Archive for July, 2012

Sundin No-Trade Clause Still haunting The Toronto Maple Leafs

July 25th, 2012 4 Comments

June 28th, 1994. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher pulls off one of his better trades, sending Wendel Clark, Sylvain Lefebvre, Landon Wilson and Toronto’s first round draft choice in 1994 to the now defunct Quebec Nordiques in return for Garth Butcher, Todd Warriner, Mats Sundin and Quebec’s first round draft choice in 1994. With the ultra-popular Wendel Clark heading to Quebec, a clear signal was sent to the fans and players that the Maple Leafs were headed in a new direction. Sundin made his debut with the Maple Leafs during the NHL’s shortened lockout season, posting 23 goals and 24 assists in 47 games. Sundin followed that season up with a 33 goal, 50 assist effort, a season that would end up being his second most productive in a Maple Leaf uniform. Sundin’s skill and quiet leadership eventually

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The NHL Should Push To Eliminate No Trade Clauses

July 24th, 2012 9 Comments

On the heels of the summer’s biggest trade which saw Columbus Blue Jackets star forward Rick Nash begrudgingly sent to the New York Rangers, it has become crystal clear that no-trade clauses should be eliminated. Cornered by Nash’s no-trade clause and subsequent trade demand, Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson was given a list of five or six teams which his star player was willing to be traded to. While Howson had options, he was dealing from a position of weakness as rival general managers knew his options were considerably diminished. As a result, Howson was all but forced to trade Nash for forwards Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first round draft pick. Now, with Howson dealing Nash away on the cheap he is taking a ton of shots in the media and a tremendous amount of backlash

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Rick Nash: Did Columbus Get Fleeced?

July 23rd, 2012 4 Comments

In what has to be the biggest trade of the summer, Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson finally parted ways with Rick Nash, sending the unhappy winger to the New York Rangers in return for forwards Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first round draft pick. While Howson appears to have gotten a decent quantity in return for Nash, there appears to be a real lack of high-end quality headed to Columbus, while the Rangers get one of the NHL’s elite power forwards. At 26-years of age, Dubinsky still has plenty of years left in the tank. His rugged style will be a welcome addition to the Columbus lineup, as will his potential leadership skills. He was one of New York’s most popular players until his numbers declined last season. At 6’4” and 200 pounds, Anisimov has

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Hey Brian Burke: Where’s The Beef?

July 23rd, 2012 4 Comments

When it comes to Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke there are only two types of people he attracts, those that hate him with a passion, and those that are equally enamored with the hard nosed Irishman. Burke’s wars with the media have been well documented over the years, as was his verbal punching match with the beloved Don Cherry. As much as the media may dislike Burke at times (and for the record I happen to like the man) nobody can deny that he is fiercely loyal to those in his employ, sometimes to a fault. Since taking over the reins as GM in Toronto, Burke has continually promised to build a tougher/bigger team. “We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence. That’s how our teams play,” said Burke at his inaugural press

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Leadership Still An Issue For Maple Leafs

July 20th, 2012 3 Comments

With the collective bargaining agreement still unsettled and a free agent pool that is now void of any super stars it is hard to fault Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke for not being overly active this summer. Sure, Burke pulled the trigger on a deal to bring in forward James van Reimsdyk from the Philadelphia Flyers in return for defenseman Luke Schenn and he was also able to sign unrestricted free agent Jay McClement to a two-year, $3 million contract, addressing his forward depth, but neither move addressed the seemingly poor leadership on the Maple Leafs roster. Veteran forward Colby Armstrong (an assistant captain last season) was bought out by Burke and has since signed on with the hated Montreal Candiens, further reducing whatever leadership the Maple Leafs had. That leaves captain Dion Phaneuf and little used veteran

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Nikolai Kulemin Signs For Two Years

July 20th, 2012 1 Comment

The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have signed forward Nikolai Kulemin to a two-year deal. Under the terms of the deal Kulemin will earn a reported $2.8 million in 2012-13 and $3.0 million in 2013-14 for a total of $5.8 million over two-years. Originally drafted in the second round (44th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Kulemin, has registered 68 goals and 84 assists through 303 career games with the Maple Leafs for a total of 152 points. Widely regarded as one of the teams best two-way players, Kulemin had a tough time finding the net last season, finishing with just seven goals after lighting the lamp a total of 30 times in 2010-11. At 26-years of age, Kulemin still has plenty of upside and if given the chance to continue to play on the second line

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