Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Greg Brady of the Brady Blog at Fan590,
I know Leafs fans are hoping THEY can be the team like Atlanta and Toronto did, to hope to exploit the Devils’ “issues” before the regular season starts, but though Brian Rolston would help the Leafs’ offence, there’s no financial wiggle room without sending something back. Count on the Islanders or St. Louis or Colorado to be the team to take on an overpaid Devils veteran, but there’ll be an asking price. Future Devils like Nick Palmieri, the very underrated Adam Henrique, or even Vladimir Zharkov, who should make the Devils roster out of camp, are going to be in discussions.
No one’s scratching Lou Lamariello’s back without a reciprocal snuggle here, especially after the circus the Kovalchuk signing ended up becoming.
from TSN Video,
Leafs GM Brian Burke took a ride in an CF-18 and talks about the once in a lifetime experience.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
The defenceman’s game-day scowl was screwed on pretty tight, three weeks before camp medicals on Sept. 16.
“It was a long summer and it’s no secret we weren’t happy where we finished last year,” Phaneuf said. “Back at the first press conference I said what a huge honour it is to be the captian of this team. But I’m not going to change.”
Phaneuf got the gig because he can bring an intimidation factor to his own dressing room. But he also made sure to call every new Leaf acquired since July 1 to introduce himself and give a pep talk, which hasn’t always been the protocol around here in the 43 years without a Stanley Cup.
“I talked to every guy and everyone was excited for the chance to play here,” Phaneuf said. “Camp is coming up quick and we have to be ready. Every guy we added will help us.”
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
So, 12th place in East. I guess if you are a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, you sort of have to be happy with where The Hockey News has predicted the team will finish in its annual rankings. After all, it is better than 15th.
And, really, what did you expect?
This is a team that after finishing last in the Eastern Conference—and 29th out of 30 teams overall—added forwards Kris Versteeg and Colby Armstrong this summer. That type of overhaul is worth a three-spot improvement.
It might have been worth more had the Leafs found a trading partner for Tomas Kaberle. But they still would not be considered a playoff-contender. Not by a long shot.
So, 12th place in the East. Who knows, if the Leafs keep this up, maybe next year they will be ranked as high as ninth.
Brian Burke, president and general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Saturday that the hockey club has signed unrestricted free agent forward Clarke MacArthur to a one-year contract.
MacArthur, 25, began last season with the Buffalo Sabres before being traded March 3 to Atlanta in exchange for the Thrashers’ third and fourth round picks in the 2010 Entry Draft. In 81 games between Buffalo and Atlanta, he registered a career-high 35 points with 16 goals and 19 assists
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson has heard all the rumors about Tomas Kaberle and Tomas Kaberle’s father. But he wants to sit down with the veteran defenseman and hash things out face-to-face before he believes any of it.
“All this has come from out in left field and until I sit down and talk about this with Kaba, there’s no point in commenting any further,” Wilson told TheHockeyNews.com Tuesday. “People are quoted in a foreign magazine – and this isn’t the first time something like this has come up. If Kaba wants to come and talk to me about some of this stuff, that’s the best way for us to address any of the issues he thinks he has.”
via Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
It’s may have something to do with his perceived personality, but Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf certainly isn’t a hit with his peers.
According to a Sports Illustrated Poll scheduled to hit newstands tomorrow (today), Phaneuf is the runaway winner as the NHL’s most overrated player. Of the 272 players asked, 21% listed Phaneuf, who came to the Leafs in a blockbuster deal with Calgary.
Second on the list was Rangers defenceman Scott Gomez (seven percent) floowloed by Canadiens centre Scott Gomez (six per cent) and Rangers pest SEan Avery (five per cent.)
added 7:20am, I have a feeling the above story is old, even though it has a August 23, 2010 date on it. Sorry.
from Dave Fuller of the Toronto Sun,
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a Tomas Kaberle problem. The longer it festers, the more likely it is to infect other regions of the dressing room.
This is hardly a revelation to team president Brian Burke. He’d have moved Kaberle months ago if, in his mind, he was getting equal value in return.
But this isn’t just about trading a player anymore. It’s about cleaning up a mess.
Burke likely won’t have to ask the veteran defenceman to waive his “no-trade” clause, which the GM is loathe to do. Kaberle and his people — from his father, Frantisek, to his agent, Rick Curran — understand the situation. And, the situation, I suspect, is becoming intolerable.
via Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
The Blue Jackets offered no players from their NHL roster in trade talks with Toronto for Tomas Kaberle, the Dispatch has learned. This is hardly surprising given that Kaberle had only one season remaining on his deal. (Some of the projected proposals—i.e. Jake Voracek—were entertaining.) It’s believed the Jackets’ offer was centered around draft picks and prospects. While Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said he was looking for a top-6 forward—hey, there’s nothing wrong with putting that out in the media, right?—it’s thought he was amenable to draft picks or prospects or a combination of both.
Clearly, Burke did not get what he wanted from the Jackets or anyone else. Who knows what happens next, but Kaberle holds the hammer with his no-trade clause. Remember, last season at the trade deadline, when given a chance to play for a playoff contender, Kaberle reportedly submitted a list of three teams where he would agree to be traded. Three teams. Kaberle is like George Costanza refusing to leave Play Now no matter how hostile a work environment management creates.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
Relieved that he was not being traded without any control over his destination and will, instead, remain with the Maple Leafs. Hopeful that the speculation about his future will die down, so he can put his focus on the upcoming season in Toronto without the distraction of trade rumours.
“He’s just trying to get everything back to normal and makes plans to come back to Toronto,” said his agent Rick Curran after speaking with Kaberle this morning.
“He woke up in the morning and he was relieved to know he wasn’t going somewhere he didn’t know he’d be going to.”
“Now,” continued Curran. “I’m just quite hopeful that everything settles down. Let’s just let everything settle down.”
added 3:46pm, from Jeff Domet of CBC,
Is it crazy to think that Kaberle can transform from an all-star defencemen into a top-line centre in the National Hockey League, and quickly?
It’s been done before.
Hockey Hall of Famer Red Kelly was an all-star defenceman for Detroit in the 1950’s, winning four Stanley Cups for the Red Wings. Once Kelly arrived in Toronto in the 1960’s, Maple Leaf GM/head coach Punch Imlach asked him to switch to centre.
Like Kelly, Kaberle is a great playmaker, who has stellar vision on the ice. Kaberle is also an underrated skater who could keep up with the speedy Kessel.
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