Kukla's Korner Hockey
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star tells us all about it…
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
He rises every day by around 5:30 a.m., works hard and lives hard, creating the impression he’s plotting 24 hours a day how to beat the other guy.
How much of the Burke image is reality, and how much is perception, depends on whom you talk to.
But there’s this palpable sense of momentum, of pushing, of aggression, that is undeniable.
With the Maple Leafs wrapping up their season tonight, it’s as though Burke began next season several weeks ago. Right now, he’s calculating ways to move up in the June entry draft, chasing highly touted U.S. collegiate defenceman Matt Gilroy and sending reverberations throughout the Swedish Elite League with his urgent pursuit of 24-year-old Farjestad goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.
It’s not at all clear that the Leafs will be a better hockey team next season, or that in April 2010 they’ll play their first Stanley Cup playoff game in six years.
But Burke and his lieutenants sure create the perception that they’re striving to improve, and that ultimately they will compete with the best teams in the league.
via Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,
Canadiens defenceman Mike Komisarek yesterday ripped into Grabovski for his actions, insinuating Grabovski is a coward.
“You are enraged and you are pissed off that a player like that, when the game is out of hand, runs one of your top players like that,” Komisarek told reporters in Montreal. “He knows (Markov) is in a vulnerable position. There’s no need for that.
“Early on in the game, there was a scrum and Grabovski wouldn’t even look you in the eye. (He) runs away from any confrontation with his tail between his legs. So for him to hit Markie like that, it’s something you don’t like to see.”
The hit in question came in the third period of the Habs’ lopsided 6-2 victory over the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre Saturday. While the check itself did not seem dirty, it did come late, something the Canadiens immediately took notice of.
When I first posted this topic a few days ago, the majority of KK readers thought it was a clean hit. Has anything changed since?
via Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun,
Toronto GM Brian Burke was pounding his chest after signing college UFAs Tyler Bozak (Denver) and Christian Hanson (Notre Dame). The Leafs might want to keep expectations low. On April 1, 2006, Burke signed Cornell G David McKee for Anaheim and gave him a huge signing bonus. He is currently with the Bakersfield Condors in the ECHL.
Mikhail Grabovski of the Leafs hits Andrei Markov of the Canadiens early in the thrid period.. Grabovski received two for boarding and a misconduct. Markov did not return.
from Joe O’Conner of the National Post,
It was not his fault. Not entirely. He did not start it. He was just trying to defend himself from an angry mob of Boston Bruins. They were coming at him in waves: Terrible Teddy Green, Johnny (Pie) McKenzie, Johnny Bucyk and Gerry Cheevers. Everybody. The Boston bench was empty. Even the Bruins fans were coming at him, throwing punches and beers and God knows what else over the glass at the old Boston Garden.
It was hockey mayhem on April 2, 1969. It was the last NHL game Forbes Kennedy would ever play.
added 3:36pm, Thanks to a pointer left in the comments, I have added a video of the start of the incident below…
The Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to terms with highly-touted free agent forward Tyler Bozak from the University of Denver Pioneers, sources tell Sportsnet.
A strong two-way centre, Bozak has been generating league-wide interest since his freshman year with as many as 25 NHL teams trying to get his name on a contract.
continued and a highlight reel of Bozak can be watched below…
Instead of pointing to the numerous Brian Burke stories today, I thought I would just post the video of Burke talking about his future plans for the Leafs.
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
The National Hockey League has disciplined the Toronto Maple Leafs for their handling of defenceman Jonas Frogren’s contract last summer.
Sources say the Leafs have been fined $500,000 for paying Frogren a $755,000 signing bonus which violated the CBA. The Maple Leafs will also have to pay an additional penalty in the form of a draft pick.
It’s believed Frogren used a portion of the signing bonus, $400,000 to get out of the final year of his contract with Farjestad of the Swedish Elite League.
from Michael Traikos of the National Post,
When Ron Wilson stepped behind the bench of the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer, he knew he was taking over a team that was in the first year of a long-term rebuilding project. He knew that developing players - not qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs - was the immediate objective. And he knew that there would be “bumps and pratfalls and potholes in the road ahead.”
Of course, knowing the NHLseason would end this way does not make accepting it any easier.
“You want to play in the playoffs,” Wilson said. “That’s what I’m used to; going at least two rounds, if not farther for the last four years, so that will be a little tough to take.”
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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