Toronto Maple Leafs scoring projections by TSN’s Ray Ferraro, Babcock does the media rounds, and more in the links.
- Frank Seravalli: How will the Maple Leafs replace Kessel’s goals? (TSN)
According to Ferraro, James van Riemsdyk will once again lead the Leafs in scoring with 27 goals. One forward – Nazem Kadri – will set a new career-high with 23 goals. Rookie William Nylander, 19, will crack the lineup at some point during this transitional season and chip in with eight goals. Ferraro sees a dip for signee Shawn Matthias, who netted 18 goals with a repeatable shooting percentage last season in Vancouver despite playing third-line minutes.
- Chris Johnston: Phaneuf, Rielly on fresh start with Mike Babcock (Sportsnet)
“If I can pick one word it would be ‘structure,”‘ said Phaneuf. “He’s very organized and his teams play a very structured brand of hockey. He gets a lot out of his teams.
- Dean Blundell: Mike Babcock: “Tie goes to the veteran” (MLHS via Sportsnet)
The way I look at it is real simple for young guys. Tie goes to the veteran. A kid has to earn his way. No jobs are given here for free. Everything about it is, “can you help us?” Not, “can you get in the lineup?” Can you help us? The way the CBA works today is you have to pay these guys. If you play a kid when he isn’t ready to help the team, it’s one year off his contract. Would you rather have that guy playing when he can help your team?
- Mike Richards: Mike Babcock: “I added up [our] goals the other day… I didn’t like the outcome” (MLHS via TSN)
We did an exercise each year in Detroit. Ken Holland and myself, we add up the goals we’re going to score. We’d know before the year what we thought we were going to score. When I added up the goals the other day, they didn’t add up right. I tried to do it again and again, and I didn’t like the outcome. The reality is we’re going to have to find some people to score more goals than I put down on the sheet.
- Staff: Leafs had deals for JVR in place (The Fourth Period)
While the Leafs were believed to have been in deep conversations regarding Phaneuf and Bozak, according to multiple sources, TFP has also learned that Toronto was close to trading van Riemdsyk. In the Maple Leafs‘ conversations with the Penguins, prior to the Kessel move, the two sides were also close to a deal involving van Riemdsyk.
- clrkaitken: Top 25 Under 25: #3 Jake Gardiner (PPP)
When Gardiner was brought in during the 2011 season, Leaf fans were hopeful that he’d become the sort of defenceman that the Leafs could build around. While the road there hasn’t always been perfect, Gardiner looks ready to cash in on that promise, and while 25 years of age means his development time is much shorter than, say, that of Mitch Marner, part of developing on potential is actually developing potential.
- Fisher: TLN’s Top 20 Leafs Prospects: The Final List (TLN)
Since I began organizing the Top 20 Prospects feature several years ago, this is the first time there was any sort of tough decision to be made at the top of the list. Hell, it’s the first time there’s been a tough decision in the top five or ten. In years past, players like Rielly – and last year, Nylander – would stand alone atop a mountain of long shots and tweeners. I can’t stress enough how dramatically improved this year’s group is, and it’s even better that they all are hovering in and around that 18, 19 and 20 year-old mark.
- Dangle: Kyle The Report (Steve Dangle Podcast)
On this episode, an in-depth look at the Leafs prospect system with a reporter who lives and breathes the Marlies – Kyle Cicerella.