Archive for March, 2012

Mikhail Grabovski Signs Five-Year, $27.5 Million Deal

March 6th, 2012 14 Comments

It has been speculated for a long time now that the Toronto Maple Leafs would re-sign veteran centre Mikhail Grabovski to a long term extension. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke made it official Tuesday, signing Grabovski to a five-year, US$27.5 million contract. On the surface the deal might look like a bad one for the Maple Leafs, but when you consider the deal Ales Hemsky recently signed with the Edmonton Oilers (2-years, $10 million) the Grabovski deal looks to be right on-par for a player of his resume and character. When Hemsky signed that deal I immediately questioned whether or not Grabovski’s future with the Maple Leafs was in jeopardy, not because I didn’t see him as a great asset, rather that I really felt based on the Hemsky signing that Grabovski could garner as much as $6

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Brian Burke Press Conference: Randy Carlyle Introduced

March 3rd, 2012 8 Comments

Nobody is surprised that Ron Wilson was relieved from his duties as the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach, but there are some fans that are concerned with the timing of the move. Marred in a 1-9-1 losing streak, Wilson’s head was bound to roll sooner or later. While some fans would have liked to have seen Burke wait until the summer months to dismiss Wilson, others felt this season was salvageable and that a change at the helm was key in any chance of the Maple Leafs making the playoffs this season. Burke said it had become obvious this week that any chance of making the playoffs would require a coaching change, time will tell if Randy Carlyle can turn around this sinking ship, but the math, which suggests the Maple Leafs will have to win a minimum of 12 of the

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Toronto Maple Leafs FIRE RON WILSON—Randy Carlyle Hired

March 2nd, 2012 18 Comments

Somewhere, Don Cherry must be smiling!!!! Several sources, including TSN, are reporting that Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson has been fired. With his team currently marred in a 1-9-1 losing streak, Wilson’s future with the club seemed tenuous at best, so this latest news is hardly a shock. Wilson was fired just two months after receiving a one-year contract extension, which should serve as a nice buyout.  Since signing with the Maple Leafs, Wilson has led the Buds to four very disappointing seasons, finishing with a 34-35-13 record in 2008-09, followed by a 30-38-14 finish in 2009-10, a moderately improved 37-34-11 finish in 2010-11 and a paltry 29-28-7 record this season. Wilson leaves the Maple Leafs after four seasons with a 130-135-45 record. Former Anaheim Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle has been hired to replace Wilson. Carlyle and

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Toronto Maple Leafs Playoff Chances: The Reality Check…And The Ron Wilson Debate

March 2nd, 2012 5 Comments

Eternally optimistic, Toronto Maple Leaf fans from coast-to-coast are still holding out a measure of hope that their beloved Blue and White will somehow find a way to make the playoffs this year. Last season the New York Rangers sneaked into the playoffs with 93 points. For the Maple Leafs (who currently have 65 points) to get close to that number they will have to earn a total of 28 points in their final 18 games, which would mean winning between 12-14 games and throwing in at least a couple of ties for good measure—good luck with that! The Maple Leafs currently occupy the 11th spot overall in the Eastern Conference standings. With the Buds five points out of the eighth and final playoff spot and with two teams ahead of them in the standings even the most optimistic Maple

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