Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
It’s like the swallows returning to Capistrano, except in this case it’s Leafs Nation being expected to swallow a load of crap.
Some veteran Leafs player, or someone in the front office, says something about how making the playoffs is the team’s goal and anything else is “unacceptable”, and then the dopey fans and the Toronto media salivate like the barking dogs that they are—a certain tabloid publication included.
This year it’s captain Dion Phaneuf sticking his neck out ...
“We’re definitely a playoff team,” Phaneuf said. “Our goal at the start of this season is to make the playoffs. Anything short of that is unacceptable.”
from Jonas Siegel of 640Toronto,
Tomas Kaberle says there are no issues between him and Ron Wilson.
Following a wild summer of trade rumours, speculation and remarks from his father skewering his relationship and future with the coach, the four-time all-star finally set the record straight.
“I don’t agree with everything my father says,” said Kaberle. “That’s normal, like I don’t agree with everything with my coach, but especially when you’re losing you get into some arguments. That’s good. I’ll take it as a challenge.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Maple Leafs are giving banished junior Michael Liambas a chance to resume his hockey career.
On Oct. 30, 2009, Liambas was playing for the Erie Otters’ when he drove Kitchener’s Ben Fanelli into the boards, causing a serious head injury. Liambas, now 21, was given a season-long suspension by CHL commissioner David Branch that ended his junior career.
The Leafs invited Liambas to their rookie camp which begins Saturday in London, Ont.
“We’re going to give him a chance at rookie camp,” said Toronto general manager Brian Burke.
“He’s an honours student. Everyone that’s ever played with him raves about his character. (Erie general manager) Sherry Bassin and (coach) Robbie Ftorek told me he’s as good a kid as they’ve ever had.
continued and if you need a refresher on the hit, watch it below…
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
This is just the first week of school, but the Maple Leafs are already facing math problems.
Of the eight playoff teams returning in the Eastern Conference, only the Montreal Canadiens seem in any danger of point subtraction and only if Carey Price gets stage fright as their No. 1 goalie.
Of the six others that finished ahead of Toronto and missed the playoffs, count on the four Southeast Division clubs, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Florida and Atlanta to be among the most improved. Then there’s the New York Rangers, 13 points better than the Leafs and denied eighth spot by a Game 82 shootout loss. Now that goalie Henrik Lundqvist has agreed that time off is in the team’s best interest, they can avoid a similar fate in 2010-11.
So students, using the margins for your rough work, that would appear to leave Toronto at or near the bottom of the column again.
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.”
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.
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