Maple Leafs hire Lindsay Hofford
The Leafs officially added former London Knights director of scouting Lindsay Hofford to their amateur scouting department yesterday. Hofford will be one of Mark Hunter's guys and also has a connection to player development consultant Darryl Belfry through the Pro Hockey Development Group.
Hofford's history with 2015 draft prospect Mitchell Marner is long - Hofford had him on his team at the Hill Academy in Vaughan, with the Don Mills Flyers, and in London on the Knights -- and will no doubt add more fuel to the fire that Marner is going to be the Leafs' pick at number four....
From Tuesday's TSN Drive segment, Bob McKenzie talks about the Leafs GM and coaching searches as well as the final day of Babcock Watch.
On where the Maple Leafs stand in their search for a coach and GM, Mike Babcock and other coaching candidates, and Sheldon Keefe:
Brendan Shanahan is operating in a pretty strong veil of secrecy right now. I wouldn’t presume to say that this guy was their number one choice and he’s gone; obviously, if they could get Babcock they would. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. If they really, really wanted Todd McLellan, they could’ve...
Did Bettors Take Advantage of "Tanking" Scenario?
The latest online gambling news in Canada suggests that the C-290 sports betting bill will remained stalled in the Senate for reasons other than the influence of professional sports leagues. It would seem apparent that the league is constructing the narrative that there is indeed a huge difference between what is, in effect, a "parlay" situation for betting on games and that which involves wagers on one game at a time.
If there is any compelling argument the league uses, it is their statement that "Making single-game sports gambling a widespread legitimized institution will...
Watching Darren Dreger’s 25-minute sit down with Ken Holland and Mike Babcock yesterday left one with the impression that staying with the Red Wings is where Babcock is leaning, but then again he was sitting right next to his good friend and long-time boss in Detroit.
The worst case scenario from the Leafs perspective would seem to be Babcock landing in Buffalo. While Babcock would be going to a new division rival, Jeff Blashill, who was given permission by Ken Holland to talk to NHL teams last summer and chose to bide his time in the AHL for one more...
Tran: Dylan Strome Scouting Report – 2015 NHL Draft — MLHS
Tran: Brandon Carlo Scouting Report – 2015 NHL Draft — MLHS
Tran: Daniel Sprong Scouting Report – 2015 NHL Draft — MLHS
Legace: Manny Legace: “I think Babcock ends up in Toronto” — MLHS via TSN
Demers: I think Babcock’s coming to Toronto — MLHS via Sportsnet
McGran: Maple Leafs prospect Dakota Joshua close to championship — The Star
Myrer: Oceanic top Remparts, even series at 2-2 — The Chronicle Herald
St. James: Edmonton Oilers appear out of Mike Babcock sweepstakes — Detroit Free Press
Popplewell: Mike Babcock - The Perfectionist - Sportsnet
Petrielli: NHL Notebook - May 13th - NHL Numbers
The Montreal Canadiens were defeated in round two of the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
For a team that was called elite by some, it wasn't much of a contest and the Habs rolled over easily in Game 6, as the Lightning finished them off handily. The Canadiens looked defeated early and were stood up at the offensive blue line on their entires by the Lightning's defenceman and hemmed in their own zone by a hungrier, more talented and more detailed Lightning squad.
The Maple Leafs' attention is still sharply focused on picking a new General Manager and Head Coach for the...
Darren Dreger and Nick Kypreos confirmed MLHS' exclusive report yesterday about the Leafs' initial contact with Mike Babcock on Saturday:
Brendan Shanahan will fly over to Prague shortly, where coaching candidates Babcock and Todd McLellan and a number of potential executive candidates are assembled for the World Championships.
Elliotte Friedman: 30 Thoughts -- Top 3 for Mike Babcock (Sportsnet.ca)
I asked Babcock if he was going to visit any city he was considering, and his answer was an unqualified yes. He is going to the World Championships on Monday and not returning until the 17th. Detroit’s self-imposed deadline is May 25....
Simply a coincidence? Mike Babcock was free to speak to NHL teams as recently as yesterday and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment's private jet was seen arriving in Detroit and leaving within the hour, returning to Toronto.
The flight itinerary shows the private jet will return to Detroit tonight around 9 p.m. EST. Details here.
No much news for fans of the Maple Leafs the past few days.
Go Lightning, Go.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs player Andre Deveaux says stick-swinging incident was an act of self-defence after he suffered concussion - National Post
Morgan Rielly: The Toronto Maple Leafs Rising Leader - Hockey Writers
Toronto Maple Leafs' AGM Kyle Dubas with Dave Naylor - MLHS
Guy Boucher reportedly contacted by Toronto Maple Leafs - MLHS
ISS 2015 NHL Draft Rankings, May 2015 - MLHS
Andreas Johnson hasn't heard from Leafs - PPP
Babcock permitted to talk to other teams - TSN
If you have any links we've missed, throw them in the comments.
Toronto Maple Leafs' Assistant General Manager, Kyle Dubas, was on TSN Drive with Dave Naylor and Steve Simmons discussing GM & Coaching candidates, the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft and more.
Latest update with management:
Everything is up always here with us and we're just wrapping up our final amateur scouting meeting this week. Obviously, unfortunately, neither the Leafs or the Marlies remain in action. With that it doesn’t mean our workload is dialled back, we’ve got a lot of work to do and we’ve got two first round picks here that are of utmost importance to us as we work to...
Alec Brownscombe: Guy Boucher reportedly contacted by Toronto Maple Leafs (MLHS)
Boucher’s answers below on the importance of development and where he sees the game today (and where it’s going) seem to align with a lot of what you hear out of the new management regime. Transcript below.
MLHS: ISS May, 2015 NHL Draft Rankings
Latest ISS rankings released just the other day.
Jon Steitzer: Maple Leafs Job Fair -- Mike Futa's Resume (TLN)
Futa is an interesting option, but may require compensation to the Kings. LA has guarded personnel like John Stevens in the past, and kept him from interviewing for head coaching positions,...
MLHS: Kyle Dubas speaks with the media after Marlies loss (Video)
Kyle Dubas speaks with the media at the Marlies locker clean out on Monday.
Greg Wyshynski: Ray Shero, Lou Lamoriello, and the end of Devils hockey as we knew it (Puck Daddy)
Lou Lamiorello was Devils hockey. His roster, his rules, his finger on the trigger for every coach he hired. His philosophy permeated every level, office and locker in the organization, from the way Devils employees wore their hair to the way they interacted with the public to the system the players executed on the ice.
Michael Langlois: The next Maple...
Darren Dreger is reporting the team who contacted Guy Boucher about a possible return to the NHL (news Boucher broke himself yesterday on TSN Drive) is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Everyone remembers this infamous sequence against Philadelphia and Boucher’s memorable response from the bench in that series:
(Jeff Marek has since claimed part of the reason Boucher was fired was because Steve Yzerman was embarrassed by this sequence; seems unlikely getting to overtime of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals was seen as embarrassing, but who knows).
Patrick Roy also claimed when coaching against him in the Q that Boucher was...
Two consecutive losses in Grand Rapids has the Marlies in a win or go home situation in Game 5.
Viktor Loov returns from suspension, while Andrew MacWilliam makes way on the blueline.
After Christopher Gibson allowed five goals on 27 shots yesterday, Gord Dineen has decided to start Antoine Bibeau in the series deciding game. Bibeau hasn't started since April 19.
Toronto Marlies Projected Lines
William Nylander - Byron Froese - Matt Frattin
Matt Rupert - Ryan Rupert - Connor Brown
Brendan Leipsic - Greg McKegg - Josh Leivo
Denver Manderson - Sam Carrick - Troy Bodie
TJ Brennan - Brendan Mikkelson
Stuart Percy - Petter Granberg
Worth noting is that Detroit has to give permission to another team to speak to Blashill, who is under contract beyond this season.
Even if Grand Rapids loses out this weekend to the Marlies, they likely will not do that until the Babcock situation is resolved. If Babcock stays, they probably won't/can't stand in the way of Blashill taking the next step. If Babcock goes, they will more than likely hand the big club head coaching reigns to Blashill.
Onto the links.
Darren Dreger: Babcock the first coaching domino (TSN.ca)
"Family trumps it all," is how one of Babcock's coaching colleagues defended his belief the highly decorated coach will...