January 26 2016 12:30PM
As the Maple Leafs head south for their annual winter snowbird tour, we get to see a Florida Panthers team that sits at the top of the standings and may look pretty similar to what fans in Toronto hope the Leafs will resemble in a few years. Barkov as the young stud center every team wants (Nylander), Huberdeau as the ultra-talented winger that does things with the puck that most can't (Marner), Bjugstad as the undervalued secondary center (Kadri), Brian Campbell as the useful but overpaid veteran defender (Phaneuf) and Jagr as the grizzled old veteran (a 46-year-old Jaromir Jagr playing on a competitive Leafs team a few years from now would be wonderful wouldn't it?). Now all we need is a 19-year old franchise defenceman and an all-world goalie. Those are the easy pieces, right?
January 26 2016 10:00AM
As January comes to a close we are about to enter the time when conversations start shifting more and more towards the draft. This week we have the CHL Top Prospects game. Next week we’ll have probably have two of the most highly regarded draft lists released from Corey Pronman and from Bob McKenzie, both which carry significant influence in how the most people will regard the draft.
January 26 2016 08:47AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports
Dave Keon stepped onto the ice of the Air Canada Centre with the daughters of Turk Broda and Tim Horton on Saturday night as part of the revealing of his Legends Row statue. It a rare appearance for him, and the first time that he's come out to accept an individual accolade from the club. The crowd gave him a heroes welcome. He played along. It was a great moment.
In fact, maybe it was more than a great moment. To me, it's a sign that, after decades of perceived (and often proven) ineptitude, the Toronto Maple Leafs, on a grand scale, have their heads in check.
January 25 2016 02:36PM
Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
The Toronto Marlies continued their utter domination of the American Hockey League this week, winning three consecutive games against Syracuse and Utica to bolster their near-0.800 record. At this point, domination has evolved from a surprise to an expectation. It's always nice to see an individual have a stretch where they take over, though; much like Mark Arcobello had this week. His efforts were so above and beyond that they earned him player of the week honours from the league.
January 25 2016 12:57PM
It seems like we've been counting down to the Leafs' purge of cheap veteran players since the days they were signed last summer. In a little over a month, we'll finally see what they get to show for them.
The most obvious names we've looked at all season are the pending free agents, and as the team currently sits, there's seven guys on the roster fitting that bill - Polak, Reimer, Boyes, Parenteau, Spaling, Matthias, and Grabner. Eight if you include Rich Clune.
But we can't forget about players who still have a year or five left on their contracts either. Lamoriello and his front office are still somewhat in scorched earth mode, and they might have a chance at moving out a name or two that saves the team some more coin down the road.