Dave Poulin stopped by the Brady and Walker Show on the Fan590 this morning (you can listen to the full audio here), touching on the subjects in the title above as well as JvR, the goaltending battle, Cody Franson, and the Leafs‘ cap situation.

On JvR’s impressive preseason:

“Even since the moment he’s joined us, we’ve seen a change in JvR. I think he’s just scratching the surface, I really do. The goal last night, which we’ve seen a couple of times now… the hand skills, and I think it’s the combination of the mind going is growing into the body is growing into the skill set, [he’s] now maturing. There’s only much, much better to come from him. He’s a force every day, and since the first day of practice, he’s been a different player on the ice and he’s been at a higher level every day. That’s what we look for, the consistency part. We knew the pieces were there but the consistency we’re seeing from a professional hockey player is different from JvR right now.”

On Cody Franson:

“I don’t think there is an elephant in the room in that it’s so competitive back there and there’s a NHL-calibre of people challenging for jobs. We still have more than 6, and it’s highly, highly competitive back there. Once you get in and get going, it’s very hard to be concerned with what’s not here. I’ve been through situations as a player where there was a player is not in camp, a prominent player, and you simply can’t worry about it on an everyday basis. I think that’s what the team is doing.”

On the cap situation:

“I would caution one thing. I know there is a website that has become extremely popular in terms of cap knowledge. It’s not exact. There’s a cushion base that’s figured in here… nobody can sit outside our room and tell us exactly what our cap is other than Claude Loiselle, and that’s corresponding directly with the league. The cap number that is out there, while it’s in the ballpark, it’s not exactly accurate.”

“It’s inaccurate, because of the bonus cushion you’re allowed on contracts. There is more of a margin there. That said, for a number of teams it is really, really tight. The timing of this is unfortunate, coming off a year where the cap goes down. I think what we’re going to see is situations where teams are carrying less than 23 players. It’s going to become more the norm than the exception. 21 is going to be a number you see way more than 23.”

Cap impact of Clarkson’s suspension:

“Now you have to fill a spot with X number of dollars. You don’t have to fill it with his cap number, but it does make it more challenging without a doubt.”

On Raymond’s role in the cap crunch:

“That was agreed to before this whole [thing]. I believe it was Sunday morning we came to terms with Mason. It looks like it was but that was all agreed to beforehand. We’re thrilled to have Mason joining us and it was a really important part. It was an important part with or without the David Clarkson piece, but certainly we have a player who is stepping in extremely well and is going to have a wonderful opportunity here in Toronto.

“You’re getting a significant player, and he’s going to be a huge part of our team, and he came on a tryout because of his relationship with Dave Nonis from X number of years ago.”

On the goaltending situation:

“I got a text from a friend during the game last night and he said, ‘I love this goaltending situation,’ and it was after a few big saves by Reims in the first period. This is what you envision when you do it. Everyone’s first take on it was negative. I say everyone; a lot of the fans and the media, it was a negative take, that we were doing something to slight James Reimer. It wasn’t the case at all. We wanted to create a competitive situation to drive the pair of athletes to another level. That’s what your goal is when you do this. So far both have responded extremely well and it will only get better.”

Kessel’s contract situation:

“I think both sides are well aware of [Kessel’s desire not to negotiate in-season]. We’ve got some time here and that could still develop in the next few days.”

Previous articleScotiabank Viewing Party Winners
Next articleMedia Address: Dave Nonis & Tim Leiweke
Founded in 2008, Maple Leafs Hotstove (MLHS) has grown to be the most visited independent team-focused hockey website online (Quantcast). Independently owned and operated, MLHS provides thorough and wide-ranging content, varying from news, opinion and analysis, to pre-game and long-form game reviews, and a weekly feature piece entitled "Leafs Notebook." MLHS has been cited by: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, CBC News, USA Today, Fox Sports, Yahoo! Sports, NBC Sports, TSN, Sportsnet, Grantland, CTV News, CBSSports, The Globe & Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Global News, Huffington Post, and many more.