June 19 2012 08:49AM
Over the next couple of days, we'll try and figure out just who Brian Burke has in mind for the No. 5 selection in Friday's draft.
First, a couple of notes on philosophy. I think that Burke is a fan of big-moment players, and generally, big guys. He paid a premium for his first ever draft choice in Chris Pronger, trading a first, second and third round picks to move up four spots and get the pick that was going to come after Alexandre Daigle.
June 18 2012 03:50PM
I came across an interview from Brian Burke on TVO's 'The Agenda' with Steve Paikin. The full interview, entitled 'The Business of Hockey' can be found here, but I've spliced out some of the more interesting parts and transcribed them here for those of you who don't have the half hour to listen to the broadcast.
He discussed in some depth his team model, his trade philosophy, the steps he took to draft the Sedin twins in Vancouver and Stanley Cup parades in regards to the passion of Toronto fans. In the interview, he also discussed the importance of having an exciting team, his team culture, and the importance of winning.
June 18 2012 09:37AM
Whenever any player is drafted in the first few picks, the commentators covering the draft really like to envision the same player five years into the future, after having righted the ship of a troubled franchise. In hindsight, it's always nice to read old draft coverage to see which players were wildly overrated or underrated by the hockey establishment.
Like the 2008 draft for instance. Steve Stamkos went number one overall, and then four defencemen followed. 2008 is actually quite similar to 2012 in the sense that a lot of the talent at the top of the draft tended to be defensive players. The '08 defensive class bucked a trend, because less than five years later, so many of them are already playing in the NHL: Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner, Luca Sbisa, Michael Del Zotto and John Carlson were all taken in the first round.
June 15 2012 09:48AM
Perhaps it wasn't Darren Dreger's intention to stoke some fires this morning when he went on TSN radio and suggested that if the Toronto Maple Leafs may be looking to make a move of real significance, for a player such as Rick Nash.
This came after a brief bit about how Phil Kessel, the Leafs' star winger and 37-goal scorer may be uncomfortable in a fishbowl environment like Toronto that is not for everyone. The transcript of Dreger's discussion with Mike Richards this morning is available thanks to our friend b1rky at Pension Plan Puppets, and it's worth a read.
Let's not take away from how silly it is, from a hockey perspective, to trade Phil Kessel, one of the premier goal scorers in the National Hockey League, for Rick Nash, who is up there but his star is fading. Nash is 28, makes $7.8M a year, and scored 30 goals in the NHL last season. He's had a declining total every year since 2009.
June 14 2012 11:14AM
Part of the problem with such limited goaltender blood on the open market is that the Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the best goaltenders in the minor leagues who, if he were in any other organization, may be anticipating his entrance to the NHL next season in a backup capacity.
But that isn't the case for Ben Scrivens, the 25-year old (26 in September) out of Spruce Grove, Alberta. Scrivens, who is a restricted free agent, faces an odd situation.