Leafs talking price with Russell, along with competition

Ryan Hobart
July 01 2016 12:42PM

Nick Kypreos has a feeling that the Leafs are in a bidding war regarding Kris Russell:

Fighting with the Canadiens and Canucks, considering their track records lately, seems like a bad idea. Russell had a less than stellar outing with the Dallas Stars for their playoff run, and doesn't really seem like a play the Leafs should be chasing.

Kypreos (despite his issues as an analyst) is a legitimate insider sometimes, so while I'm taking this with grains of salt, I'm confident this conversation is happening.

However, it was updated shortly after that the Canucks are out, from Russell's agent through a news site: 

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Why things didn't go as planned for Stuart Percy

Ryan Hobart
June 29 2016 09:00AM

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com

The deadline for pending restricted free agents (RFAs) was Monday, June 27th at 5 p.m. The clock moved its hands past the 5 and still, Percy had received no qualifying offer (QO) to return to the Maple Leafs. It must have stung for the former first-round pick of the Leafs, to be indirectly told that he could serve no purpose to the organization he grew up a fan of any longer. 

Brendan Shanahan and company made the decision to issue a QO to Percy, which would have allowed them to retain his RFA rights. This means that come July 1st, Percy will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA), free to sign with any team he chooses. 

How did a 23-year-old player who was once a future top four defenseman drop so far in the depth chart that the Leafs chose to not give him a QO?

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#AfterAuston: Under-the-radar prospects from Europe worth looking at

Ryan Hobart
June 18 2016 10:48AM

One of the toughest areas for fans to be informed in coming into the drafts is the late round picks. There's so much less hype, and so much less coverage, that it becomes hard to tell who you want your team to be looking at. Even tougher still is to be informed about those coming from European leagues, as those teams get even less hype and coverage.

Leading up to the 2016 NHL draft, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some players who are likely to get drafted in the later rounds out of Europe, to give you an idea of who you might want the Leafs to target.

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#AfterAuston: Samuel Girard

Ryan Hobart
June 15 2016 02:00PM

Yesterday, I talked about a defenseman the Leafs might target in Logan Stanley. Today we're going to shift to basically the exact opposite player in Samuel Girard.

#AfterAuston today features shifty offensive defenseman Girard, who plays for the QMJHL-championship-finalist Shawinigan Cataractes. Girard very well could be that kind of high-ceiling talent the Leafs would look for when drafting.

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#AfterAuston: Logan Stanley

Ryan Hobart
June 14 2016 01:00PM

We all know that if you were to evaluate the prospect pool of the Maple Leafs, one of the biggest concerns you'd have is the lack of top end talent on the blueline. There's quite a bit of depth there, but there is a lack of "blue-chip" talent coming up the ranks. Which is a concern since there's a pretty significant lack of top-end talent with the parent club, besides Jake Gardiner and, potentially Morgan Rielly.

This episode of #AfterAuston features big, physical defenseman Logan Stanley, a name the Maple Leafs could certainly evaluate for the above-described hole in the prospect depth chart. He plays for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and was also named to Team Canada's roster this year for the World Junior U18 Championships.  

We're going to take a look at what the Leafs' evaluation of Stanley might determine by doing our own evaluation. Let's see what we see, shall we?

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