Lets Talk About David Bolland

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 25 2014 03:23PM

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When word came out that David Bolland was skating with the team and practicing on the third line, people had reason to be incredibly excited. Bolland, after all is a good hockey player. Specifically, he is better than the players who fill his place during times of injury. As such, this should theoretically make the Leafs a better hockey team as a whole when he is in the lineup.

There was one lingering concern as he recovered from his ankle laceration, however. Were the Leafs going to take the plunge on an extension without a long look at his post-recovery play? After all, this the same team who gave John-Michael Liles a long term deal while still recovering from a pretty serious concussion, and David Bolland is the same player who will now have to play with a special skate for the rest of his life. To make matters worse, they have exactly fifteen games to work with when evaluating his time with the blue and white.

So when months passed with nothing more than whispers, all was good in the world. But with his return imminent, the rumour mill is buzzing yet again. Bob McKenzie was on That's Hockey yesterday, and mentioned that Bolland will be looking for as much as David Clarkson money, but more likely something in the range of 4.5 to 5 million dollars. Some think this is fair, using terms such as "heart and soul of the team" (has played 15 games in Toronto) and "knows how to win" (supporting piece on modern day dynasty). I wanted to see if it was.

EDIT: Sportsnet is now reporting that he is seeking 7-8 years at 5 million per.

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MAILBAG: Week of February 24th

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 24 2014 06:48PM

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The Olympics are done, the Marlies back-to-back weekend has come to and end, and I can attempt to sleep again. It's a miracle! But first, let's get to some questions.

If you'd like to submit a question, email me at jeffler@gmail.com, or tweet your question with the hashtag #TLNMailbag. Tagging @Jeffler would be a fun courtesy, but unneccessary, especially if you're closing in on character limits. You can also leave your question in the comments of this post. 

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Sparks Stands Tall in 4-1 Marlies Win (But Loses Bet)

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 23 2014 08:21PM

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I made a bet with Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks ahead of the Olympic Semi-Finals. If The Phil and his assistants overpowered Team Canada, I would wear some Team USA gear in the Press Box this weekend. If Canada won, and they did, Sparks would have to wear a Team Canada jersey in a media scrum. So lets all take a minute to laugh at bet loser Garret Sparks for his losing performance.

On the other hand, his more important performance tonight was on the ice. The Marlies were hot on the heels of an unorthodox win against the San Antonio Rampage, where they took the lead ten seconds into the game and didn't give up a shot for twenty minutes. Today's team seemed to be chasing instead of ready to block shots and break up plays, and gave up thirty nine shots. Sparks was equal to the task, stopping all but one in a 4-1 win. So, lets give him a more flattering photo, shall we?

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SOCHI UPDATE: Hold On, We're Going Home

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 23 2014 02:21PM

philbike

CANADAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! THEY DID IT! THE GOALTENDING CRISIS TURNED INTO GOALTENDING DOMINANCE! SIDNEY CROSBY CAME ALIVE WHEN HE NEEDED TO AGAIN! CHRIS KUNITZ DID SOMETHING! *coughs* sorry. I, like millions of others, are on a high after that amazing shutout win this morning.

I mean, I know that while all of Canada was getting the champagne ready, Torontonians saw a three goal lead for the team with the Maple Leaf on their chest. They also saw ten minutes on the clock, and yellow on the other team's jerseys, and stayed nervous until time expired. But in hindsight, I don't know what we were worrying about. Patrice Bergeron was on our side this time. Nothing was going to happen.

But beyond the glory of the Nation of the majority of the fanbase, Leafs Nation also had a lot at stake. Three players left Toronto for Sochi in hopes of making their team proud. Nikolai Kulemin was part of a Russian team looking to win on home ice. They flamed out spectacularly and didn't win a medal. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk were summoned to take care of unfinished business for the United States, who after powering through the round robin and quarter finals, spent two games flaming out spectacularly and got destroyed in the Bronze Medal match by Finland. But the teams are irrelevant to us. How did the players do?

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Marlies Strike Quick, Win Over San Antonio

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
February 22 2014 07:27PM

jerrycrash

Hockey games are at least sixty minutes long, but one could argue that they can be won or lost in much less time than that. Today was a very good example of this. While the San Antonio Rampage came into Ricoh Coliseum having a 7-1-1-1 record in their past ten games, one could argue that the Toronto Marlies had the game in the bag from the second shift on, despite the close 2-1 final score.

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