Top-10 UFA Countdown: #1 Justin Williams

Kent Wilson
June 30 2015 01:00PM

It's an indication of the strength of this particular UFA crop that Justin Williams comes in number 1 on our list. That's not to take anything away from the 33 year old, who has been a high-end winger for years. But his age and the fact that he's only scored in the 40-point range the last two seasons goes to show there isn't a lot of franchise changing players available to sign this summer. 

Despite those concerns, Williams remains a very useful player, in part because his value doesn't merely come from his offense. As one of the few wingers who has proven he can push possession over the years, Williams is a guy who can play up and down the line-up and provide quality minutes to whoever inks him.

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Your Pre-Free Agency Kessel Speculation Roundup

Jon Steitzer
June 30 2015 12:32PM

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Kessel trade rumours are a dead horse that keeps on getting beaten. A Kessel trade would be the most important transaction of the summer. As much as I’d love the topic to go away, the second sentence is as equally true as the first, and the day before free agency opens and the entire league shifts into transaction mode, it’s worth touching on potential developments that matter regarding Phillip J. Kessel.

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Anthony Noreen Hired as Orlando Solar Bears Head Coach

Justin Fisher
June 30 2015 12:06PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs organization have made another coaching hire, but just maybe not quite as big as the Mike Babcock one. 

Former USHL bench boss Anthony Noreen has been named the new coach of the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears. Noreen had been the head coach of the Youngstown Phantoms since 2011, and won USHL Coach of the Year honours this season after leading the Phantoms to a 40-14-6 record. During his time in Youngstown, Noreen helped develop NHL prospects such as Winnipeg's Kyle Connor, Arizona's Maxim Letunov, and Toronto's very own J.J. Piccinich.

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Dzierkals to the QMJHL, Leafs Prospects Get WJC Camp Invites

Justin Fisher
June 30 2015 11:40AM

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It looks like 'The Latvian' will be heading to the QMJHL. 

In this morning's CHL Import Draft, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies selected Martins Dzierkals with the 22nd overall pick. 

Dzierkals, of course, was selected by the Leafs with their third round pick, 68th overall, on the second day of the NHL Entry Draft this past Saturday. Following the draft, The Globe and Mail's James Mirtle tweeted that Dzierkals was likely to come over and continue his development in the CHL.

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Detroit Get Their Babcock Fix, Leafs Send Out a Camp Invite

Jon Steitzer
June 30 2015 08:18AM

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Ken Holland has a problem. He’s been waking up in the night with cold sweats, invisible bugs are crawling on him constantly that he has to scratch, and at least 20 seconds of every minute he’s thinking about where he’s gonna get his next fix. Ken Holland has a Mike Babcock addiction. Unfortunately for him, it’s become an expensive addition to have, especially if you want pure Mike Babcock, the market is limited and Toronto isn’t selling any of their good stuff. This has left the Red Wings in search of a new supply, and they’ve found the next best thing.

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