September 01 2016 10:55AM
Today, a debate formed on Hockey Twitter regarding moves made by Dave Nonis. Specifically, which was the worst. TLN's own Drag Like Pull had this as his entry:
Probably Bozak, especially when you consider they chose him over Grabovski. https://t.co/WfvFkaM2jl— Draglikepull (@draglikepull) August 28, 2016
And, former TLN blogger and current member of The Blogger's Tribune, Tom Hunter, had this as a response:
For the last couple years Bozak at $4.2m is far better than Grabo at$5.5m. If you don't see that, you're dealing with some pretty sever bias— Tom Hunter (@PuckDontLie) August 28, 2016
This is clearly a tired debate. It happened 3 years ago, and I think it formed out of yearning for hockey to finally start. Nonetheless, I'd like to dig into it a bit and present why I think Grabovski is still a better hockey player than Bozak. And as follows, that the better move would have been to let Bozak walk and keep Grabovski, instead using a compliance buyout on him.
August 31 2016 07:00AM
William "Bill Ny" Nylander is the 3rd ranked player in this year's TLN Top 20 Prospects. Called by many the most skilled player in his draft year (which looks like it could prove to be true), the Leafs were ecstatic to select this young Swedish player, the son of former NHLer Michael Nylander. Since joining the Maple Leafs, Bill Ny has done nothing but impress.
August 26 2016 07:00AM
Connor Brown, former Erie Otter and lifelong Leafs fan, comes in at number 6 in our rankings. Similar to yesterday's piece on 7th placed 7th round pick Andreas Johnson, 6 is also the number of rounds it took for someone to take a chance on Connor Brown. Now, we're all thankful that that someone was Brian Burke's Maple Leafs.
The right winger has been a sincere bright spot in the organization for some time. He was drafted at a time when Tyler Biggs was a top prospect for the Leafs. Because of this, many, including myself, hold a soft spot for him. What the future holds for Brown should be nothing but gravy, given that he was a 6th round pick, but my expectations for him remain quite high.
August 18 2016 07:32AM
I feel Brendan Leipsic is one of the most overlooked prospects within the Maple Leafs' development system. It's a simple case, really. Leipsic is one of a plethora of under-6'0" wingers that the Leafs have ownership of. It's not hard to lower your expectations of him when there isn't that much pressure for him to succeed. Not everyone can get an NHL job and so if it's one of the other small wingers instead of Leipsic, no one will be upset.
But it's important to pay attention to Leipsic, as he brings a lot of tools to the game that maybe the others do not. I sincerely believe that, if given an opportunity, he'll have a successful first NHL season next year.
August 03 2016 07:40AM
Near the end of the season, on my personal Blogspot Leafs From Rivers, I kicked off a series of posts discussing predictions of how the Leafs would settle with their restricted free agents (RFAs). Now that all of them have signed contracts, I wanted to take some time to review how I did.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete posts in time on Joshua Leivo and Morgan Rielly, so they are absent from this list. The way I structured each post was I gave an optimistic, realistic, and pessimistic outlook on how the situation might settle, in order to make it feel less "crystal ball"-ish. All the individual posts are linked below so if you're looking for some detail on where I got the numbers, or if you want my take on quick player analyses on each of those players, please take a look.