Saginaw Spirit GM Jim Paliafito to join Leafs Front Office

Justin Fisher
May 21 2015 08:44AM

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The Ontario Hockey League won't have any general managers left by the time the Leafs are done with 'em. 

There you have it - the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone back to the OHL as the continue to fill out their front office staff. Jim Paliafito joined the Saginaw Spirit in May 2009 as the organization's head scout, then moved up to the Assistant General Manager's role a year later, and was promoted again as General Manager another year after. 

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Leafs Prospect Frederik Gauthier is a QMJHL Champion

Justin Fisher
May 18 2015 09:33PM

The Rimouski Oceanic have beaten the Quebec Remparts by a score of 2-1 in Game 7 to win the President's Cup, making Leafs prospect Frederik Gauthier a QMJHL Champion.

Gauthier picked up one very, very important assist in the game, setting up Michael Joly's game winner in double overtime...

More past the jump...

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Are the Leafs Falling Out of the Babcock Race?

Justin Fisher
May 18 2015 09:11PM

We've heard over and over again that it's a three-team race between the Detroit Red Wings, the Buffalo Sabres, and the Toronto Maple Leafs for the services of veteran coach Mike Babcock. As his decision nears, it looks like Toronto might be slipping out of contention.

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the total rebuild that Toronto is said to be going through this offseason (and beyond) may be too much of a hurdle for Babcock...

"I still think the two favourites, in no particular order, are Detroit and Buffalo. I could be wrong about Toronto, but I just think that they're at the bottom of their total restart and (Babcock) is not going to be patient enough to lose their for three or four years."

Friedman, obviously, is the man. That being said, I think it's too early to count the Leafs out. Each organization - Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto - offer a unique scenario for Babcock to ponder.

More past the jump...

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Why The Leafs Trading Up At The Draft (Could Be) a Good Idea

Justin Fisher
May 18 2015 11:46AM

A few days ago, TLN Jon Steitzer wrote about the idea of the Leafs trading down from their current draft positions of 4th overall and 24th overall in order to stockpile more picks or assets. For a team that doesn't have a whole lot going on in their prospect pool besides William Nylander, that's not a half bad idea.

But what about going the other way? What about trading up in the draft?

Yes, it would require the Leafs to deal assets they might not want to, and yes, the memory of trading up for Tyler Biggs is still fresh in our minds. Still, let's not pretend that trading up is a guaranteed bad move. It's an option that the Leafs need to consider, because good organizations consider all angles and explore all opportunities.

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Can The Leafs Afford to Give Up a Pick for a New Coach/GM?

Justin Fisher
May 17 2015 11:00AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs' coaching and general manager search could prove costly.

As we're all now aware, new rules are in place that force NHL teams that hire a coach or GM from another team's organization to send a draft pick the other way as compensation. Back in April, Sportsnet reported that the cost for plucking a coach or GM midseason would be a 2nd round pick, while hiring one in the offseason would only be a 3rd round pick. The team who's coughing up a pick can choose to do so in any of the following three seasons.

Also according to the Sportsnet report, a coach's season ends when his team is eliminated from the playoffs. That must mean teams can also negotiate compensation outside of the NHL's set rules, since Detroit has had Mike Babcock suitors sign a permission form to speak with him, and agree to give up a third round pick if he leaves the Red Wings. Detroit was eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning weeks ago.

Since we know that the Leafs have signed one of those forms for permission to speak to (and hire) Babcock, we also know that they're ready to sacrifice that 3rd round pick. Is that something that the Leafs - a bottom feeder team that has vowed to build through the draft - can afford?

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