Kukla's Korner Hockey
“From what I read this summer, we are written off. That’s fine; then we can sneak in and beat a lot of teams.”
from Tim Wharnsby of the Globe and Mail,
...But there were still concerns about Van Ryn’s play in his own end. He answered those concerns with a plus-15 season in 2005-06, only to be beset by wrist problems.
“The wrist problems are behind me,” he said. “It’s partly my fault because [in 2006-07] I kept playing because I wanted to try and help us get into the playoffs.”
Glancing down the Leafs’ roster brings a reflective smile to Van Ryn’s face. The road he has travelled in hockey has crossed paths with a handful of people in the Leafs’ organization. He played with Jamal Mayers in St. Louis. In Florida, he also skated with Joe Nieuwendyk, now Toronto’s special assistant to the general manager, and Niklas Hagman, who arrived in Toronto last night. Van Ryn also grew up in Western Ontario playing against Mark Bell and Boyd Devereaux.
“I feel comfortable here already,” Van Ryn said.
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“I’m doing great,” said Blake. “I was actually at the doctor last week. Everything is definitely managed. I’ve put it behind me. It’s good to be back and I’m ready to play. My mind is totally clear.
“It’s the best I’ve felt in 10 years. I worked hard this summer. I did a couple of different things to get ready for this year and hopefully it will pay off.”
That Blake seems to be winning his battle with chronic myelogenous leukemia is perhaps the best news of all. He was assured from the beginning it was a beatable form of cancer. Still, the news came as a blow.
“I didn’t think it would take that big of a toll on me. It did,” said Blake. “It’s unfortunate that had to happen.”
from Steve Buffery of the London Free Press,
But, Toronto being Toronto, (Ron) Wilson repeatedly was asked about Sundin yesterday.
While he was gracious enough to give some thoughtful answers—through clinched teeth—his message was definitely mixed.
On one hand, Wilson said he respects Sundin for not rushing back if he is unsure whether or not he wants to play—adding that he would welcome the longtime Leafs captain back with open arms.
Then he said this,
“If the leadership was a burden for some of the people that aren’t here anymore, then we’ll try to spread that out and shoulder the responsibility with a lot of our younger people,” Wilson said. “Inevitably, people step up and assume the leadership on a team when they see the opportunity is there.
“We’ve got to go in a different direction. We’ve got to get younger and we have to pass the torch to other people in that room.”
more on the Leafs…
added 11:02am, from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN Mats Sundin and his representatives JP Barry and Claes Elefalk met with Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Cliff Fletcher Friday morning. Joe Nieuwendyk, recently hired as Fletcher’s assistant was also involved in the discussions.
Sources say Fletcher outlined his plan for the team this season and assured Sundin that Toronto will keep the door open for the 37-year-old captain in the event he decides to resume his career.
from E.J. Hradek of ESPN,
Well, four divisions down and just two to go. Today, I’ll take a look at the Northeast….
Best forward: Jean Beliveau. So many choices! I’ll take the great Beliveau over Rocket Richard
more and sorry E.J., I have to go with the ‘Rocket’.
From Brian Biggane at Inside the Panthers:
More than six hours after Canadian website TSN predicted the Bryan McCabe-Mike Van Ryn would be completed, there was still no announcement forthcoming from either the Panthers or Toronto.
Call it yet another reminder that such deals usually aren’t as clear-cut as they appear on the surface.
While the key components of the deal were already in place, Toronto General Manager Cliff Fletcher told his beat writers that the two sides had very little communication prior to Tuesday, making it likely that some of the ancillary issues still had to be worked out.
Update 5:30pm ET: From TSN—
The long rumoured deal was held up while the Panthers waited for the Leafs to pay a $2 million bonus due to McCabe on Sept. 1. With the payout, McCabe, 33, will earn $4.15 million in each of the final three seasons of the five-year, $29 million contract he signed with Toronto in 2006.
The Maple Leafs will receive defenceman Mike Van Ryn in exchange for McCabe and a fourth round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.
from the The Spin, the blog of Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Can’t say this is a bad trade for the Leafs, and can’t say its a good one that will help significantly. It certainly shouldn’t be heralded as any great achievement, for having to move McCabe is really a sign of failure for both the team and player after he was signed to his lucrative contract and managed to play out only two of the five years in Toronto before finding it impossible to play in Toronto any longer. Mike Van Ryn is four years younger and the Leafs gain some salary cap flexibility, although with the club’s payroll now at $46 million and the cap at $56.7 million there didn’t seem to be an urgent need to chop salary.
It’s the final nail in the coffin of the comfy cartel that was the Muskoka Five, but more than anything, its another piece of intriguing evidence on the manner in which the Leafs have struggled terribly to manage assets in the post-lockout era.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
McCabe leaves for south Florida today, where he already has located a home in the same beach-side community where former Maple Leaf teammate Wade Belak lives. McCabe’s daughter, Stevie, the oldest of two young children, starts school there tomorrow.
Sounds like a man looking to make a new start, doesn’t it?
The main roadblock to the consummation of the deal will evaporate today when McCabe receives the $2 million signing bonus owed him by the Leafs. Because today is a holiday, a morning conference call between the involved parties is scheduled for tomorrow morning after which an official announcement is expected.
more on McCabe
My gut feeling is that Mats is going to retire and if he plays at all it might be back in Sweden. I do not have a deadline for this information.
-Joe Bowen… more on the Leafs from Joe’s blog at TorontoMapleLeafs.com….
from the CP via the Toronto Star,
There could be as many as 10 new faces in the Maple Leafs lineup on opening night. Fletcher is pleased with the changes he’s made but is keenly aware that they won’t change one fundamental rule of pro sports.
“Trying to build a team can’t be fast-tracked,” he said Tuesday.
Fletcher is currently enjoying a rare period of quiet and noted that news from around the NHL has fallen almost completely silent of late.
That includes any news from veteran Maple Leafs Mats Sundin (considering retirement) and Bryan McCabe (considering waiving his no-trade clause).
“There’s nothing new as we’re talking today,” said Fletcher.
more on the Leafs…
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