Ten questions as you ponder the Leafs' future with Martin Gerber between the pipes.
Sorry Leafs Nation, Brian Burke didnâ€™t splurge on a deal to give Leafs Nation the false hope of a playoff spot. What a shameâ€¦
Instead, Burke traded Nik Antropov, Dominic Moore and the Toronto Marliesâ€™ Richard Petiot for two 2nd-round picks (CAR and NYR), a 4th-round pick (TBL), a conditional pick (NYR), Olaf Kolzig (our next savior), Jamie Heward and Andy Rogers. Also, he picked up Martin Gerber (who was sensational tonight in Washington) and Erik Reitz from waivers.
During the post-game news conference following the shootout victory over the Rangers, coach Ron Wilson acknowledged that Jeff Finger and John Mitchell, injured during the game, are "99%" unlikely to play against the Islanders on Thursday.
To take their places, Anton Stralman and Tim Stapleton have been recalled.
*The following is an opinion piece regarding the players who, I think, are on their way out of Toronto by March 4th (not the off-season)*
The Leafs are in the midst of, yet again, a mediocre season. Unlike previous years, however, the Leafs have refrained from the up-and-down, "I BeLeaf in 8th place" facade that was commonly grouped with the Leafs during the past few years. Rather, the Leafs have been posting L's on the calendar regularly this season, "rewarding" their fans with disappointing efforts.
"The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that forward Nikolai Kulemin and defenceman Anton Stralman have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. Kulemin and Stralman will join the Marlies for their game tonight in Syracuse.
March 5th will be a significant date for Anton Stralman.
He's going to be re-inserted into the Leafs' lineup, and finally serve the role he was intended to grasp as an offensive defenseman in the NHL.
ANTON STRALMAN (# 36)
Birthdate:Â August 1st, 1986
(for all you stargazers out there, that makes him a Leo).
Hometown:Â Tibro, Sweden
Anton Stralman has been sent down to the Marlies presumably to accommodate the return of Jonas Frogren off the injury reserve come Tuesday against New Jersey (or possibly because he was sitting the press box & not playing). In keeping with the "if you come to play you stay" mantra that Ron Wilson has been preaching, Jaime Sifers' run with the big club has been extended.
Stralman was outwardly displeased last time he was demoted to the AHL, which makes one a little uneasy about his potential reaction this time around. Due to waiver restrictions, it was going to have to be one of Sifers or Stralman, and there's no doubt Sifers is deserving of an extended stay with the big club based on his performance so far.
Coming off the heels of two lopsided losses, the Maple Leafs are headed back home, where they will face the offensive firepower of the Washington Capitals.
*A little late posting this - my apologies. But RG's foresight was bang on...
Yes, yes it will.
The Belorussian native is struggling amidst his rookie season â€“ still searching for a point on the score sheet â€“ but it's not as if the speedy center isn't trying, in fact, he's displaying the work ethic head coach Ron Wilson is demanding.
In the ultimate act of callousness by league schedulers, the Maple Leafs will open their regular season account inside the Joe Louis Arena, where they will endure the pre-game banner raising ceremony for the Stanley Cup winning Detroit Red Wings. [more…]