Last week, Steve Dangle sat down with James Reimer for a rookie spotlight piece for the 2011 Maple Leafs Annual. The interview went so well that a lot of good material ended up hitting the cutting room floor. Lucky for you, MLHS and Steve Dangle.com readers, we can pass along the leftovers for your consumption. Consider it the next bonus feature to your copy of the Annual. Interview excerpts with Poulin, Dudley, and Morrison can be found here. Keith Aulie excerpts will be coming later today. Enjoy:
Steve Dangle: How do you spend your summer?
James Reimer: Mostly in B.C. I mean I try and visit back home to Manitoba a couple of times, but I spend most of my summer out in B.C. Just working out at a gym called Fit Life and hanging out and relaxing a little bit.
SD: Why B.C.? When did that come into the picture?
JR: Mostly with my wife, I started coming out here when we were dating, and we really liked it over the years and kind of just kept coming back so it's nice. It's where she's from. She feels comfortable here plus I found a great gym so it's those two reasons, mostly. [more…]
Prior to speaking with Rick Dudley for the Maple Leafs Annual, I also had the opportunity to speak with Dave Poulin, Vice-President of Hockey Operations for the Toronto Maple Leafs.Â Having contributed an interview for last year's edition of the Annual, Mr. Poulin graciously agreed to accommodate our request again this year.
Follow the jump for a few excerpts of our chat.
As was the case with prior excerpts, the following quotes are excerpted from a larger interview and thus the flow of the questions may seem a bit off.Â The full interview will appear in the Maple Leafs Annual, due to hit newsstands in September.
Last week I had the privilege of speaking with Rick Dudley, Director of Player Personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs, for a feature in the forthcoming Maple Leafs Annual magazine. We had asked for a few of your questions for Mr. Dudley, and were able to work some of them in during the course of the interview.
Follow the jump for excerpts featuring your questions.Â As with Alex's prior interview with Dave Morrison, please bear in mind that the flow of questions may seem a little off as these are excerpts pulled from various sections.
The full interview will appear in the Maple Leafs Annual this September.
As mentioned earlier, I had the privilege of chatting with Maple Leafs' Director of Amateur Scouting, Dave Morrison this morning to glean some his insight [more…]
The Maple Leafs, under General Manager, Brian Burke, have built a deep system of prospects which boasts the likes of Nazem Kadri, Joe Colborne and Jesse Blacker, to highlight a few. Most experts who have been consulted on the issue believe it to stack up anywhere between tenth and thirteenth in the National Hockey League as far as prospect stables go, and it should continue to grow this Friday. [more…]
Probability dictates that, barring a planetary or economic catastrophe of crippling scale, the Toronto Maple Leafs will win another Stanley Cup. At worst, theyâ€™ll be defeated in a gut wrenching final paralleling their Canadian, specifically British Columbian buddies of last evening. (Fun fact, to distract from that frustrating reminder of it: The provinceâ€™s name was chosen specifically by Queen Victoria in 1858, mainly in reference to the then-British local territory drained by the Columbia river1 â€“ in fact having nothing to do, as I had assumed, with being a tea-swilling version of its Latin American counterpart).
If the fervour, emotion, and insanity with which the city of Vancouver reacted to last nightâ€™s outcome can be considered a molehill, the passion for hockey in the Greater Toronto Area would undoubtedly be its mountain. Vancouverâ€™s a city placated with success in sport, having hosted a wondrously successful Olympics last year and serving as the focal point for intense national pride as Canada again proved that, as a nation, weâ€™re pretty much still awesome at that sport weâ€™re clearly always awesome at. [more…]
All three have notched career highs in games played and points scored in 2010 - 2011, and all three are pending Unrestricted Free Agents in July.Â Between the ages of 26 and 28 all three have had breakthrough years.Â Yet they arenâ€™t looking to cash in on the open market.Â Theyâ€™re fighting just to make the Leafs 2011 â€“ 2012 roster.
Theyâ€™ve had to earn every NHL pay cheque theyâ€™ve cashed, but who among Darryl Boyce, Tim Brent and Joey Crabb will be back next season in blue and white?
The rebuild â€˜officiallyâ€™ began June 20th, 2008.
â€œThe Toronto Maple Leafs are proud to select, with their first pick in this yearâ€™s draft, from the Kelowna Rockets â€“ Luke Schenn.â€
Weâ€™ve all heard those words, and likely relived that moment on Youtube. Mike Penny and his staff were all too happy to pick their future defensive stud. It was a moment that would tell the hockey world exactly what the Maple Leafs were going to be; big, tough and physical. No more pushing us over. [more…]
â€œPlus minus is a very deceptive statistic when a team struggles, and heâ€™s been put in a tough situation. If you look at the defense pairings, on a team thatâ€™s below .500 the top defense pairing playing against the other teamâ€™s top line is almost always minus, no matter how well they play. So I donâ€™t put a lot of stock in plus minus.â€
-Brian Burke on Tyler Bozak.
To a point, we have to agree with Burkeâ€™s statement, but only to a point. To say that a negative plus minus (-29) rating is the only reason behind Bozak being viewed as an underachiever this year is making a somewhat big understatement. Itâ€™s entirely true that Bozak played some of his toughest minutes this year. The primary reason for that might be that the coaching staff and management had given up on the idea of him being a top line centerman in the NHL, if indeed that was the original plan. Itâ€™s important to look at this not as a knock on Bozak as much as the organization crediting his two way, shutdown and penalty killing potential. [more…]
One little note: The terms top 6 and bottom 6 are thrown around rather frequently, but theyâ€™re anything but that simple in reality. Lines change often and players move up and down based on recent performance. For the sake of the article, I will be naming the following players top 6 players on the Leafs: Phil Kessel, Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak.
The curtain has closed on another disappointing Leaf season without the playoffs. This year had more than its fair share of ups and downs, but the emotional end leaves hope for the future. Goaltending was certainly the biggest change in the second half, with Reimer stepping up after Giguere and Gustavsson tumbled to the floor. But there was another noticeable improvement to the Leafs this season: top 6 scoring. Two players reached 30 goals this year (Phil Kessel, Nikolai Kulemin), improving on last seasonâ€™s one (Kessel again). This was helped by two further players getting at least 20 goals (Mikhail Grabovski, Clarke MacArthur), again improving over last seasonâ€™s one (Niklas Hagman). However, there is much more to winning NHL games than scoring some goals. With that said, weâ€™re going to analyze the Leafsâ€™ top 6 forwards and see which players rise to the top. [more…]
The season is over, but the postmortem examination is just beginning. I'll open this period of speculation, hope and dissection of our favorite hockey team with a piece that grades our entire roster beginning with forwards and ending with the masked men of TO.
Players who played part years like Matt Lashoff were not included because I think most would agree 11 games are not nearly enough to grade him on a seasonal basis, nor is it fair to that particular player. The grading system varies from A+ to D- but there is one exception (guess who?). Everyone likes grades.
Well, what are you waiting for? Do continue. [more…]
"Put a candle in the window,
'cause I feel I've got to move.
Though I'm going, going,
I'll be coming home soon.
Long as I can see the light."
- John Fogerty