterday. That’s of little shock given the Maple Leafs had become such a flashpoint in the debate on the role and place of advanced stats/analytics in hockey-ops decisions in the past year and a half -- achieving modest success for 110 games despite ghastly underlying possession numbers and then having the floor fall out from under them when their overworked number one goalie got hurt...
Updating on Elliot's excellent piece about Monday's arbitration case, word is the Maple Leafs and Cody Franson have submitted their initial proposals and are more than $2 million apart on salary.
Being $2.2 million apart probably isn't outrageous as far as this nasty process goes, but it certainly sounds like a huge divide when the player's desired contract figure is more than double that of the club.
Always a demeaning process, the Maple Leafs have anchored their offer as if Franson is worth the same as he was paid on his previous one-year deal, which Franson felt was a pittance...
The three major remaining off season questions in Leafland, it seems: What’s RFA Jake Gardiner’s contract going to look like? What are the settlements going to be for arbitration-bound James Reimer and Cody Franson? Will the latter pair still be Leafs come September?
We’ll find out the answer on Franson’s settlement on Monday. Resident sports lawyer Elliot Saccucci will stop by a little later today with a look at that upcoming arbitration case.
Gord Dineen on TSN 1050 TSN Drive With Dave Naylor - July 17.
New Head Coach of the Toronto Marlies Gord Dineen joins Dave Naylor and Dave Feschuk to...