Best of the Nation - 12.16.12

Jonathan Willis
December 16 2012 11:23AM

The lockout keeps rolling on, but that doesn't mean we lacked for quality content this week. We had another entry in our "Worst to First" jerseys series, talked about the frightening salary cap situation for a bunch of teams, looked at how forward usage by NHL coaches has evolved over the last few seasons, talked about the World Juniors and buyouts, the lockout and the league's very best prospect, as well as half a dozen things I'm not even mentioning.

More after the jump!

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Let’s talk about contraction

Jonathan Willis
December 14 2012 11:54AM

Contraction is a favourite concept of hockey writers around North America. For those who simply want to see higher-calibre hockey, it’s a beautiful dream – fewer teams means higher quality players at the highest level, something that can’t help but result in better hockey. Most recently, though, contraction has emerged as a preferred cudgel with which to beat the NHLPA.

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CBA NEGOTATIONS HAVE BEEN A FLOP, BUT NOW TAKE A TURN

Graphic Comments
December 13 2012 11:24PM

NHL CBA is a flop

It took a long time, but it looks like we're now at the final table in this high stakes game of poker that is the NHL CBA negotations.

And yes, this this is and always has been a heads up game. Neither you, nor I, nor any of the tens of thousands tens of hundreds tens out there that organized or took part in sit-ins, petitions or protests have a seat at this table, despite the fact that both sides are playing with our money.

Although, is this really any different that the real world? I mean, this pretty much describes our government institutions, and even more so the professional gamblers on the investment banking circuit that nearly blew up the house of cards that is our global financial system.

But I digress. Let's have a look at where we are heading into this final round...

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Morgan Rielly named to Team Canada

Cam Charron
December 13 2012 05:23PM

Hardly a shocker. Maple Leafs fifth overall select from this past draft Morgan Rielly was one of seven defencemen to make Team Canada for the IIHF U-20 world championship. He didn't play in either of the scrimmages against Canadian university squads, neither did any of the favourites to make the team.

Bob McKenzie suggests he'll play with Dougie Hamilton on the top pairing for Team Canada, a decent troll job by Canada coach Steve Spott if there ever was one. The remaining defenders will be fellow WHLers Griffin Reinhart and Tyler Wotherspoon, OHLers Ryan Murphy and Scott Harrington and the QMJHL's Xavier Ouellet.

Rielly plays an elite offensive game for this level. Paired with Hamilton or Harrington he'd be a two-way threat. This is a good chance for Leaf fans to get familiar with a prospect whose stock has soared since Burke took him back in June.

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Leafs Prospects Points by Period

Gus Katsaros
December 13 2012 08:51AM

Via http://thesimpsonswayoflife.tumblr.com/

A few days back I presented the Maple Leafs prospects points breakdowns.

We're going to dig a little deeper into the numbers here. Let's take a trip.

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