August 19 2016 04:01PM
Heading into the offseason, many in Toronto were all but certain that the team was walking out of a drawn-out free agency period with superstar centre Steven Stamkos and NCAA youngster Jimmy Vesey. Both felt like foregone conclusions, rather than fights they had to win.
Fast forward, and they've walked away with neither. Stamkos re-upped in Tampa Bay back in June, and today, the rich got richer as Vesey ended up with the New York Rangers. The Leafs did make a strong pitch for the 23-year-old, flying into Boston with Auston Matthews in tow and no doubt reminding him that his brother and father are part of the organization.
But it didn't work. It's a shame for a team looking to further bolster an overflowing prospect pool, but at the same time, it's not the end of the world for either side, simply put, it wasn't the right fit.
August 19 2016 02:08PM
It's still the offseason here, but in Europe, hockey is well underway. Take the Champions Hockey League, for example, where many of the best teams across multiple nations play an extra-curricular tournament for all the bragging rights.
August 17 2016 01:43PM
As you've probably noticed. We're in the midst of our Top 20 prospect rankings right now. In fact, #13 was today; Katy wrote about Zach Hyman. That does mean, though, that there are a ton of players who have already been slotted, be it in the 13-20 range, as honourable mentions, or just went completely voteless.
August 16 2016 01:44PM
Screencap Credit: Hockey Canada / Youtube
If done properly, "wisdom of the crowds" is perhaps the best way to go about decision making in professional sports management. The Leafs, with their endless supply of respected minds, have taken this approach to heart in recent years and appear to have stretched it even further today by hiring Tim Speltz as the Director of Western Area Scouting.
August 15 2016 05:45PM
Photo Credit: @Harvard_Hockey/Twitter
Today is the day that the Jimmy Vesey saga ends. Or, rather, it was the day, until we realized that circling a calendar only does so much. As it turns out, today actually represents the dying hours of the Buffalo Sabres' pitch-exclusivity, as the 23-year-old becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent at midnight.
Leafs fans, who have been eyeing the Hobey Baker Award winning forward for ages as his brother and father sit in the organization, are no doubt excited for the chase to officially begin. But even with that midnight cutoff, it's not worth jamming the F5 key on your keyboard tonight. This could take some time.