Archive for February, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: Clarke MacArthur To Nashville?

February 27th, 2011 No Comments

Currently sitting in eighth spot in the Western Conference with 72 points on the season, the Nashville Predators are holding on to the final playoff spot by the skin of their teeth. Directly ahead of the Predators sit the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild. Both teams have a game in hand on the Preds, both teams have also earned 72 points. Below the Preds sit the Surging Calgary Flames who have been all but unbeatable since the all-star break with 71 points and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks with 70 points and two games in hand on the Preds. With so many Western Conference teams this close to a playoff birth it is expected that many of the aforementioned teams will be busy on Monday’s Trade Deadline. The Dallas Stars (who are also in the Western Conference playoff

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NHL Trade Rumors: Clarke MacArthur Must Be Re-signed

February 26th, 2011 No Comments

The clock is ticking on pending restricted free agent Clarke MacArthur’s  future with the Toronto Maple Leafs and if MacArthur is not signed to a new long term contract by Monday’s trade deadline he is likely going to be moved. For Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, he must not only evaluate the value of MacArthur—who leads the Maple Leafs in scoring with 46 points in 61 games— and the value of keeping Toronto’s second unit of Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and the aforementioned MacArthur in place. Chemistry is a very powerful thing in hockey. Grabovski, Kulemin and MacArthur had never met fan expectations before this season. Now, together, all three players have surpassed expectations from both the fans and the organization, which leads one to believe that Burke would not be foolish enough to break this hard working/skillful trio

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James Reimer Is The Key To The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Success

February 24th, 2011 No Comments

Goaltending. For most NHL teams goaltending is the single most important position and, in many respects, has the biggest impact on a team’s success, both pro and con. While many Toronto Maple Leafs fans are looking to Phil Kessel, Dion Phaneuf and Luke Schenn to be the cornerstones of the Buds rebirth, it says here the most important player for the Blue and White is none other than rookie goaltender, James Reimer. Heading into Thursday nights action against the hated Montreal Canadiens Reimer had earned a record of 9-4-2 to go along with his .934 save percentage, 2.12 goals against average and two shutouts. As impressive as Reimer’s early success has been, his impact goes far beyond the numbers. When a goaltender is hot the entire team feeds off their success. Forwards and defensemen alike have more confidence, passes seem

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Core Has Been Built, Now To Tweak The Roster…

February 24th, 2011 7 Comments

There has been a lot of debate as to whether or not the Toronto Maple Leafs are a player or two away from playoff contention or still a team caught in an exhausting rebuild that never seems to end. The truth is, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is just a player or two away from taking his team to the Promised Land, and the biggest reason this organization is finally headed in the right direction is his work over the past two and a half seasons. If you were to look over the Maple Leafs’ roster, a few things would stick out. First, Burke has only one player on the roster older than 30 years of age, veteran goaltender J.S. Giguere. Second, the current roster has a total of seven former first round draft choices on it. If everything

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NHL Trade Rumors:What Would It Take To Land Stephen Weiss?

February 22nd, 2011 No Comments

Originally drafted fourth overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Stephen Weiss has played his entire career with the Florida Panthers. For Weiss, there have been good times, including a 28-goal season in 2009-10 and bad times, including a 13-goal season in 2007-08. This season Weiss has registered a total of 16 goals and 40 points through 58 games with the lowly Panthers, which puts him on pace to score around 56 points on the season. While not a lock to be an “elite” number one centre many experts feel, in the right situation and with the right line mates, that Weiss could be a great number one NHL centre, maybe even a star. For the most part, even with the benefit of playing on a line with Nathan Horton (now with the Boston Bruins) at times, many experts believe

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Report Suggests Brad Richards Not Interested In Toronto

February 21st, 2011 No Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in dire need of a centre. Potential unrestricted free agent Brad Richards would be a perfect fit. Only trouble is, according to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, signing Richards is unlikely. To support his claim, Simmons refers to “an old Tampa source” that says Richards has “no real interest in Toronto.” Now, don’t get me wrong, Richards never said he didn’t want to come to Toronto, he apparently just shook his head was asked about Toronto as a possibility. Word on the street has always suggested that Richards would like to remain a member of the Dallas Stars, but isn’t this almost always what Pending UFA’s say anyways? Simmons’ article goes on to suggest that Richards top choices would be Dallas, Tampa Bay, the New York Rangers and perhaps even the Carolina Hurricanes. Of

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