Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
To deny the significance of possession stats in hockey is to be on the wrong side of history. Before Tuesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the wrong side of history.
Suddenly, after a significant front-office shakeup, the organization is at the forefront of a movement that has already began to shift the industry … and will soon reshape it entirely.
The surprising decision to hire 28-year-old Kyle Dubas as assistant general manager does not guarantee that the Leafs will be transformed into a Stanley Cup contender. However, it is a tacit acknowledgement that new methods must be used to evaluate talent and build teams.
The times, they are a-changin’.
from the Toronto Maple Leafs,
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today the hiring of Kyle Dubas, who served the past three seasons as General Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, as Assistant General Manager to David Nonis.
As part of a front office restructuring, the club also announced the departures of Vice President of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin and Vice President and Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle.
“Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” said Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.”
“At the same time, I would like to thank Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle for their tireless dedication during their time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are both very accomplished hockey executives who have helped put this team in a position to take the next step.”
from Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post,
The Leafs are still willing to entertain discussion, but aside from a summertime free agent signing or two, the roster of players assembled now will very likely be the roster the team fields heading into training camp this fall.
“There’s still a couple little pieces there that we may have interest in,” Nonis said. “But we’ll see. There’s a few players where we’ve kicked the tires, and we’ll see if there’s a fit. But by and large, what we have right now is what we’re going to start with.”...
The Leafs still have two restricted free agents left to sign. Defenceman Jake Gardiner is one, and goaltender James Reimer — the one-time starter who had been hoping to move to a different team — is another.
There will be money left to spend beyond those two, which is why Nonis has been able to poke around the remainder bin of the unrestricted free agent market. Largely, though, the roster will look familiar to the one from last year, with most of the changes made to the blue line.
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.
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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