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Carolina Hurricanes

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    It’s fairly obvious the Leafs are a team that wanders around looking for a win like men in a desert. Once they get close enough to civilization, it turns out to be a mirage.

    Update: After careful deliberation, our very own Gus Katsaros was not only credited with his Kessel/Savard information, but he has been invited to appear on Hockey Central at Noon today during the show’s 2 hour timeslot beginning at 12:00 EST. More info inside.

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      The Maple Leafs finished as the league’s worst defensive team last season, giving up an astounding 286 goals, which works out to about 3.5 goals against a game. As such, much of the team’s summer remodeling took place on the blueline, which saw the departure of Kubina and the additions of shutdown defensemen  Beauchemin and Komisarek. With nearly $20M dollars committed per season through 2011 to the group of Kaberle, Komisarek, Beauchemin, Schenn and Finger, and Tomas being the only player above the age of 30, it appears on paper at least, that this will be the core of the defense for the foreseeable future. If that’s the case, how do they stack up against the rest of the league?

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        In the MLSE land of unreasonable expectations, even a superstar troupe like Burke and Wilson will not be afforded another record breaking season; at least not if said record is a fifth consecutive season of playoff free hockey. Subsequently Burke is going to be looking for a catalyst to the rebuilding project come summer and the most obvious route will arrive in early July, not a week earlier in Montreal.

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          While the majority of Leafs fans wrote the team off in the summer, it wasn’t until the New Year that the teams first true season of rebuilding began the inevitable grind into early year golf tournaments.

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            With Files from Gil Brown

            The current point system is most equitable for playoff races in January and individual franchise marketing, beginning as early as midseason.

            Part of the logic behind Detroit Red Wing’s GM Ken Holland’s proposal, shot down in GM meetings in Naples, Florida in March, to change the season ending tie-breaking measures from Wins, to Regulation Wins is incentive for teams to get the job done in 60-minutes.

            It’s about motivation, from puck drop in October through to April. But the current point system has greater connotations for marketing games, ticket sales and shaping the playoff race, the biggest issues for owners.

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              A quick look at the NHL standings reveals that with 11 games remaining, the Toronto Maple Leafs have not yet been mathematically eliminated from either the playoffs, or last place overall.

              A numerical analysis reveals something even more interesting.  Mathematically-speaking, the Maple Leafs are leading the race for the 6th overall pick in the draft.

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                Most recent Leafs trade talk in the mainstream media centers largely around Pavel Kubina and Tomas Kaberle. Just about enough has been mentioned on those fronts; Brian Burke will not compromise in his return demands for either of his coveted blue-liners and it appears that only time will tell. Here are three other interesting to trade or not to trade scenarios:

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                  A few notes on the Leafs recent demotions, Wednesday’s roster tidbits and a quick review of Monday night’s affair with the Blues.