September 14 2014 09:30AM
You've been introduced to the young guns, now it's time for the big boys. Everyday, from now until the season opener, you'll get to know your favourite Leafs just a little bit better thanks to the beautiful people at TLN.
The first Leaf on the docket is arguably the most important Leaf: goaltender Jonathan Bernier.
That's funny to say in hindsight, because a large section of Leafs fans were adamant the Leafs didn't need him, period. The Leafs already had a great young goalie; one that took them to the playoffs for the first time in nine years. Considering James Reimer's play during the lockout-shortened season, acquiring Bernier seemed unnecessary compared to other (still) pressing needs.
But the Leafs defensive ineptitude quickly proved that in order to even get a sniff of the playoffs, they would need Bernier and every single ounce of elite goaltending they could get out of him. And even that wasn't enough for a historically deficient team.
September 13 2014 11:59AM
It really shouldn't come as a surprise that William Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs top pick in this past June's NHL Entry Draft, is the organization's top prospect. He may, after all, be the most skilled forward the Leafs have drafted in well over a decade.
September 12 2014 05:04PM
It’s back to work time at the Nation. Unreasonable optimism is beginning to build here in Edmonton, Brian Burke is already irate about something or other down in Calgary and in Vancouver ocean kayakers shrug indifferently at one other when the Canucks are infrequently mentioned.
We have some big things planned for the Nation Network this fall. Existing sites are being rebuilt. Sexy new looks are being designed. We have also purchased one of the largest hockey sites on all of the internets and we will be announcing all of this fun in the next couple weeks.
As part of our rebuild + relaunch plans we are doing a super annoying 4 minute survey. You know the kind that we all hate to do.
September 12 2014 12:31PM
While a number of teams have evidently dipped into their analytics budgets this summer, it's almost an understatement to say we were floored by what the Leafs did - bringing in Dubas, buying out the popular site ExtraSkater, and eventually creating what looks to be the heaviest analytics department in the league from an outsider's perspective. Though I don't consider Dubas an "analytics guy" the way he's perceived by some, he certainly is the type of manager that will use all the tools at his disposal, and he's brought in some top-notch resources.
A question that arises from all of this, of course, is how does it all fit together?