December 10 2012 01:47PM
Today, the National Hockey League announced cancellations of games through December 30. Rather than re-hash all of that, I think it's fair to look at where the NHL knows that a real shortened season doesn't at all benefit the game. Gary Bettman said this last week:
Gary Bettman said last week NHL wants a minimum 48-game schedule for "integrity." A 28-gamer was on the table during talks Feb 2005.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 10, 2012
So, if we're to look at a 48-game schedule for the Toronto Maple Leafs, what could it look like? The crack team at The Leafs Nation put together a sample schedule:
December 09 2012 09:03AM
The Toronto Marlies beat the Rochester Americans 4-3 last night on goals from Nazem Kadri, Ryan Hamilton, and two from Jake Gardiner. As would happen, Gardiner would leave the game with a "head injury", but, oh no, it isn't a concussion, the team assures us:
“He wasn’t in a concussion state, just not feeling quite right,” coach Dallas Eakins said. With all of our players, we err on the side of caution. We’ll re-evaluate him later tonight and tomorrow.”
December 04 2012 10:42AM
As speculated yesterday and widely assumed, two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects were named to the American World Junior preliminary squad, both off their OHL teams. That's Tyler Biggs of the Oshawa Generals, selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, and Garret Sparks, goaltender for the Guelph Storm, selected in the 7th round that same year.
America's camp runs from December 16 to December 23, with much less pomp the Canadian trials will offer, and also fewer players. Only four skaters will be cut from the preliminary roster, and with the team likely to take three goalies to Russia, I think it's safe to say both Biggs and Sparks will make the trip. Whether Sparks sees any action is dependent on the health of John Gibson.
December 03 2012 11:20AM
And this morning came the much-anticipated announcement of Canada's World Junior squad selection camp roster. Specifically, we at TLN were looking for Toronto Maple Leafs on the roster. As expected, Morgan Rielly was named to the camp roster as a defenceman and Stuart Percy, who has been captaining the Mississauga Steelheads, was not.
December 03 2012 08:58AM
Lacking an ECHL affiliate for some reason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have somewhat of a surplus of B-prospects moving in and out of the lineup at Ricoh. Sunday, it seems, Joe Colborne was held out of the lineup and his replacement, Spencer Abbott, scored three assists in just his sixth game of the season in Toronto's 5-4 win over Lake Erie.
Colborne has passed the eye test this season, but he hasn't put it together offensively, recording a single goal (on the powerplay) and five assists (all at even strength) in 18 games this season. Holding him out of the lineup wasn't simply an injury precaution, but a tactic used by Dallas Eakins to presumably kickstart him the way he did with Nazem Kadri's scoring earlier this season.