June 15 2016 06:38PM
We promise that we're going to go back to treating Phil Kessel as if he's just another member of another hockey team. Soon. But not today. Today, we have a very serious topic on our hands.
Kessel was on Sportsnet 590 the Fan this morning and in a conversation with Dean Blundell, mentioned that he might end up spending his day with the Stanley Cup, which has yet to be determined, back here in Toronto. Kessel has on many occasions spoken about how he feels this city is his second home, that he still has a lot of friends here, and that even though he sold his Bay and College condo this spring, he still visits often.
Obviously, there's a lot of fun speculation to be had about what he'll do with the cup. I'm hoping for the above-shown Wienermobile tour around the Financial District, with him stopping at Front and John for the tastiest of all the street meat. But that's not my question.
June 15 2016 02:00PM
Yesterday, I talked about a defenseman the Leafs might target in Logan Stanley. Today we're going to shift to basically the exact opposite player in Samuel Girard.
#AfterAuston today features shifty offensive defenseman Girard, who plays for the QMJHL-championship-finalist Shawinigan Cataractes. Girard very well could be that kind of high-ceiling talent the Leafs would look for when drafting.
June 15 2016 12:00PM
Look, it was bound to happen. You know it and I know it -- Randy Carlyle just wasn't going out like that. Although it would appear to many that Ron Wilson DID go out, um, "like that"; meaning being a somewhat disgraced head coach of an under-nourished yet strangely bloated Toronto Maple Leafs team that seemed to have hit the skids, with nowhere to sink in the standings but down.
Now, often, coaches are fired in the hopes that the team in question will rebound, show new signs of life, and ascend to new heights. The 2014-15 Toronto Maple Leafs squad will be utilized by hockey historians for decades to come as a team that saw fit not to come together and be all in and push for a postseason spot, quite on the contrary, but more on that in a bit.
June 15 2016 10:27AM
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY SPORTS
The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed defenceman Jared Cowen on waivers this afternoon, in preparation for the buyout of the remainder of his contract in the coming days.
June 15 2016 08:01AM
First, we identified the Leafs core. Then we projected the young studs that’ll be the main building blocks of that core. Now it’s time to look at the pieces already on the roster that could make up the rest of the core.
We’ve already projected whether The Big Three will be championship calibre players with a possible timeframe in mind (3-5 years). The question now is whether the surrounding core pieces will be good enough. In my initial THN piece, one of the main rules was that a team needs to have about four elite players and one excellent player on top of that.
All three of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander project to be elite pieces (although there is no absolute certainty in that whatsoever), so realistically the Leafs only need one more core player to be an elite piece; preferably their number one d-man.