Archive for the ‘Archives’ Category

Alex Lyon: Is He Worth A Gamble?

March 19th, 2016 No Comments

Like many NHL clubs, the Toronto Maple Leafs have dipped their toes into the NCAA free agent waters on occasion. Last year, the Maple Leafs signed highly touted forward Casey Bailey to a free agent contract, only to move him to Ottawa this winter as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal. Some of the other players the Maple Leafs have signed out of college include, Tyler Bozak, Christian Hanson and Ben Scrivens. Obviously, Bozak has been a serviceable NHL’er, Scrivens has bounced around the NHL, but is still getting some ice time (now with the Montreal Canadiens) while Hanson (yes, he is related to the iconic “Hanson Brothers”) was nothing short of a bust. Some of the more successful free agent college signings include Bozak, Andy Greene, Ryan Carter, Teddy Purcell, Darroll Powe, Danny DeKeyser, Davis Drewiske, Matt Gilroy, Cam

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Maple Leafs Won’t WIn Without Goaltending

March 17th, 2016 No Comments

  When you look back at the history of the NHL Entry Draft, the most difficult position to project has to be goaltending. While many top-tier netminders have been chosen in the early rounds (Marc-Andre Fleury, Carey Price, Roberto Luongo) an equal number of early draft picks have failed to live up to expectations (Al Montoya, Rick DiPietro, Eric Fichaud). And then there are the diamonds in the rough, netminders that were taken in the later rounds that emerged as stars (Henrik Lundqvist, Pekka Rinne, Dominik Hasek). Of course, we would be remiss if we did not include a number of undrafted goalies that emerged as stars such as, Ed Belfour, Curtis Joseph and Jonas Hiller. In the early days, few netminders were drafted in the first round, but with a premium being put on the position, this behavior is

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Is Jonathan Bernier The Answer To Toronto’s Goaltending Woes?

March 14th, 2016 No Comments

When Jonathan Bernier was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings by the Toronto Maple Leafs after the 2012-13 season, many fans felt it was a curious move. Goaltender James Reimer had just led the Leafs to the playoffs for the first time in what felt like a decade and, with a little good fortune, might have helped the Leafs get by the Boston Bruins in the first round. Of course, we all know how that series against the Bruins ended— a game seven loss that might be among the worst collapses in the history of the franchise. Reimer put together a respectable 19-8-5 record that season (2012-13) while registering a 2.46 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. Riemer’s 2.88 GAA and .923 SV% in the playoffs were not far off his regular season totals, leading some to believe

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Jimmy Vesey: Could Nashville’s Loss Be Toronto’s Gain???

March 10th, 2016 No Comments

When it comes to the NHL Entry Draft, most scouts will admit that, outside of a handful of kids, it really is a bit of a crap shoot. With most prospects getting drafted at 18 or 19 years of age, it is very difficult to project where those players will be in 3-5 years— which represents the typical timeline before a prospect is ready to be a contributing player at the NHL level. While most of the future NHL talent comes from the first two rounds of the Draft, there are occasions where prospects escape the eyes of the “experts”, finding themselves dropping into the later rounds where some lucky NHL club reaps the rewards of excellent scouting or plain old good fortune! Some of the biggest steals of the Draft in NHL history include, Pavel Datsyuk— 171st overall, Daniel

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Will Nazem Kadri Be Back With The Maple Leafs?

March 7th, 2016 No Comments

Originally drafted seventh overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nazem Kadri entered the draft with great expectations. Heading into the 2009 Draft, Kadri put together an impressive season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, registering 35 goals and 58 assists for a total of 93 points, good enough for a tie for fourth overall in the OHL scoring race behind such players as Tyler Seguin (106), Taylor Hall (106), Luke Pither (94) and Taylor Beck (*93- Tied). While Kadri’s regular season statistics were impressive, it was the playoffs where he really stood out where he tallied nine goals and 18 assists (27 points) in 26 games played, finishing fourth in the playoff scoring race. With an excellent season in the OHL in the books and many experts predicting big things for

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Future So Bright, Gotta Wear Shades.

March 5th, 2016 No Comments

Given where the Toronto Maple Leafs sit in the NHL standings (dead last), sometimes it’s hard for their fans to see the forest for the trees. To be honest, the Maple Leafs have been stuck in a rut since the 2005/2006 season, qualifying for the playoffs just once over that 10-year span (11 if you count this season), albeit in a shortened season. During that tenure, the Maple Leafs employed five different head coaches— Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson, Randy Carlyle and Peter Horachek. Throughout the 11-year collapse, the Toronto Maple Leafs sold their fans a bill of goods that the team would improve via the draft. While the effects of giving up two first round draft picks (one of which became all-star forward Tyler Seguin, the other which became defenseman Dougie Hamilton) in the ill-timed Phil Kessel trade

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