Archive for August, 2011

Wade Belak Found dead

August 31st, 2011 No Comments

According to sources, former Toronto Maple Leaf enforcer Wade Belak was found dead this afternoon in a condo located at 1 King Street West in Toronto this afternoon. Police are yet to confirm the cause of death, but did say that foul play is not suspected. Belak, just 35 years old, is remembered by NHL fans as a character player whose big personality and humor often seemed to overshadow his role as an enforcer. Originally drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the first round (12th overall) at the 1994 NHL entry draft, Belak spent parts of 15 NHL seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and, most recently, with the Nashville Predators organization where he played in 15 games last season. Belak earned career NHL totals of eight goals, 25 assists, 33 points and 1263

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Dion Phaneuf: Expectations High Heading Into 2011-12 Season

August 14th, 2011 No Comments

Heading into the 2011-12 NHL season expectations are running high for the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the keys to Maple Leafs’ success will likely be the play of Captain Dion Phaneuf, who, in the minds of many Leaf fans, turned the corner on recapturing his glory days as a member of the Calgary Flames where he put together four straight 45+ point seasons and earned the respect of the opposition through spirited play and bone-jarring hits. Since the big trade, Phaneuf has played a total of 92 games as a member of the Maple Leafs, lighting the lamp ten times and registering a a total of 40 points, while earning a respectable minus four rating. Phaneuf started the 2010-11 season off slowly, registering his first goal of the season on December 14th against the Edmonton Oilers. Of course Phaneuf’s

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Crunch Time For Brian Burke

August 8th, 2011 3 Comments

Since joining the Toronto Maple Leafs in November of 2008, Brian Burke has raised more than a few eyebrows with his aggressive moves. Of course, the most talked about move, and perhaps Burke’s biggest to date, would be the acquisition of sniper Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins for two first round draft choices (2010, 2011) and a second rounder in 2010. While it will be years before we can truly evaluate the trade, Burke has always maintained that he is happy with the deal and if presented with the same circumstances, would do the deal again. The Bruins selected Tyler Seguin with Toronto’s first round draft choice in 2010, followed by the selection of Jared Knight in the second round. Seguin had an inconsistent rookie season which saw him light the lamp a total of 11 times through 74

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Is Brian Burke’s Lineup Tough Enough?

August 6th, 2011 1 Comment

When Brian Burke joined the Toronto Maple Leafs as general manager he promised a team that would provide fans with, as Burke said in November of 2008, “proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence.” For many fans of the Blue and White, Burke’s words were music to their ears as the Leafs had, over time, become a team that was soft in the minds of many fans and opponents alike. Burke has often spoken about wanting to employ a roster of players that embraced a North American game—a team that is capable of being physical and tough while also carrying a reputation for dropping the gloves with the best of them. Throughout Burke’s re-tooling, we have seen him acquire a number of players that fit the mold he has boasted about, the question is, has Burke acquired enough toughness—

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Tim Connolly: Will He Be The Toronto Maple Leafs’ Savior or Dud?

August 4th, 2011 No Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made a number of changes over the summer, signing the likes of Philippe Dupuis Via Free agency and trading for John-Michael Liles, Matthew Lombardi (who is yet to set a date for return after an early season concussion in 2010-11) and Cody Franson. Liles and Franson look to be important pieces to solidifying the Maple Leafs defense, while the Buds will be happy with whatever Lombardi and Dupuis can contribute. Burke also extended the contract of goaltender James Reimer, while re-signing forwards Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak, as well as defensemen Carl Gunnarsson and Matt Lashoff, with the signing of defensive stalwart Luke Schenn expected any day now. While the impending Schenn signing will be huge for the Blue and White, the most important signing of the off-season looks to be free agent

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