Back to the Future Game Recap: Leafs get comeback SO win vs. Capitals

A. Bates
September 11 2012 01:03PM

 
For reasons well known to everyone, it is really hard to get excited / think about hockey right now. We should be gearing up for rookie tournaments, training camp and exhibition games over the next couple weeks to get us pumped up for the regular season. Unfortunately it seems as though none of these events are going to start on time or happen at all. So, we are all going to have to get used to this hockey rut we`re all in.
 
I have something that may help.
 
On a rare Monday night game, coming off an even rarer shootout win against the eventual Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins (that has to be some kind of mistake), the Leafs were in Washington to face the eventual regular season Eastern Conference winner Capitals.

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Where in the world is...

A. Bates
August 11 2012 11:38AM

Imagine if you traded a potential top six centre-man and a potential top four defenseman for a guy who was a year and a half removed from scoring 27 goals on a 16.27 shooting percentage. That might even be a bad enough trade to get yourself a sarcastic shout-out in a certain blogger's footnote.

You all know who I'm talking about, of course. I'm talking about Cliff Fletcher's magical Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak trade. And yes, if you're wondering, it was a bad enough trade to get a sarcastic shout-out in a certain blogger's footnote.

With Alex Steen signed to a sickeningly amazing contract for the next two years and Lee Stempniak being a bad hockey player who, for some reason, can double his career shooting percentage for stretches (only when he's not playing with the Leafs though) there is only one player from this deal to wonder about.

This brings me to my next UFA spotlight, follow me over the jump to find out who it is.

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Does Kessel Have to Play With a #1 Centre?

A. Bates
July 17 2012 02:01PM

 
Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press

An ongoing problem for the Leafs, in every summer that I can remember, is finding them a number one centre that can transform Phil Kessel into the next Great One.

It seems like, in Toronto, no fan will be happy with anything less then the reincarnation of Mats Sundin. I have to tell you folks, the Maple Leafs might not have a centre like Mats Sundin for another 20 years, or maybe even ever (okay, that would be really sad), and that's okay.

Follow me over the jump to find out why.

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Is Nazem Kadri ready for the NHL?

A. Bates
July 04 2012 02:44AM

 


In a conference call after his acquisition of James Van Riemsdyk, Brian Burke mentioned that Nazem Kadri could be looked at to fill a spot at centre ice for the Maple Leafs next year. This might be somewhat surprising to some, as Kadri has played on the wing for nearly every shift of his pro career.

However, during the Calder Cup Playoffs this year Kadri was switched to centre where he obviously impressed Burke with his performance. Actually, it would be tough for anyone not to be impressed with his performance seeing as he was an integral piece to the Marlies Calder Cup final berth (which he unfortunately didn't play in due to injury). He scored three goals and 10 points in 11 AHL playoff games.

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Pending UFA's: Jason Garrison

A. Bates
June 15 2012 06:08AM

 

Finding UFA defensemen that can actually play defense - and do it for a decent price - is a tough task. Heading into next season, this is a crucial task for the Maple Leafs as they are in dire need of defensemen that drive play away from their terrible goaltenders.

I wanted to find some UFA's that weren't a known commodity that will also be available for cheap, come July first. I'm quickly realizing though that the unknown players are unknown for a reason. UFA's that are actually good have already been talked about to death.

Jason Garrison had a breakout season last year and may be a decent option for the Leafs. Providing they clear up some cap room, obviously.

A deeper look over the jump.

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