August 18 2015 02:35PM
Fans in every city love their "oddball" players, who lack shyness and are abundant in borderline confusing personality traits. Various interviews and media scrums throughout the year put Viktor Loov on the map with the casual fanbase because of this; he was never shy to talk about anything from hockey, to food, to William Nylander wasting his bandwidth on Xbox One games.
But Loov has the potential to be more than just a character - he has the potential to be a legitimate two-way contributor on an NHL blueline.
August 17 2015 01:45PM
Based on Lou Lamorellio's rules about high jersey numbers and staying away from Twitter dot com, the following roster players are safe from his eventual wrath: Stephane Robidas, Richard Panik, James Reimer. I'm pretty sure Robidas is too old to use technology, Panik is nervous about his English, and heaven forbid that Reimer sees someone use naughty language on his phone.
Congratulations to those three for making the cut. Everybody else, watch your back. New signings, be cautious.
August 16 2015 06:44AM
The weird thing about a team as illustrious as the Toronto Maple Leafs was that, despite being only behind the Montreal Canadiens in the historical depth charts, they rarely had players that you could argue to be the best in the world, even in their role. They'd grab a Borje Salming, but Denis Potvin would be across the border ready to take him in Long Island. Mats Sundin was a first-ballot hall of famer, but played in the Gretzky-Lemieux-Jagr stretch generation, with even further talent overlapping him on any given year. Darryl Sittler would get out-shone by Guy Lafleur. Frank Mahovlich was no Gordie Howe. It goes on, and on.
But Charlie Conacher was the exception to that rule. Not only did he have his moment where he was the best, he had his better part of a decade. Charlie Conacher was the thirties, something no other Leaf could truly compare to.
August 13 2015 01:30PM
Mike Babcock might already have three assistant coaches to work with in Jim Hiller, D.J. Smith, and Andrew Brewer, but in a world that values the wisdom of crowds, the more is often the merrier. This becomes even more the case when your potential fourth assistant is an all time great, and according to TSN 690 Montreal's Tony Marinaro, the Leafs might just make an addition along those lines in Jacques Lemaire.
August 11 2015 03:02PM
When we did these rankings last year, there were a few disagreements regarding who placed where. None of them dragged on as long as the one involving Sam Carrick, however. I ranked him at #12, while most of the staff didn't have him on their lists at all. In particular, Justin thought I was being quite silly.
Fast forward a year, and Carrick is in the top twenty. Here's why.