August 13 2012 08:47PM
August 13 2012 11:41AM
Somebody ask Stephane da Costa how his rookie season went.
It's been 925 days now since Brian Burke pulled the trigger on arguably his best deal: On January 31, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Matt Stajan, Ian White, Jamal Mayers and Niklas Hagman for Fredrik Sjostrom, Keith Aulie and, of course, Dion Phaneuf. Phaneuf has become the Captain of the team and the clear #1 defenceman, while White was the only player going in return who has managed to make himself worth anything in this league. He played with Nick Lidstrom in Detroit.
Aulie is since gone, traded for Carter Ashton, and Fredrik Sjostrom is no longer. The only remaining piece of this deal is the 6'3" 214-lb rugged Phaneuf, who has calmed down since joining the Leafs and has become a strong two-way force who plays against tough competition.
August 13 2012 07:02AM
Xs and Os from The Backhand Shelf's Whiteboard section
If you've been reading this blog all summer, you'd probably be aware that I'm not too optimistic about the Leafs' chances next season. It's not that I think the team lacks leadership and stability and the character required to win, I just don't think the team has enough talented players to roll out a competent top nine forward group and top four defence. There are some good pieces there, but overall, the team needs to focus its efforts on improving the high-end skaters.
The Leafs haven't gotten expressly worse this offseason and I think generally Brian Burke has done a good job in a vacuum with the limited assets. The acquisition of James van Riemsdyk was a very good one, but the team still has some major holes. Van Riemsdyk is a good hockey player, but he won't necessarily help the Leafs in their most pressing issue: the fact the team is a bottom-third team in puck possession.
August 10 2012 01:58PM
Our favourite thing to do on Friday is to post data dumps, because our market research has showed it's always great to read a bunch of numbers on a Friday afternoon. We're getting to that today, shortly.
I'm sure the Toronto Marlies have trouble finding a fanbase in Toronto simply because there's very limited data that gets published online so we can compare and argue about these players (sure, that's the reason) but today we're going to do something different, estimating the quality of competition and quality of teammate rates of regular Marlies players to see where our favourite Leafs prospects stack up.
August 10 2012 05:04AM
The only thing we have to Fehr is Fehr itself.
We won't start the NHL regular season on time. This isn't exactly any new information. If you've been following the NHL's labour situation in any capacity, you'd see that there are two divides in the the hockey business world. The first is between the players and the owners. When those two sides came to the current agreement in the summer of 2005, everybody inside hockey was discussing the "partnership". The players would play and make the owners money, and the more money the owners made, the more of that the players would see.
And it has worked out. The salary cap has jumped from roughly $42M to roughly $70M over the span of just seven years thanks to skyrocketing revenues. The problem for the owners is the revenue divide. While the league may be profitable as a whole, this is due to the top 12 or so teams who generate a huge portion of the revenue. The clubs do not share revenue on the same level as they do in Major League Baseball or the National Football League.
So, to make up the cost, the owners expect the players to cover the difference by taking a smaller portion of revenue. The players would prefer for the big teams to share the money with the small teams.