Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Cathal Kelly of the Globe and Mail,
Though Carlyle is not really his guy, Nonis knows he’s the next man on the plank if the coach gets the sack. No one in this organization wants Carlyle to thrive more.
The new wonks in assistant GM roles have begun to assert themselves, after the early clipping of enforcers Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren.
It’d suit them in the short term if the Leafs do well, since they’ll naturally be connected to a combination of fresh thinking and positive results. If things go sideways early – and Toronto is looking at a very tough month of October – they’ll take the heat from traditionalists. They also need Carlyle to succeed, for now.
Above them all sits the real power – Shanahan. His position is simple. Whatever happens to the Leafs or Carlyle this year, Shanahan wins.
If the Leafs make the playoffs, Shanahan takes the credit. That’s natural. Between last year and this one, he’s the most visible thing that changed. All of his options are still open if that happens. He can stick with things as they are, and reference continuity. He can make huge changes, and reference improvement.
from Bruce Arthur of the Toronto Star,
Brendan Shanahan is comfortable with words, but he can’t figure out how to describe how he feels, one day before the season begins. It’s not nervous, precisely. Interested? No, much stronger than that. He hits one. “Alive,” he says in his office at the MasterCard practice facility, which overlooks the ice. “I’m struggling to find it, but it’s like the feeling I used to have before a season. It’s a mixture of excitement, fear, adrenaline.” Alive.
It took a long time for Shanahan to circle back to the beginning, but here he is. When he was a boy in the Toronto suburb of Mimico, the youngest of four brothers, he would run with his older siblings through the same streets he drives now when he comes to practice. He left at 16 to play junior in London; he was, to his great surprise, in the NHL at age 18. He played his second ever NHL game here, a Leafs home opener. He returned to his high school’s dance the night before.
“It was completely natural to go,” Shanahan says. “My friends were still in high school. It wasn’t dumb to go. What was dumb was to tell one of my teammates where I was going.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
The Star got an exclusive sneak peek Monday at what’s new at the ACC, changes that treat fans like the sophisticated hockey watchers they are — less intrusive during the action, and less commercial. It should definitely make the place louder, like most other rinks.
“We were just looking to change the philosophy,” said Shannon Hosford, vice-president of marketing and communications for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. “It was time.”
Hokey is one word to describe the in-game experience of the past decade, despite many fan-friendly advances in technology that have livened things up elsewhere....
Gone are some of the more sophomoric events such as slingshot hockey and goalie races during intermissions. Instead, the between-periods focus will be on the game itself, with more — and better — replays on the over-the-ice screen. Also out are many of the corporate promotions that often interrupted the excitement as it was building.
“Anything that’s a little gimmicky, we’re getting away from that,” said Hosford. “They’re sophisticated fans. They’re here to watch the game, enjoy the game.”
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
The Maple Leafs are being penalized for their own popularity.
So says coach Randy Carlyle, who admits to being “flabbergasted and frustrated” by the Leafs’ schedule, especially pertaining to their appearances on Hockey Night In Canada.
What bothers Carlyle most is “they want us playing on Saturday nights because it’s good business for them. But what frustrates me is how often we’re playing on Friday night before and the team we’re playing on Saturday night is resting and waiting to play us. That’s not right.”
The Leafs play seven back-to-back Friday-Saturday games this season. In six of those games, their opponent isn’t playing the night before.
continued plus more hockey topics...
from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun,
Try out this scenario: The Leafs have banished fighters Frazer McLaren and Colton Orr and are embroiled in a match where they lead by a goal or two. The opposing coach sends out his tough guys in an effort to physically manhandle one of the Leafs’ skilled guys (like a Phil Kessel) or spark a fight to give his team a boost, which still happens in the NHL on a regular basis.
Instead of having McLaren or Orr to counter this move, the Leafs have to depend on one of their more skilled players to step up and face the other team’s enforcer and answer the bell.
Until the NHL bands physical contact altogether, teams simply can’t turn the other cheek. If Kessel gets pushed around, somebody has to step up in his defence. Team toughness? Okay, but do you want Kessel fighting back? Without Orr or McLaren, who steps up? David Clarkson (who fought nine times last season)? Joffrey Lupul (who fought four times)? Neither are heavyweights and could easily get hurt fighting a bonafide enforcer. Besides, does Carlyle want Lupul, one of the Leafs’ best goal scorers, serving a fighting major?
The story from Jonathon Gatehouse of MACLEANs can be read here...
"He's gotten better and more consistent, but if he's truly going to be a top guy and he wants to fall into that high-end category, those players don't go for swings where they are not competing, preparing and being prepared."
-Dave Nonis, GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nazem Kadri. More on Kadri from Dan Rosen of NHL.com.
via Daid Alter tweets,
Clarkson has a fractured orbital bone...doesn't require surgery. Expected back Friday.
David Booth out 4 weeks plus with a fractured foot
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi served by Jiri Sekac Elbowing (maj) - 5 min against Nate Schmidt
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Chris Brown
01:55 WSH Chris Brown served by Nathan Walker Instigator - 2 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Jarred Tinordi
01:55 MTL Jarred Tinordi Game misconduct - 10 min
01:55 WSH Chris Brown Misconduct (10 min) - 10 min
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