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Author: B Leaf
Last season, the Leafs were 10th in scoring (244) and 9th in shots on goal (2,603). There is no major reason why that number should drop other than the loss of Antropov. There are other players who should have better years and help fill his ice time with similar results. On the powerplay, the Leafs were middle of the road at 16th. The Leafs were a respectable 17th in shots allowed (2481), but were a league worst in goals against (286). The PK% was also a league worst. Not all the blame can be placed on the goaltending, but a lot of it can. The collective save percentage for the team was an abysmal .885%.
It’s been the story of the summer in Toronto, the one that just will not go away.Â Â
What will the Maple Leafs do with Tomas Kaberle?Â Â Will they trade him this offseason?Â Will they keep himÂ hoping his play on an improved team willÂ up the demand for him?Â Â Or will they keep him with the intention of building around him?
Brian Burke has been keeping himself relatively busy since returning from his fishing trip.Â While they have been all minor league signings, he has locked up three Marlies, securing depth for both our farm team and the big club.
-Alex Foster received a one year, two-way deal at the league minimum of 500 000.
-Andre Deveaux received a similar one year, two-way deal, also at 500 000.
-Darryl Boyce received a two year, two-way deal that averages out to roughly 525 000 per year.
With only one day remaining before the draft, the NHL rumour mill is of course running rampant.
Here is an update on the latest “non-source” chatter I’ve been hearing regarding draft moves, trade possibilities, and free agent speculation as it may or may not pertain to our boys in blue.
While the Leafs made the decision not to renew Marlies coach Greg Gilbert, some of the players are truly on the ball.
Rewind a year to Ottawa, when interim GM Cliff Fletcher was preparing to make his last great splash. Trading up to secure hard hitting blueliner Luke Schenn, a player unto which the Leafs hoped to bank their revival, set in motion a summer of upheaval paving the way for Brian Burke to step in mid-season. For many the draft of 2008 marked an era of realization, that change was required and perhaps finally the Leafs were going to commit to a full scale rebuild based on the youth model in Pittsburgh.
I’ve read a lot of comments and feedback on everyone’s take for this pick but this is what has been making the rounds in the rumor mill – yes, rumors are still circulating through the playoffs. Keep in mind that this is pure speculation and isn’t exactly a mainstream rumor, but it is interesting and perhaps logical.
Now that the 2008-09 regular season has officially ended, it’s time to take a look back over the roster to assess each of the Maple Leafs’ players.
Note that I’m only including players who finished the season with at least one game played for the Maple Leafs, and am excluding those traded away during the course of the season.
Statistics for those who were acquired mid-season reflect games played as members of the Maple Leafs only.
While the majority of Leafs fans wrote the team off in the summer, it wasnâ€™t until the New Year that the teams first true season of rebuilding began the inevitable grind into early year golf tournaments.
For a full team-by-team breakdown of all playoffs clubs, sure bets and sleeper picks for your playoff pools, visit the McKeen’s Playoff Preview where the factors below have been outlined and pointed out in a team-by-team write up.
Any hopes of Toronto spoiling Montreal’s playoff run were officially put to bed on Saturday night, as the Canadiens, for one night at least, managed to resemble last season’s squad.
Leaf Nation had hoped their previous victory would be the final nail in the coffin for the Habs; instead, that loss seems to have been the catalyst that broke the Habs (who have gone 5-0-1 since) out of their slumber.Â Â Could this get any worse for Leaf fans?
The rash of injuries on the Maple Leafs’ blueline, coupled with GM Brian Burke’s preference for physical players on the back end, have led the team to re-sign a familiar face.
As the 2008-09 season moves into the stretch drive, it is perhaps time for fans of teams most likely not making the playoffs to take a closer peek at the top prospects entering the draft.
Based on the Maple Leafs’ current spot in the standings with 13 games to go, it is safe to assume that this team will not finish last overall, and perhaps not even in the bottom five.Â Â A finish anywhere from 23rd to 26th overall (picking 5th to 8th) appears most likely at this point.
With that in mind, here is a modified version of the International Scouting Services (ISS) mid-season rankings which were released in February.Â Modified, in that the list is #3 – 12, as those are most likely the players that the Leafs will be looking at come the first round of the Entry Draft.
for Richard Petiot.
Brian Burke takes on salary in order to replace the Leafs’ lost 4th rounder. He also adds a 6’5, 210 pound blue-liner in Andy Rogers who is a former 30th overall pick. Rogers’ career to date has been maligned by injuries, but there’s still hope that Rogers could become a solid depth d-man down the road.
Jamie Heward and Olaf Kolzig are both out indefinitely with injuries at the moment.
Brilliant, and hilarious, move.
Gord Miller on TSN: “including Richard Petiot actually makes this, by definition, a hockey trade.”
The contracts of Kolzig (2.5M) and Jamie Heward (475K) expire at season’s end. By taking on Kolzig and Heward’s salary, the Leafs replace the lost fourth rounder in ’09 and add an intriguing, if long-shot, prospect. Tampa Bay were not facing cap contraints but there’s been plenty of talk of financial issues troubling owners Len Barrie and Oren Koules.
This essentially boils down to spending in the neighbourhood of $500K for a 4th round draft pick.
On the whole, the Leafs replace their relinquished 2nd and 4th round picks as well as add an additional 2nd rounder. The conditional pick included in the Antropov deal will be determinate upon the Rangers’ success in the playoffs, according to Pierre Lebrun.
As the Trade Deadline approaches, speculation will continue to grow over which Maple Leaf players may be moving on to new NHL destinations.
The following is my own personal estimation of the likelihood of regular roster players actually getting dealt, based upon contract status, playoff/stretch drive impact potential, comments from players/coaches/management, and of course the metaphorical smoke & fire (the amount of repetition in the rumour mills).Â Â To quote the great Chazz Palminteri, “a rumour’s not a rumour that doesn’t die”.
As the trade deadline looms ever closer, the Ottawa Senators have just completed the second major trade in the last few days, by sending San Jose’s 2009 1st round pick acquired from Tampa in the Andrej Mezaros trade along with center Dean McAmmond to the New York Islanders in exchange for center Mike Comrie and defenseman Chris Campoli.
At a time when the Alex Rodriguez steroid issue is making the rounds around the sporting world, I’m wondering if Leaf coach Ron Wilson has some of that “magic stuff” stashed inside that doghouse of his. After Ian White and Jason Blake were healthy scratches early on during the season, both players have been playing exceptionally well of late. Ian White is logging a ton of very efficient ice-time on the blueline, while Blake is almost singlehandedly carrying the Maple Leaf offense.
The Maple Leafs have recalled Justin Pogge from the Toronto Marlies for tonightâ€™s game in Buffalo. Toronto looks to rebound from an overtime loss last night at the hands of Bryan McCabe and his Panthers, while the Buffalo Sabres are making a pitch for their fourth straight win at home.
Last night, in another rare occurrence, Philadelphia Phantoms tough guy, Garrett Klotz, fought the Manchester Monarchâ€™s enforcer, Kevin Westgarth, on the drop of the opening faceoff. It began at center ice, but after a few punches back and forth in an even affair, it shifted towards the Monarchâ€™s bench. It was then that Westgarth landed some heavy rights, including a few uppercuts, and Klotz went down. He immediately began convulsing and medical staff rushed over to aid the 20 year old.
Ron Wilson will stick with the struggling Vesa Toskala as his slumping Maple Leafs, fresh off two consecutive losses by a collective score of 12-3, look to get off the schneid against Alex Ovechkin’s red-hot Washington Capitals.
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