Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
He will hang up the “Gone Fishing” sign and head for a remote part of B.C. next week with some of his hockey pals, but if you know Brian Burke, you can bet he is never completely closed for business.
It’s been an active and productive week for the Maple Leafs general manager and, by anyone’s measure, no team has done more to re-tool its roster.
By virtue of their stoutly bolstered defence, the Leafs are already a markedly different team in both style and substance. Add the acquisition of free-agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson this week and the Leafs shouldn’t be anywhere near the liability they were in their own end this past season.
“We’re not doing a traditional model here, people should figure that out. You look at the pre-cap rebuilding jobs, you look at Ottawa and you look at Pittsburgh, and basically the philosophy was, ‘Let’s finish dead last or next to dead last for 4-5 years and get top picks and we’ll turn it around.’ I don’t see any reason to repeat that here. I don’t think our fans here would be that patient. As long as they see a plan, I think they’ll be patient for a retooling, but not a demolition.
“Stripping down to the chassis and rebuilding it is certainly not what ownership has asked me to do. We’re not rebuilding here, we’re retooling.”
-Leafs GM Brian Burke. More on Burke and the Leafs from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
A Swedish source told Sportsnet the long awaited decision by Jonas Gustavsson is over as he’s decided to start his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
An announcement is expected as early as today as “The Monster” signed off on a 1-year, $900,000 to start the 09-10 season backing up Vesa Toskola.
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
The Toronto Maple Leafs are under investigation for tampering because of comments made by head coach Ron Wilson about the club’s interest in Daniel and Henrik Sedin prior to the free-agent deadline on July 1.
Leafs general manager Brian Burke confirmed yesterday that the NHL has informed him that the league will examine potential tampering because of remarks made by the Leafs coach in an interview with a Toronto radio station last week.
“The league has indicated that they are looking into it, so we will have no public commentary at this time,” Burke said yesterday when asked to respond to a column published by the Vancouver Province last weekend in which an unnamed NHL executive remarked that what Wilson said was a “clear-cut case of tampering.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs have brought in another defenceman, signing free agent Francois Beauchemin to a three-year deal believed to be in the range of $10 million.
added 3:23pm, If only Daren Millard would have included a name in his Twitter…
Sportsnet has learned. Sources say. 3 year deal believed to be in the range of 10M.11 minutes ago from mobile web
One of the postives coming out of the Rich Nash signing, we no longer have to hear Nash headed to Toronto…
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
After efforts by the Maple Leafs to land the Sedin twins and Richmond Hill native Mike Cammalleri fell short earlier this week, there were hopes throughout the city that Brampton’s Rick Nash might somehow be wooed to Toronto when he became eligible to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2010.
Columbus Blue Jackets officials were said to be well aware of the chatter north of the border—talk spearheaded by FAN-590/Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean, the man who drafted Nash first overall in 2002—suggesting a marriage between Nash and the Leafs would make perfect sense down the road.
So much for those aspirations.
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
For a couple of days now, Internet message boards have been humming with amateur sleuths who have been trying to determine if the Toronto Maple Leafs should be investigated for tampering with the Sedin twins.
Even if most media have ignored this story, they are not alone.
Privately, team execs have been wondering the same thing. Did Leafs coach Ron Wilson breach NHL bylaws on a Toronto radio show when he suggested his team was targeting the Sedin twins a day before the start of free agency?
“I heard what he said and it seems to be a clear-cut case of tampering. He basically tells those two free agents: ‘Hey, we’re coming for you, wait for us,’” one NHL executive said. “There’s not a question in my mind. It could have left the Canucks high and dry. Look at what he said, then look at what (Leafs GM) Brian Burke did. He flew to Sweden.”
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
A few suggested that Habs heavyweight Georges Laraque should be instructed - ordered, even - to pummel Komisarek, that despicable traitor, during the new Leaf’s first shift against his old team.
A few deleted comments indelicately questioned the marital status of Komisarek’s parents upon his birth, or suggested that he engage in an activity that is anatomically impossible.
Loyalty to a hockey club is a nearly extinct species in this world of free-agency, with players often short- or medium-term mercenaries who lace up for the team writing the biggest cheque.
Many Montreal fans seem to believe it’s almost acceptable - almost - to leave the Canadiens and sign with most any other team when their status gives them occasion to freely test the market. Just don’t make that new team Toronto or, perhaps, Boston.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed restricted free agent forward Mikhail Grabovski to a three-year, $8.7 million deal, sources tell Sportsnet.
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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