April 17 2016 12:00PM
To wrap up the first week of our year-end Exit Interviews, I will take a look at the contribution made to the team by Nazem Kadri, Connor Brown and Frank Corrado. Each of these three made significantly different contributions to the Leafs this season, but all three have fans in Leaf Nation excited for how they will fit into the future of the team.
April 17 2016 07:17AM
Welcome to the second in a seven-part series on the Maple Leafs and their history of making picks in the Top 5, given they'll add another superstar/casualty who will be indispensable in building a Stanley Cup contender/crushed under the unfair expectations of a fanbase starved for any form of team success imaginable. You decide.
We profiled the 1973 #4 overall selection of Lanny McDonald in our last edition. Despite the looming (and soon to be larger) presence of owner Harold Ballard, the Leafs made out like bandits in that 1973 Draft, also scooping up Bob Neely and Ian Turnbull in the first round, quickly posting a 22 point improvement in the 1973-74 season, and being one of the eight teams in a sixteen-team NHL to make the playoffs.
Playoff results continued for the Leafs as they won the league's Preliminary Round in five straight seasons, the pinnacle of which was getting to the semi-finals in 1978 against the Canadiens, after beating the Islanders in the quarters.
But by the end of the 1981-82 Maple Leafs season, the results had ceased to exist, and the atmosphere around Maple Leaf Gardens was rancid. The team made the playoffs both of the prior two years with under-.500 records, and were slammed out quickly in three-game sweeps, in 1980 by the Minnesota North Stars, and in 1981 by the in-the-prime-of-their-dynasty New York Islanders. In a 1 vs. 16, 2 vs. 15 (and so on, and so on) playoff format, the Islanders/Leafs series WAS the 1-16 matchup, with a 39-point disparity between the two clubs -- the Isles with 110, the Maple Leafs with 71. The Islanders outscoring the Leafs 20-4 in those three games a mere four years after the Leafs had bested the Isles in that playoff series, demonstrated both the quick growth of the Isles into a powerhouse, and the equally fast devolution of the Leafs into bottom feeders.
April 16 2016 09:41AM
Next up in our exit interviews for the Leafs' 2015-16 season we have players from all over the spectrum, as we take a look at James van Riemsdyk, Milan Michalek, and Connor Carrick.
We'll probably be quick here, as none of these players put in significant time with Toronto this season. But the future of each of these guys with the club needs to be looked at, and of course we still have to rank them under the Smart Glasses Dubas Scale.
April 15 2016 11:23AM
There isn't a prospect at the top of this year's draft that has been more polarizing over the past season than Jakob Chychrun. The Sarnia Sting defenseman came into the year as the consensus number two prospect in this June's draft and only six months later he is being talked about as potentially the third or even fourth best defensive prospect.
April 15 2016 07:15AM
It's day three of our review of the 2015-2016 Toronto Maple Leafs roster and today we will be evaluating Brad Boyes, Colin Greening and Jonathan Bernier. As you know by now, we are rating each player's performance on our patented (and incredibly scientific) Smiling Kyle Ranking System.