Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
If you were to ask Ken Holland, GM of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, to identify the quality his scouts look for when it comes to the annual entry draft, his answer would be succinct.
“Skill,” he’d say, just as he’s said it many times before.
Nine teams followed that mantra when it came to making selections with the top 10 picks of the NHL entry draft on Friday night.
One did not.
That team would be your Maple Leafs.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
While Gainey usually wears a poker face whenever prodded to reveal such plans, a source close to the Habs GM suggested he might wing across the Atlantic for a face-to-face chat with Sundin as early as Wednesday.
Whatever Gainey does, this much is certain: The two teams do have a deal in place in the event Sundin signs with Montreal. There is speculation that Toronto might receive a 2009 first-round pick in return, but that, to this point, is merely draft-floor speculation.
About 15 minutes before Gainey had his chat with the hordes of reporters at Scotiabank Place yesterday, Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher was being peppered with Sundin queries of his own.
“I talked (to Mats),” Fletcher said. “I just have to do my job and do what’s best for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is what it is.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
In some ways, Gainey shares many of the same qualities as Sundin. They are both soft-spoken, resolute and like to do things in orderly fashion.
Accordingly, the first order of business for Sundin is to determine if he’s going to play at all next year. Thus far, he has not provided his agent, J.P. Barry, with any guidance along those lines. Until he does, all the other talk is just a lot of white noise.
from Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette,
We received permission to talk with him late yesterday and it was even later in Sweden,” said Gainey. “We didn’t talk numbers. We wanted to introduce ourselves and we got to know a little bit about each other and we’ll get to know each other better.”
Gainey said he planned to have additional talks with Sundin tomorrow or Monday.
Sundin would give the Canadiens the impact centre they have been seeking. He’s 6-foot-5 and 231 pounds and has been one of the NHL’s elite players since he arrived from Sweden to join the Quebec Nordiques in 1990. He’s 37 but he’s coming off a 76-point season and has had at least 72 points in each of the past 12 seasons.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to encourage Mats Sundin to decide his playing future before July 1.
In the past 24 hours the Montreal Canadiens were granted persmission by the Maple Leafs to speak to Sundin’s agent about the possibility of the 37-year-old signing in Montreal.
Update 3:45pm ET (alanah): For a blast from the past, below is a video of Sundin when he was selected in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. I don’t think I would’ve even recognized him…
From the St. Louis Blues,
St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the club has acquired a 2008 3rd round draft pick, 70th overall, from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Jamal Mayers.
“I want to thank Jamal for everything he has done for the Blues and the city of St. Louis,” said Davidson. “We wish Jamal and his family nothing but the best in his hometown of Toronto.”
added 7:18am (Paul), from Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,
Blues President John Davidson said the trade of Jamal Mayers late Thursday night is a precursor of something else that could happen today.
“It’s all part of us trying to put stuff together and we’re not done yet,” Davidson said. “This is the start of something ... that’s the best way of saying it. We’ve got other stuff going on, but can’t say anything because it’s not finalized. We’ll try and get that done (today).’‘
Davidson added: “I don’t want people to think we just traded Jamal Mayers for a draft pick and that’s the end of us. The more we work toward putting something else together, the more the draft pick position could become a part of (tonight’s) action. We’re working it here and we feel we’re getting close.”
“We continue to hear that the Leafs want to trade Bryan McCabe. Bryan has a no-move clause in his contract that was negotiated with and agreed to by the Leafs. Bryan is not inclined to waive the no-move clause,” Pulver told Sportsnet.ca. “He enjoys living and playing in Toronto and the team is a first-class organization. Bryan has logged more minutes than any other Leafs player in the past seven years and given his heart and soul to this franchise. If the Leafs want to move forward without Bryan they should buy out the remaining years on his contract.”
- Ian Pulver, agent for Bryan McCabe, via Sportsnet…
Globe & Mail writers Matthew Sekeres, Eric Duhatschek, Allan Maki and Tim Wharnsby have put to together an assessment of the draft situation for all six Canadian teams. They take a look at each team’s available picks, specific needs, salary cap space and the progress of their top picks from last year.
Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, NHL Talk, NHL Entry Draft, | KK Hockey | Permalink
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
So here’s how Cliff Fletcher proves he’s not yesterday’s man.
For the Maple Leaf general manager – let’s drop the interim tag, shall we? – to demonstrate he has a true sense of vision beyond finding a way just to get the club back into the playoffs, he needs to do something other than contradicting himself and hiring old friends.
So how about coming away from this weekend’s draft in Ottawa with not one, but two quality first-round picks?
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
“If you are going to do something, now is the time,” Fletcher said yesterday from Arizona. “A lot of trade discussions have already taken place.”
A month from now, the likes of Darcy Tucker, Bryan McCabe and even Mats Sundin—the team’s veteran core dating back to the Pat Quinn era—all could be wearing different NHL jerseys. There are rumblings that McCabe would be willing to waive his no-trade clause in order to go to the New York Islanders on Long Island, the site of his off-season home.
“Hopefully, our team is going to look substantially different,” Fletcher said. “If we can bring in at least five or six players, new faces, that would be good.”
From Dan Wood at Ducks Blog,
Burke, though, isn’t the only name being bandied about by the out-of-control Toronto media. Reporters who cover the Leafs have also mentioned Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks, David Poile of the Nashville Predators, Darcy Regier of the Buffalo Sabres, Doug Risebrough of the Minnesota Wild, Jim Rutherford of the Carolina Hurricanes, Jay Feaster of the Tampa Bay Lightning and even Ken Holland of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. Along with Burke, that’s more than 25 percent of the general managers in the league, and the supposed logic is that any or all of them could become available after next season.
If nothing else, Toronto’s “brain trust” has given all of these men tremendous leverage to negotiate new contracts with their current clubs. Even worse, the Leafs brass has created more than one potential conflict-of-interest scenario. What if, for example, any of these general managers happens to swing a trade with Toronto, particularly if the deal might be construed as somewhat one-sided in either the short- or long-term? You think that might just raise some eyebrows at NHL headquarters?
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 email@example.com