Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Tomas Kaberle still hesitates when answering his phone in the Czech Republic.
But the wait and worry ends Saturday when the window on the defenceman’s no-trade contract closes, with him still expected to be a Maple Leaf.
Kaberle was relieved to hear general manager Brian Burke predict again yesterday that he’ll be in the fold when training camp opens in a month.
“I’m happy to be staying a Leaf, though there are still a few days to go,” a cautious Kaberle said yesterday in a phone interview from his hometown of Kladno.
“Everyone knew what Brian said, that if he got a good deal there would be movement with me. But I’m getting ready to go to Toronto now, working out the past few weeks with (compatriot and Canadiens forward) Tomas Plekanec and ready to fly out in a few weeks and see the guys.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Anaheim Ducks announced today that the National Hockey League (NHL) club has acquired goaltender Justin Pogge from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for a conditional selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
via Darren Dreger’s Twitter,
Toronto will trade Justin Pogge to the Ducks on Monday for a draft pick. Leafs will also sign goalie, Joey MacDonald.
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Burke said he is “excited” to see what Kaberle can do with some of the veteran defencemen he acquired, particularly Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin.
“Say your first (defensive unit) is Kaberle and Komisarek,” Burke said. “Kaberle is not picking his teeth out of the glass all night (anymore). I’m excited about that.
“There’s some notion that everyone has to be tough on a hockey team. They don’t. You have to surround your skill guys with enough size and toughness that they can play their game. And I think that’s what we’ve done.”
Burke reiterated his belief that the club’s so-called skill players—Mikhail Grabovski, Jason Blake, etc—could enjoy excellent seasons because they now are surrounded with sandpaper.
“I believe that toughness and fear are contagious,” the GM said. “And I count on improved performance from some of those kids just because we’re bigger and meaner.”
from Steve Zipay of Blue Notes at Newsday,
That’s the word in hockey circles in Toronto, where rumors bounce up and around in a major media echo chamber. Rangers are not confirming anything, not even whether a decision on whether to sign or reject the right winger’s $3.9-million arbitration award is coming today.
Do the whispers make sense?
Perhaps. Leafs czar Brian Burke needs scoring and has an excess of defensemen. Zherdev can put up 25-plus on the first line. although the press scrutiny will be intense.
via the Twitter of Ben Hankinson of Octagon,
Calgary trades C Wayne Primeau to Toronto for LW Colin Stuart and D Anton Stralman.
added 6:55pm, from RDS (translated),
The CEO of the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke continued the reorganization of his team by acquiring the services of the Flames forward Wayne Primeau to Calgary on Monday.
In return, the Leafs have assigned left winger Colin Stuart and defenseman Anton Strålman
Calgary, AB - Calgary Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter announced today the acquisition of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colin Stuart and defenseman Anton Stralman along with Toronto’s 7th round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for forward Wayne Primeau and Calgary’s 2nd round pick in 2011.
from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
“We absolutely need to look at term limits,” Burke told THN.com Friday afternoon, before embarking on a week-long west coast vacation with his wife. “I personally do not believe some players have any intention of fulfilling some of these long-term contracts.”
Another rule Burke has lobbied to change for some time is the so-called “four-recall rule,” which limits NHL teams to just four player promotions from their American League affiliate after the trade deadline – as long as that AHL affiliate is still in contention for a playoff spot or playing in the post-season; if their affiliate is out of the playoff mix, there is no limit as to the number of players an NHL team can call up.
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke expects Tomas Kaberle to be in the lineup on opening night, and will be shocked if the defenceman is not.
Burke made the comments on Thursday during a press conference where former NHLer Dave Poulin was introduced as the club’s new vice-president of Hockey Operations.
“I’d have to be blown away,” Burke said in response to moving Kaberle before the season. “But that hasn’t happened and I don’t see what happening.”
from Damien Cox of the Spin at the Toronto Star,
More than 30 years ago, when Dave Poulin was skating for the Dixie Beehives junior club in Mississauga, he couldn’t get a single NHL team interested in drafting him.
Today, he’s found a new home with one of the league’s most historic clubs.
The Star has learned that Poulin, 50, will be announced at 10 a.m. today as the new vice-president of player development for the Maple Leafs, essentially moving into the third slot in the Leaf executive lineup behind president/GM Brian Burke and his right-hand man, Dave Nonis.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
It has been five years since he was drafted 90th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and more than three years since he backstopped Canada to a gold medal victory at the world junior championship. And after a disastrous NHL debut, it has been months since anyone within the franchise referred to the 23-year-old as the franchise’s goaltender of the future.
Instead, with the team having recently signed Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson to challenge for the Leafs’ No. 1 spot—and with prospect James Reimer expected to start the season for the Toronto Marlies—Pogge is now in danger of being the goaltender who is simply forgotten.
“Justin Pogge is basically comparable to a child actor, who’s had success at a young age and just can’t handle it mentally,” said Steve McKichan, who was the Leafs’ goaltending coach from 2005-06 through 2007-08.
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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.
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