August 31 2012 01:16PM
Just to update you on some of the proceedings around The Leafs Nation HQ.
As a website, we've had a very good summer. Even without any Maple Leafs hockey to discuss, we're drawing people in to talk hockey and our readership has grown substantially. So to all of our new and returning readers, thanks.
Another order of business, Lindy's Sports' Leafs magazine recently dropped into newsstands. For $10, you can get cover-to-cover quality Leafs content, and there's quite a bit of TLN representation in there. JP Nikota, as well as our new man Gus Katsaros, are both prominently featured. I also have an article on the state of the Leafs' defence, fancystat-free, with a small exerpt here:
Phaneuf unquestionably headlines a developing squad of Toronto Maple Leaf defenders. He's seemingly that rare breed of player who somehow manages to be both overrated and underrated simultaneously. A midseason Sports Illustrated poll established Phaneuf, ostensibly, as the most overrated player in the game as voted by his fellow NHL players last season.
But the specific talents that Phaneuf displayed as a rookie in Calgary—a powerful shot from the point and a punishing physical presence in his own end—are only some of the qualities that make him a strong failure.
He's not a 20-goal scorer anymore: really, no defenceman in this day and age consistently is. He far less frequently put his defensive partner at risk by looking to make the big hit on an attacking forward. He's more mature in the way he plays his game: slower, more deliberate, and arguably, better.
It's basically a 2500-word appreciation of Dion Phaneuf.
Like I mentioned above, Gus has joined our team, and along with Steve Dangle, we've added a couple of previously established members of the Leafs' blogosphere.
We're still finding our place, but even in a lockout, we'll be pumping out original content. I've lived in Toronto for just under three months now, but am already starting to see that this is veritably a Leafs town. The Blue Jays have gotten some press, but the later the conversations go in restaurants and bars, the talk inevitably turns to the hockey team.
So we understand the passion, and we wouldn't be writing about hockey if we weren't also passionnate about the game and enjoy dissecting every moment. We'll try to keep up with some of the lockout coverage, but in the meantime we'll pin down the roles and the effectiveness of Toronto Maple Leafs players as well as focus on the junior aspect as well. The Leafs have a strong crop of rookies playing in the CHL and with the Marlies, and we'll try to get as much insider coverage from within junior rinks and Ricoh Coliseum as we can.
Again, buy the magazine, and thanks for reading.