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The Leafs Have Been Here Before

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

Promising players such as Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnson are gone. Joe Thornton and Wayne Simmonds have arrived as replacements, formerly elite players signed at bargain prices to ease the salary-cap crunch but also to add character in lieu of the offensive stats they once produced.

If you know your Maple Leafs history, these manoeuvres are as old as the uniform itself. Once upon a time they even worked. Players such as Andy Bathgate, Red Kelly, Marcel Pronovost and Terry Sawchuk joined Punch Imlach’s Leafs in the 1960s after all-star careers with other NHL clubs. They helped the Leafs win multiple Stanley Cups....

Now come Thornton and Simmonds. The Leafs hope they can add character, along with a few goals. Maybe they can.

Simmonds has moved a lot late in his career — playing for Philadelphia, Nashville, New Jersey and Buffalo over the past two seasons. Thornton is a future Hall of Fame player, and has been one of the most approachable and amiable NHL personalities for years. Everybody loves Jumbo. The Leafs believe he’ll bring leadership and that elusive character, although the Sharks stripped him of the captaincy in 2014.

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

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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.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com