Archive for August, 2010

Toronto Maple Leafs: What To Expect From Nazem Kadri

August 31st, 2010 No Comments

With the 2010-11 NHL training camps just a few weeks away, many Toronto Maple Leaf fans are excited to see what Nazem Kadri brings to the table. Kadri had an impressive training camp last season, demonstrating his ability to score and his hi hockey IQ on a nightly basis. Where Kadri fell short was in the size department, something he has addressed this off-season to the tune of what is expected to be a 15-20 pound weight gain. Originally drafted in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (seventh overall) by the Maple Leafs, Kadri looks to be on track to assume a NHL roster spot this season. With little competition down the middle, Kadri will likely play on Toronto’s second and third lines, with an outside chance of earning first line honors if sophomore Tyler Bozak falters.

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Will Jerry D’Amigo Make the Club in 2010-11?

August 29th, 2010 No Comments

When you consider the lack of scoring prowess expected from the Toronto Maple Leafs top-six forwards, general manager Brian Burke is hoping someone—anyone—will emerge as a legitimate scoring threat. Prospects Nazem Kadri (who has plenty of offensive upside) and Luca Caputi (projected to be more of a grinder) are expected to make a big push to make the 2010-11 roster, as is Jerry D’Amigo, who may very well evolve into a legitimate scoring threat. Originally drafted 158th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry draft, D’Amigo impressed at the 2009 World Junior Championships where he led Team USA with four goals and 13 points—tying him for third overall in the tournament. After Team USA’s gold-medal victory, D’Amigo continued to impress at the U.S. college level, where he posted 10 goals and 35 points in 35 games. Known as a highly competitive,

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Weekend Wonderings: Five-Year NHL Trends and Streaks To Think Over

August 28th, 2010 No Comments

During the NHL lockout that cancelled what would have been the 2004-2005 season, the entire rules of the game were re-evaluated and changed to make hockey an overall better sport. The biggest changes regarded adding in the offsides rule and the shootout, but plenty of other revisions were also made. In the five seasons since then, the NHL has been an utterly different game than it used to be. However, as discussed and tested in the NHL’s Development and Orientation camp last week, the league is beginning to see some more changes, and also some reversions to the pre-lockout rules, might be becoming necessary. An investigation into the factual reasons behind their suggested modifications took us into a world of calculations in determining an array of trends and streaks through the last five NHL seasons. The first thing determined was that no

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Behind the Scenes Hockey: Nine Unheralded NHL Players

August 28th, 2010 1 Comment

Around the world of hockey, there are many words for them; “Down and Dirty”, “Rough and Tumble”, “In the Trenches”, “Blue Collar players”, and “Enforcers”. But throughout the years of the NHL, fans and staff alike have always loved the hardest hitter, the nastiest fighter, or the trashiest talker. In fact, many players and coaches in recent times have become famous for their gritty side, such as monstrous Zdeno Chara or 2010 playoff star Dustin Byfuglien. Truthfully, the biggest physical presences are no longer ignored, or, as the title proclaims, “unheralded”. But that’s not to say there aren’t any more “under the radar” blue collar players. In fact, there are more “behind the scenes” players than you expect, as no very well-known forward or defenseman was included…and that’s why they’re on this list. Whether it’s blocking shots, piling up takeaways, winning faceoffs, killing penalties, taking the longest

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Kovalchuk Deal Close, NHL Will Approve New Contract

August 27th, 2010 No Comments

After turning down over $100 million from to remain with the Atlanta Thrashers and having his 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils rejected by the NHL, it appears as if Ilya Kovalchuk is about to sign with the Devils. ESPN is reporting that the NHL has approved the latest contract proposal from the Devils, which should be signed very soon. Kovalchuk’s newest contract should set the bar for future long-term/big money contracts and allow other NHL GM’s to use the contract as a template for future contracts. While there is no news on the term or monies involved, one can assume that the contract will likely be less than the $100 million Kovalchuk so badly seeks. When/if the contract is finally signed, it will allow other NHL GM”s to finally address their off-season needs and to pursue

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Toronto Maple Leafs: What Will The Power Play Look Like In 2010-11?

August 25th, 2010 No Comments

Making good on just 14 percent of their man advantages, the Toronto Maple Leafs emerged from the 2009-10 season with the NHL’s worst power play. For the most part, the Maple Leafs featured the likes of Tomas Kaberle, Francois Beauchemin, and Ian White taking turns on the first power play unit on the backend, with Phil Kessel, Matt Stajan, Lee Stempniak, Niklas Hagman and Alexei Ponikarovsky getting the majority of power play time up front. The 2010-11 season will see the Leafs employ a number of new faces on the power play. White, Stajan, Hagman, Ponikarovsky and Stempniak have all moved on to other teams so they will not be returning and, with a final decision still not clear with regard to Tomas Kaberle’s future, it is tough to pencil him in at this point in time. With training camp

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