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    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.”


      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.


        According to TSN, the Montreal Canadiens have made the first move of the much anticipated trade deadline frenzy. Bob Gainey has acquired defenseman Mathieu Schneider from the Atlanta Trashers in exchange for 2nd and 3rd round picks.

        Update: TSN is now reporting that the 2nd round pick is in 2009, while the 3rd round pick is in 2010. There is also a conditional pick heading back Montreal’s way.


          Ed. Note: Lots of holiday reading going up today for you guys. Merry Christmas.

          Here we are the Christmas break, and I’d like to take the time to look back at what we saw in September, what we expected by Christmas and what we envision for the future of the Blue and White.


            Hey folks, couldn’t sleep, so I decided to grab a glass of milk and pop on the computer for a few minutes and was privy to some late night “breaking news”. There are unconfirmed reports that Toronto may have put in a claim on the recently waived Tampa Bay Lightning forward, Chris Gratton.


              Cox reporting for the Star, says the deal is pretty much done:

              “The wait is over. Brian Burke is set to become the new president and general manager of the Maple Leafs. With only a few final details to be sorted out, none of which are viewed as deal-breakers, the deal is all but done.


                International Scouting Services recently released their November rankings for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, which can be viewed here: http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/10697/iss_top302009_prospects_november/


                  Ed. Note: Richard-Steven Williams, a UK-based NHL and European hockey enthusiast, will be joining the MLHS blogging team.

                  It’s fantastic to have Richard aboard, he’s an immense talent.
                  Here’s his piece on Ron Wilson from a week ago.


                    From a source:
                    “I’m hearing Leafs will try to sign him immediately upon his release and Burke will be very reasonable in terms of money/term/bonuses to get the job-he really wants it. There is still some issue as to how long the Ducks will expect to keep him on which is clouding the timing somewhat. Leafs really like what Fletch has done and would happily let him finish out the year, but without a guarantee that Holland et al will be available or interested they have no choice but to get this done now.


                      During Saturday night’s home game against the Canadiens, Mike Van Ryn went back in his own end to play the puck, and was subsequently hit from behind by Kostopoulous squarely on the numbers, sending Mike face first into the boards. The impact was tremendous and right away you could tell that it was serious as Van Ryn collapsed immediately in a heap, holding his face with blood spilling onto the ice. The hit occurred at 7:03 into the first period, and Kostopoulos received a 5 minute boarding major and a game misconduct.


                        Just thought I’d share a little something I read on Hockeybuzz:

                        “Finally, I have something in common with Richard Peddie.

                        It has nothing to do with salary, or responsibility at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, as King Richard would never threaten his own job security by placing me in charge of hiring the next GM of the Leafs. Richard and I, however, are the disconsolate subjects of websites aimed solely at our demise. Yes, a helpful e-mailer sent me an attachment this evening – “firehowardberger.com” has joined cyberspace alongside the more entrenched “firerichardpeddie.com.” And, you thought Peddie was in a class by himself.


                          Sorry folks, been really busy over the past week or so. Let’s talk some breaking news:

                          “The Maple Leafs will announce as early as this afternoon that rookie defenceman Luke Schenn will be staying in Toronto and will not be going back to the Kelowna Rockets of the WHL. Teams can hold on to rookies for nine games before their contract as junior-aged players kick in. The 18-year-old Schenn has played well enough to stick with the big team.


                            Be sure to forward your questions for Gus, Alex and myself below in Alex’s post…

                            Original post: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Alec-Brownscombe/Prospect-Tracker—Volume-1/48/17321

                            I will be posting these informational prospect updates every month. This one is a little shorter than you can expect, as the NCAA season is barely underway and the Maple Leafs have an array of collegiate prospects that I will be tracking throughout the ’08/’09 season.