May 16 2015 02:40PM
It's all getting very real, very fast.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox revealed some pretty interesting news during this afternoon's Hockey Night in Canada "Saturday Headlines" segment regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs' search for a new coach and general manager. Some pretty significant names were dropped, so let's break it down...
According to Friedman, the Leafs have filed for permission from the Detroit Red Wings to hire head coaching candidate Mike Babcock. Yes, Babcock's technically about to become a free agent, but Detroit was smart enough to make interested teams sign an agreement stating that if they hired the veteran coach before his contract actually runs out, they'd need to cough up a draft pick.
May 15 2015 10:02PM
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Dakota Joshua is a Clark Cup Champion - and on his 19th birthday, no less.
The Sioux Falls Stampede defeated the Muskegon Lumberjacks this evening by a score of 4-2, completing a three-game sweep in the USHL Finals. Joshua opened the scoring for Sioux Falls in the second period.
May 15 2015 05:39PM
You've probably seen our huge stack of resumes we've received from hockey executives around the NHL, all looking to become the next General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ultimately, it's not up to us to hire one of them, but our TLN writers have pretty strong opinions on the topic. It's time to throw down in this week's TLN Roundtable.
Because whoever the Leafs hire as GM will be well-insulated by an already intelligent group of hockey minds, it might not matter too much who the Leafs hire as GM. That’s especially true since whoever the general manager is will have less authority than somebody in the traditional mold of a hockey GM. We saw that with Dave Nonis this year, who seemed to do a strong job of managing the team ever since Claude Loiselle and Dave Poulin were fired and Kyle Dubas was brought on. In this sense, maybe hiring nobody would be the best decision. Or maybe waiting until July or August, when the team wouldn’t have to give up as high a draft pick for a GM, would be the best move.
But we already have one answer leaning that way, so I’ll make a case for someone outside the organization. Since all indications still seem to be that the team would like to hire an outside hockey mind, I’ll make the case for Julien Brisebois, assistant GM for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
May 13 2015 08:56PM
We finally know where that Nashville Predators first round pick will land.
With this evening's New York Rangers' overtime win over the Washington Capitals, Toronto will hold the 24th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The Leafs acquired the pick, along with Olli Jokinen and prospect Brendan Leipsic, when they sent Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to Nashville at the deadline.
All in all, 24th overall is not that bad. At best the pick could have dropped as low as 22nd, and at worst it could have been as high as 30th. You can thank the Chicago Blackhawks for eliminating Nashville early.
While we certainly don't know who the Leafs will select with their second of first round picks, you can expect it to be a quality prospect. The 2015 Draft is by all accounts a pretty good and pretty deep draft, but the latter half of the first round will be very difficult to predict.
If you want to get familiar with some of the names that could be called by Toronto with their late first, here are some of the players that several scouting services and networks have ranked 24th on their lists...
May 13 2015 10:36AM
It seems like all we've been talking about lately at TLN is the Leafs' General Manager/Head Coach search and the 2015 Entry Draft. After all, the actual Leafs roster is slightly (very) embarrassing and we'd rather just not talk about it at all.
But hey, July 1st and a new wave of free agents are on their way. And while we all largely agree that building teams through free agency is a pretty awful way of going about it, that doesn't mean Toronto's management group shouldn't be very active.
That doesn't mean that the Leafs should be in on the big names. They could very well be, but it's not like this team really wants to actively get better so soon. The rebuilding process will be long, and this team isn't anywhere near the point where they're adding a top six winger or a top four defender to put themselves over the hump. No, Toronto will more likely be active in other ways.
Last year, the Leafs made a couple moves in free agency, like signing Mike Santorelli, Daniel Winnik, and David Booth. No, none of them were big name acquisitions, but Toronto made off like bandits when they flipped both Santorelli and Winnik for draft picks at the trade deadline.