What the Grabner deal tells us about the Maple Leafs' radical approach to team building

Thomas Drance
September 22 2015 08:30AM

Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

Last week the Toronto Maple Leafs completed one of the weirdest hockey trades in recent memory, dealing an enormous amount of high-yield prospect wealth in exchange for New York Islanders forward Michael Grabner - a decent-enough middle-six winger on a strange contract. It's a trade that, in some respects, broke conventional hockey-trade analysis. 

Read Article | 8 Comments

TLN Player Profiles: W Richard Panik

Jon Steitzer
September 22 2015 07:29AM

Last season Richard Panik thrived in his role of being a cheap, depth winger who could move up and down the lineup as required. This season that role is a bit more competitive as that seems to be the only type of player the Leafs have acquired over the past three months. 

As a player that arrived on the Leafs doorstep via waivers last season, it's likely that Panik understands the importance of putting together a strong showing in training camp, and while he's unlikely to be anything other than a Leaf when the season starts, I'm sure he'd prefer not begin they year on the fourth line or in the press box.

Read Article | 1 Comments

Leafs Postgame: Toronto Split Squads Go Two-for-Two

Justin Fisher
September 21 2015 09:33PM

There's fewer things better than watching the Toronto Maple Leafs beat up on the Ottawa Senators, but twice in one night? Apparently we can have nice things!

Both of Toronto's split squad teams were victorious tonight, winning 4-1 in Toronto and 4-3 in OT in Ottawa. Read on for the run downs on both games...

Read Article | 11 Comments

Monday Mailbag: Squad Goals

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 21 2015 03:00PM


HOCKEY IS BACK! Well, pre-season hockey, that is. The Leafs are taking on the Ottawa Senators in Toronto tonight, and they're also taking on the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa. Well, Kanata. Nobody ever plays hockey in Ottawa. But still, you have to appreciate being able to watch two Leafs games at the same time, as long as you have the capacity to do so. If not, you'll still be able to read our spiffy post-games here at The Leafs Nation. Before the pucks drop, however, lets tackle some questions.

Read Article | 4 Comments

Babcock on Reimer and Bernier: 'Whoever plays the best is going to play'

Thomas Drance
September 21 2015 01:58PM

Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

Since arriving in Toronto following the lockout-abbreviated 2013 campaign - the only season in which the Maple Leafs have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since the imposition of the NHL salary cap in 2005 - goaltender Jonathan Bernier's status as the Leafs' No. 1 goaltender has been unchallenged. 

When healthy, Bernier has started more than two-thirds of the time, and he's handily outperformed his backup James Reimer by every relevant metric (and by the irrelevant metrics too, like win/loss record and goals-against average). If Bernier continues to perform like he's the better of Toronto's two netminders, he'll continue to get the lion's share of the starts. If he doesn't though, well, Mike Babcock has indicated that he's hosting an open audition for the starter's job at training camp.

Read Article | 4 Comments