September 19 2014 08:43AM
Since his arrival from Nashville in 2011, Cody Franson hasn't had a fair shake as a Leaf. The trade was a steal (thank you, Lebda), but the 6-foot-5 defender hasn't been utilized to his full potential. The penchant for Franson to make 'the big mistake' has put him in the coach's doghouse on numerous occasions and given Leafs management some commitment issues. After signing yet another one-year deal, Franson becomes a UFA after this season. With a glut of defensemen on the roster, his days as a Leaf are probably numbered.
September 14 2014 09:30AM
You've been introduced to the young guns, now it's time for the big boys. Everyday, from now until the season opener, you'll get to know your favourite Leafs just a little bit better thanks to the beautiful people at TLN.
The first Leaf on the docket is arguably the most important Leaf: goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
That's funny to say in hindsight, because a large section of Leafs fans were adamant the Leafs didn't need him, period. The Leafs already had a great young goalie; one that took them to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Considering James Reimer's play during the lockout-shortened season, acquiring Bernier seemed unnecessary compared to other (still) pressing needs.
But the Leafs defensive ineptitude quickly proved that in order to even get a sniff of the playoffs, they would need Bernier and every single ounce of elite goaltending they could get out of him. And even that wasn't enough for a historically deficient team.
September 03 2014 08:30AM
Greg McKegg's path to the NHL has been a bit up and down to say the least.
That bumpy road has made it difficult to peg where his potential lies and how soon he can reach it (if that). The voting by the Leafs Nation staff made that pretty clear. Three of the nine writers put him firmly inside the top 10, two right at 10, while four had him outside. He may have improved one spot from his pre-season ranking last year, but dropped one from the mid-season ranking.
McKegg's journey begins with the 2007-2008 OHL Priority Selection where the Erie Otters chose him second overall. The following year he made his rookie debut with a modest 18 points. In his draft year he made a gigantic leap scoring 85 points in 67 games, but still, some scouts questioned whether his point totals were McKegg's own ability or a product of who he was playing with (which is funny in hindsight considering where Zach Torquato and Mike Cazzola are playing now). McKegg slipped to the third round where the Leafs gladly scooped him up at 62nd overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
When he was drafted, I'll admit, I had no idea who he was because I'd never seen him play. But I saw he had lots of points and an awesome name. To me that was enough convincing. I thought there was no way he wouldn't be an NHLer someday based on those factors alone.
August 04 2014 09:30AM
It’s August. With PK Subban finally signing a monster eight year deal with the Habs, hockey news has become scarce.
It’s surprising that it took the Canadiens that long to figure it out with their franchise player, and for a while it looked like the two sides were miles apart.
What was more surprising to me was that Subban signed for eight years.
Why is that surprising? It’s because Subban is from Toronto and everyone knows that every kid from Toronto only dreams of playing for the Leafs.
He was slated to be a UFA in 2016 along with superstar centre Steven Stamkos. The two grew up in the GTA and even played on the same team for some time (pictured above).
They could’ve done it again, playing for their hometown team, the team they grew up with. It would’ve been glorious.
June 16 2014 12:58PM
The Leafs are very far away from being Cup contenders - that much is obvious. How far away is a different question though. To measure that, you have to compare them to the teams that have won. Over the last five years there have only been three winners. Los Angeles. Chicago. Boston.
To even compare the Leafs to these teams is unfair, I’ll admit, but it’s a necessary comparison because the goal is to be as good as those teams are. The goal is to contend for the Cup year in and year out. And the goal is obviously to win it.
So we need to see what separates the Leafs from these three teams, and to do that we need to define what makes a team good at hockey, because a good team wins playoff games.