Kukla's Korner Hockey
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
It appears John Ferguson will not serve out the final months of his contract as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In light of the Maple Leafs’ most recent losing streak, which culminated in a 5-2 loss Thursday night to the last-place team in the NHL, the Los Angeles Kings, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment president Richard Peddie said Friday morning that the board will be discussing Ferguson’s future very soon. His contract expires in June.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
..No, right now the best thing the Leafs can do is stay the course and continue to lose games with staggering regularity. If they keep it up, they’ll be in the draft lottery for the first time ever; and perhaps even in a position to select No. 1 for the first time since the Wendel Clark draft in 1985. That didn’t turn out so bad, did it Leaf Nation?
Forever and ever, no matter who is running the show, the temptation in the Maple Leaf front office is to go for the quick fix, which results in the mess you’ve seen lately. They end up with a team good enough to tease and flirt with success, without ever really having the talent to legitimately challenge for a championship.
From the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has activated center Mikko Koivu from injured reserve and that center Dominic Moore has been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
added 1:27pm, from TSN, the Leafs have recalled goaltender Justin Pogge.
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
The way the Leafs are playing, the figurative end of their season is almost at hand. In the short term, Ferguson could fire Maurice, who cannot get his players to perform. But he, too, was not talking after the game, although he spent a lot of time around the Leaf dressing room engaged in a long conversation on his cellphone before telling the media he would have nothing to say.
Even if he is contemplating firing Maurice, Ferguson is in a difficult position. He would have to clear that move with Peddie and the MLSE board of directors. Since it is clear the board will dump Ferguson if the Leafs miss the playoffs, the directors may tell the GM there is no sense firing the coach because there will be an entire house-cleaning come spring.
Beginning with tonight’s game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, fans watching on Leafs TV or via NHL Centre Ice will be able to participate in a five-game contest that involves interaction with live hockey. Powered by LiveHive’s NanoGaming technology, the game—called Leafs TV Game Master—allows fans to play along while they watch, accumulate points, and qualify for prizes. Players make such predictions as who will get the next goal, as well as answer trivia questions, and chat with other fans.
more. wonder if it will allow you to make trades too?
from Bob McKenzie of TSN,
The price on Keith Tkachuk was a first, a second and a third round pick. On Ryan Smyth, it was two prospects - Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra - and a first rounder. Heck, an injured Todd Bertuzzi got Florida a good prospect in Shawn Matthias and a second round pick.
Sundin, if he were made available, would blow all of those right out of the water. If the Leafs didn’t get two or three credible players or prospects and the same number of significant draft choices, John Ferguson would be accused of not doing his job.
Which, funny enough, is what some people will say if the Leafs don’t try to make a Sundin trade happen before the deadline.
from the OC Register,
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle hails from Sudbury, Ontario, the home province of Toronto, so it is safe to assume he was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan growing up rather than a Montreal Canadiens follower.
“Those were the days when it was French vs. English in northern Ontario,” Carlyle said. “It made for a natural rivalry.”...
“They’re easily the most recognizable hockey franchise,” he said. “Some people might argue Montreal. Having played there a number of years ago, and with the branding that’s taken place in the game, Toronto is front and center.”
from the Toronto Sun,
While dropping a couple of expletives yesterday to describe the club’s wasteful efforts of late, Sundin reaffirmed his desire to see his one-year contract through as a Leaf and play beyond April 5.
“I have not talked to my agent (J.P. Barry) about anything,” Sundin said of waiving his no-trade clause. “We’re not going to give up when our conference is so close. When we play our style of game, when everyone works together, we’re a good team, as good as a lot of teams that are ahead of us.
“We have to learn to close out games, but we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
added 7:32am, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
But it is way too early for this topic to dominate all discussions about the team. It is at least a month away for several reasons.
First is that Sundin gets traded only if the Leafs are out of playoff contention. Strange as it sounds, this is not a sure bet, given the collective mediocrity in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
However, the other problem is that it is clearly not in Ferguson’s personal interest to trade Sundin. The trade is the equivalent of a white flag in the playoff fight and it’s been made clear many times by Peddie and other MLSE poobahs that missing the playoffs for an unprecedented third consecutive year would mean dismissal.
from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
According to one Eastern Conference general manager, there will be a huge seller’s market as the trade deadline approaches because “so many teams feel they have a legitimate shot to win it all. There should be far more buyers than sellers.”
Imagine, in such an environment, how much the Leafs could land for Sundin, a guy who is the all-time leading scorer for his team and who, at 36, has reached 20 goals for the 17th consecutive season.
more on why the Leafs should move Sundin.
from the Toronto Sun,
“It’s more than just the power plays (not producing),” said Sundin, after the Leafs scored on one of six.
“It’s a fine line in this league between winning and losing and we’re consistently shooting ourselves in the foot. The good hockey teams in this league aren’t that much better than us. The difference is that we have to be smarter.”...
“Tonight?” Sundin said. “It has been a bad theme we keep repeating. We played a good game. We put ourselves in a position to win and looking back there are 10, 15 games where we’ve played well ... or come back ... but in the end we don’t know how to win.”
more on Sundin and 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.
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