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672

After surviving fans literally chanting for his head at the ACC, receiving the backing of Brian Burke with a very believable reaffirmation and absorbing the endless abuse from fans on every Leaf related website on the internet, Ron Wilson is still left standing.  The scape goat that the entire Leafs Nation wanted to noose for their team's lousy performance coupled with the potential consecutive lottery pick finishes without possessing a lottery pick seems to be getting the last laugh. Burke did the right thing by refusing to scapegoat Wilson.  Will he now retain Wilson for next season and possibly...

220

It should come as no surprise that James Reimer received an opportunity to start in the NHL, during his re-call to fill in for the injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere. What is somewhat of a surprise is the amount Reimer has played (3 starts in the past 4 games) during a time where Jonas Gustavsson was expected to seize the opportunity to prove himself the Maple Leafs' netminder of the future. The question is, to what degree has Reimer's performance  influenced the decision to use him as the de-facto starter, rather than the incumbent? Is Reimer receiving an extended look as part of...

416

Post Game Notes: Leafs light up Atlanta One of the more polarizing players on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster, Mikhail Grabovski has been on the tongues of Leafs Nation with his current hot streak in full effect. He suddenly has a lot of new and of course the old diehard “always believed in him” fans on his side with his torrid scoring pace over the past month.  Another game tonight, another two goals... the hot streak is borderline madness. Just how hot has “Grabo” been?  Think back if you will to last season when enigmatic (for Toronto anyway) scoring winger...

304

So the Toronto Maple Leafs did the inevitable and sent down there 2009 1st round selection Nazem Kadri to the AHL (Toronto Marlies).  Whether it is longer term or just to get his 2-game suspension off the books remains to be seen but I for one hope he is firmly entrenched down there, for his own good.  I still have hope that Kadri can develop into a serviceable and possibly even productive second line centre but for now he is not even close to being NHL ready. To really drive home that point let’s head to Alberta and take a...

141

Last night on twitter, I (LeafsHotStove) had a brief conversation with KCCanuck and mlse about this Leafs team's problem with slow starts after it all too familiarly fell behind 2-0 to the Thrashers in under three minutes. I asserted that Wilson's Leafs were again starting to play when there was nothing to play for before PPP suggested it might be apart of something bigger like a lack of talent since the lockout. The question for me then became; while the Leafs are known for late season surges when the pressure's off, has seemingly poor game-to-game preparation been unique to...

243

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been called plenty of things this season but I can honestly say there is one I have never heard until recently after reading a piece by an Edmonton sports writer, chicken.  The writer said the Leafs played the role of chicken (and turtles) versus the Edmonton Oilers stating Colton Orr spent the “entire evening running away from Steve MacIntyre” and “found an escape hatch” when he beat Oilers tough guy Zack Stortini “in a marathon”. Where to begin?  First off, Colton Orr runs away from no man, this I think most NHL fight pundits will...

670

According to TSN's Ice Chips, Ron Wilson has continued to rearrange the deck chairs on the sinking Titanic with some more line shuffling. Not that you can blame Wilson for trying; he has too. The practice lines are listed as follows: MacArthur - Grabovski - Kulemin Armstrong - Versteeg - Kessel Sjostrom - Bozak- Brent Orr - Kadri - Mitchell So, Wilson is looking to size up his top six and establish a balance in grit and skill throughout his lines - not a bad idea in principle. Moving Colby Armstrong (it will be interesting to see what impact his return might have in...

260

The potential sports story of the decade for the city of Toronto, and more specifically, fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs is unfolding right before our eyes.  The legitimacy of the potential sale of MLSE to Rogers should not be easily dismissed.  The rumoured sale simply makes sense for all parties involved.  The recent announcement of the pending retirement of MLSE CEO Richard Peddie now starts to bring the picture into focus and adds significant legitimacy to the Toronto Star report of MLSE share sales from the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP) to Rogers Inc.  The fact that the...

Kris Versteeg

276

To say the least, it was a disappointing weekend in Leaf land. A decent effort Saturday versus the Canucks was spoiled, Kadri’s season debut will mostly be remembered for losing the puck on a 3-on-1, and ex-Leaf Viktor Stalberg scored his 6th goal of the season for the Blackhawks...in overtime...with Brian Burke in attendance. The Maple Leafs’ losing streak ballooned to 8 games after falling to the Canucks on a weak goal on J.S. Giguere in the third period Saturday. Giguere made some big saves throughout the game, but couldn’t make an easy one in the end. Perhaps Brett Lebda...

313

I recall our old colour commentator Harry Neale being asked what he thought made a great coach and he shrewdly remarked “great players”.  Now I know the topic of firing Ron Wilson has been beat to death but I wanted to further comment after reading a story from our friends over at Pension Plan Puppets who feel he should absolutely be fired now. It was an entertaining piece “Why Ron Wilson Should Get Fired ASAP” asking a tough question and answering unequivocally: “The question isn't whether Ron Wilson is or isn't a good coach. The question is will replacing Ron Wilson improve...

418

The one area of weakness that was continually mentioned in the offseason centred around the Toronto Maple Leafs lack of scoring depth and the relatively lacklustre top six forward unit overall.  We heard it time and again as the team’s brain trust attempted to move our best defenseman over the past decade for any forward who could be added to one of the top two scoring lines.  At the same time we heard that the defence core we possessed was solid from one through seven and our goaltending should be hugely improved. So should it really come as any surprise early...

299

As the chant of ‘Thank you Kessel’ rang through my ears while watching the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Boston Bruins last night I could not help but feel the need to comment on how ridiculous that cheer actually was.  Ok, I know they were just attempting to be clever but are they really all that thankful that a guy with 37 goals in his past 78 games is not on their team anymore? For those curious Kessel’s goal pace since joining Toronto is actually the best mark of his career, without Marc Savard.  Imagine he still had a legitimate...

189

Nothing gets Leafs Nation into a frenzy quicker than some good old fashioned trade rumours and with the recent news breaking that Brian Burke is "open for business" it was obviously going to make headlines.  Bob McKenzie was told by his sources that the Leafs had an offer on the table involving two bottom six forwards coming to Toronto for one of our current NHL bottom six forwards and an AHL player.  Burke basically inferred the offer was half way decent so it likely would have solidified our bottom six forward lines slightly, but nothing to really get worked up about. ...

136

There has been extensive and rampant debate, spanning almost two full seasons, on the value of one Mikhail Grabovski.  I personally have had more than a few pleasant debates in the comments section of MLHS specifically regarding this player and his skill sets.  Oddly enough, even now, when his contributions border on the insanely obvious, Grabovski's name is often overlooked when discussing the reasons for the Leafs early success.  I know and understand that many on this site, including the more prominent bloggers, are not fans of Mr Grabovski's game.  I am here to ask you all to take...

Mike Brown

210

Two games in, and the Maple Leafs are 2-0 for the first time in 11 years. While some might be tempted to find meaning within that number, the truth is that in terms of history the number is rather meaningless. With still 80 games left on the docket, and the Leafs about to embark on their first road trip of the season, expectations must be tempered despite the hot start (and the rare sight of a 4th overall placement on the ESPN Power Rankings). In other words, a 7-0-1 start (to counter last season's 0-7-1) is probably just a little too...

24

One of the more interesting subplots to the Maple Leafs' 2010-11 preseason has been the Michael Liambas situation. Offered a tryout - amidst much fanfare - in time for the team's annual Rookie Camp, the infamous winger was ultimately released on Thursday, during the first round of cuts at the NHL training camp. Ordinarily, such a move would be regarded as no more than a footnote, a regular or even "to be expected" occurrence which takes place in any training camp. But Liambas' situation was - and remains - anything but ordinary. The part of the saga most know all too...

152

For a hockey fan, hope springs eternal in the fall. Summer ends today, my team is back on the ice and I'm absolutely stoked to get my first look at Versteeg in a Leafs' uni; to scope out Jerry D'Amigo and Jussi Rynnas; to leave the failure of last year behind. I am ready to love this team again.

380

, Join us in the comments as Alex Tran and I go head-to-head carving up the Leafs youth. (Note**) - for the record I will be making the picks for each of us as Alex is boozing busting loose at some bar. I asked him if he was drunk, he said no, but his picks will tell show us the truth. In the spirit of ranking the organization's top young talent (prospects + established NHLers), Gus and I will be facing off tonight at approximately 10pm EST in a 1 on 1 drafting session of Maple Leaf players who are 24...

Three Captains

499

During an appearance on London radio's “The Hook” with Norman James last Friday, our conversation at one point took an interesting turn toward the notion of player personality, and how it affects fan perception and the manner in which fans relate to the players. It's an interesting subject – the trichotomy of fan/player/team identity, and not one the majority of fans spend much time pondering. What is it, beyond star power, that draws fans to feel they have formed certain bonds with specific players...

993

Could Fehr be the perfect tonic if the leagues board of govenors splinter over revenue sharing?