Dion Phaneuf: Were Expectations Set Too High In Toronto?

March 5th, 2016 No Comments

Originally drafted ninth overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Dion Phaneuf entered the NHL with extraordinary expectations. At 6’3” and around 200 pounds at the time he was drafted, Phaneuf was known as a physical defenseman that was savvy at both ends of the ice. Phaneuf was so well thought of that he drew comparisons to the likes of legendary NHL defenseman, Scott Stevens. After playing out his Junior years with the Red Deer Rebels, Phaneuf entered the NHL under a ton of hype and great expectations. To Dion’s credit, he did not disappoint in his first season with Calgary (2005-06), setting a Flames record for most goals by a first-year defenceman (20) and was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as top rookie. Phaneuf not only impressed with his 20 goal, 29

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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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2016 NHL Entry Draft— Who Will The Maple Leafs Target

March 1st, 2016 No Comments

With the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline come and gone, most NHL fans are setting their sights on the playoff races. For the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the only certainty about the 2016 NHL Playoffs is that Toronto won’t be participating in them! But I digress… When the 2015-16 NHL Season began, fans of the Blue and White knew full well that this season was all about accumulating draft choices, reducing contracts and creating cap space for upcoming free agents this summer and beyond. In hindsight, it appears as if Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello accomplished his mission. According to CapFriendly.com, the Maple Leafs will enter the summer with a projected cap hit of $54,183,334. Given the Projected Salary cap for the 2016-17 season is set at $71,400,000, that will leave the Leafs with approximately $17,200,000 worth of cap

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Leafs Prospects Give Fans Something To Believe In

March 1st, 2016 No Comments

In what was probably the first time in the history of the modern day franchise, the Toronto Maple Leafs had seven players making their Maple Leafs’ debut last night when the Blue and White faced off against Steven Stamkos and the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning. Acquired via trades, Brooks Laich, Zach Hyman (NHL Debut) and Ben Smith found themselves inserted into last nights lineup, while five of Toronto’s most intriguing prospects in forwards William Nylander, Kasperi Kapanen, Nikita Soshnikov, goaltender Garret Sparks and defenseman Connor Carrick also dressed for the Maple Leafs. Nylander, Kapanen, Hyman and Soshnikov all made their NHL debuts and none of them disappointed. All four will likely represent a good portion of Toronto’s future success but, for the most part, with all due respect to the other kids, the fans were there to watch blue chip

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Luke Schenn: Is He Worth Bringing Back To Toronto?

February 29th, 2016 No Comments

Originally drafted fifth overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Luke Schenn came into the NHL with lofty expectations. A quick rewind to that 2008 Draft day and you will find that Toronto thought so much of Schenn that they made a trade with the New York Islanders to move up in the draft. NY Islanders traded their 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft (fifth overall) to Toronto for the Maple Leafs’ 1st-round pick in 2008 (seventh overall) and, at the Islanders’ option: either Pittsburgh’s 2nd-round pick in 2008 (60th overall, previously acquired) and Toronto’s 3rd-round pick in 2009; or Toronto’s 3rd-round pick in 2008 (68th overall) and Toronto’s 2nd-round pick in 2009. Looking back at some of the comments being made at the time of Schenn being drafted, NHL Insider Pierre McGuire said

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Daniel Winnik Traded To The Washington Capitals

February 29th, 2016 No Comments

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello worked into the late hours of Sunday night, trading forward Daniel Winnik and a 2016 fifth-round pick to the Washington Capitals, in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016, Prospect Connor Carrick, and veteran Forward Brooks Laich. Winnik, 30, has four goals, 10 assists with a minus-3 rating in 56 games with Toronto this season. Laich, registered one goal and six assists through 60 games with the Capitals this season. He has one season left on a two-year deal he signed this summer worth $4.5 million. The Capitals had recently placed Laich on waivers, but with no takers, Toronto came calling. Clearly, the Leafs took Laich as part of a salary dump so Washington could clear some cap space. Originally drafted in the fifth round (#137 overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft,

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