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Simmons on the Leafs’ unstoppable forces, the NHL’s not-so-quiet summer and Ilitch’s health

Among the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons' sports notes...

Lou Lamoriello is an autocrat. Although, a former NHL general manager referred to him the other day as a dictator. Mike Babcock is somewhat of an autocrat as a coach. It’s his way or the highway. Jacques Lemaire is about as rigid as they come. What’s going to be fascinating is how these men of large minds, large egos, and total belief in their own ways find a way to work together. The Leafs could be way more interesting off the ice than on it ...

I see where young Auston Matthews, likely first pick in the 2016 NHL entry draft, will be paid $400,000 to play in Zurich this season. That’s slightly more than the going rate for under the table money in the OHL ...

The NHL’s summer? Superstar Patrick Kane investigated; Ryan O’Reilly arrested; Slava Voynov off to jail; Jarret Stoll caught with cocaine; Mike Richards, first investigated, then had his contract voided; And the Canadian dollar just keeps on dropping. And how was your summer? ...

This will surprise some Leaf fans: Dave Nonis, the fired general manager, had three offers to join NHL teams before deciding to take a senior consultant’s job with the Anaheim Ducks. Among the teams interested in Nonis were the Montreal Canadiens ...

And this one, we're familiar with in Metro Detroit, because far, far more of a stretch than it's made out to be in the out-of-town circles:

Many who admire Mike Ilitch, owner of the Red Wings and Tigers, are concerned about his ability to properly operate his franchises. Ilitch is 86, not in the best health, and there is a lot of family interference around him these days. The Dombrowski firing seemed odd as did the quick hiring of Alex Avila to replace him.

Simmons continues and comments on the Patrick Kane situation...

Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, auston+matthews, dave+nonis, detroit+red+wings, jacques+lemaire, jarret+stoll, lou+lamoriello, mike+babcock, mike+ilitch, mike+richards, patrick+kane, ryan+o'reilly, slava+voynov, toronto+maple+leafs


thethirdcoast's avatar

The three-headed (maybe more?) monster in TO will be interesting at best, a complete tire fire at worst.

The NHL is a much more competitive situation than the 2010 Winter Olympics, and I’m sure there will be times in the near future where tempers flare.

Posted by thethirdcoast from Rochester, NY on 08/16/15 at 03:39 AM ET

Alan's avatar

The NHL is a much more competitive situation than the 2010 Winter Olympics, and I’m sure there will be times in the near future where tempers flare.

Now would be a great time to stock up on popcorn. Hockey season is near, after all, and I for once can’t wait to see what train wrecks this season has to offer us.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 08/16/15 at 04:16 AM ET

Chet's avatar

simmons is garbage. accept and move on.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/16/15 at 06:08 AM ET

Chet's avatar

also, everybody making these comments about how the leafs will be a dumpster fire should probably back off. whatever dysfunction they had is all but stamped out with a coach who is noninsense and makes more than most of the team. nobody is safe, there will be no bullshit. if anything, it could be an issue of too many cooks, but i don’t see it. if babcock is really the best, this is a playoff team… i’m not saying count on it, in fact far from it, but they’re not going to be an embarrassment much longer. they’re in our division. get used to it.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/16/15 at 06:45 AM ET


Simmons may be garbage but he is spot on regarding Ilitch.  The way the whole Dombrowski situation was handled was “un-Ilitch” like.  I think his son, Chris, is running things, which is like Don Corleone turning over the family business to Fredo.  Dark days are ahead when the patriarch can no longer run things.  Obviously the in state media won’t have the guts to say anything given the pull the family has in Detroit.

Posted by bababooey on 08/16/15 at 11:08 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by bababooey on 08/16/15 at 11:08 AM ET


If you credit the last ~2 years to Dombrowski, he’s deserving of being fired. The moves the team has made have been completely spastic—moves that simultaneously say “we’re still going for it” and “we’re worried about money.”

The other possibilities are that someone in the ownership has been pulling the strings, perhaps against Dombrowski’s will, but even then it could be as much Mike as his kids. Or both, which might explain the somewhat contradictory moves. Who really knows?

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/17/15 at 01:50 PM ET

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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.

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