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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Being A Leafs Fan

from Moe Green at the Toronto Star,

I am a Leafs fan.  I can’t really explain it other than to say that I have been one since I started watching hockey as a kid in the seventies and will likely be one until I draw my final breath.

I am, like an addict, a victim of something beyond my control.

But why the Leafs?  I grew up in Ontario, but so did most of my friends. Many of them had the good sense to be fans of the Bruins, Flyers, Rangers, and even the dreaded, evil, but very “Cup-winny” Montreal Canadiens.

My friends had ups and downs – but they had ups. Boy, did they have ups.

Still, as far as I was concerned, they could have all the fancy-schmancy skating and slick-scoring the Canadiens and Bruins offered. They could keep their Broad Street Bullies and their big city, flashy-haired New Yorkers. They could have all the Cups and trinkets and first-place finishes.

I preferred my Leafs.

read on

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

Fire Burke?

from Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun,

Everybody recalls the Chris Pronger coup. Few remembered he also referred to Kevin Weekes in 1999 as the Canucks’ “goalie of the future.” He didn’t say when that future might be, though, so perhaps it could still happen. You know. About the same time as the Second Coming.

But maybe it explains why he could bring Francois Beauchemin and Mike Komisarek for too-many millions and believe them to be the Leafs’ defence of the future. A real steal. For Francois and Mike.

For the Leafs? Not so much, unless you include all the times they cough up the puck in their own end.

So maybe the issue isn’t coach Ron Wilson. Maybe Richard Peddie should be coughing up Burke. Not that he will.

Burke thought Vesa Toskala was the problem. Jason Blake brought bad vibes and Alex Steen and Matt Stajan were deposed and Fredrik Sjostrom would goose the penalty kill statistics. Burke got it half fixed. The vibes might be better, the penalty killing? Not so much.

It was supposed to be about pain now for later gain.

more

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No Serious Trade Talks At This Point

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The names that rival execs are inquiring about are mostly players that Burke himself signed or traded for.

Loyalty is a tenet of the Burke credo, witness his iron will where Wilson’s critics are concerned.

His players will likely get every opportunity to play their way out of individual funks, though it’s likely too late in the playoff chase to worry about exchanging bodies for bodies where draft picks could be the ultimate prize in talks that could go until the actual deadline.

For the short term, Burke is not denying a Hockey Night In Canada report from Saturday that another team made an offer for winger Kris Versteeg, but he e-mailed the Toronto Sun on Sunday that deals of any kind are not yet at the serious stage.

Some minor swaps are taking place around the NHL, but the real action should take place around the Jan. 27 all-star break. The salaries of future UFA’s will be dropping further and there will be a gathering of many GMs at the board of governors meeting in Raleigh, N.C., in concert with the all-star game.

more

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Thinking Out Loud

Pierre LeBrun mentioned on Saturday night the Toronto Maple Leafs received an offer for Kris Versteeg and it appears it made some sense to them.

So the Leafs put the word out, seeing if they could get a better offer than the one that was made.

Now let’s look at this from as a Detroit/Toronto scenerio.  Leafs need help at center, Wings could using some scoring on the wing.

How does Valtteri Filppula for Kris Versteeg sound? 

Filppula is 26 years old, makes $3M per year and is signed through the 2012-13 season while Versteeg is 24, earns just over $3M and is signed through the 2011-12 season

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+versteeg, valtteri+filppula

All Jared Knight

Jared Knight will forever be known as the 3rd best asset traded in the deal for Phil Kessel to Boston.

The 32nd Overall Pick in 2010 went to the Bruins from the Maple Leafs on top of two 1st Rounders, one of which consummated to Tyler Seguin. Unlike Seguin, of course, Knight receives no respect when discussing the value of the Kessel trade.

And perhaps deservedly so.

Knight was ranked 82nd among North American Skaters in Central Scouting’s Final Rankings. Combined with top European Skaters like Mikhael Granlund, Vladimir Tarasenko and Evgeny Kuznetsov, Knight was projected to go late in the 3rd or early in the 4th round. In fact, Jared Knight was not even invited to the NHL Scouting Combine.

But what the draft projections won’t tell you is that Jared Knight suffers from Diabetes.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jared+knight, nazem+kadri, tyler+seguin

A Stinker In Ottawa

from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Citizen,

This, folks, is what rock bottom looks and smells like.

Not very pleasant, is it.

In a game that could very well have been Cory Clouston’s last as coach of the Senators, the hometown heroes were simply and utterly disgusting, losing 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night.

Throw in the fact that the Leafs entered the evening as the 27th-ranked team in the league and consider that the Senators were beaten by a goalie named James Reimer, who was playing his first NHL game, it all adds up to the low point for Ottawa in of the 2010-11 season.

Right now, it’s hard to remember more grim times in the past 10 years.

continued

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

Leafs Thinking

Pierre LeBrun on the HNIC Hotstove said the Leafs are not shooping Kris Versteeg but did recently receive a phone call about him that made them do some thinking.

Other teams now make make an offer for him too, so something to keep an eye on.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: kris+versteeg

Morning Line

“Playing for Ron Wilson, there has not been a lack of effort.  When we lose, it has not been a coaching issue.

“Going into the New Year, the positive thing I see is that we’ve been playing well pretty much for 50-54 minutes per game. But we always seem to have these clumps of mistakes which cost us. I thought we played a good game (Dec. 16) in Calgary. We were tied. Then they scored three goals in about a minute and that was it.

“We are one of three or four youngest teams in the league. Like I said, we play good hockey for most nights but just have these poor spurts. That’s no excuse. That’s like saying: ‘Other than the (obvious), Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?’ ”

-Toronto Maple leafs GM Brian Burke.  More on the Leafs from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.

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

Leafs Lose So Time To Talk Trades

from Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star,

The Leafs performance in Thursday’s 3-2 loss to Columbus was disturbing enough to prompt serious talk among observers that it’s time for GM Brian Burke to make a trade to help his troubled team.

Burke, of course, does not listen to media rants and won’t be swayed by them. But Thursday’s disappointment certainly carried the point home in large part because it further deflated an almost flat hope that this roster can do very much to rescue a playoff berth.

So, with 46 games left on the schedule, and little belief outside the dressing room that this roster can salvage at least a drive for the playoffs, the focus turns to what can be done to bolster that belief.

continued

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Grading Gustavsson

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

“It’s tough right now to judge (him) on wins and losses, because sometimes Jonas has played relatively good and he doesn’t win,” said Maple Leafs goalie guru, Francois Allaire. “We have to keep working, working, working. To make sure one day we can reach the consistency we need as a team.”

Slight translation: Until the Leafs get better, score more, tighten up defensively, the complete picture of Gustavsson as an NHL goalie will not emerge.

He is 62 games into his NHL career and even his coach isn’t completely certain of what to make of him. Sixty-two games should be enough to develop a book of some kind, but this story is incomplete and the final chapters, really, could go either way.

“For me, goalie wise, we’re going in the right direction,” Allaire said. “We see some progress. We see something better than last year. But we’re not able to show good stats yet.”

The statistics, unfortunately, are not good at all. Gustavsson is 40th among NHL goalies in wins, 39th in the very important save percentage category and 35th in goals against average. Right now, that is more Monstrosity than Monster. That would be fine if Gustavsson was a kid, but he’s not. He’s not Carey Price. He’s 26 years old. He has played his share of pro hockey.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jonas+gustavsson

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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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