May 03 2016 07:16AM
This weekend marked a new day for the Toronto Maple Leafs, winners of the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery. It also marked a new day for TheLeafsNation.com. Effective immediately TLN will be under new management.
The life cycle of a hockey blog isn’t unlike that of a contemporary NHL team. Your budget is capped, you try to be efficient wherever you can, finding talented young contributors is key and the identity of the team itself ebbs and flows over time.
TLN is a branch of the Nation Network. And though we cover the Maple Leafs, we can’t operate the way they do. We don’t generally get to retain our stars.
The site has been fortunate to have three enormously talented formal managing editors in its existence: Cam Charron, Steve Dangle and Justin Fisher. Charron, a searing and compelling critic during the Dave Nonis/Randy Carlyle era, has gone on to work for the Maple Leafs in a hockey research role. Dangle, a multimedia triple threat, is crushing it for the rights holder these days, though he’s still kicking around these parts in podcast and LFR form. (In Pog form, too)
And today we’re sad to say goodbye to Justin Fisher, who has crushed it managing TLN for the past two seasons. Fisher is taking his social media savvy and promotional know-how and moving into the private sector, where we know he’ll be enormously successful. We wish him the best and are sad to see his tenure with the Nation Network come to a close.
We have to move forward though. It’s a new day at TLN. And as hard as that is for us, we’ll reboot, rebuild and continue to do the best job we can in bringing you insightful, irreverent, independent Maple Leafs coverage.
May 02 2016 10:30PM
It's been a while since we did one of these! We even waited until late in the day to get around to this; it's probably technically Tuesday as your eyeballs glance over this. But we're back to our question-answering ways this week; here's what was on everybody's mind.
May 02 2016 01:38PM
As far as moments of Leafs fan euphoria, I'd be hard pressed to pick a moment that was more fun to witness than the reaction we had at the TLN Draft Lottery Party on Saturday. From the "good enough for us" level of cheers when Ottawa and Montreal were shut out, to the toast to "Not The Oilers" before the big reveal", to the absolute pandemonium when the #1 card flipped over to the brand new Leafs logo, the energy in that corner was nothing short of unforgettable.
After all, the Leafs had just all but picked up Auston Matthews, a young talent who is projected to become one of the absolute best players on the planet in just a few years. The masses are already debating what he could be, and it's hard to blame them. But what about what he already is? Few are talking about what Matthews can jump in and immediately be for the Leafs, despite the fact that he projects to immediately be an excellent NHL player.
May 02 2016 11:59AM
It's the moment we've been waiting an eternity for; Nikita Zaitsev is coming to what has typically been his summer home. The Moscow-born 24-year old defenceman signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs today.
May 02 2016 09:13AM
In the days leading up to the draft lottery that saw the Leafs walk away with the top pick come June, there was additional talk about the number one selection and just how much of a lock Auston Matthews is to go there.
We know that since the World Junior tournament in December there's been the emergence of Patrik Laine as somewhat of a contender to Matthews, but if you've been following the draft year-to-year, you probably realize networks and scouting services do this sort of thing to drum up some controversy and create a buzz. Often the picks are never actually that close.