Leafs Links:

  • Kevin McGran: Leafs’ Hunter tries NHL combine on for size … and skill (Toronto Star)
    “We’re looking at skill,” Hunter said. “Skill to us is hockey sense. Puck skills. All the things that make a guy unique. But you can never leave out character. I have no problem with a 5-10 guy that is physically strong and can get down the ice. Who would not like the (Tyler) Johnson kid out of Tampa? He’s not that big, but he’s wide. He’s strong. That’s not going to stop us from drafting a smaller guy. But you want some bigger guys, too. But we will not just focus on big guys.”
  • Benjamin Sinclair: Why the Toronto Maple Leafs And Investors Need to Dump Just Energy Group Inc. (The Motley Fool)
    If you’ve been to a Toronto Maple Leafs or Toronto Raptors game recently, you likely saw an advertisement for Just Energy Group Inc. (TSX:JE)(NYSE:JE), the official home energy supplier of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment. Just Energy offers multi-year natural gas and electricity contracts to households and businesses, allowing these customers to lock in a fixed rate. So, what exactly is the problem?
  • JP Nikota: A Restoration of Faith (Pension Plan Puppets)
    We have seen multiple good decisions made almost consecutively. When was the last time that happened? Was it during the days of Pat Quinn? Pat Burns? I honestly don’t remember so many things going right. The hiring of Mike Babcock has of course been a highlight for the Leafs‘ new regime, but the other hires that have been made since the arrival of Shanahan have, arguably, been more important – at least collectively.
  • Michael Grange:  Two years in, MLSE’s Leiweke has proud legacy (Sportsnet)
    I guess the best thing that can be said at this point is that things are still fermenting, and should it ever turn into bubbly, it won’t be the cheap stuff: A rough estimate of the expenses Leiweke has laid at the feet of MLSE – from the expansion of BMO Field to the largesse afforded newly hired Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to miss the playoffs – likely tops $400 million and could push half-a-billion. Never again will anyone be able to say MLSE puts profits ahead of winning, although it’s worth remembering where those profits come from.

NHL Links:

  • James Mirtle: Stamkos hoping to finally take home some hardware (The Globe and Mail)
    Steven Stamkos, bearded and buff, looking little like the 18-year-old kid who was flung into the mess that was the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise seven years ago, was answering questions on media day at the Stanley Cup final, the series he had always pined to play in. Again and again, for nearly half an hour on Tuesday, the only answer the young captain could give when asked what this meant to him was that he wanted to win.
  • Greg Wyshynski: Why don’t more Americans watch the Stanley Cup Final? (Puck Daddy)
    That’s what hockey fans are known for in the postseason: Turning off the television and getting their summer on instead of watching the pucks fly deep into the playoffs. That’s why the NHL desperately needs a massive local audience from at least one of the Stanley Cup Final participants in order to have a respectable rating.
  • Nicholas Goss:  2015 Stanley Cup Final: Key Matchups In Blackhawks-Lightning Showdown (NESN)
    The Tampa Bay Lightning and Chicago Blackhawks are two evenly matched teams, whether you compare them via the eye test or analytics. This is one reason why a lengthy Stanley Cup Final is expected, and as with any series, certain matchups will determine the outcome. Here are four matchups to keep an eye on during this year’s Cup Final.
  • James Mirtle: Why the Blackhawks will win the Stanley Cup (The Globe and Mail)
    More than just experience, however, the Blackhawks have beaten tougher teams and looked better doing it. They’re the reasonable choice here for a host of reasons, with Toews’s ability to take over games at the top of that list. Barring an unbelievable series from Bishop, or a brutal meltdown from Crawford, they have a very solid shot at becoming only the second team since Edmonton 25 years ago to win three Stanley Cups in a six year span.
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