September 09 2013 11:17AM
My general theory on assessing player performance is that if a player frequently produces below expectations, perhaps the problem isn't with the player. After multiple seasons of suggesting that "a player would score so much more if he only did X" perhaps it's worth considering that X doesn't lie within the player's talent threshold, and he ought to be judged for what he does on the ice as opposed to what he doesn't do.
Somehow that relates to Mason Raymond's time in Vancouver, that ended when Raymond accepted a try out offer with the Toronto Maple Leafs Sunday. Raymond may have been cursed by his one 25-goal season in 2010 as a second liner, a season that he probably never would have replicated. It takes a lot to score 25 goals in a single season, and only the very best players can consistently repeat those totals. Just 17 players have 25 or more goals in each of the previous four 82-game seasons, and only 14 more have three such seasons.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 08 2013 08:03PM
Do you have a player that you know is far from a superstar, probably won't hit his originally thought potential, and might even make too much money for what he contributes to his team, but you're a massive fan despite all rational thought? The Canucks are my "second team". They have been almost as long as the Leafs have been my first (thanks, Pavel Bure). Mason Raymond, to me, is "that player".
As such, I'm more than happy to see that he will be reporting to Leafs training camp as part of a Professional Tryout. Here's what you should know...
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 08 2013 01:21PM
Name : Jesse Blacker
Before we get into the article, I'd like to apologize for the mix up in the order of these posts over the past couple of days. Steve thought I was writing this post. I thought Steve was writing this post. Friday came, and we both pointed fingers at each other. We decided that I'd write it, because I originally wanted to be the one who wrote it, and he's a Marlies player. As well, the blog on Matt Finn came out a couple of days early, because is busy for the next few days (getting married!). He saved it as a draft, and somebody jumped the gun and pressed publish before it's proper release on Monday. We're back on track, though!
Now, with all of that said, I'm happy to be writing this piece. I had Blacker ranked third on my list of prospects, higher than anybody other than Justin, who had him in the same spot. Understandably, it's been four years since he was drafted and he's not the "shiny new toy" pick any more, and some are starting to expect less, but after watching him all of last year, I'm very excited for what he can do moving forward.
September 07 2013 11:03PM
Hey look! The Leafs coughed up a late le- OK there's only so many times I can make that joke.
The Leafs remain undefeated in rookie tournament action as they top the Pittsburgh Penguins rookies 4-3 in the shootout.
Here's a brief recap, followed by some thoughts.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
September 07 2013 10:16PM
If this is your first visit to TheLeafsNation.com, welcome! Stay a while, and enjoy the vast variety in topics we like to talk about. If it isn't, you'll know very well that we're big fans of Tyler Bozak on this site. Cam Charron loves him (also this, and this, and this, and this, and this). Jon Steitzer thinks that he's right up there with other first line centres. Blake Murphy is also a fan. Steve Dangle wants to throw him a party. Emily G has been proven to be in love with him. I've got nothing for you on Ryan and Justin, but I'm sure they also have shrines in their rooms. Last but not least, I am his biggest fan. More than anybody else. I'm changing my middle name to Bozak. He's the best.
...okay, maybe not so much. Anyway, like everybody else on the Internet that has ever said, thought, rapped, or improvise danced a negative opinion or feeling to or about Tyler Bozak, I have been blocked by him on Twitter. When? So long ago, that I still thought that he was a good solution to the Leafs top line problems.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate Tyler Bozak. I think he brings down the first line by being an obvious not first liner, I think his intangible abilities are grossly overstated, and I think his production doesn't make his paycheque, but I don't hate him. I think he is an NHL level talent. I think his contract is even okay compared to market value, and I don't blame him for signing it. He seems like an good guy 364 days a year, and he appears to get along with his teammates well. He's a decent player that his management sees far too much in.
But he also has me blocked on Twitter. I don't like that, to the point where last year, I tried to get everybody who has me blocked on twitter to unblock me. Even Damien Cox gave in. Now, all that remains are Bozak, Alan Walsh, and a few Leafs fans who dislike my point of view so much that they decided they never wanted to see it again. Today, I tried to fix that.