Kukla's Korner Hockey
via TSN TV, Armstrong signs for $9M for 3 years.
from Damien Cox of The Spin,
The tradtionalists in the game, or those without imagination who believe a championship team can only be built one way, are either pulling their hair out over Burke’s insistence on developing his own methods for constructing a winner in the salary cap era, or tut-tutting him for refusing to buy into their philosophies.
You just gotta love that.
So, with the announcement, “The Boston Bruins are proud to select Tyler Seguin” still ringing in their air, with people still insisting that Burke’s decision to trade two first rounders for Phil Kessel was pure insanity, what does the Leaf general manager do but go out and buy another player at the cost of more futures.
This is a GM who just loves to thumb his nose at conventional wisdom.
“I’ve been trying to warn our fans that this team that we’ve fallen in love with isn’t going to stay the same, but no championship team does. It’s kind of the nature of the world that we’re in.
“We’re doing the best we can to keep our core together.”
-Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman after trading Kris Versteeg last night. More on Versteeg from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star.
via Pierre LeBrun tweet,
Leafs get Versteeg and the rights to winger Bill Sweatt in exchange for forwards Viktor Stalberg, Chris DiDomenico and Philippe Paradis
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday that defenceman Mike Van Ryn has elected not to play in the 2010-11 hockey season.
Van Ryn, 31, has been rehabilitating his left knee after undergoing an osteotomy (knee re-alignment) on October 22, 2009. He did not appear in a game this past season due to the injury. The native of London, Ontario joined the Leafs in a trade with the Florida Panthers on September 2, 2008.
from Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun,
For public consumption anyway, it has been well over a year of mutual admiration and asserting that there is no need for the relationship to end.
Maple Leafs defenceman Tomas Kaberle has professed his love for all things Toronto — save the losing.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has professed his love for all things Kaberle — save the fact that trading him might bring some desperate scoring help.
There’s no reason to disbelieve either position. Both men believe what they say and there still remains a chance that Kaberle is wearing No. 15 for the Leafs when the season opens this October thought.
Over the next seven days we will see if true love trumps the trade market, but one of the partners seems resolved to the relationship dissolving.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
His seven prospects locked up in his suitcase as he returned to Toronto, Leafs GM Brian Burke set his mind on what will be a busy few days leading up to Thursday’s free agent frenzy.
First up is Marc Savard. The Bruins are said to be ready to ship their playmaking centre. The Leafs are in the mix, and the price tag is much cheaper than Thomas Kaberle.
This opportunity is an unintended consequence of the Phil Kessel trade.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Yet as much as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. prides itself on the fan experience, there are nights of church-pew silence where player chatter can be heard all the way up in the purples.
At the start of each period, the lower bowl can look like a ghost town, as the club suite holders tarry in their luxury boxes. The Leafs screen just about everything they can on a fairly new $50-million high def scoreboard/sound system and stage live hijinks around the rink. But with the notable exception of Luke’s Troops, in which Canadian Forces personnel get a heartfelt standing ovation every night, not all their skits and cartoons work.
Brian Burke was hired as general manager to put a winning product on the ice, which everyone knows is half the battle in getting people off their hands. But he’s not afraid to take the ball away from his games operations crew now and then.
He’s often seen with those big General Patton binoculars and on the road, he’s an early arrival in the press box, not only to see the warmups, but curious at what other clubs are doing to hold crowd interest.
“We will get this place rocking again,” Burke promised Tuesday, a day after unveiling captain in Dion Phaneuf and a new/old sweater design that fans had craved.
“We think we have made changes for the better already. It’s easy to create atmosphere once you are in the playoffs and that’s what we’ll be working toward next.”
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
On a team historically bereft of big-time scorers, Phil Kessel believes he can achieve what only one Maple Leaf has been able to do in the last 15 seasons.
That’s topping the 40-goal mark.
“I think I can score 40. I could have had it last year if I’d have scored (consistently). I had a lot of chances, plus I missed quite a bit of games,” said the 22-year-old winger as he passed through town for the unveiling of Dion Phaneuf as Toronto’s captain and Tuesday’s opening of Real Sports Bar and Grill, MLSE’s playpen beside the Air Canada Centre.
“I’m going to improve on last year. Hopefully, I’m going to be a better hockey player,” Kessel continued.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
While Phaneuf repeatedly said during his coronation he won’t change anything now that he’s captain, Wilson has already cautioned Phaneuf that he may have to tone down his vocal presence.
“A woodpecker gets annoying after a while,” said Wilson. “We hear (Phaneuf) all the way down in the coaches’ office. Over 82 games, that can wear people down.”
The 25-year-old defenceman is blunt to a fault. The way some explain it, just like it was always Manny just being Manny, sometimes Dion is just Dion. He’s shocked to find things he says rub others the wrong way.
Before, Phaneuf could shrug and be the rebel. Now, he has to care. He’s the captain, and for all the players, some of whom won’t necessarily want to follow his every lead or make anything close to his $7 million salary next season.
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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