Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Kristen Shilton of TSN,
Since being drafted seventh overall by the Maple Leafs in 2009, Nazem Kadri has grown accustomed to shouldering a certain amount of the spotlight and expectations in Toronto.
This season is different. Gearing up for his eighth NHL training camp later this month, the projected top-line centre for the Maple Leafs is happy to cede the limelight to the team’s up-and-comers.
“I don’t mind flying under the radar sometimes,” Kadri said after an informal practice at MasterCard Centre on Tuesday. “But at the same time, guys are expected to do a lot — maybe a little more this year than last year. But I think those guys know who they are and they’re ready to take responsibility and take action.”
Kadri intends to be among them. He endured another long off-season with plenty of golf and a trip to Helsinki to attend teammate Leo Komarov’s wedding. Kadri also took stock of his position with the Maple Leafs and how he could improve it for this coming season, the first on his new six-year, $27-million contract.
from Shawn Jeffords of the Toronto Sun,
It was news Toronto Maple Leafs fans didn’t wanted to hear.
And it’s clear John Tory’s staff didn’t want the mayor breaking it to Leafs Nation. But that was potentially the scenario when Tory faced questions in late June about being part of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s hush-hush meeting to woo Markham-born NHL superstar Steven Stamkos.
According to documents obtained by the Toronto Sun through a Freedom of Information request, media questions about a meeting between Stamkos, Tory and MLSE, put the mayor in the tough position of potentially have to break the devastating news to the city’s hockey fans before Stamkos made his announcement.
Tory’s staff knew the top free agent was staying in Tampa Bay before the general public, a series of e-mails show.
The regular season hasn’t started yet and the Maple Leafs may already be without a No. 1 goalie.
Frederik Andersen, who the Leafs acquired in a trade from Anaheim this summer, was pulled from an Olympic qualifying game on Friday. He was in net for Denmark as they took on Slovenia and the incident occurred in the final five minutes of regulation.
The 26-year-old Andersen was accidentally run into by his own teammate and reportedly stayed down on the ice for a few minutes before leaving the game. Denmark lost the game 3-0.
Watch the collision below...
from Kevin Mitchell of PostMedia Network/Toronto Sun,
Q: You say you want to be the best coach of your generation. What more do you need to do to get there? Do you think you’re there now?
Obviously, Joel Quenneville’s doing a heckuva job, too. There’s lots of good coaches, guys who make it hard on you, and that’s why you’ve got to keep grinding. I get to work with (Quenneville), Trotsy (Barry Trotz), Claude Julien and Bill Peters at this World Cup, and to me, being the best at what you do is embracing lifelong learning and getting better every day. Some people would think that’s a burden. To me, that’s where the joy is. That’s where the fun is. It’s what makes life good.
Q: You obviously took on a big challenge with the Leafs. Is it safe to say you’d cement that legacy, if you turn things around in Toronto?
It’s not if. It’s when. The second thing I’d say is yes — the Leafs opportunity is a big, big challenge. But we’re going to make it happen. It’s a great city, an unbelievable hockey market. And now we have to get the hockey team back to its rightful place.
via the Toronto Maple Leafs,
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday that the hockey club has signed free agent goaltender Jhonas Enroth to a one-year contract worth $750,000.
Enroth, 28, appeared in 16 regular season games with the Los Angeles Kings, posting a record of 7-5-1 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average. In 147 career regular season NHL games, Enroth has amassed a record of 50-66-15 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.80 goals against average. The Stockholm, Sweden native was originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round (46th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
“I think we have to put the centre red line (passing rule) back. (To prevent) injuries and because the game is being played the same now. You can pass from your zone all the way to the other line, deflect it in, go get it and shoot it out. Back and forth. If the centre line were back in, a lot of guys couldn’t play the game.
“If you have to carry that puck out of your end and make a pass, skate with it, it makes it different. I don’t think (removing the line) has increased the offence, nor has the trapezoid. It’s made it a dangerous game, guys flying out of their end, looking for that long stretch pass and bang, they’re being hit. These guys are so much bigger and faster than when I played.
“If you’re good enough to get to the NHL and they put the centre line back, don’t worry, they can adjust. Minor coaches watch NHL teams play and they want to coach like that. The kids aren’t skating with the puck or working on the fundamentals.”
-Bobby Orr. Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun has more from Brian Burke on changing the width of the rinks and also Brendan Shanahan on wooing Jimmy Vesey.
from Tal Pinchevsky of ESPN,
"I was expecting [the trade], it's a tough business. I was ready mentally for that," Bernier said. "I knew they were going to get someone. But to be honest I didn't expect a long-term deal like Freddy signed. At that point I knew it was better for me to go somewhere else because I wasn't in their future plan. That's why I'm excited."
It's a new challenge for Bernier, who has suddenly gone from being an undisputed No. 1 to battling for crease time with John Gibson, a potential franchise goalie who is four years Bernier's junior and is entering the first year of a three-year extension. But after a whirlwind three-year Toronto tenure that began with playoff hopes and ended with a top-to-bottom rebuild under new management, he hasn't been this close to a title since hoisting the Stanley Cup in 2012 as a backup with the Los Angeles Kings.
"They are big and physical and a skilled team. You need a team like that to go deep in the playoffs," Bernier said of the Ducks. "That's your goal as a hockey player: to be in the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup every year. I just feel I'm a lot closer with Anaheim than I was with Toronto."
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
Toronto Maple Leafs top draft pick Auston Matthews remained without a contract on Wednesday, the sticking point apparently over performance bonuses that GM Lou Lamoriello has historically avoided in his time as an NHL executive.
There is no reason to panic yet, with hockey still two months away.
But some find it a curious way to do to business for a team that has invested heavily in building through youth, and spent so much time selling the pain of losing to land a player of Matthews calibre.
“This one, to me, feels foolish,” an NHL source not involved in the talks told The Star. “I don’t know what Lou’s reward is if he wins for the amount of risk you take by going this direction.”
The Leafs not only risk alienating Matthews and his camp — souring future talks when Matthews will have more leverage — but they may be sending a negative message to players around the league about how the team treats stars, he said.
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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