Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays to you and yours, MLHS. These haven’t been the last few months we envisioned at the site, but this great community will abide and we thank every one who still checks in.
Maybe instead of wasting a Christmas wish on a saved season, wish for Nathan MacKinnon this June.
From Doorman, the MLHS fantasy league organizer:
“OK GAMERS! It’s that time of year again when (CBA permitting) the hockey juices flow!
Time to sign up for the MLHS fantasy league! I’m looking to put 2 x keeper leagues together. 16 teams each. Plus one regular of 20 teams. All leagues are Head to Head. Yahoo format of course!
Click to order ($9.99 + shipping). Ships next day.
This summer’s Maple Leafs Annual, now published by Lindy’s Sports under the title “In the Rink: 2012-13 Maple Leafs,” is available for online order today ($9.99 plus shipping) and will hit newsstands across the GTA on August 28. Chapters/Indigo and Shoppers Drug Mart should have it across the country.
Pleased to have been invited back as editor, I’m confident this is the best collection of content we have put together in our four years producing the book. Leafs fans seldom get this type of value for their money.
The 112-page Annual is split up as follows:
The Maple Leafs have signed 23-year-old left winger Spencer Abbott of the Maine Black Bears, according to reports.
[Abott] had his best season offensively and was named this week one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award that goes annually to the top player in U.S. college hockey.
Too small to play major junior, Abbott played Junior A with the Hamilton Red Wings. He had a late growth spurt to reach 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds. He was an alternate captain on the Black Bears.
Abbottâ€™s offensive numbers rose each year with Maine â€” he led the team in scoring this year with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists). He believes heâ€™s ready for the NHL.
â€œWhen I came into this league, I was more of an offensive guy. Iâ€™ve been trying really hard to get better on the other side of the puck, defensively. Itâ€™s tough to do, especially at the next level. I hope to be a two-way player.â€
Abbott worked out last summer with Gary Roberts at his high performance training institute and the plan is to go back this summer to get ready for life in the pros.
â€œSpeed, skill and strength is what Iâ€™ve been trying to implement in my game. Iâ€™ve been working hard in the off-season. (Iâ€™ve got to) put on more weight, get faster, bigger, stronger. I think Iâ€™ve done that consecutive years.â€
Christian Hanson, Tyler Brenner and Brayden Irwin taught us all too well not to get too excited about these college free agent signings. The small but speedy and skilled Abbott did earn nomination as a Hobey Baker finalist, however, and seems to have much more natural talent than any of those three. This signing aligns more closely with the Bobby Butler (2010 Hobey Baker nominee) and Stephane Da Costa (2011 nominee) signings by the Senators, which is not to say those are smashing successes so far either. But at the low cost of a Standard Player Contract slot, these type of pickups are always a worthwhile experiment for an organization equipped with the Leafs’ financial might.
Abbott will join the Marlies for their Calder Cup bid on an Amateur Tryout Contract.
Photo: News Wire.ca
Another season is winding down with the Maple Leafs yet again on the outside of the playoff picture. The difference this season is that there was legitimate reason to actually think they could break the drought until around a month ago. Alas, a dreadful February has cost Ron Wilson his job and caused every Leaf fan to mutter the ever famous line, “there’s always next year.”
So let’s be honest, these last 15 games aren’t going to be fun to watch at all. At this point at least a small part of us is hoping they tank the rest of the way and get as high a draft pick as possible. We’re going to have to get through these games together.
Photo: Aaron Lynette/National Post
In lieu of a mashup this morning, I thought I’d put together the following charts courtesy Â of the line graphics on DailyFaceoff.com. Look these lineups up and down and consider: is the Leafs’ scoring depth any worse off? Is their defensive depth really behind? Outside of Pekka Rinne, were any of these goalies that good last season? Based on talent alone, would you be excitedÂ to switch rosters with any of these clubs? Why can’t the Leafs use a system that plays to their strengths (or rather, one that helps keep pucks out of the net)?
Bored awaiting a Leafs trade that might never come? Over the age of 19, hanging out with friends on deadline day and looking for an excuse to get drunk?
MLHS user “mcloki” presents MLHS Deadline Bingo/Drinking Game cards. Below is a Brian Burke themed card along two others for the TSN (or Sportsnet if you rather it over “those f*ckers”) panels of broadcasters during their all-day coverage.
CANTON, MA.-- November 27, 2009--Brendan Burke and his sister, Molly, at his mother Kerry's home in Canton, Massachusetts. Burke, son of Maple Leaf's general manager Brian Burke, revealed in and ESPN.com article that he was gay. Burke, who died Feb. 5, 2010, in a car accident in Indiana, was student manager of the Miami University hockey team. PHOTO BY JODI HILTON
It is a word we use often, typically to describe fearlessness, strength or bravery in the face of danger. Most frequently we use it in a sporting context, detailing the courage it took for a perceived lesser opponent to face a seemingly-stronger entity, to hold one’s ground despite the odds, to take on a daunting challenge with maximum effort. We describe it as “heart,” which historically is at the root of the word itself.
Photo: The Star
On February 5th, 2011, the second anniversary of his passing, Maple Leafs Hot Stove observed a day of silence on its forums in memory of Brendan and his legacy, and in support of his cause (more). For those wishing to make a contribution, Brian Burke has asked that donations go towards the Miami University Brendan Burke Memorial Scholarship. You can donate via paypal by clicking below. MLHS will be collecting donations and issuing a cheque to the Brendan Burke Memorial Scholarship.
You can also donate to the USA Hockey Brendan Burke Internship here.
One of the best things about writing here at MLHS is far and away you, the readers.
Every week you guys are in full force reading, commenting, thinking about whatever is presented in front of you and throwing in your two cents. It makes for great discussions and it’s really appreciated.
Since I’ve been here doing Leafs Notebook, there have consistently been questions in the comments sections in regards to certain things I’ve wrote or something that the Leafs have done. Then as I was reading a Leafs “Q & A” elsewhere, I thought it would be a neat thing to do here. There have often been times when I get asked the same question by multiple people, or when somebody asks a question and my answer is posted the next day and therefore missed. Beyond that, it’s a lot more organized and easy to articulate in a post rather than the comments section.
Have you ever wondered what the Maple Leafs record “by station broadcasting the game” is? Danny Gray (@ACatNamedFelix) of The Leafs Nation mused about that very topic over Twitter last night, so I decided to do some quick digging to find the answer.
Without further ado, here are the 2011/12 Maple Leafs Broadcast Standings to date:
|Maple Leafs Broadcast Standings
Obviously, these numbers don’t really mean much of anything. But it’s fun nonetheless. For kicks, I’ll be keeping a running tally on the sidebar (near the bottom, below ‘categories’) throughout the season.
"Salmings_Scar" and James Reimer
Hey guys. I’m sure many of you have read the James Reimer interview on MLHS regarding Reimer’s off-season training with Adam Francilla in Maple Ridge, B.C., at FitLife Training Centre. Since I live in Vancouver, B.C., I decided I would try and go out to where he trains out here, hoping I could somehow meet him, and possibly get an autograph. So here’s my story. I hope you like it and get more hyped for the season!
So I had got a tip from a friend who did an interview with Reimer for a local paper, and he told me when I could catch all the guys training. So a couple Thursdays ago (Aug 11th), I made my way out to Maple Ridge BC (in my Leafs jersey and hat of course) where he, Andrew Ladd, and others do their off-season training. No players were there when I arrived at the facility at 8 a.m., but Mr. Adam Francilla himself was. He indicated that they were doing dry land training off sight that day, but that he could call James Reimer on my behalf. So Adam makes a personal call for me, if you can believe it, and asks him if it’s cool if I go out to their dry land track to meet him! Reimer said it was no problem at all and he’d be happy to do it.
For the second year running, the MLHS Free Agency contest has ended in a draw. Four MLHS’ers predicted the signing of Tim Connolly, Burke’s lone major free agent addition of the summer. Three of you (kaz, HHT, and Richard Ralph) correctly predicted a contract term of two years. None were close enough to the salary range to receive more than two points, and only luisad even remotely foresaw the Philippe Dupuis signing with his predicted addition of Pascal Dupuis (half-point rewarded). Rather than having you three predict his number of games lost to injury this season, we will solve this right here and now, with a good old fashioned hat draw. After drawing a paper slip from the hat, the winner of the Half Clapper, Top Cheddar t-shirt is (drum roll, please):
I ask that HHT please forward shirt size and address information to brownscombealec[at]gmail.com.
Don't waste my time MLHS.
The big man, Brian Burke, and we will be taking a few reader questions.
This one comes with a few caveats. Only the top 5 questions (as selected by me) will be entered into the question queue, and these will only be included if time permits.
For the full interview, again you will have to patiently await the 2011 Maple Leafs Annual, available for preorder soon. I’m cruel, I’m a tease, whatever… just buy it.
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