Opinion

Opinion

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In case you haven't already heard, the Maple Leafs have broken off negotiations with prospect Bill Sweatt, acquired in the Versteeg trade from the Blackhawks. In a statement to the Toronto Sun, Burke explained that the club would rather keep a spot on the 50 contract limit open than continue discussions with Sweatt. As the talks continued to stall, the Leafs likely turned and upped their offer to Marcel Mueller, whose ELC contract value sits at $1.12 million. Sweatt is likely looking for a figure close to Blake Wheeler's $2.825 cap hit as a 4-year college free agent, which...

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Could Burke trade away Luke Schenn?

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Great to see such an active group of readers. Here are a couple of FanPosts for your Friday afternoon reading enjoyment with today's theme being youth, youth and more youth. Paul LeMay (B. Leaf) takes an in-depth look at the team's organizational prospect depth while Chuck Johnson compares Nazem Kadri's chances of making the NHL as a 2nd year player with those of previous high draft picks. Projecting the Leafs' Prospects into Burke's Five-Year Plan to Contend By: Paul LeMay The Leafs prospect depth chart took a hit when Brian Burke acquired Chris Versteeg. It may take another hit if Billy Sweatt...

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Got a few minutes, so let's get to some mail: "Q - So the question is, or hypothetical topic, why don't the Buds buy a European team as a farm team?  Or a Russian team?  Use those like they do the Marlies.  That way they can squirrel away late round picks and have their guys train/mentor them, and make better assessments of when these late rounders are ready... and that would open up all kinds of hidden gems.  Since the Show has a hard cap, MLSE could use this avenue to better their chances of success and all the memorabilia...

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Let's Leave A Spot for the Kids: by Caleb Dallman I rarely post much in the debate after posts on MLHS, but I try to read most of them.  It seems like a lot of people are waiting on a trade, speculating what we could be getting and for what parts.  No one was able to predict the Phaneuf trade, nor the Giguere trade.  The Versteeg trade also came with few rumours leaking out. So where does that leave us?  Is this speculating even worth it when Brian Burke seems to always be able to pull a rabbit out of his...

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A pair of MLHS readers have kindly submitted FanPosts for your reading enjoyment. Logan Macneil makes the case for converting Tomas Kaberle into a top six forward while Steve Hitchins previews some of the highly anticipated fisticuffs match-ups for the upcoming season. A big pat on the back for both these gentlemen for taking the time. Is it possible that Burke already has that missing top 6 forward? Its been told time and time again that Brian Burke, the maple leafs bold leader, will only move Tomas Kaberle if the move lands him a top 6 forward. Well could it...

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It's easy to over simplify the removal of Kaberle's and Fingers contracts, but to do so negates the overall effects such ommisions would create.

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As much of the league takes a post-draft/free agent frenzy breather for the Canada Day and July 4th long weekend, I figure I'll spark some discussion with a bit of educated speculation. In talking to a source over the past week it's been suggested to me that Brian Burke has a  deal or two on the table for scoring help involving a Leaf asset he's struggling with the idea of parting with. It's said at this time Burke is hoping desperation on the part of the involved GMs reduces the price on a few top six trade options as...

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ESPN's Pierre LeBrun floated out over twitter last night the possibility of Leaf interest in winger Maxim Afinogenov. One's initial reaction might be to dismiss the Russian enigma as the anti-Burke. Looking at the list of remaining UFAs, there are also a few scoring wingers that could be considered safer, comparable alternatives (i.e. Alexander Frolov). But in the salary capped hockey world we live in, where a player's on-ice ability is ever tempered by his dollar value against the cap, Afinogenov's services could actually comprise a niche market of sorts for clubs looking for a Plan B scoring option...

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Trades are never won or lost when initially made, and tonight's multi-player deal with Chicago is the very embodiment of that fact. Analyzing a deal that sent Kris Versteeg and Bill Sweatt to Toronto for Viktor Stalberg, Phillippe Paradis and Chris Didomenico involves a lot of subjective potential measurement.  Making the task more difficult is that two teams often come together to execute a trade for very different reasons in a salary cap era. Chicago, for their part, gain further cap flexibility by dropping Versteeg's $3 million salary and picking up a package of cheap potential involving an entry-level contract...

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It's been a hot topic, and a touchy one at that for the better part of almost a year, since the day the trade was consummated.  The Toronto Maple Leafs, toward the end of the pre-season, announced that they had traded two firsts and a second round pick to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Phil Kessel, a young American born sniper who the B's were having issues resigning. It was a steep price to pay, but you have to give to receive, and in Kessel the Leafs got a bona fide goal scorer who looks like he could be...

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As we head into the draft weekend, Burke's shown the fans and media that a) he's not afraid to swing a huge deal and b) no one's going to see it coming. You can bet he's going to be be mulling over and considering all sorts of huge blockbuster type scenarios over the next few days, and there could be the teeniest, tiniest, slightest, smaller than Wallin's point totals chance that he'll have an interesting decision to make: whether to trade Schenn or Kadri. Yes, I know the popular opinion is to never trade either of them and I'm...

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In 2005, the NHL was returning to work after a year long lockout, a bitter battle between players and owners over cost certainty.  The entry draft in June of 2005 was really the beginning of a new era in hockey, and a new era for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who drafted Sidney Crosby first overall, a move that would change their fortunes forever. Drafted second that year was Bobby Ryan.  A big bodied power forward with tremendous skill, I had the chance to watch Ryan in person blaze up and down the ice for the Owen Sound Attack.  One look at...

Support the Ride To Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Hospital

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AM 640 radio personality and co-host of the "Bill Watters Show", Greg Brady, will be taking part in this year's Ride To Conquer Cancer benefiting the Campbell Family Institute at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Participants will cycle from Toronto to Niagara Falls over the weekend of June 12-13 in an effort to raise awareness for, and donations toward, the ongoing development of research, instructional practices, and compassionate care at the renowned Princess Margaret, one of the top five cancer research hospitals in the world. Many of us have been impacted by cancer in our lives, our families' lives or...

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(Author’s note: credit goes out to MLHS reader the stache, whose comment, “Is it possible to start up a poll/page on the Kaberle deal with every member giving their ONE Kaberle deal and whoever has the closest after the fact idk gets mad props” is the basis for this article.  Good on ya, buddy) Salutations, true beleafers! We stand but a month away from the 2010 NHL draft in Los Angeles, where Burke and the boys from Scouting and Development will be showing up like beggars at the ball.  The consensus amongst Leaf fans and hockey analysts is that our...

National Hockey League

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Things may be relatively quiet in Leafs Nation these days, but that doesn't mean there has been a lack of excitement elsewhere in the NHL. As such, here are a few quick takes on some of the headlines dominating the NHL landscape these days (including the Phoenix Coyotes situation, the Patrice Cormier charges, and Willie Mitchell's controversial comments),  as well as a quick glance at the nearly-completed 2nd round of the NHL playoffs. Latest Coyotes Developments Hardly A Shocker The fact the city of  Glendale voted in favor of a conditional $25 million subsidy to cover the Coyotes' operating costs next season...

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Is Ron Wilson the go-to-guy for a young Leafs team going forward?

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Those who know me can tell you I am an avid reader.  I devour books at a staggering pace, specializing in sports books and autobiographies mostly.  And as the warm weather approaches, and the hockey season gives way to deck weather, my reading habit ramps up considerably. Book of choice at the moment?  "The Yankee Years"  by Joe Torre.  A fantastic account of life in the major leagues and life as the manager of one of the most popular, most traditional, and at times, most dysfunctional franchises in the world. Torre does an excellent job of taking readers behind the scenes...

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Is it just me, or has the hockey season passed us by far quicker than usual? It seems like I just finished making arrangements for the home opener against Hamilton (which, might I add was a win) and here I am already looking back at the season that was. It was an absolute blur of call-ups and injuries. The bright young stars that comprised the frat-pack line (Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson and Viktor Stalberg) all found their way up to the Leafs. Carl Gunnarsson, the player I was most keen on going into the season, left the Marlies early on for the big club and never looked back.

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Lots of reading today: Gus chips in an  analogical look at the NHL playoff series; Alex has your links with a look at potential Leaf Jussi Rynnas. In what was Brian Burke's first summer on the job with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was clear from the get go that he put an onus on improving specialty teams, and also team defense.  The brash Toronto GM made a lot of moves as it related to improving these areas, and on paper they looked like a sure recipe for change and improvement. And as we found out once again, like we've been...