Devils Advocate

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 06 2013 01:56PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a lot of comittments yesterday, signing a couple of free agents, bringing back a few players, and letting a few walk. This comes shortly after a pair of buyouts and a trade acquisition. Opinions are all over the place: Some people hate the end result, some people are okay with it, some like and dislike certain parts, and others are taking the "waait and see" approach. Myself? I feel that this offseason will be seen as Dave Nonis' defining moment here, the one where he let a glimmer of hope and his personal reputation for being cautious to get to his head, making brash choices that only suit the short term.

But something I will admit, now that everything has sunk in? The Leafs are better suited for the now then they were a few weeks ago. 

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Calm Thoughts Before A Storm

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 05 2013 06:23AM

Mr. Nonis, I hope you're ready for what may be your defining moments in this city.

In just a few hours, the Toronto Maple Leafs join the rest of the National Hockey League in everybody's favourite off-ice hockey tradition; the beginning of Unrestricted Free Agency. This is, of course, a rather unique year, as the blue and white walk in with  the second most available cap space in the league. As the seconds tick down, a few thoughts have crossed the minds of many. I have a few as well:  

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A Year Of Vinny?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 30 2013 12:34AM

 
The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be hoping to make several moves over the course of this offseason, and rumours have been aplenty as a result. Think what you want about the Jonathan Bernier trade, and opinions really are all over the place (I'm still trying to convince myself to have a conclusive opinion), but it at least means that speculation involving goaltenders is over and done with for this offseason. The defence is probably the team's most practical concern, and potential moves range from retaining borderline players, to extending restricted free agents, and even possibly going after superstars. But whether you like it or not, the public pressure is on for Dave Nonis to acquire a top line centre.
 
Personally, I'm not of the belief that the Leafs need to acquire someone for this role. I think that while Nazem Kadri's production will not stay at the video-game like totals he put up last year, he's more than able to exceed the production of Tyler Bozak, while not being a "weak link" in a line with Phil Kessel and whichever of Lupul or van Reimsdyk plays left wing. Mikhail Grabovski's production dipped last year, but a decrease of and stylistic change of minutes has me optimistic that he can return to form on the second line. Joe Colborne appears to be back on track with a healed wrist, and Jay McClement is the fourth line centre of Toronto's dreams. I genuinely believe that they're in a good position. But this is a situation that won't be forgotten unless it's addressed. So, with all of that said, I think Vincent Lecavalier may be the best possible option. 

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Problems With A Puncher's Payday

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 14 2013 12:57PM

Yesterday, the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Colton Orr to a two year contract. As with every transaction this team has made in the history of ever, there's three groups of opinion that feel very strong about this move. Some see it as horrible. Some see it as fantastic. Some say they don't care. Oddly, the "not caring" crowd seems to be the loudest, but it's a matter of who has the most powerful scream, as everybody appears to have something to say. Personally, I don't think it's in the best interests of the team, but wanted to take all factors into consideration. Here's an over-analysis:

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Dallas Eakins heads to Edmonton

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 09 2013 08:55PM

While no papers have been signed, it is believed by many in the hockey media that Dallas Eakins will be departing from the Toronto Marlies to become the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Eakins was in, fittingly, Dallas while this news came out, for an interview with the Stars, but will officially sign on as early as tomorrow. This concludes a couple of weeks of speculation, that saw Eakins interview with Edmonton, Dallas, New York, Vancouver, and Colorado.  Naturally, there's some stuff to look at with a move like this.

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