The Schedule Is Out

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 19 2013 11:57AM

After several days of delays (something about a vacation to Russia got in the way), the NHL schedule has finally been released, obviously including the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now, instead of saying "Is it October yet?", Leafs fans can say "Is it October 1st yet?". Actually.. lets just stick with the original. Here's what you need to know: 

Read Article | 3 Comments

Paradonomics

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 16 2013 11:49AM

 

With no new signings or moves to talk about, we were on the verge of stale discussion in Toronto. Thankfully, Tim Leiweke wasn't prepared to let that happen. The new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was asked by Bloomberg to talk about his new teams and the vision he has for them, and boy, did he ever. The quote that's causing the most trouble right now? 

Read Article | 9 Comments

A Different Kind Of Numbers Problem

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 13 2013 09:10AM

 

Before I get into this post, let me start with one thing - if you're looking for a critical post about David Clarkson as a player for the Devils, or a potential player for the Leafs, this isn't it. If you're looking for somebody to break down how crazy the contract is, you'll want to read literally every other post written on a Maple Leafs site for the past week instead. 

Read Article | 15 Comments

Leafs Sign Joe Colborne

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 11 2013 06:31AM

Slowly but surely, the Toronto Maple Leafs are chipping away at their remaining unsigned restricted free agents. Yesterday, Joe Colborne joined the family of players returning to the organization, signing a single year one-way deal that pays him $600,000. 

So.. has he earned it?

As I talked about in an article back in February, Joe Colborne is a case of a player who managed to set expectations high, swiftly crush everybody's hopes, but is rebounding back into original form. Colborne joined the Leafs organization in 2010/11 via the Tomas Kaberle trade, and scored 16 points in his first 20 games with the Toronto Marlies, before notching an assist in his first NHL game. He began the next year by scoring 16 points in 9 games and being named AHL player of the month, but disappointed many by only adding 23 more in the next 56 games.

What wasn't publically known was that Colborne had suffered a wrist injury, severely limiting his ability to disperse the puck and use his reach to get around other players. Granted, you can still blame him; the proper thing to do would have no doubt been to get surgery immediately rather than struggle through it from late November until the Calder Cup Finals in mid-June, but a tangible reason was out there for his failures. But could he recover?

The answer, at first, was not really. He still struggled to heal correctly post-surgery, which was the exclamation point on a poor start to 2012/13. However, Colborne had his wrist "pop" (scar tissue heal) in December. Guess what? It turned out that maybe he wasn't kidding, scoring 19 points in his next 21 games and 36 in his final 43. 

It may not be fair to bring Colborne back up to the "potential star centre" hype again. At this point, that's behind him. But he's still well on his way to being a legitimate NHL player, that can play in both top six and bottom six situations. A contract like this gives him the ability to prove that he's worth keeping on the team moving forward, with a cap hit low enough to have him on the roster whether they want to play him every night or not. It also gives him some guaranteed money. A 2-way that makes you $900,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL has more potential, but if he plays half a season in each league, he comes out with $525,000. It's the same reason you see so many fringe NHL/AHL vets go to Europe for a little less than NHL league minimum. 

Read Article | 4 Comments

Marlies: Who's Left?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 09 2013 06:29PM

 
With the Toronto Maple Leafs seemingly finished with adding players this offseason (can anybody see them being able to afford much else after signing RFAs?) there's been a lot of talk about what the roster will look like this year and how it stacks up to the one that was used throughout last year. After all, there have been a decent amount of changes to the team. But hold on. What's happened to the Toronto Marlies? After all, the team draws heavily from players throughout the Leafs organization, and the development of some of these players is crucial to the future NHL success. Let's take a look: 

Read Article | 8 Comments