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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Lou Lamoriello Is On The Last Year Of His Contract

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The most intriguing impending free-agent season for any member of the Toronto Maple Leafs arguably belongs to the man in the big chair.

Lou Lamoriello found himself in the final year of his contract as the team opened training camp on Thursday morning after going through the off-season without receiving an extension, sources tell Sportsnet.

The veteran general manager remains on the original three-year deal he signed with Toronto in the summer of 2015. His future, and a potential front-office succession plan, could become a significant subplot around the team in the months ahead.

Of course, the Leafs and Lamoriello will do whatever they can to keep it a footnote.

Senior members of the organization generally refuse to discuss their contracts as a matter of course. In fact, there’s no guarantee a public announcement would even accompany a new deal at the executive level – although sources insist that hasn’t happened with Lamoriello to date.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: lou+lamoriello

Afternoon Line- Brendan Shanahan

“I’m a little hesitant, at the end of the day we got into the playoffs in our 81st game, we didn’t get past the first round and yet still there was a lot of happiness and joy and optimism about where we can go.

“You know, you have to do it, and we understand that there’s a lot of work ahead of us.”

-Brendan Shanahan, President of the Toronto Maple Leafs on the hype surrounding the Leafs.  Chris Johnston of Sportsnet has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s Called Destiny Toronto

from Steve Simmons at the National Post,

You can see a Stanley Cup from here.

Maybe for the first time since the Stanley Cup season of 1967, you can see it.

You can envision it. You can believe in it. You can close your eyes and actually picture Gary Bettman calling Auston Matthews — assuming he will eventually be granted the captaincy — to come up and grab the Cup.

The Toronto Maple Leafs: future Stanley Cup champion.

This isn’t a dream or a joke, it’s a path. It’s a destination. The seemingly impossible eventually becoming possible. For most of our lives, we haven’t known anything like this at all. You could hope, but it was never realistic. You could predict, but it wasn’t logical. There hasn’t been a Maple Leafs team in 50 years that looked to be the anywhere near the part of champion in September — and even that old 1967 team, and they were old, didn’t begin the season as any kind of favourites.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

James van Riemsdyk’s Time In Toronto May Be Coming To An End This Season

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

It’s the more expensive older players — those facing free agency, those seeking big raises as well — whose time as a Maple Leaf is likely limited.

On top of that list is James van Riemsdyk.

At 28, he’s in his prime. He notched a career-high 62 points last season, ranking him ninth among left-wingers. His 118 goals since 2012-13 — the season he became a Leaf — is eighth among left-wingers in that time.

He earns a cap-friendly $4.25 million this season and is said to be asking around $6 million on an extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.

If the Leafs truly want to acquire a defenceman — believed to be their biggest hole — then van Riemsdyk is their biggest chip. His name came up over the summer in trade talk and will surely continue into the season.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: james+van+riemsdyk

Video- Patrick Marleau After His First Skate With The Leafs

Patrick Marleau on his new team and city.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: patrick+marleau

Auston Matthews’ Summer

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

If there’s a sophomore jinx perched like a buzzard outside the Air Canada Centre, it must first overcome a rested, robust Matthews, who has had none of last summer’s distractions these past few months.

No world championships, draft hype or busy appearance schedule that had him crisscrossing two continents from March until late June. No NHL scouting combine or a World Cup in September, filming TV bits or time needed to get settled in Toronto.

After coming off the ice Friday with Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, Nikita Zaitsev and the rest of the young Leafs, Matthews underlined how a quiet summer could help, approaching main Leaf camp in less than two weeks.

“For sure,” he said. “It was nice not having so much stuff going on around you, being so hectic with the combine, the draft and everything. It was more relaxing. It was nice to spend a little more time training.”

Matthews is singing the praises of Pilates, a fitness system designed to alleviate back pain and improve balance. It's an ideal workout for a 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounder who feels the slings and arrows for 82 regular season games.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: auston+matthews

A New Name For The ACC

from Rick Westhead of TSN,

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment has agreed to a landmark 20-year sponsorship agreement with Scotiabank to rename the Air Canada Centre, TSN has learned.

The agreement is worth about $800 million (Canadian), according to three sources familiar with the matter. Under MLSE’s previous agreement with Air Canada, struck in 1999, the airline paid about $4 million per year.

The agreement with Scotiabank, which will see the downtown Toronto arena renamed the Scotiabank Arena next July 1, is believed to be the highest-priced annual building and team sponsorship in North American sports history.

David Hopkinson, MLSE’s chief commercial officer, said in an interview that he received serious offers for the arena naming rights from eight companies.


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All Eyes On The Leafs

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

The Leafs are about to truly take centre stage in this city, and the hope is that this team’s high-end youngsters will be able to handle all that’s going to be coming at them. Well, it’s up to Babcock to make sure they do.

This is the year when Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Morgan Rielly et al need to consistently demonstrate that a commitment to a total team game is now a must if you want to get regular ice time with this hockey club. Draft pick Carl Grundstrom arrives from Sweden, ostensibly to skate for the Marlies. He needs to see the correct attitude from those young players already with the big club. Timothy Liljegren, the team’s top pick last June, needs to get the right message early and often.

Patrick Marleau arrives, turning 38 on Sept. 15, and there are few more consistent, committed players in the league than Marleau. But it’s Babcock, with Lamoriello’s backing, who needs to lay the hammer down early and often with this group of youngsters, some of whom will have spent the summer months being told how great they are by friends, family and well-wishers.

Maybe they’ve diligently gone about their off-season workout regimen, maybe they haven’t. It’s not easy to stay focussed while being adored. The subject of the millions of dollars that await Matthews, Marner and Nylander, meanwhile, is already a constant subject of discussion, and who could blame those young men if they are convinced goals will get them that money more than backchecking or shot-blocking.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

The Toronto Maple Leafs Need To Be A Hungry Team

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

The first obstacle the Maple Leafs have to overcome at training camp will be overconfidence.

Born of a strong showing in 2016-17, an unexpected playoff appearance, a raft of rookie scoring records and personal bests by others, the Leafs will enter camp in a few weeks with something of a swagger. Just don’t get too far ahead of yourself, advises village elder James van Riemsdyk.

“We had guys who played great last year,” the 28-year-old left winger conceded Tuesday as he joined the team’s summer workouts, “but when you lose in the playoffs, you have to improve. You can’t be content because things are always changing. If you get content, then you’re not looking far enough ahead about what we can do as a whole and you don’t keep taking those steps forward.”


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

It’s All About Winning Now For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun,

Look, the fierce clash between angst and excitement that squared off through Leafs Nation Sunday at the announcement that the Leafs are shelling out a cap hit of $6.25 million over each of the next three years for a player who will be 38 on opening night this coming October is understandable.

Is it a panic move a la the Brian Burke era, where plans to stay the course for a rebuild were derailed by the lure of veteran free agents? Remember Mike Komisarek?

Or is it a shrewd realization that quick actions like this must be taken before budding superstar Auston Matthews and his handlers come looking to win the lottery in his next contract, the league’s financial landscape having been altered by the reported eight-year deal worth in excess of $13 million per season that the Oilers’ Connor McDavid is on the verge of receiving?

Whichever side you take in this argument, there is no debating this point: The addition of Marleau signifies the Maple Leafs are in a win-now mode, like it or not.

Knowing that big paydays are in store for kids such as Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander in the near future, general manager Lou Lamoriello identified a narrow window for this move to be made. Matthews and Marner have two years remaining on their entry level deals and are on pace to break the bank.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com


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