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On a night where the stars were aligned for the first-pick lottery, where a Leafs loss coupled with Phoenix and Los Angeles wins would give the Leafs a chance at the #1 pick overall, a night where Phoenix and LA both did their part … the Maple Leafs took the high road and won the game.
The end result is Toronto finishes with the 7th pick in the draft, entering this week’s lottery draw.
There’s the notion that signing Christian Hanson and Tyler Bozak and other College Free Agents allows the Buds to trade off other picks, perhaps even to move up in the draft.
The justification is having signed these free agent Collegians fills roster spots allowing them to maneuver around the draft, possibly even moving up to land a Hedman or Tavares at the number one or two spot.
(My take is forgetting either of them and draft Brampton Battalion forward, Matt Duchene, but thatâ€™s a blog for another day.)
Courtesy of Sportsnet:
“The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the race to sign highly-touted free agent forward Tyler Bozak from the University of Denver Pioneers, sources tell Sportsnet. A strong two-way centre, Bozak has been generating league-wide interest since his freshman year with as many as 25 NHL teams trying to get his name on a contract.”
The Leafs have finally won something!
As Per Sportsnet.ca
The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the race to sign highly-touted free agent forward Tyler Bozak from the University of Denver Pioneers, sources tell Sportsnet.
According to Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are closing in on a contract with Notre Dame senior Christian Hanson, son of the legendary Dave Hanson from the cult classic “Slapshot”. This move is just the beginning of what should be a very busy offseason for Brian Burke as he attemps to replenish the Maple Leaf farm system.
As the goals against continue to pile up, so do the questions regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs’ future between the pipes. Last night’s 7-5 drubbing at the hands of the Boston Bruins officially moved the Leafs to the basement of the NHL in terms of goaltending and defensive play with an astounding total of 274 goals allowed (3.41 GAA). Combine that with a league worst 88.4% save percentage and you’ve got some serious issues. The team directly above them? Andrew Raycroft and the Colorado Avalanche. Ugh.
International Scouting Services (ISS) has released the March edition of their monthly top 30 rankings for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft in June.Â Much of the names at the top remain unchanged, while a couple new players begin sneaking into the top 30. In Canada, Major Junior playoffs are about to begin, and it’s crunch time for draftees as they prepare to make one last impression on NHL scouts.
From the Leafs webiste: “The Leafs announced Saturday that forward Chris DiDomenico has been signed to a three-year entry level contract. The 20-year-old native of Toronto was selected by the Leafs in the sixth round, 164th overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.”
When was the last time the Toronto Maple Leafs produced a bonafide star calibre forward through their development system? Sadly, the only one in recent memory, Brad Boyes, doesn’t even play for the Leafs, but rather for the St. Louis Blues (where Toronto 1st rounders go as they mature).
â€œThe Day after Yesterdayâ€ (the prequel to â€œDay after Tomorrowâ€). These two things have a lot in common. Millions of people watched it all unfold, hoping the guy in the lead role could do the impossible and save the day (it didnâ€™t happen, the world still froze over and the Leafs still donâ€™t have a second 1st round pick). There was a serious injury that needed medical aid (Toskalaâ€™s hip/groin, and Laura Chapmanâ€™s blood poisoning). And everyone was running around frantically once they found out about the strange phenomenon (Guy 1: â€œHey look, a giant tsunami!â€ Guy 2: â€œWho cares, Andy Wozniewski was traded!â€ Guy 1: â€œYou’re right! That’s far more bizarre.â€)
Chatter … non existent.
Rumors … rampant speculation, but nothing really.
Movement … absolutely dismal amount of transactions (if you don’t count waiver placement)
Just, eerily quiet …
And I have a theory as to why. But first, some good news.
With all the focus on the trade deadline the past few weeks, some minor moves by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization — namely with the AHL Marlies — have gone relatively unnoticed.
Mark Bell is no longer a Leaf, Boyd Devereaux is back in the NHL, and Bates Battaglia remains with the Marlies.
With the rebuild process in full effect, the Toronto Maple Leafs are exhausting every single possibility when it comes to bringing quality young players into their system. Dave Nonis, senior VP of hockey operations for the Leafs,Â was just on the Bill Watters show earlier this hour and discussed a number of topics pertaining to the Leafs, including the team’s approach to handling its NCAA prospects as well as possible interest in some of the prized college free agents.
With the trade deadline just weeks away, here are a few rumors that are doing more than just making the rounds.
Many Leaf fans are counting down the days until Draft Day 2009, when we anticipate that our beloved Leafs will draft the franchise player that will lead the blue and white to the promise land. Some dream of John Tavares after witnessing him lead Team Canada to Gold at the WJC. Others dream about Evander Kane and his amazing hands or Brayden Schenn, who seems to be the Burke archetype we could all potentially revere. What you’re not typically finding on fans’ wish lists is a defenseman, which most aren’t prioritizing due to the fact we have, in some beliefs, eight NHL-caliber d-men. We do lack the type of star player upfront that can potentially compete for the league lead in goals. So I ask the question: is that really what this team needs right now?
“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.
Thanks to the lack of high end technology (No PVR damnit!) at home, I was faced with a tough decision tonight: CHL Top Prospects Skills Competition or Leafs vs. Preds. Sadly, I chose the Leaf game. Pretty much a low chance, slow pace snoozer from the get-go so I eventually started flipping back and forth to catch glimpses of the NHL’s next crop of exciting young stars showing off their various talents. Little metaphor there I suppose?
In October 2008, a reporter set the Barilkosphere into a tizzy with a certain writing. The intention was simple, a deliberately cruel finger pointing at Leafs Nation.
The backlash was tremendous, and it inspired Pension Plan Puppets to trigger a massive response to the piece. It shows the unifying force behind the internet, allowing fans the opportunity to voice dissent.
Ed. Note: Ultimately a rather minor roster move; Burke doesn’t like the inconsistent intensity he’s seen so far from the Buds so he turns to a familiar face in the 6’1, 205 pound Brad May, who has followed Burke wherever he’s gone. After a quick/lazy look into 6th round success, there is a 12 percent chance that a sixth rounder plays more than 100 NHL games based on the six drafts between ’95-’00. The pick is also conditional, so there’s no knowing whether or not it’ll actually change hands (as Alex Tran points out, it could very well be compensation should the Leafs re-sign May). As for Kulemin, this is likely a move made in order to avoid the Tlusty situation of last season. Kulemin’s had his moments, but needs the ice-time he wasn’t earning with the Leafs in order to gain confidence and consistency in his game.
Brian Burke made his first two moves as general manager of the Maple Leafs today. First, he assigned Nikolai Kulemin to the AHL – not a bad decision; this allows the youngster to get acquainted with more ice time and the smaller ice surface. He is provided the opportunity to dominate and gain more confidence at a lower level.
When Team Canada went for the third straight Gold Medal, they were ruled â€œtoo small and lacked the necessary talentâ€ to win. They proved them wrong. When Team Canada went for the fourth straight Gold Medal, they were ruled as â€œan underdog team with potential but not enough skillâ€ to win. They proved them wrong. This year, Team Canada went for the fifth straight Gold Medal at the World Junior Hockey Championship. They were ruled as â€œtoo smallâ€ and weâ€™re slated to win nothing more than silver. Again, Canada proves them wrong. How can you rule out the Hockey Capital of the World?
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