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injury

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Former Team Canada World Juniors captain, Patrice Cormier, will be facing charges of “assault causing injury,” says Annie-Claude Bergeron, a spokes-person for the Crown prosecutor’s office of Rouyn-Noranda. Cormier will appear in court on July 12 for his hit on Mikael Tam on January 25th of 2010.

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Ron Wilson, an alumnus from Providence College, was playing for Davos in the Swiss National League A in 1985 when pivotal Minnesota North Stars defenseman Craig Hartsburg was injured. Embroiled in a battle for a playoff spot, Minnesota were in tough to find a stabilizing replacement to hold down the North Stars backend whilst Hartsburg recovered. Ron Wilson, a standout collegiate defender who never rose above major league stopgap, became the go-to-guy having already played 13 games for the North Stars the season previous. A span that bullet pointed five seasons in Switzerland.

A grizzled journeyman by age 30; Wilson would provide stellar coverage in Hartsburg’s absence securing an presence on the North Stars blueline in the 1986-’87 season before completing his NHL playing career with Minnesota a year later.

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During his first full year at the helm in Toronto, you could make the case that Brian Burke was the league’s most active general manager. There was the Kessel summer blockbuster with Boston and then the mega-deals on January 31st that brought in Phaneuf and Giguere. It’s quite obvious that he’s willing to expend assets to target any top notch premium young talent when it’s made available. Both of those trades were opportunities: Kessel was a restricted free agent on a team with cap issues. Burke often spoke of inquiring on Phaneuf several times throughout the year until the “pressure points” of the cap and the struggles of the Flames pushed Sutter into making a bold move. This summer should be no different. Let’s take a look at some of the young RFA’s that might potentially attract Burke’s interest.

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While the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing and continue to provide us with some fantastic moments of triumph, the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs are now forced to once again shift their focus to off ice activities.

And so too has Leafs brass.

Despite his team sitting on the sidelines, Leafs GM Brian Burke made quick work of two signing he was keying in on, signing goaltenders Jonas Gustavsson and newcomer Jussi Rynnas to contracts.  Continuing with the in-house theme, Burke will now certainly turn his attention to Nikolai Kulemin, if he hasn’t done so already.

And while we are seemingly quite far away this point, it won’t be long before the draft and subsequent free agency period rolls around.

62

Is it just me, or has the hockey season passed us by far quicker than usual? It seems like I just finished making arrangements for the home opener against Hamilton (which, might I add was a win) and here I am already looking back at the season that was.

It was an absolute blur of call-ups and injuries. The bright young stars that comprised the frat-pack line (Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson and Viktor Stalberg) all found their way up to the Leafs. Carl Gunnarsson, the player I was most keen on going into the season, left the Marlies early on for the big club and never looked back.

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Lots of reading today: Gus chips in an  analogical look at the NHL playoff series; Alex has your links with a look at potential Leaf Jussi Rynnas.

In what was Brian Burke’s first summer on the job with the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was clear from the get go that he put an onus on improving specialty teams, and also team defense.  The brash Toronto GM made a lot of moves as it related to improving these areas, and on paper they looked like a sure recipe for change and improvement.

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Now that the Leafs’ most important pending free agent — goaltender Jonas Gustavsson — has been signed to a two-year contract extension, it is time to take a look at their remaining free agent players.

Notably, the list of expiring contracts includes pending RFAs Nikolai Kulemin, Christian Hanson and John Mitchell. Pending UFAs on the Leafs’ roster include Wayne Primeau, Rickard Wallin, Jamie Lundmark, Garnet Exelby and Mike Van Ryn.

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When Brian Burke became the new general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs in November of 2008, Leafs Nation embarked on a new journey.  A new beginning.  With Burke at the helm, the Leafs organization finally had a general manager who had credentials.  Who had a winning pedigree.  Who had the exact type of attitude the Toronto market needed.

A man who wouldn’t take any nonsense from anyone, and a man who wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger on a big move that may set the team up for the better in the long term, a characteristic it seemed so many Leafs GM’s lacked in between the time of Fletcher’s first run, and Burke being christened as the new head of the front office.

Finally, Leafs fans were able to legitimately talk about the “Big O”, and they weren’t faking it either.

147

With the final bell about to ring season most fans would be happy to forget – although the impending draft all but dictates they most assuredly will not – the Maple Leafs will officially enter the offseason five campaigns removed from the playoffs at the conclusion of Saturday night’s game in Montreal.

Unlike previous years, however, this season has revealed to fans — amidst the rubble of far too many losses — a silver lining of sorts: the promise of youth.

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Note: If you crave insightful, indepth Leafs’ analysis, I highly encourage you to read RSW’s excellent article on Victor Stalberg.

This past Saturday, Brian Burke was a guest on “Leafs Lunch” (am 640) and spoke at length about the status of injured defenseman Mike Van Ryn.

Van Ryn, as you know, underwent career-threatening surgery as a result of a structural anomaly in his left knee.  The surgery, an osteotomy (known throughout hockey circles as “Steve Yzerman surgery”), is a complex procedure in which the knee is realigned via the removal of part of the bone.  Van Ryn has since resumed skating, but whether or not he will be able to resume his NHL career remains, at this point, unknown.

21

I really had so many options with this title. With all the Anaheim prospects on Toronto, I thought of calling it “Duck, Duck, Duck, Moose!” With many players returning from injury, I pondered using “I’ve got 99 Problems, but a Stitch Ain’t One.” But really, being five points out with five games remaining, the Marlies truly are on a wild Moose chase.

As it stands now, the Marlies will have to win all of their final five games to have a hope of extending the season past April 12th. The two most important of these will need to come this weekend as Toronto faces Manitoba, the current occupant of the 4th and final spot.

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    * aka “Operation: Basement Breakout”

    With last night’s loss, the Maple Leafs were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention for the 5th straight year. This was not really news – even the most optimistic of Leafs’ fans pretty much knew this to be the case since early into the New Year, if not sooner.

    However, a more prevalent question regarding the season standings remains: is getting out of last place in the Eastern Conference still possible?

      118

      Submitted by Michael Stephens (a.k.a.  Baumgartner)

      Apparently Sidney Crosby still lives with Mario Lemieux. Anyone else find that weird? Dude, you’re almost 23. You’ve got a Stanley cup ring, an Olympic gold medal, an 8.7 million dollar per year salary (to say nothing of the endorsements). Damn man, move out already. But I digress…

      17

      #NHLAnagrams have been a big thing on twitter over the past week, and what a riot we’ve had. Some of the creations have been strictly comical (Daniel Alfredsson = An Idle Ass Fondler), some have been ridiculous (Brian Burke = Urban Biker) and others have fit so perfectly, you would think that it was by some magical force that their name and anagram had come to be (Zdeno Chara = A Hazard Cone, Vesa Toskala = aka Lost).

      With the Toronto Marlies seven points back with 12 games to go, I’m torn as to my thoughts of the post-season and based on the Marlies’ anagram, Realism Torn Too.

        482

        For the sixth and final time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs will face their rivals, the Ottawa Senators, this time in enemy territory at Scotiabank Place.

        Tonight’s game will close out the season series between the two teams. The series currently stands at 3-2 in favor of the Leafs, who have won their past three against the Senators.

        The Leafs are coming off Sunday’s loss to the New York Islanders in which the players appeared completely spent (5 games in 8 days, culminating in back to back games, will have a negative effect on any club).  However, prior to that debacle, Toronto had won three in a row on merits of effort-laden, energetic play.  With a much-needed day off under their belts, the players will look to return to their winning ways with a strong effort against their bitter provincial rivals.

          506

          The Toronto Maple Leafs continue their homestand tonight against the visiting Oilers, in a game that marks former Leafs’ coach Pat Quinn’s return to the Air Canada Centre.

          The Oilers have had a disappointing season, to say the least, and are the leading contenders for the Hall/Seguin sweepstakes this summer. Edmonton fans are salivating at the thought of Taylor Hall one day lining up alongside Canadian Junior team hero Jordan Eberle, wearing copper and blue.

          For the time being, however, the Oilers are a team in the midst of yet another rebuilding phase, a process with which Leafs’ fans can certainly relate. In many ways, the two teams are quite similar: inconsistent youth, underachieving veterans, untimely injuries and weak goaltending have plagued both rosters throughout the season. The Leafs look to have begun the process of righting the ship; the Oilers will look to make similar moves (purging of veteran contracts in favor of youthful exuberance) during the summer.

            131

            Before we get to the T-Rex, make sure to stop by Maple Leafs Hot Stove Tuesday night.

            I will be live blogging the Leafs/Bruins game from the press box at the Air Canada Centre.

            Stop by, bring the funny and join us for a good time. Boston will be without Marc Savard after the devastating headshot from Matt Cooke, and the Bruins have had scoring woes all season long. Will this be the game Phil Kessel finally get his first point against his former team?

              1401

              Luca Caputi makes his Maple Leaf debut tonight as Toronto visits Boston to battle it out with the Bruins. Seidenberg will suit up for the Bruins who are still aiming to remain in the playoffs despite injury woes and a lack of ability to land an elite scoring winger for Marc Savard. The quest to get out of the bottom five continues for the Leafs tonight.

                229

                A quick morning update to the Leafs’ rumour mill.

                Don’t forget to join our live chat starting at 10am today! MLHS writers will be dropping in throughout the day; I will be checking in around noon myself. See you all there!

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                  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.