November 24 2015 06:30PM
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
There probably isn't enough Splenda in the nation's capital to induce the Toronto Maple Leafs to take on Colin Greening's contract. Now maybe if the Ottawa Senators offered the Maple Leafs some (Colin) White sugar, that would move the needle, but let's be realistic.
Greening, 29, isn't a bad player. He's big, and he's a more than capable fourth liner. I once watched him eat two slices of pizza at once, sandwich style, as team doctors removed fibreglass from his cheek following a double overtime winner back in the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was bad ass, and probably unduly colours my opinion of him.
The useful, Newfoundland-born left wing has been on the trade block forever, mostly because he's unlikely to ever produce enough offense to warrant the big ticket he carries. Now it is being reported that the always budget-conscious Senators are willing to throw a prospect into a Greening deal, just in order to free themselves of the remaining two years carried by Greening's contract, at a $2.65 million cap hit.
Storied rivalry and the ghost of Gary Roberts aside, for a team with an unlimited budget, lots of salary cap space, and a strong willingness and desire to accumulate talent - the Maple Leafs make sense as a Senators trade partner here, right? Wrong. And here's why:
November 24 2015 04:21PM
John E. Sokolowski - USA TODAY Sports
As you've probably already heard, Toronto Maple Leafs top prospect William Nylander is dominating the AHL. The 19-year old has a league-leading 23 points in 17 games, putting him on pace to become the AHL's first 100-point teenager.
So, is William Nylander good enough to play in the NHL?
In a word, yes. These kinds of numbers are quite literally unheard of, and Nylander's skating and offensive skills are the kinds that can translate to the NHL easily. While he probably wouldn't establish himself immediately as an elite, big league player, he's good enough right now to play at least a minor role in an NHL offense.
That said, the question "Is Nylander good enough?" is fundamentally flawed. It's a narrow-minded way of approaching the extremely large and complex issue that is reworking and rebuilding the Leafs organization. This isn't all about Nylander, and if you start asking different questions you might find that the AHL is the best place for him to be right now.
November 24 2015 10:37AM
If there are two things that act as Optimus Reim's kryptonite, you assume that they're the Boston Bruins and freak injuries. After a weekend of getting beaten by the former, the latter appears to have snuck its way in as well, as the Leafs' starting goaltender left practice with an injury.
November 24 2015 10:20AM
The Leafs outshot the Bruins and therefore lost.
November 24 2015 09:52AM
Can you think of any Leafs news you care more about than the potential earnings of MLSE?
I know, it's nice when Forbes reminds us that the hockey organization that profits off the misery of Leafs is worth over a billion dollars, but this year there are some mixed results, as we no longer see the Leafs sitting in the number one spot as the most profitable team in the league.