Kukla's Korner Hockey
What would you award Cody Franson (stats)?
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
So when you ask Clarkson about the disappointment of last season, he’s swift to change the subject. You can’t blame him for not wanting to settle into a discussion of his worst year as a professional hockey player.
“It’s not a secret, right? At the end of the season, I obviously wasn’t happy,” Clarkson says. “No season goes the same, so you have to find a way to figure things out.
“So I went back to work right away and have been training as hard as I ever have. That’s what you have to do. There’s no summer where you train less than the one before. You look at how things went and work from there.”
Clarkson saw a two-and-a-half fewer minutes on the ice per night compared to his last year in Jersey; the third-highest-paid Leaf was seeing the 17th-most ice time (15:06). More critical, that 2:30 was all lost power-play time.
via the Toronto Maple Leafs,
David Nonis, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that the hockey club has signed forward Peter Holland to a two-year contract.
Holland, 23, played 39 games for the Maple Leafs in 2013-14 collecting 10 points (five goals, five assists) and 16 penalty minutes. He recorded a career best two goals and three points December 14 against Chicago. The 6-2, 194-pound forward also played 14 regular season games for the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies this past season during which he registered five goals and five assists with 10 penalty minutes. In 11 Calder Cup playoff games he led the Marlies in both goals (7) and points (15), while earning a (+6) plus/minus rating.
from Joe Yerdon at NHL.com,
When the Toronto Maple Leafs selected forward William Nylander with the eighth pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, they felt they were getting a great player. What has surprised the organization is how well Nylander handled being thrust into the spotlight during the team's prospect camp in Toronto.
Nylander joined 28 other prospects at MasterCard Centre this week, and the impression he left was overwhelmingly positive.
"He's been very impressive. And not to put pressure on a young player like that, I think the first step was just getting him here," Maple Leafs president of hockey operations Brendan Shanahan said. "What really impresses me about William, aside from the skill level he has, is just his character that he's shown since he's been here."
Not familar with Nylander's game, watch a highlight package below from the 2013-14 season...
from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,
The Toronto Maple Leafs want everything for their birthday.
And they’re telling the National Hockey League that they owe it to their fans to give it to them.
The team with the longest Stanley Cup drought is looking to host every other major NHL event—the All-Star Game, the NHL Draft and the Winter Classic, not to mention the anticipated 2016 World Cup of Hockey—leading up to or during the club’s 100th anniversary, to be celebrated throughout 2017.
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, recently told Sportsnet that the organization is in the process of bidding for all four events.
“It’s not a splash. I just think Toronto—it’s our 100th anniversary, and this is the greatest hockey city on Earth. I think we owe it to our fans. And we’re telling the league that they owe it to our fans,” Leiweke said. “They don’t disagree, but we’ve got to go through a process to win it. I think we’ll win it. I think we’ll get there. But we got to go bid on it.”
“I feel incredibly lucky. I mean, this when I say that I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity and privilege. I don’t ever want to play up the fact that I’m from here but I grew up a fan. In my 21-year career I had one eye on the Leafs, always had an interest in them, even when my interest was in beating them.
“This would mean so much to me, if we can put this together. It would certainly be something that I was most proud of.
“Going to the (league) and taking a step away from the game, not just going from playing for wins to coaching for wins, was a good lesson for me in the type of work that needs to be done in order to be successful, or to give yourself the best chance at being successful. I have a burning desire to make this work.”
-Brendan Shanahan, President of the Toronto Maple Leafs. More from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star.
Brendan Shanahan, President of the Toronto Maple Leafs, talked with the media today from the Leafs' prospect camp.
Some of the topics discussed were the prospects and the Leafs' UFA signings.
from Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star,
Mincing Gorges apart, the two most dramatic re-lo announcements in the hockey universe last week — Kesler and Spezza — had nothing to do with the cracking open of free agency season.
Leafs were a spectator to the trade events involving these rather whiny me-first players, starry as they may be. In any event, top line centres are not what they covet or need, though some might argue a more coach-able second-line pivot than Nazem Kadri wouldn’t be a bad idea. And perhaps Joffrey Lupul, whose numbers last year reflected the drag of laboring alongside poor-fit linemates, would say so most vocally, if spilling his guts.
The trade winds will likely now settle down into summer doldrums.
“The big money moves either early or late,” said Nonis. “I don’t think we’ll see those types of trades again until maybe closer to training camp.”
So, for those anxiously awaiting some significant announcement on the Dion Phaneuf front, take the rest of the summer to chill out. The interest expressed by a few teams earlier in the year, from trade deadline through mid-June, has waned, if primarily because Nonis was unimpressed with what was being offered in exchange.
from Stan Fischler at The Hockey News,
The 1950 semifinal between Toronto and Detroit ranks among the most intense post-season series in NHL history. This was due to Gordie Howe’s near death after an alleged butt-end. “L’Affaire Howe” ignited one of the longest-running hates in the game: Detroit GM Jack Adams vs. Toronto captain Ted ‘Teeder’ Kennedy. The primary witness was Toronto defenseman Gus Mortson who was there when the blood feud started and there again eight years later when Adams bitterly reaffirmed it to Mortson who had by then become a Red Wing.
Adams’ hatred for the Maple Leafs was already deep rooted and understandable by the time the 1950 playoffs began. After all, Toronto had won the previous three Cups, including a sweep of Detroit in the 1949 final. But now it was a year after that debacle and, led by Howe, the Wings were stronger than ever. “We can do it this year,” Adams boasted prior to the opening game. “We’ve got the team this year.”
And so they did, primarily because Howe had blossomed into a star, patrolling right wing on Detroit’s Production Line with captain Sid Abel at center and Ted Lindsay on the left side. But when the Leafs went up 4-0 in the opener at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium few expected what Toronto author Jack Batten described as “one of the most infamous and controversial events” in NHL history.
from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,
The Leafs once again raised ticket prices this season. One friend who has a pair of mid-level seats said the cost of his season tickets shot up 16 percent for 2014-15. What they need to show to their fans is that they’re in it to win it and what better way to do that than by giving a massive offer sheet to P.K. Subban?
I know what you’re about to say. Why would the Leafs do that if the Canadiens are just going to match the offer anyway? It’s a valid point, but let’s just say the Leafs get really aggressive and offer Subban a two-year deal at $12 million per season. Either way, they come out ahead because they either (a) get the player; or (b) put a division rival at a significant competitive disadvantage by forcing them to match the offer.
The Leafs would have to give up four first-round draft picks if they were to get Subban and there’s no getting around that. But would you rather pick 15th in the next four drafts or have P.K. Subban for two seasons and, most likely, beyond that?
Any team that signs Subban would have him for the next two years, which is plenty of time to get him signed to an eight-year deal. All the other defensemen of his ilk – Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, Alex Pietrangelo and Oliver Ekman-Larsson are signed to long-term contracts and aren’t going anywhere.
Subban would almost certainly look favorably upon a team that would give him that kind of deal. In fact, even if the Canadiens matched the offer, in two years when he becomes an unrestricted free agent, you’d have to think he’d look fondly upon a team that was most responsible for him getting $24 million over the previous two seasons.
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