Archive for June, 2011

2011 NHL Free Agency: Where Will Brad Richards Land?

June 29th, 2011 No Comments

With Chris Drury expected to accept a buyout from the New York Rangers on Friday, New York looks to be positioning themselves to take a good run at the NHL’s premier free agent, Brad Richards. Richards is expected to have as many as 20 different NHL teams interested in him, but in the end there are only a few teams that have the cap room and competitive roster in place to attract the likes of Richards. At 31-years old Richards is no spring chicken. That said, there is no other free agent player in the class that Richards is. That is why Richards is expected to garner a contract in the $6.5-$8.0 million range with a term as high as nine years. Richards looks to be set on playing for a Stanley Cup contender, regardless of the money thrown at

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Toronto Maple Leafs select Josh Leivo In The Third Round

June 25th, 2011 No Comments

Void of a second round draft choice, Brian Burke had to settle for making his third selection of the 2011 NHL Entry at the 86th slot selecting left winger Josh Leivo. With undersized forwards Rocco Grimaldi (33rd overall) and Daniel Catanacchi (77th overall) and  American born Brandon Saad (43rd overall) already gone (three players many fans expected Burke to take a run at) Burke turned his attention back to Canada. In Leivo the Maple Leafs get a 6’1”, 180 pound forward who is known as a good skater. Through 64 games Leivo scored 13 goals and added 17 assists as a member of the Sudbury Wolves. Leivo followed his underwhelming regular season up with a monster effort in the playoffs, netting six goals and seven assists (13 points) through eight games. Clearly, the Innisfil native has his work cut out for

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Stuart Percy ,Tyler Biggs Drafted By Toronto Maple Leafs

June 24th, 2011 1 Comment

After making a move on the draft floor (trading his 30th and 39th pick to the Anaheim Ducks for the 22nd pick overall) Burke used that pick to select U.S born 6’2” 205 pound Tyler Biggs. When you consider the Maple Leafs organizational needs its no surprise that Burke made the move to bring Biggs into the fold. Burke has always liked Truculence, pugnacity and testosterone—three attributes Biggs will bring to the Maple Leafs someday. Burke followed the “Bigg move” up by selecting defenseman Stuart Percy with the 25th pick overall. Percy, who stands 6’1” and weighs in at 185 pounds, is a great passer, who is know for his high hockey IQ. A solid all around game should see Percy project into a solid top-four defenseman in the coming years. With so many forward talent still on the board

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Tyler Biggs Drafted By Toronto Maple Leafs

June 24th, 2011 No Comments

It’s been a busy week for Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. Earlier in the day Burke pulled off a deal with the Colorado Avalanche which saw the Leafs ship a 2010 second round draft choice (acquired in the Tomas Kaberle trade) in return for veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles. On Thursday the Maple Leafs were involved in several other trade rumors, including the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter deals which took place on Thursday. Burke failed to bring either Richards or Carter to Toronto, electing to hang on to his picks and, if the rumors are true, prospect Nazem Kadri. When you look at the Maple Leafs organization two soft spots stick out—a lack of legitimate number one centres and a real need for skilled wingers. Burke made a move on the draft floor, trading his 30th and 39th

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Toronto Maple Leafs Aquire John-Michael Liles From Colorado

June 24th, 2011 No Comments

Known for making deals at the draft, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke pulled the trigger on a deal that will see 30 year-old defenseman John-Michael Liles traded from the Colorado Avalanche in return for the Maple Leafs (via Boston) 2012 second-round draft pick. Liles was rumored to be headed to Toronto at last seasons trade deadline but the deal never came to fruition. Known as a power play specialist and a tremendous passer, Liles will likely fit into the Maple Leafs top two defensive pairings, replacing the role, skill set and minutes (he averaged 22:00 per game last season) that departed long time Maple Leaf Tomas Kaberle filled. Originally drafted in the fifth round (159th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Liles registered six goals and 40 assists for a total of 46 points last season. Through

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Jeff Carter Traded To Columbus Blue Jackets. Brian Burke Misses Out.

June 23rd, 2011 No Comments

According to TSN Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeff Carter has been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for forward Jakub Voracek and the Blue Jackets first (eighth overall) and third round draft choices in this years NHL Entry Draft. Carter, who carries a cap hit of $5,272,727 through 2021-22, looks to have been made expendable in order for the Flyers to sign unrestricted free agent goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, whom the Flyers have exclusive signing rights to up to July 1st. The Carter trade also makes it possible for the Flyers to re-sign unrestricted free agent Ville Leino, who was thought to be headed out of town. And let’s not forget about that first round draft pick. Philadelphia’s minor league system has been decimated by a lack of first round draft picks. Drafting eighth overall should allow the Flyers to

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