Why are the Leafs scaring off free agents?

Ryan Fancey
August 20 2016 12:54PM

Over the past eighteen months the Leafs have had their share of headline-making moves, no doubt. The biggest was the addition of Babcock on a record-setting coach's contract, then they followed that up with the lower-magnitude but perhaps more shocking hiring of Lamoriello. Let's just get that housekeeping out of the way. 

From there, notable trades happened, they quietly trudged through the season, and then the Auston Matthews lottery was won. It almost started to feel like under this Shanahan-run show, even beyond the high-profile management changes, Toronto was starting to make its own luck. And they still had room to grow quickly, with two free agents out there - both big names in different ways - with major ties to the team.

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The fit wasn't there for the Leafs or Jimmy Vesey

Jeff Veillette
August 19 2016 04:01PM

Heading into the offseason, many in Toronto were all but certain that the team was walking out of a drawn-out free agency period with superstar centre Steven Stamkos and NCAA youngster Jimmy Vesey. Both felt like foregone conclusions, rather than fights they had to win.

Fast forward, and they've walked away with neither. Stamkos re-upped in Tampa Bay back in June, and today, the rich got richer as Vesey ended up with the New York Rangers. The Leafs did make a strong pitch for the 23-year-old, flying into Boston with Auston Matthews in tow and no doubt reminding him that his brother and father are part of the organization.

But it didn't work. It's a shame for a team looking to further bolster an overflowing prospect pool, but at the same time, it's not the end of the world for either side, simply put, it wasn't the right fit.

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Carl Grundstrom pulls a Patrik Stefan in Champions League game

Jeff Veillette
August 19 2016 02:08PM

gruns

It's still the offseason here, but in Europe, hockey is well underway. Take the Champions Hockey League, for example, where many of the best teams across multiple nations play an extra-curricular tournament for all the bragging rights. 

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TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #11 Jeremy Bracco

Shawn Reis
August 19 2016 06:49AM

TLN11

It's hard to imagine someone that put up 126 points in their draft year and someone that a lot of people felt was worthy of a first round pick sits this low in rankings. Is that a knock on Bracco, or a testament to the depth of the Leafs' prospect pool?

Let's take a look.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
August 19 2016 05:00AM

ROUND-UP

Leafs shouldn't be tanking, the Canucks climb back up the standings, Red Wings re-live jail, comparing Gaudreau to the NHL's best, Oilers building on inheritance, a KHL player goes crazy, NCAA free agent frenzy, no goalie equipment changes, new advanced stats and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.

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