Sunday Mashup: Leafs News and Notes


Today, Steve Simmons had a few interesting Leafs tidbits in his Sunday column.

“Don’t expect anything sexy when the Leafs announce their coaching staff shortly. In fact don’t be surprised if the Leafs two new assistant coaches aren’t internal promotions.”

If I was Steve Spott, I would rather be head coach of the Marlies than assistant coach of the Leafs under Carlyle, but I’m not Steve Spott. That said, Gord Dineen and Derek King have been rumoured to be in the assistant coach mix from the beginning. It wouldn’t be surprising if they were promoted. The Marlies have run an excellent and successful program for years, so they could do a lot worse.

I still wonder if anything will become of the Tony Granato meetings. Pittsburgh has generally had a very good penalty kill under him so that would make some sense, too.

[pull_quote_center]“When the Leafs traded Frattin to Los Angeles in the deal for Jonathan Bernier, they honestly believed they were trading away a 20-goal scorer. That’s why they’ve brought him back. They probably don’t think that highly anymore, but they see something in Frattin others don’t.”[/pull_quote_center]

In the 2013 season, Frattin and Kadri played some great hockey together, and playing them on the same line was always their plan then. From the Star in 2013:

[pull_quote_center]It’s not that much of a surprise. Kadri is a natural playmaker, Frattin a scorer. The organization recognized as much and the two played together during the lockout with the AHL Marlies.
‘That was the plan we had,’ coach Randy Carlyle said Wednesday. ‘They had success in the American Hockey League, so you might as well try and put them together.'[/pull_quote_center]
I can’t seem to find the link, but I also remember James Mirtle writing about how members of the organization viewed Kadri-Frattin as a second line combo of the future. When he went to LA, the second line spot alongside Richards and Carter was “his to lose” according to Sutter.

He struggled in LA and they traded him, but they didn’t exactly banish him from the team; they moved him in a deal to bring in Marian Gaborik.

I guess we’ll see what happens with Frattin ultimately, but the Leafs seem to feel he can be a goal scorer, and so did Los Angeles to start last year. A lot of people can see the potential in Frattin (and it’s easy to since he’s fast, has a great shot, is physical, has low center of gravity and can be a bowling ball), but it’s up to him to put it together. Maybe he will playing alongside a familiar face and someone he has had success with before.

A few other sporadic thoughts:

  • I knew it would become a story that Gorges didn’t waive to come to Toronto, but boy is it getting blown out of proportion. Sorry, but waiving to go to Buffalo instead of Toronto says a lot more about Gorges’ intelligence than anything about the state of the Leafs. The Leafs might not be a great team, but Buffalo is terrible. They don’t have one player even close to the calibre of Kessel or JVR, and comparing their two goalies (Neuvirth and Enroth) to the Leafs two (Bernier and Reimer) is laughable at best. They are paying some big bucks to guys like Myers and Meszaros to play defense. Even if you don’t like Phaneuf, he’s miles ahead of those guys, to say nothing of Gardiner and Rielly (and, yes, I know Buffalo has drafted a few D-men in the first round of late, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me any of them are more promising than Rielly). Whatever vendetta Gorges has against the Leafs, so be it. Picking Buffalo over Toronto says almost nothing about the Leafs and pretty well everything about him.
  • The talk about the hometown Bolland leaving Toronto for Florida is even worse. The contract the Panthers gave him was easily one of the worst in free agency not just this year, but in the last few free agency periods.
  • Hard to imagine Franson returning with everyone in the league knowing they agreed to move him to Montreal. Stranger and more awkward things have happened, but you have to figure he is still on the block and eventually going to move.

Sunday Links: