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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Afternoon Line

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

“He had been getting better,” Maurice said. “He came back to practice [Monday] and we had the expectation he would feel considerably better and didn’t, so he’s not playing. If he doesn’t feel better, he won’t play the rest of the games.”

However, when Maurice was asked to reflect on Sundin’s season, one of his best since coming to the Maple Leafs in 1994, he dismissed the notion Sundin’s days in Toronto are finished.

“I’ll answer that question and someone over here will take a piece of it and say, ‘Mats might be done for the year.’ ” Maurice said. “Then we’ll spend three weeks putting out a fire that you and I just created for no reason.

“There’s going to come a point in time, in six or seven years, when Mats retires. Then you’re going to spend the next 20 years with parades, tributes, Mats Sundin nights, the ashtrays, the coffee cups, matchbooks.

“We’ll let that all happen.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Forget Buyouts - Ship Them To The Minors

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

To listen to various opinion-makers and theorists, the club is planning or should be planning buyouts of Bryan McCabe, Darcy Tucker, Andrew Raycroft, Mark Bell and Jason Blake, among others.

That would be madness.

To start with, buy out that many players and you’d end up with an annual cap hit upward of $6 million annually for between three to six years. It’s less than the $20 million cost of keeping them on the roster, but for a team that annually budgets to spend as much money as possible, paying that many players not to play becomes a significant, long-term impediment to improvement.

A far better approach – although a more expensive one for ownership – is to send unwanted players to the minors.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Just Wait

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

Speculation abounds, for example, that Darcy Tucker is first on the buy-out list for this summer.

But what if the new GM wants to keep Tucker, or believes that given time, he could trade the veteran and get something for him?

The only sensible approach would be to put every important decision on hold, and to get a permanent somebody in by mid-June.

But that’s not the Leaf plan.

So while Peddie was ostensibly doing damage control, all it really did was make it abundantly clear that the dazed and confused Leafs are pursuing the future with continued maximum dysfunction as their guide.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Influencing Sundin

from Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,

Sundin is going to keep people waiting for his decision on whether he’ll re-sign with the Leafs, go somewhere else or simply retire and get ready for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Many NHL insiders believe after what’s been a taxing season full of disappointment, Sundin might decide to hang up his sweater and walk away, comfortable in the fact he’s had a tremendous career.

Given all the bluster about not wanting to be dealt at the trade deadline, it would seem unlikely that Sundin would sign elsewhere unless Detroit D Nicklas Lidstrom and fellow Swede does a full-court press to get him to sign with the Red Wings.

more NHL talk…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mats+sundin

Outlook Not Bright For Leafs

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

“It’s simply not acceptable,” said Peddie, indicating that the accountability for the Leafs’ shortcomings runs from himself to the board of directors all the way down the ladder.

“It’s very disappointing and very upsetting. We’re smart people, people who are very savvy in business. We thought we had a solid plan to move ahead but that’s not the case. In fact, we’re not set up that great for next year either.

“It’s very humbling to know we failed.”

Peddie said simply reaching the post-season is not the goal.

“It’s more than making the playoffs,” he said. “It’s about moving toward a championship. And, frankly, we made no progress toward that end.”

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: richard+peddie

What’s Next For The Leafs

from Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,

The next move by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will determine just how long this funk lasts. It is the most important organizational hire, in my opinion, since the Leafs lured Cliff Fletcher away from the powerhouse Calgary Flames in 1991. Don’t need to spell out what that did to revive the Leafs’ organization.

Now they need a 2008 version of that Fletcher while the present-day Fletcher helps caretake in the meantime.

Once the season is over, the obvious names must be sought after: Brian Burke in Anaheim, Ken Holland in Detroit, Jim Rutherford in Carolina, Doug Wilson in San Jose, Doug Risebrough in Minnesota, David Poile in Nashville and Colin Campbell, the NHL’s executive vice-president and director of hockey operations.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Against All Odds

From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet.ca,

Not since the spring of 1986 has every single NHL team in Canada made the playoffs in the same season. That’s right—22 freakin’ years.

The Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs, apparently putting rocket fuel in their cereal these days, seem determined to help end the streak.

With just under two weeks left in the regular season, the two Canadian clubs, written off by the hockey world long ago, are waging quite the campaign to get into the playoff dance against all odds.

continued…

Update 3:17pm ET: Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail adds some more thoughts on the Oilers “Cinderella Story” as they race to make the playoffs.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: playoffs

Leafs Face Must-Win Games

from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,

Since Sundin was lost on March 15, the Leafs have a 3-1 record, which sets up this week’s home-and-home series against the Boston Bruins as the key to their NHL season. Since they are four points behind the eighth-place Bruins with six games to play, the Leafs have to win both games in regulation time to have any hope of making the playoffs. It is still the longest of long shots.

But it’s a shot, which is good enough for this group. They might even get Sundin back for tomorrow’s opener against the Bruins. Sundin plans to test his injured groin in practice today, and if the improvement he felt on the weekend continues, he might play.

Ask Maurice who is responsible for holding the team together in Sundin’s absence, and he says he can name just about everyone on the team. From goaltender Vesa Toskala, who made his 27th consecutive start to beat the Senators, to defenceman Pavel Kubina, who seems to have a hand in every winning goal lately, to young centres Matt Stajan and Alex Steen, who both have picked up the scoring slack.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

They All Count

A drive from the bottom of the circle…

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rob+davison, vesa+toskala

Scouting For The Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

For Maple Leaf head scout Dave Morrison, however, there’s a professional poignancy to that concept given the status he shares with the rest of the club’s management, coaching and scouting staff. Morrison’s job, come June, will be to correctly identify the teenage prospect most likely to brighten the team’s future in the NHL entry draft, all the while knowing a new boss will arrive in the next few months and possibly clean house.

“To say we as scouts haven’t talked about that would be a lie,” said Morrison. “But we can’t control that, and we’ve got a chance to do something special in this draft.”

Given those circumstances, you might think Morrison would be hoping for the Leafs to sink as low as possible in the standings by season’s end to maximize their chances to select one of the high-profile prospects.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

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