Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 05 2016 01:49PM
Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
The Toronto Marlies are the best team in the American Hockey League, and it isn't even close. You probably already knew this, though, especially if you're a regular to our coverage here on The Leafs Nation. But I was curious just how far ahead they were of this year's crop. With that considered, I dug into the numbers to see how wide the gap was. The results? Well..
February 05 2016 10:46AM
Boz Lightyear to the rescue!
February 05 2016 10:29AM
Sure he's the Leafs' best forward, and sure he's on one of the best non-entry level contracts in the NHL, but the idea of trading James van Riemsdyk may not be as far-fetched as it would initially seem. van Riemsdyk is likely the only forward on the Maple Leafs that would fetch the organization an elite return, seeing as he's in the prime of his career and is the type of winger that every team would love to add to their top-6.
He's still young, cap-friendly, and would look awfully nice next to William Nylander for the next few years. So why would the Leafs want to trade him? Well, they wouldn't necessarily want to trade him, but if there is a move to be made that can improve the future of the team then moving the young winger might be a good idea. If they can move van Riemsdyk for a top-pair young defender then it is probably in the team's best interest to do so.
As bad as the Leafs are right now, we can see a future in the organization. With players like Nylander, Mitch Marner, Andreas Johnson, Kasperi Kapanen, Connor Brown, Brendan Leipsic, and Jeremy Bracco in the system, there is far more talent in the prospect pool than there has been in a long time. The problem is that every name mentioned is a forward. Sure there are are a few defensive prospects in Rinat Valiev, Travis Dermott and Andrew Nielsen, but they are all far from a sure thing and there definitely isn't the kind of blue-chip talent we see in the forward group. With some big time NHL defensemen rumored to be on the trade block, the Leafs would be foolish not to at least make a phone call and see if any can be had for van Riemsdyk.
Here are the five teams I believe would be the most likely landing spots for JVR...
February 05 2016 06:52AM
Hey TLNers, and welcome to a new weekly special we'll be sending your way every Friday from here on out. It's the brand new TLN Report Card!
Here's the scoop. You will get to give a big thumbs up or big thumbs down to every player on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster. Yes! You! You get the power to judge professional athletes on their job performance! With just one click! Think of how good that will feel! And, as a community, we'll let the entire world know just how much we adore Mo Rielly, and how little we think of... Oh, I don't know... Roman Polak?
So, what do you think? Who do you like? Who do you not? Who impressed you this week? Who stunk? Who do you want to get a fat contract extension? Who would you like to throw into an active volcano?
Nation World HQ
February 05 2016 05:30AM
Roberto Luongo fuels Stamkos to Leafs, Canucks looking to sell, Jets have a Byfuglien conundrum, Wideman suspended 20 games, Flames roster impact now and at trade deadline, Connor McDavid is back if you didn't hear, All-star weekend madness, trade deadline wish lists and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.