Cody Franson and Joffrey Lupul both weigh in on Mike Babcock, Mark Hunter‘s big impact has him gathering hype as the possible new Leafs GM, and more in today’s links.

Sunday Reading:

  • David Johnson: Attempting to quantify Mike Babcock’s on-ice impact (MLHS)
    We already heard yesterday that Cody Franson believes that Babcock makes Toronto potentially more attractive to free agents, including himself, as a result of the credibility he brings to the team as well as the relationships he has built with players over his years in the NHL and with Team Canada. The question I will try to answer today: What will his impact be on the ice?
  • Mike Zeisberger: Mark Hunter’s role front and centre at Leafs presser (Toronto Sun)
    Don’t just take our word for it. Just listen to a long-time Western Conference scout who was asked about Hunter by Postmedia during the OHL final between Erie and Oshawa last Friday, days before Babcock agreed to join the Leafs: “Mark Hunter is the best damn hiring the Leafs have made in the last 10 years,” the scout said.
  • Michael Traikos: Leafs GM candidate Mark Hunter short on pro experience but he’s ‘far from a rookie’ (National Post)
    “I think he’s a natural fit,” said Erie Otters general manager Sherry Bassin. “I pride myself on working hard. If there was one guy I could not outwork, it was Mark Hunter.”  “If I were in ownership and I needed somebody for my evaluation of talent, he’s one of the best,” said player agent Don Meehan.
  • MLHS: Cody Franson: “100%. I hope Toronto is in the mix” (TSN1050)
    Cody Franson hopes that the Toronto Maple Leafs make him an offer to come back this off-season, mentions the pull Babcock will have with players around the League.
  • Report: Andrew Brewer to join Maple Leafs as assistant coach (MLHS)
    Brewer, 29, joined the Red Wings after spending three years with Hockey Canada, serving as the organization’s video coach for various international events, most recently working with Mike Babcock for Canada’s gold-medal team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
  • Report: Jim Hiller to join Mike Babcock on Leafs new coaching staff (MLHS)
    In his first year on an NHL bench, Hiller was in charge of the Red Wings’ second-ranked powerplay, which ticked along at a 23.8% success rate last year.  Their powerplay went 2 for 27 out of the gates and Hiller garnered some early criticism, but it took off after the early struggles, with Hiller emphasizing an approach to outnumbering the opponent down low.
  • Kevin McGran: Maple Leafs may have steal in Rimouski’s Frederik Gauthier (Toronto Star)
    “He does know his defence, and coaches like that,” said Morrison. “Obviously, we’re going to push him to become better offensively. That will be part of our challenge in developing his offensive game. With Freddie’s mindset, he has to think a little bit more in those terms without taking away his strengths. He’s a big, smart kid. He works, and you can’t coach six-foot-five.”
  • Draglikepull: Stop Scoring-Adjusting Tiny Samples (Pension Plan Puppets)
    The idea behind these “close” stats was that teams will typically alter their strategies when the score is further apart, so by only including data from when games were at their most competitive we were getting a better idea of the true talent level of teams. There was a problem with this approach though: by only including score-close situations, we were throwing out an awful lot of data.
  • Steve Simmons: Lupul happy to be reunited with Babcock (Toronto Sun)
    “I couldn’t critique him at all, looking back. I was just happy to be in the NHL. It was a long time ago, but the one thing that’s stuck with me is how he was the first guy there every day and the last guy to leave. And it was like that every day. He took a certain pride that nobody was ever going to outwork him or us.”
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