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Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Motivation For The Leafs

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

At 18 years old Taylor Hall faces a bank of cameras and microphones in front of his dressing room stall almost every single day of his professional life.

To his credit, it is a rare occasion when he slips up, as he likely did Monday when asked whether his Oilers will have to play better against the Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday than they had in Sunday’s 12-shot effort, a 2-1 loss to Vancouver.

“Hopefully we can compete a lot harder. Because (Toronto) is a team that, if we do, it’s there for the taking,” said Hall, a 29-game veteran of the wars.

There for the taking, eh?

You can just hear Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson ripping that quote out of the morning paper and handing it to the dressing room attendant with a roll of tape.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: taylor+hall

What To Pay Luke Schenn?

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

The good news for the Maple Leafs is that the ill-conceived decision to make Luke Schenn an NHL player at 18 apparently won’t prevent him from becoming a quality NHL player. He has improved dramatically this season, and its not inconceivable that when the time comes to start looking at names for the 2014 Canadian Olympic team, he’ll have wedged his way into the conversation.

But that’s a long, long way off. Schenn’s pedigree suggests he’ll be among the better defensive blueliners in the league by then and his development curve is upwards after a mediocre sophomore year, but that doesn’t guarantee a thing.

The downside to making Schenn an NHLer so early that can’t be changed, of course, is that the bill comes due earlier. His entry level deal will expire at the end of this season, one of 11 expiring contracts the Leafs, but probably the only one that could conceivably cause Brian Burke to lose any sleep. Sure, there’s Tomas Kaberle and J.S. Giguere, but those are contracts the Leafs may be just as happy to wipe off the books, and right now it looks like they could have upwards of $24 million (depending on the cap figure next season) to spend next summer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: luke+schenn

Time Always Ticking Against The Leafs

from Damian Cox of the Toronto Star,

In this Twitter-ized, knee-jerk reaction world of instant opinion without careful consideration, the only answers strictly forbidden are “Hmm, I’m not sure” or “This will take some time to play out” or the worst of all, “Let me think about that.” Bad ratings don’t turn into good ratings by being thoughtful.

That’s why after just two years some want to fire GM Brian Burke, and after two seasons and 29 games, some have reached the conclusion Wilson must be axed. Presented with a squad led by 25-year-old captain Dion Phaneuf, 23-year-old Phil Kessel and 21-year-old Luke Schenn, there is remarkably little patience for a team learning how to win.

A club heavy with former first-round NHL picks — Phaneuf, Kessel, Schenn, Nazem Kadri, Mike Komisarek, Colby Armstrong, J.S. Giguere, Freddie Sjostrom — is criticized for those being, we are told, not the right first-round picks. Every player the Leafs acquire is labelled as a player the other team in the deal simply wanted to get rid of, as though the only players that can make a team successful are those drafted and developed by that team.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

How Will Calgary Greet Phaneuf?

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun, Phaneuf admits he is looking forward to being back in Calgary on Thursday. He hopes the Flames fans do not jeer him. Of course, that might be asking too much.

“I’m wearing a different jersey now, so if it’s boos, well, I’ve been booed in different buildings,” he said. “I won’t take it personally. I don’t think they’ll boo me because it’s part of the business. I did not ask to be moved.

“It will be a special night. I played a lot of games in that building. I played a lot of games for that organization. I’ll have lots of people to say hi to. But once the puck drops, I’m on a different team. I’m sure the guys over there would say the same thing.

“I had a lot of real good times there. There were a good years that went well. Being up for the Calder was very special. So was being up for the Norris. There were good times.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dion+phaneuf

Where Did Burke Go Wrong?

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

Burke has gone wrong in the way he has grossly misjudged the hockey market in Toronto. He bought into all the age-old and misguided notions about this organization and its fan base, and in doing so, used that observation to make a flurry of ill-advised moves.

Shortly after Burke was hired in 2008, he opined that, “The guy that turns this team around and wins a championship here, they’re going to name schools after him.” A search of the hundreds of schools in the Toronto area failed to come up with a Conn Smythe Elementary or Punch Imlach Secondary and the way the Leafs are headed, it’s probably fair to say the Toronto District Board of Education won’t be breaking ground on the Brian Burke Middle School anytime soon.

And that’s because for all his smarts and his ability to change cultures, Burke believed the same myths that have been perpetuated by this organization for far too long. He was brought in to make the organization a winner and was seduced into believing the rebuild had to be done quickly. And nothing could have been further from the truth.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: brian+burke

Ease Up On The Leafs

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

You pay good money at a pro sports event, you have the right to boo.

No one disputes that, especially when the cash goes in a widening hole in the ice that’s been 43 non-Cup years in the making. You can even fling the occasional waffle at the end of the game to underline your disgust as one fed-up and obviously well-fed fan did on Thursday.

But disgruntled Maple Leafs supporters could be unwittingly hurting the players who one day will have the biggest say in turning the ship around. For all the managerial and coaching decisions that have so far backfired and the poor returns from some name players, this is still the youngest team in the NHL. Some kind of learning curve is to be expected and even tolerated. And didn’t people urge Brian Burke to clear the dead wood contracts and build from the bottom up?

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

If Brian Burke Decided To Replace Ron Wilson

The Globe and Mail hockey writers with their opinions…

ERIC DUHATSCHEK

I would wait until the end of the season and see who shakes loose at that point.

The problem with making a mid-season coaching change is your options are limited. Few teams are going to surrender the next Guy Boucher or Scott Arniel if they are already coaching in their system and either a) being groomed for the top job; or b) doing good work in terms of developing their prospects down on the farm.

Accordingly, you’re left with choosing from among the legitimate NHL coaches, on the unemployment lines, still seeking work - Pat Quinn, as mentioned above, Craig MacTavish, Ken Hitchcock, Mike Keenan, Andy Murray. All have had success at different times in their careers. None, save MacTavish perhaps, would be a good fit in Toronto.

more

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- An Irritated Ron Wilson Postgame

The video ends abruptly, due to the fact Wilson had enough and walked away from the media scrum.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ron+wilson

Power Play Of Words

via Ted Leonsis of Ted’s Take,

We play a tough one at home tonight against Toronto, a team that knows how to earn power plays. They have more than us this season - that is for sure - and more players on the All-Star ballot; and more power play opportunities to date. Go Caps!

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Tim Thomas With The Save Of The Year On Francois Beauchemin

Thomas with the save in OT, Bruins did lose in the shootout.

added 10:11pm, via Elliotte Friedman tweet,

Beauchemin on Thomas save: “When I shot, there was no one in net. If we had lost the shootout…” (Stopped and shook head.)

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: francois+beauchemin, tim+thomas

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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