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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Give The Leafs Some Time

from Howard Berger of Fan590,

Though the Maple Leafs left an ugly first impression on Tuesday at the Air Canada Centre, I might give it until after tonight’s second exhibition tilt — or maybe even Thursday’s match-up with Philadelphia in London — before writing off the entire season. An e-mail arrived late last night from a distraught Leaf zealot wondering how much time Ron Wilson has to “turn this thing around.” Another message bemoaned a “typical Kaberle effort… how [Brian] Burke saw fit to keep this guy is beyond me.”

Such knee-jerk reactions, of course, are commonplace in this apprehensive hockey market, and the Nervous Nellies had plenty of ammunition after the 5-0 stinker against Ottawa.


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

What’s The Cure For This Disease?

from of Vinay Menon the Toronto Star,

Then Burke starts talking about something he calls “blue and white disease.” And suddenly, as a lifelong Leafs fan, I question my devotion.

“The absolute insistence on winning was not here,” says Burke, who put together the Anaheim Ducks club that won the Stanley Cup in 2007. “If you need to be a championship team, success has to be something that’s desirable and attainable at any price. I really believe when I got here that the team had blue and white disease.”

This sickness, he explains, is caused by contradictions and market realities. No matter how poorly the team has played the organization thrived as the NHL’s most lucrative franchise. Win or lose, to be a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs meant you were paid handsomely, in the media and league spotlight, and lionized in the public as a demigod.


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

All The Good Guys

from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,

Still, the opening day of training camp is generally a feel-good type of deal, with optimism for the upcoming season running high and Wilson not yet agitated by the Toronto media.

When Wilson finally does make an appearance, he’s immediately surrounded, and a blond bombshell opens the questioning with: “Another season begins. Are you excited about today, medical day?”

Nobody’s sure how Wilson, a noted wisenheimer, is going to respond, but it’s clear that the coach is in a relaxed frame of mind when he refrains from answering with something like: “Yeah, there’s nothing more exciting than watching a guy ride an exercise bike in his pyjamas.”...

Team captain Dion Phaneuf, who spoke to the media during informal workouts in Toronto during the week, pops out and asks if anyone needs him (clearly with the hope that nobody does).

One reporter, and one reporter only, says, yes, he needs to ask him one question. Phaneuf steps over to the question area and, suddenly, is surrounded by 16 or so media types, and quickly the one question turns into many questions.

At one point , Phaneuf reveals that Phil Kessel is “a good guy.”


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

What Do You Know, Leafs Practice Turns Physical

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The crew became a little ornery, but the captain couldn’t have been happier.

When Saturday’s first day of scrimmage ended with 6-foot-3 Jay Rosehill and 5-9 Mike Liambas throwing some punches, they had the Dion Phaneuf stamp of approval. This camp isn’t supposed to be about war on ice, but neither can a 29th place team be passive in game situations.

“There was a physical edge today,” Phaneuf said of the whole day’s work. “Guys weren’t trying to kill each other, but there was a high compete level. Anytime there’s a fight with two guys like that, it’s good to see. They’re bringing what they can bring, trying to make a mark, trying to get noticed.

“If you’ve played one game or 800 games, there are guys pushing you. It was a real good day and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”


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

Komisarek Needs To Find His Identity

from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail,

And so once again the trumpet call to truculence is sounding, on this particular morning cutting its way through the coughing and random expectorating of fluids and clichés that signal Toronto Maple Leafs training camp physicals.

It is to be hoped that this season Mike Komisarek can filter some of the nonsense out. There is an unnerving inevitability to Komisarek, whose lost first year of a five-year, $22.5-million (U.S.) contract ended in February with shoulder surgery and left him with no goals, four assists and 40 penalty minutes to show for 34 games. A seventh overall pick in 2001, he has the size and attitude that suggests he’s at home in the hurly burly of the game.

At times with the Montreal Canadiens, his former team, there were glimpses of offensive awareness. But here’s the thing: watching Komisarek wade into the thick of things or line up an opponent is cringe-inducing, because too often he’s the movable force or the movable object. That’s what happened with the Canadiens, when he was beaten mercilessly by Milan Lucic in a fight in November, 2008, injuring his shoulder, then targeted during the 2009 playoffs by Lucic again and also Zdeno Chara.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+komisarek

Kaberle & Wilson Have Had Positive Talks

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

When Wilson was asked if the much anticipated summit with the defenceman had taken place after a summer of salvos across the Atlantic between Brian Burke and Kaberle’s father, he warmed to the topic.

“We’ve sat down and talked,” Wilson said ” All our talks have been really positive, as I expected them to be.

“I’ll get this out there now so there are no issues, he may only play one of the first five exhibition games (next week). Because I know what he can do and I know he can play with other people. Kabba is 32 years old. At the end of training camp I need to have him fresh. You don’t want your team dead after one week.

“I know (a feud) is a nice story for you guys to hang your hats on,” he said added with a smile, “but there really isn’t an issue. I just wanted to get that out there and be on the offensive and give you the information so you aren’t running around thinking (he’s benched) and there is something else going on.”

read on

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

Training Camp Starts And Ron Wilson Is On The Clock

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Wilson likes his team and now has to find his footing. He’s on the clock. More than any one of his players, this is a season in which he has to demonstrate he can make a difference.

He knows it. It’s why you’re going to see the Leafs get down to under 30 players from 68 quickly, and why the final four exhibition games will feature more veterans than the first five.

Wilson has had five months to doodle lineups on his ever-present iPad — when he’s not using it to play tic-tac-toe with his grand-daughter — and imagine how to use the players he now has at his disposal.

It was his influence that led to Dion Phaneuf becoming captain. They don’t know each other perfectly yet, but Wilson likes Phaneuf’s positive exuberance and rapid-fire verbosity, an outgoing demeanor completely at odds with that which Phaneuf presents to the media and public.


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

Twittering Leafs

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Mike Komisarek was dragged into Twitter kicking and screaming. Colby Armstrong had some time on his hands and thought he’d try it out.

Tyler Bozak, well, he got on to Twitter so he can hear from singer Taylor Swift.

“She’s my favourite singer,” said the Leafs 25-year-old centre, who got all sheepish when he brought up her name. “I’d like to meet her. You never know.”


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

Wrong Message

from Jim Kelley of Sportsnet,

Given that Liambas has no noticeable offensive skills, isn’t renowned for his defensive play and isn’t about to make any roster let alone an all-star team as a skilled player, it’s fair to say that all he’s shown to be capable of is hitting people, hurting people and fighting with people.

I have already expressed some strong opinion on this subject earlier this week on the FAN 590’s PrimeTime Sports with Bob McCown and I don’t back away from any of them. I think this signing smacks of a publicity stunt, not uncommon for a franchise that annually misses the playoffs and is under scrutiny for what’s been essentially a do-nothing offseason.

I’m also bothered by the fact that this offer comes from Burke, a man who argues, sometimes vehemently, that thuggery (my word, not Burke’s) and “truculent play” (his words not mine) are essential to the game.

I’m bothered even more by the fact that this is a huge part of Burke’s vision of the game.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: michael+liambas

New Year, Old Words

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.”


So bold.

read on

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

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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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