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Dion Phaneuf


    KULEMIN with the game winner, and that’s all folks!!! Leafs win 4-3 in a thrilling overtime victory!

    Now, wasn’t that an appropriate Torontosaurus Rex?!

    That was the Leafs first OT victory of the season. (1-9)

    It feels like a spring day, almost like a playoff date.
    This isn’t a playoff game by any stretch .. There are some interesting scenarios playing out even before puck drop.

    Here’s the game thread … you can also follow along on Twitter, @KatsHockey

    This is the first game At home for newest Leaf, Luca Caputi (Now with his first goal as a Leaf!!).

    This is the first game after the devastating hit my Matt Cooke taking out Savard.

    This is the first game At home that will not feature Alex Ponikarovsky as a Leaf.

    This is the first game in which Phil Kessel scores his first point as a Leaf against his former club (maybe) … (Yes! After a change in scoring on the second goal, he got his first assist versus his old team)

    The Leafs have given up powerplay markers in consecutive games after going five games without letting in a power play goal.

    Despite being one season removed from having won the Vezina Trophy this is the second consecutive start for Tim Thomas I the last games.

    And the Puck has dropped .. I’ll be refreshing about every 10-15 minutes

    Look, I’m not saying I’m a good luck charm, but I attend the game in the press box and a whole lot of good happens .. Caputi’s first as a Bud, Kessel registering his first assist .. Just call me lucky Kats.

    End of Regulation 3-3


      With the Olympics wrapping up (and in the process Canada securing the record for most gold medals, capped off by our Men’s and Women’s hockey teams), the focus among hockey fans now shifts to the NHL trade deadline.

      While there are few untouchables on the Maple Leafs’ roster, speculation is that only a handful of players are likely to be dealt between Monday and Wednesday. Here’s a look at some of the speculation surrounding the most-talked about candidates to swap jerseys.


        With the NHL’s Olympic Trade Freeze about to hit at 3pm today, reports out of Pittsburgh indicate that the Maple Leafs had scouted the Penguins’ Wednesday game against the Islanders. The obvious trade fit here would  seem to be a winger such as Alexei Ponikarovsky or even Lee Stempniak. However, the Pens currently have about $600 k available in cap space, so any significant acquisition means that another roster player would have to be going the other way.

        Dreger had speculated a few days ago that the Leafs were looking for a 2nd round pick along with a roster player in exchange for Ponikarovsky, which is certainly consistent with Burke’s moves as Toronto GM. Realizing a lack of quality grinders on his team, Brian has been gradually and subtly requesting that teams include quality 3rd and 4th line players in a couple of his deals (see Primeau in the Stralman deal and Sjostrom in the Phaneuf deal). So perhaps Tyler Kennedy or Pascal Dupuis along with a draft pick coming back the Leafs’ way would be the most feasible framework around which to base a deal.

        Should be an interesting day ahead.

        [email protected]


          Random talking points on a variety of topics including Giguere’s shutout streak, a refreshing new attitude, the Schenn/Phaneuf connection, pending UFAs and more.


            While the attention isn’t on the Leafs tonight, they will be looking to break the Senators longest winning streak in club history. Giguere is expected to get the nod tonight, and hopefully the Leafs can start off strong with great offensive pressure as they have in their previous two outings, but this time close it off with solid defensive coverage in the third period.


              The Carolina Hurricanes are closing in on a deal with the San Jose Sharks for Niclas Wallin, while Leafs fans were begging it was Rickard. Kovalchuk turns down $101M, while the Rangers pull out of the sweepstakes due to the asking price. Find out what the Thrashers wanted in return. Also, Dion Phaneuf has his own plan for the remainder of the Leafs regular season.


                For the second time in four days the Maple Leafs will face off against the New Jersey Devils, this time at the ACC. In what seems to be the most nonsensical decision made in recent memory by NHL schedulers, come this Friday the Leafs and Devils will have faced off three times in one calendar week. What’s up with that?

                As you are all undoubtedly aware, the Leafs have a few new faces in the fold, and we are all eager to see what Phaneuf, Sjostrom, and Giguere bring to the table as members of the blue and white.

                Note: I won’t get into trade analysis here; that has already been covered in excellent fashion by the MLHS crew in prior posts.


                  Dion Phaneuf was far and away the biggest name exchanging teams in the Toronto-Calgary deal on Sunday morning, and as a result, young defenseman Keith Aulie may have gotten a little overlooked in the shuffle. But make no mistake about it: Aulie was a significant piece in this trade for Brian Burke and the huge, imposing blueliner should figure prominently in the Maple Leafs’ defensive core of the future. Let’s take a look at what the newest Maple Leafs’ prospect could bring to the table in a few years time.


                    In the wake of Sunday’s blockbuster trades, one cannot help but wonder what’s next for the Toronto Maple Leafs? Who’s next to go? Who stays?

                    In any case, I think that it’s pretty safe to say that this season is a write-off. We’re not making any moves to make a run at the playoffs this season. So, let’s look forward and take a look at what the Maple Leafs should look like next season.


                      Prospect defenceman Keith Aulie:

                      “Aulie is a 6’6 defenceman playing for Abbotsford of the AHL. Our plans for Keith are for him to stay at the AHL level for the present, so he will report to the Marlies. This is a player who played on the national junior team and won a gold medal. Excellent skater for a big man, a guy we coveted and hard to work real hard to get into the deal. We think he’s going to be a really good NHL player down the road for a long time. We think right now, like Calgary did, that from a development standpoint, he’ll be better off logging big minutes in the American league.


                        To Toronto: Keith Aulie, Dion Phaneuf, Frederick Sjostrom

                        To Calgary: Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers, Ian White

                        A second trade is expected to be announced shortly, involving J-S Giguere.



                          The Leafs face up against their old bench boss Pat Quinn tonight hoping to get back on a winning streak of some sort.  The big lineup change seems to be a demotion for Grabovski to the fourth line.  Rickard Wallin benefits from Mikhail’s demotion with a undeserved look on the second line.


                            My Team Canada Roster selections may seem a little vanilla, but they’ve been selected to play out various situations. Penalty killing, power play and balance on all the forward units took precedent over sheer offensive/defensive ability.


                              The Leafs were down early as rookie phenom Jonas Gustavsson was lit up for 3 goals on 5 shots. Poor defensive coverage, a terrible line change, and a lucky bounce on a shot that Gustavsson likely should have had forced the Leafs to swap the goaltenders and bring in Vesa Toskala. The goaltenders tapped sticks at the bench in the shuffle. “Tag, you’re it” can be described at the outcome.


                                The Leafs held practice today in preparation for a busy week. They will have yet another back to back set of games over the weekend, and a few changes in the lineup have been made to kick things off this week.
                                Update: Jonas Gustavsson starts on Tuesday night!
                                Update 2: Komisarek probable for Tuesday’s game – Wilson.


                                  By now, I’m sure many of you have seen ESPN’s report of a significant offer by the Maple Leafs for Phil Kessel: two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick. The general reflex reaction that we’ve been conditioned to by the Toronto media the last few seasons is to avoid moving 1st round selections by any means necessary. The thought of moving two such commodities is beyond horrifying. I’ve seen the name Taylor Hall used as the backbone of many an argument over the last few days, often associated with the “chance” of landing said player. If we’re gonna turn this into a game of chance, let’s at least get all the cards on the table.


                                    In just over two weeks, the NHL Entry Draft will be upon us.  Naturally, speculation as to the future destination of the top prospects is heating up.   With July 1st rapidly approaching, trade rumours (some related to the draft, some not) and free agent speculation are abounding with fury.  And, of course, possible internal team moves are getting their fair share of play as well.

                                    Here are a few scenarios based on the latest buzz surrounding the Maple Leafs.  The question is:  which of these scenarios would you consider, and why?