Earlier today on a certain Toronto radio show, a grim portrait of Jonas Gustavsson's future was painted, citing the 32 games he has appeared in so far in his career - most of those starts behind a lacklustre team - as evidence that he may never develop into the sort of goaltender the Leafs envisioned when signing him out of the Swedish Elite League.
The crux of the argument was that 32 games should be enough for Gustavsson to have shown some ability to adapt to goaltending coach Francois Allaire's techniques, and that at 25 years of age it may be too late for him to make the necessary adjustments for NHL success.
Team Canada World Junior's captain Patrice Cormier is under investigation by the QMJHL for his questionable hit against Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikael Tam. The video of the hit is below and looks as if Cormier came off the bench and delivered an elbow to Tam's head at center ice. Click here to view the video. The hit takes place at the 1:00 mark of the clip. Warning: The video does show convulsions after the hit and should not be watched by those who are faint of heart.
Even in the days of modern technology, many still profess that meteorology is an inexact science more guess work than theory. The very same can be said when scouting goaltenders. For every Mark-Andre Fleury (selected 1st overall in 2003) thereâ€™s a Brent Krahn (selected 9th overall in 2000). Meanwhile recent Vezina nominees and winners such as Tim Thomas, Mikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov had to wait until the 217th, 116th and 219th selections respectively to see their names on the board. Indeed, the vast majority of netminders who started a game last season in the NHL had long waits deep into the second day to see their dreams realized while others went completely unnoticed only to resurface as free agents years later.
Newest goaltending consultant to the Leafs, Francois Allaire, father of the modern butterfly with exceptional credentials including working with Patrick Roy, Brian Hayward, as well as the guy who morphed Guy Hebert into an All Star in 1997 and J.S. Giguere. Most recently he worked with Ducks back up-turned-starter, Jonas Hiller to backstop the Ducks to a seven-game Round 2 of the 2008-09, Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Fine credentials indeed, but what can he do with the batch of Leafs goaltenders?
It has been reported that Patrick Roy, who has been hovering around Denver these last few days, has been offered the head coach position for the franchise. I know what youâ€™re thinking, â€œbut doesnâ€™t Tony Granato have that job?â€ No, not really. Heâ€™s been fired but everyone forgot to call him. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™ll figure it out when he opens the paper sometime in the next few days and reads that heâ€™s been replaced, unless heâ€™s somewhere hockey isnâ€™t mainstream. I hope he is, for his sake, because Day 1 of training camp would be awkward if no one bothers to let the poor sap know of his circumstance.
That brings us to the Worst Firings in Hockey History.
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.
Hey folks, Alec's traditionally done this in the past, but I'll be taking over for this one as he's been bogged down with work lately. With the way the Leafs have played over the past few years, we find ourselves looking forward to the future, hoping that there's help on the horizon. Well let's take a gander at what the Toronto Maple Leafs are cultivating down on the farm: [more…]
Be sure to forward your questions for Gus, Alex and myself below in Alex's post...
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. [more…]