Archive for the ‘Teams’ Category

Breaking News: The Toronto Maple Leafs Still Need a Centre

July 7th, 2011 No Comments

After the acquisitions of Matthew Lombardi and Tim Connolly, many fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs felt that their beloved Buds had solved their need for a centre. Now, don’t get me wrong. When healthy, both Lombardi and Connolly can be effective players. That said, given Lombardi’s concussion issues that saw him miss 80 of the 82 games in the 2010-11 season (which still carries lingering effects) and Connolly’s fragile china doll reputation, there is every reason to believe Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke is not done trying to address the centre position. As good a season as Mikhail Grabovski had last year, Burke looks to be penciling him onto the second line where he will play with Clarke MacArthur and Nikolai Kulemin, all of whom had career years in 2010-11 playing as the Buds second unit. On the

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Is Luke Schenn Trade bait?

July 6th, 2011 No Comments

When you look at the Toronto Maple Leafs defense corps there appears to be a logjam, not only at the NHL level, but on the farm as well. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has assembled a defense which includes team captain Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson, Keith Aulie, Mike Komisarek and the newly acquired John-Michael Liles and Cody Franson. Knocking on the door are a pair of youngsters, who, in many people’s minds, are not far off from being NHL ready. Originally taken in the first round (17th overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Jake Gardiner came over from the Anaheim Ducks in the Francois Beauchemin deal. Known as a smooth skating, offensive defenseman with a high hockey IQ, Gardiner has the ability to be a top defenseman one day. While it is still very early, Gardiner is

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What is Luke Schenn Worth?

July 5th, 2011 6 Comments

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed two of their four restricted free agents today, inking Clarke MacArthur to a two-year, $6.5 million deal and Tyler Bozak to a two year deal (terms have not been released yet). The two remaining RFA’s are defensemen Matt Lashoff, who is eligible for salary arbitration, and Luke Schenn, who is not eligible for salary arbitration. Lashoff looks to be the odd man out on the Maple Leafs blueline. If (and it’s a big “if”) Lashoff is resigned by Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, look for it to be a two-way contract in the $750,000 range. According to capgeek.com, the Maple Leafs have a total of 20 players locked up for the 2011-12 season at a cost of $55,665,000, leaving Burke with $8,635,000 with which to fill out his roster. These numbers do not

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Clarke MacArthur Signs Two-Year Contract Extension With Toronto Maple Leafs

July 5th, 2011 No Comments

Just hours away from having to go to salary arbitration for the second straight summer, Clarke MacArthur signed a two-year, $6.5 million deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. MacArthur’s signing solidifies the Maple Leafs second unit which includes Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolai Kulemin and the aforementioned MacArthur. MacArthur had a career high 62 points (21 goals) last season, as did Grabovski and Kulemin who had 58 points (29 goals) and 57 points (30 goals), respectively. The trio of misfits were one of the NHL’s most effective second units, combining for a total of 80 goals, 177 points and a plus/minus rating of plus-18. Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said all along that he would not overpay for a player he deemed had only put together one good season. That said, with time ticking away and few options available via

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Jeff Carter To Toronto? Dispelling The Rumors.

July 4th, 2011 No Comments

Rumors. They can start up at the flick of a few keys on the keyboard and, in most cases; there is absolutely nothing to them. Reports have surfaced that Jeff Carter was unhappy at being blindsided by the Philadelphia Flyers when he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets. While Carter has not said he is disappointed in his destination, there are some whispers out there that Carter would consider a move if Columbus offered. Carter’s agent Rick Curran met with the Flyers prior to the trade and was assured there was no truth to the rumors that Carter was on the move. Curran negotiated an 11-year, $58 million deal with the Flyers that was to see Carter remain a Flyer for life. Needless to say, when you consider Carter negotiated his deal in good faith and then was later

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Have They Improved?

July 4th, 2011 1 Comment

In between making appearances in Afghanistan and the Pride Parade Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has been busy attempting to improve the Blue and White. Thus far, Burke has added centre Tim Connolly, forward Matthew Lombardi and defenseman Cody Franson via free agency and veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles via trade. While none of Burke’s acquisitions add up to a Brad Richards signing, there is reason to believe the Maple Leafs have been upgraded, at least on paper. Don’t get me wrong, with Lombardi and Connolly’s health concerns both players could end up on the shelf for parts of the season, that said, if these two guys manage to play the better part of the 82-game season the Leafs should show considerable improvement up front. As a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Connolly earned a 45.9% success rate in

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