Kukla's Korner Hockey
more below including two videos...
Mike Babcock, who is at the World Hockey Championship, sits down with Darren Dreger to discuss how good he thinks Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine could be, how either could help turn around a franchise, why Mitch Marner is an "unbelievable talent", and the bright future of the Maple Leafs.
Watch at TSN, 16 1/2 minutes long...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“It’s been a good week for the Leafs,” Babcock said Tuesday. “We’re in a way better situation than we were a year ago — night-and-day different.
“We’re excited about it. Our minor-league team is in the second round, got a lot of real good players who are going to play in the NHL for a long, long time. We’ve got good players in junior. We have lots of draft picks this year. We plan on having a real strong draft. That sets us up.
“The real good teams end up with 10-year runs. That’s what we’re hoping to do. It will take us some time to get where we want to be, but we’re obviously trending in the right direction.”...
“I don’t know if we’re going to have a better record or not, I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it,” Babcock said. “What I worry about is the process.
“We’re going to have much better players. They’re going to be way younger, but they’ll be way better players with much bigger upside. We’re going to be more fun to watch. If we stick with the process, we’ve got a chance to be better than we were last year, which isn’t saying much, but still trending in the right direction. That’s the key.”
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan joins Hockey Night in Canada to talk about winning the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery.
from Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com,
The Toronto Maple Leafs will pick first in the 2016 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.
The Winnipeg Jets were awarded the No. 2 pick, and the Columbus Blue Jackets won the No. 3 selection.
The Maple Leafs had a 20 percent chance, the best odds, to win the No. 1 pick in the draft, which will be held June 24-25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo. They are the first Original Six franchise to have the No. 1 pick since 2007, when the Chicago Blackhawks selected right wing Patrick Kane.
The Maple Leafs are likely to use the pick to select center Auston Matthews of Zurich in the National League A, the top professional league in Switzerland. Matthews (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft. The 18-year-old won the league's Rising Star award and was second in voting for most valuable player in NLA after scoring 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games.
If chosen No. 1, Matthews would be the first American-born player since Kane to be selected first.
added 9:15pm, NHL release is below...
from the NHLPA,
Colton Orr has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following nine NHL seasons and a 13-year professional hockey playing career.
“I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends. It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family,” said Colton Orr.
from Adam Proteau of the Leafs' website,
MapleLeafs.com: You’ve been in Toronto for almost a year now. What have you learned about the market that you may not have known before?
Lou Lamoriello: Well, I don't know if it's what I didn't know about it, it was more reaffirming what I thought it was all about: the passion of the fans for the Maple Leafs, and the amount of people who are aware of the sport. I always thought there was a lot, but it's like everywhere, and anyone. And also, the coverage is what I expected, which is similar to Stanley Cup coverage.
MapleLeafs.com: When you look back at the 2015-16 season, the general consensus in the press box was that, whether it was affected by injuries, trades or other roster movements, you really didn't see any change in effort from the team from game-to-game. Is that a credit to the work we saw from Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe?
Lou Lamoriello: Without question. Right from the first day of training camp, Mike established what would be happening, Sheldon spent plenty of time with Mike at that time, he was very open with all coaches (in the organization). And the culture was set with what was going to happen on that ice. The players followed, bought into it, and consistently did that throughout the year.
There was never a question for me that that would happen. And what it allowed us to do certainly was to see how many embraced it, and how many improved on it, because the word is accountability: their accountability to what's asked, their accountability to themselves, and certainly, to the organization.
His favorite sone must be....
Although the Toronto Maple Leafs ended the season with the worst record in the NHL, the team did announce that it will be resigning two players. This makes for a big start in the offseason even for a team with the worst NHL sports betting odds.
Forward Nazem Kadri and defenseman Morgan Rielly have both each been signed to six-year contract extensions. TSN reporter Bob McKenzie says that Rielly’s contract will be for $5 million per year on the cap while Kadri will get $4.5 million per year. The two players were originally going to be restricted free agents this offseason.
via the Toronto Maple Leafs,
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday that the team has signed defenceman Morgan Rielly and forward Nazem Kadri to new six-year contracts.
Rielly, 22, led all Maple Leafs defencemen with a career-high 36 points (nine goals, 27 assists) while skating in all 82 games this year. The native of Vancouver, British Columbia also led the team with 23:13 of average ice time per game. Since entering the league in 2013-14, the fifth overall selection in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft has collected 92 points (19 goals, 73 assists) in 236 regular season games. Rielly was named to Team Canada’s roster for the 2016 IIHF World Championship earlier this week.
Kadri, 25, led the Maple Leafs with 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 76 games this season. In parts of seven NHL seasons, the London, Ontario native has registered 197 points (81 goals, 116 assists) and 207 penalty minutes in 326 regular season games. Kadri was originally selected by the Maple Leafs with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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