November 22 2012 01:43PM
It's Grey Cup week in Toronto. In the midst of an NHL lockout, there's no sense of whining and complaining that we can't watch our favourite athletes compete. There was a time where even if the NHL had it's doors shut, you could watch your favourite player in a different spot—football.
Introducing Gerry James, a Canadian Football League Hall of Famer, the youngest player to ever play in the CFL at the age of 17, and a former Toronto Maple Leaf.
November 21 2012 11:16AM
In a Pension Plan Puppets discussion about Leaf performance on the Subway Super Series, somebody commented about a post I wrote over at Yahoo on Team Canada's defensive prospects for the World Juniors. They were pointing out that I hadn't even mentioned Stuart Percy as a possibility for the team.
Seeing as Percy is a top defenceman on his team, a team captain and a former first round pick, it's probably worth bringing up his chances to make the World Junior squad. Right now, I don't think it's very likely.
November 20 2012 09:56AM
Last week it was reported that the most ethnically ambiguous Toronto Maple Leaf Leo Komarov was going to jump ship in the AHL and head back to his KHL club. This isn't a huge surprise, as our Russian friend Andrey translated some quotes over the summer pertaining to Komarov, he was willing to leave Canada if he didn't have an NHL job by November.
As it happened, November came and Komarov, for reasons outside his own ability doesn't have an NHL job. It's not so much taking his ball and going home, as Komarov was careful to craft a contract that would allow him to return to North America and play in the NHL if the labour situation was to resolve itself.
The Toronto Marlies announced Tuesday forward Leo Komarov has been loaned to Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). As per club policy, terms of the agreement will not be released.
November 19 2012 02:24PM
I got to catch Morgan Rielly play a couple of games last week, Wednesday and Thursday games as part of Team WHL against Team Russia in the Subway Super Series. I talked to him briefly after the Thursday contest, but, like many hockey players, he's not particularly talkative and conversations don't fall into debates about hockey theory like they sometimes do with coaches at that level.
So the best way to analyze Rielly is to count up what he did. This was my first chance to see him live, and I was going to concentrate on him and track his performance. I'm not a particularly trained scout, and the best thing I could do was track team puck-possession metrics when Rielly was on the ice, i.e.: tally up all the goals, saved shots, blocked shots and missed shots, as well as scoring chances.
November 19 2012 11:20AM
This is going to be the hockey statistical equivalent of calling the pocket after I've sunk the 8-ball, but not having been in Toronto for the last month, I didn't quite get that Nazem Kadri's point production was actually a major storyline.
If I've got this right, through the first 11 games of Kadri's season, he had only managed one goal and seven points. That was before this weekend's games, where he put up a goal and six assists in three weekend games against Hamilton twice and Abbotsford.
Even worse, stripping all the games before November 10, Kadri had just three assists in nine games. Not the stuff of "former first round pick" material, but I looked into it a little bit further today.