The Maple Leafs have pulled the trigger on a few expiring contracts, sending Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson to Nashville for Olli Jokinen, Nashville's 2015 first round pick and prospect Brendan Leipsic.
The first round pick is obviously the centerpiece and the must have in this deal as the Leafs begin their rebuild and commit to the draft. Right now it’s the 30th overall pick, and add in a mid-level prospect and a salary dump in Olli Jokinen for Franson plus Santorelli and the knee jerk reaction might see this return as underwhelming. What might have been underestimated, amid the talk of...
Did the Maple Leafs miss out on a chance to include Cody Franson in their core going forward? Yesterday's trade with Nashville has some asking the question.
The Leafs had two additional opportunities to do so: One came after his good season in the short lockout year, and the other was the negotiation before the current season began. Both presented an opportunity to sign Franson to some term at a value reflective of a bargaining position that was weaker then than it is now.
A complete afterthought when the lockout lifted, Franson returned to have a very nice surprise season in 2012-13. He finished an impressive sixth in even strength point production among...
There wasn't much separating Montreal and Toronto in this game, with both teams having strong stretches. The two teams exchanged goals midway through the first, with Toronto getting out-chanced, but not badly.
The second period was quiet, with Montreal unable to do much on the power-play, and the Leafs finishing strongly, but not scoring. Montreal started the third period well, but they weren't able to find a breakthrough either, and Toronto looked the more likely to score in the final ten minutes of regulation and overtime, when they out-chanced Montreal 6-3 at even strength. In the end, the game went...
Games like this, on a day dedicated to celebrating hockey in Canada to boot, transcend the standings and draft pick positioning. It's about representing the crest on the jersey in the game's oldest rivalry. Let's hope the boys show up. It's as simple as that.
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lines
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Richard Panik
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – Mike Santorelli
David Booth – Trevor Smith – David Clarkson
Morgan Rielly – Cody Franson
Jake Gardiner – Roman Polak
Korbinian Holzer – Stephane Robidas
Scratched: Petter Granberg
Injured: Joffrey Lupul (lower body), Dion Phaneuf (upper...
The Maple Leafs had another horrible start, similar to their game against the Rangers, as they finished the first period behind 2-0 and down 12-3 in chances.
Toronto had a great response in the second, scoring twice in the first five minutes and getting the first seven chances. In the last ten minutes of the period the Islanders took control again, including getting a third goal. Toronto had some chances as they chased the game in the third, but couldn't get another tying goal, and lost yet another game.
Other than the first ten minutes of the second, the Islanders were always...
Amid the sense of the relief that seemed to sweep over Leafs fans concerning the report that Brendan Shanahan is set to tear things down and commit to the draft, came this downer moment after the game last night:
Blame a faulty attempt at a fast tracked rebuild, or the flawed thinking behind the timing of the original Kessel trade, or blame Dave Nonis for subsequently dropping the ball on the hand off, but either way it doesn't change the fact that Phil Kessel is an elite talent who was let down by poor management and things outside his own control. If he does go sometime in...
Not much left to say at this point.
We've got quotes like this surfacing:
Which, while anonymous, do match those of late last season.
The Leafs clearly sense the end is near, who doesn't, and so far knowing the season is over and the team is soon to be dismantled hasn't seen them loosen up and play better hockey; it's seen some of their best players check out entirely. Not a bad thing for the ubiquitous pro-tank faction of the fanbase, but it's been the toughest stretch of Leafs hockey to watch, arguably ever and certainly for those born after the 80s.
Phil Kessel spent good chunks...
A major story breaking this morning from The Globe and Mail’s Cathal Kelly, with some big implications for the coming weeks and months ahead.
According to Kelly, Brendan Shanahan concluded last Spring’s initial evaluation period and asked the new ownership group for the mandate to strip the team down. Reportedly, the board wasn’t yet ready to commit to a likely 3-5 years without sniffing the playoffs, and voted to give the core of the team once last chance after attempting to shore up the depth with some low-commitment adds to the bottom end of the roster.
Mr. Shanahan and his lieutenants...
Four roster players of name value plus three prospects and a first round pick changed hands in a rare modern day multi-player NHL blockbuster.
Buffalo may well end up with the two best players in the deal if Bogosian and Kane can stay healthy and progress, with the convenience of Kane not being able to hurt their draft position at all for the rest of the season. For Winnipeg, Tyler Myers has flashed a lot of upside in his mixed career to date, plus there's futures heading Winnipeg's way, and for the stretch run they add a veteran scorer in Drew Stafford...
Toronto had a horrible opening period, out-chanced 12-2 at even strength, but after a late power-play goal they managed to get out of it down by a single goal.
The second was much more even, but the Rangers managed to extend their lead after former Leaf Dominic Moore scored New York's fourth. The Leafs then had a great third, scoring twice in the first seven minutes, setting up a great last part of the game. The two teams both had great shifts, and exchanged a number of chances, but it was the Rangers who got the winning goal, off the...
New York Rangers Projected Lineup
Mats Zuccarello – Derick Brassard – Rick Nash
Chris Kreider – Derek Stepan – Martin St. Louis
Carl Hagelin – Dominic Moore – Lee Stempniak
Tanner Glass – Kevin Hayes – J.T. Miller
Ryan McDonagh – Dan Girardi
Marc Staal – Kevin Klein
John Moore – Dan Boyle
Scratched: Matt Hunwick
Injured: Henrik Lundqvist (neck), Jesper Fast (knee)
Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup
James van Riemsdyk – Tyler Bozak – Phil Kessel
Leo Komarov – Peter Holland – Joffrey Lupul
Daniel Winnik – Nazem Kadri – Mike Santorelli
David Booth – Trevor Smith – Richard Panik
Morgan Rielly – Roman Polak
Korbinian Holzer – Stephane Robidas
Jake Gardiner –...
Strange goings on with the goaltending situation as of late, with Jonathan Bernier missing last Saturday's game, giving Reimer both games in the back to back, and then Bernier himself being the first to announce James Reimer as the starter for the third consecutive game tonight versus the Rangers.
That alone is not much to go on, but there was also this surfacing yesterday on Twitter:
Still far from definitive, especially in the climate of rumour season, but some inconsistency and Bernier struggling with injuries later on in the season has been a two-year pattern since he got to Toronto, and with him...
Mike Johnston: Leafs could trade Bozak before trade deadline (Sportsnet)
Damien Cox reported, via Elliotte Friedman, during the Headlines portion ofHockey Night in Canada that the Maple Leafs are nowhere near close to coming to terms with pending unrestricted free agents Cody Franson, Mike Santorelli and Daniel Winnik and that all three could be dealt. In addition to Franson, Santorelli and Winnik, centre Tyler Bozak’s name is out there and could potentially be moved by the deadline, according to Cox.
Jonas Sigel: Rielly shines as Leafs' slide ends (TSN.ca)
Rielly has been one of the rare bright spots from another epic Maple...
The Toronto Maple Leafs finally managed a win, as the Edmonton Oilers showed that the Leafs still have a lot to learn about being a truly bad team.
Toronto dominated the chances in the opening period, but weren't rewarded. They did finally manage a break-through, midway through the second period, Panik getting a power-play goal. At that point, Toronto led the ES chances 9-4, and they kept up the pressure after that, Kessel and Rielly adding goals to give the Leafs a comfortable margin. Edmonton had the best of the chances in the third, but the game was out of...