Kukla's Korner Hockey
Defenceman Jeff Finger, who has only played one pre-season game, will likely miss the first week of the season as a foot injury is taking longer to heal than originally expected.
The 28-year old, who signed a four year deal worth $14 million with the Leafs in the summer, suffered the injury in the Maple Leafs pre-season opening game against the Sabres.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Along with Kaberle and Kubina, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Jason Blake, Jeff Finger and Vesa Toskala all could potentially be dealt. You know, for something more than nothing, the return for excising Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft from the roster.
Nik Antropov, meanwhile, will be an unrestricted free agent in July and moving him by February sure seems more appealing than signing him to a lucrative, multi-year deal at $3 million to $4 million (U.S.) per season.
So Kaberle, primarily, and Antropov to a lesser extent, become the Leafs to watch this season, but mostly to see if they can enhance their value and thus their appeal on the trade market.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
...As it is, Wilson’s Leafs are going to be hard-pressed to be the Columbus Blue Jackets of hockey.
In any event, Wilson clearly is smart and studious, so it’s obvious what he is doing – he’s buttering up the locals, and it is an astute move.
In that spirit, we humbly offer our short list of More Erroneous Analogies That, If Ron Wilson Speaks Them, Might Win Him The Brownie Points He May Need Should His Reportedly Caustic Demeanour Accidentally Emerge Later This Season.
Erroneous Analogy No. 1: “Richard Peddie is the Sir Winston Churchill of inspirational speakers.”
Sir Winston once said: “We make a living from what we get. We make a life from what we give.”
Seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette will give a special performance via satellite from Montreal as part of NHL Face-Off Rocks™, the NHL’s opening day viewing party and concert spectacular at Fox Theatre in Detroit on Thursday, Oct. 9….
Fans at Fox Theatre will enjoy the Red Wings game broadcast, including the championship banner-raising ceremony, an in-person performance from Def Leppard and Morissette’s performance via satellite. A deejay will entertain the audience throughout the event.
“From an ownership level we look at the long term,” we want to be absolutely competitive, super competitive each and every year.
“If you asked us if you were to pay for a Stanley Cup team this year, but you were to be lousy for the next five years, would you do it? The answer from the ownership point of view, absolutely not.
-Leafs co-owner Larry Tanenbaum. More by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star.
added 2:13pm, from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Tanenbaum said Yzerman, a vice-president of the Red Wings who is learning the hockey business under general manager Ken Holland, need not apply. He said the Leafs will not be hiring a second consecutive rookie GM, given the team’s decline under John Ferguson, who was fired last January.
“Steve needs to be a general manager some place (else),” said Tanenbaum, who stopped by the Leafs’ practice on Thursday. “We don’t want a rookie.”
from James Murphy at NHL.com,
After a tumultuous first season in Toronto both on and off the ice, Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake has found a new lease on life and his career. Blake took time recently to discuss his up-and-down season, what he learned from the experience and how he plans on using these lessons both as a hockey player and a person.
from Damien Cox at the Spin,
Depth and experience? Really?
This is the same chatter we heard last fall when some suggested the Leafs had such depth on defence that they should trade some of it away to help in other areas.
Now we’re hearing it again. Folks, it’s about more than just having lots of names.
What I see is a defence with two proven blueliners - Tomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina - and a pile of question marks.
It might be the weakest defence corps in the entire league. Certainly one of the weakest five.
from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,
Born in California to a father of Brazilian-German heritage and maxing out at 5-foot-11, Ryan Hollweg knows all about overcoming the hockey odds.
Whether he can help turn around the fortunes of the Maple Leafs this year is unknown, but he certainly has the right attitude. Hollweg got off to a rousing start with several big hits in a 7-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres Monday.
“If you want to go through somebody, just do it. It’s how I’ve lived,” Hollweg said yesterday at the Air Canada Centre. “I’ve never worried about how big I am. It’s a mental thing. It hasn’t stopped me yet and it won’t stop me now.”
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
“I didn’t want to leave,” he said. “I signed to play there. I wanted to win there. But circumstances change.
“We didn’t make the playoffs for three years, they bought Darcy out, they bought Razor [Raycroft] out. Who knew if Mats was going to come back or not? When we looked at it, we thought it was time for a fresh start.”
McCabe told Fletcher the Panthers were his top choice. He said the acquisition of defencemen Keith Ballard and Nick Boynton in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes, plus the presence of Jay Bouwmeester, meant he would be joining an up-and-coming defence corps.
from Paul Hunter of the Toronto Star,
“Not one minute have I worried about who the captain is or whether that’s an important issue right now. It’s not. This team has to learn how to play. It’s not about the captain or all this other stuff,” said Wilson, holding court after his players had gone through testing and medicals.
“We’re going to do it as a group. I don’t think the team is looking for one guy to lead them out of the mess the last few years have been.”
The C, in concept anyway, will instead stand for committee. Wilson said a possibility is to have a pool of four to eight players from which the captaincy is awarded on a rotating basis. It might also stand for confidential, since there’s no guarantee the fans will know who’s been designated as the captain for a particular game.
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.
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