Kukla's Korner Hockey
Another tweet from McKenzie,
The pick in TOR-CBJ is a conditional 5th. If Harrington is put on waivers by CBJ and gets claimed, CBJ gets a 5th. If he clears, no pick.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Now he becomes the most important player to pull on a Leafs sweater in more than three decades.
The team will be mindful not to bill him as such, but after essentially punting on the 2015-16 season to set itself up for the chance to pick No. 1, it’s tough to conclude otherwise. Matthews is the organization’s first top draft choice since Wendel Clark in 1985 and stands to become the cornerstone piece of a long-overdue rebuild.
Scouts project him out as a high-end No. 1 centre – the Leafs haven’t had one of those since Mats Sundin – and some compared him to Joe Sakic during a draft year where he dominated the Swiss League while playing for the Zurich Lions.
That Matthews will enter the NHL as a player of high interest during its centennial season is only fitting. Roughly 25 years have passed since the league embarked on a sunbelt expansion strategy designed to attract new fans and players to the sport.
He instantly becomes a poster child for that movement.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
...the Toronto Maple Leafs select Auston Matthews,
added 5:08pm, Ducks release is below...
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The rebuilding Leafs also have the 30th, 31st and 57th picks among 12 selections in this week's draft. They've also got three second-round picks, plus their first-round pick, among their 2017 draft picks; all are a result of the selling off of parts over the past two years.
The question is whether some of those picks either this week or next year all become Maple Leafs prospects, or are some of them dealt away in trades to upgrade the team?
Veteran Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello said Monday his team is ready for both options.
"Certainly we're ready to draft -- [Leafs draft guru] Mark Hunter and his group have done a tremendous job -- they’re ready," Lamoriello said over the phone. "But if opportunities come about, you certainly have to be open to them."
The bottom line is that the Leafs are open for business.
read on plus notes on Boston, Pittsburgh, Dallas and Carolina...
from Alex Prewitt of Sports Illustrated,
After the fish and fists flew, the rookies rose up and the fines came down, the first and still only comeback from an 0-3 deficit in Stanley Cup Final history was recapped by Toronto forward Syl Apps, whose words spilled from the noisy home dressing room at Maple Leaf Gardens.
“By jiminy!” he cried out, according to the Canadian Press.
Ten years after the franchise’s last title, as war raged in the Pacific and European theaters, the 1942 Maple Leafs had roared back against the Red Wings. The heroes included a pair of brothers, including one summoned into substitute duty before Game 4, and the witnesses for the decisive Game 7 included 16,218 fans, the largest Canadian crowd ever recorded. Before long, the improbability of the event was being placed into historical context.
“Generations of hockey players yet unborn will hear time and again the story of the 1942 playoffs—the most exciting in the 50-year history of the Stanley Cup,” wrote John N. Sabo of the Detroit Free Press, two days after Toronto capped its revival with a 3-1 win.
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
Larry Murphy one more time.
To the most cynical of Maple Leaf followers — and few bands of collectively-minded folk have more reason to be cynical — you can see why it might feel that way.
Just as Murphy was booed as a Leaf and transferred to Detroit only to become a Stanley Cup champion twice (!!) as a Red Wing, here we are in 2016 with Phil Kessel, a reluctant star found wanting as a franchise player in Toronto, just four wins away from earning a Stanley Cup ring with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Same rotten deal, right?
Well, not quite. Murphy was traded in 1997 for future considerations, which were essentially nothing. Kessel, to boil it down, was dealt to Pittsburgh for a first-round pick next month and prospects Kasperi Kapanen and Scott Harrington, as well as $47.6 million (U.S.) worth of extremely valuable salary cap relief spread over seven seasons....
The similarity is Murphy wasn’t flourishing as a Leaf when he was traded but did so in Detroit, where he was surrounded by a much stronger roster. Kessel is having a heckuva playoff, but it’s useful to point out that on a talented Pittsburgh team he’s doing so as a third-liner facing third defence pairings, a big difference from his days as a Leaf when he always received first-line minutes against the best opposition checkers.
more below including two videos...
Mike Babcock, who is at the World Hockey Championship, sits down with Darren Dreger to discuss how good he thinks Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine could be, how either could help turn around a franchise, why Mitch Marner is an "unbelievable talent", and the bright future of the Maple Leafs.
Watch at TSN, 16 1/2 minutes long...
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
“It’s been a good week for the Leafs,” Babcock said Tuesday. “We’re in a way better situation than we were a year ago — night-and-day different.
“We’re excited about it. Our minor-league team is in the second round, got a lot of real good players who are going to play in the NHL for a long, long time. We’ve got good players in junior. We have lots of draft picks this year. We plan on having a real strong draft. That sets us up.
“The real good teams end up with 10-year runs. That’s what we’re hoping to do. It will take us some time to get where we want to be, but we’re obviously trending in the right direction.”...
“I don’t know if we’re going to have a better record or not, I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it,” Babcock said. “What I worry about is the process.
“We’re going to have much better players. They’re going to be way younger, but they’ll be way better players with much bigger upside. We’re going to be more fun to watch. If we stick with the process, we’ve got a chance to be better than we were last year, which isn’t saying much, but still trending in the right direction. That’s the key.”
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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