September 11 2013 10:28PM
One of the most read posts in this website's history is titled "So, what happened to Paul Ranger?". That post went up last summer when a defenceman that had previously left the NHL at age 25 returned to hockey by signing with the Toronto Marlies. Turns out, so little had been written about Ranger that it jumped up to the top of Google search rankings, and it still gets hundreds of clicks per day. There's a lot of interest in Paul Ranger, and for good reason.
Ranger's NHL departure left a lot of questions, and they all seemed to go unanswered, and continue to do so. His departure and subsequent return is a bit of a mystery. Even with two of Canada's top storytellers attending Leafs' media day that coincided with the first day of training camp, Rangers refuses to go into specifics for why he left such a promising career with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
September 11 2013 11:04AM
I didn't need to use this picture, but I really, really wanted to.
Unless you missed the 40,000 tweets about it, "The Dream" aka Nazem Kadri has signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. As fellow awesome TLN writer Cam Charron wrote shortly before this post, Kadri's contract is very good for the Leafs.
I'm not here to talk about the contract itself. We've already touched on that. What I want to talk about is what happens next. Are you ready for it? OK here it is...
September 11 2013 10:35AM
Frederik Gauthier - the Toronto Maple Leafs' first round selection, 22nd overall in June's NHL Entry Draft - was the definition of a safe pick.
Gauthier put up solid numbers in his QMJHL rookie season, scoring 22 goals and 60 points in 62 games. Still, it seems like point production often takes a back seat to defensive play and face-off ability when talking about the 6'5 centre.
September 11 2013 07:07AM
"There hasn’t been a higher profile test case of hockey analytics condemnation of a team yet." - mc79hockey.com
Training camp for the Toronto Maple Leafs starts this morning, and for the first time in his nearly two-year long run as head coach of the team, Randy Carlyle is putting his own training camp together with a roster that's 58-strong. 59 once Cody Franson gets himself under contract.
New general manager Dave Nonis had one modus operandi this offseason, and that was to get the players under contract that Carlyle wanted to play with. Out are speedy and skilled players Mikhail Grabovski, Matt Frattin and Clarke MacArthur. In are bruising tough guys David Bolland and David Clarkson. The Leafs made the playoffs last season with Grabovski and MacArthur in a reduced role—no matter how good they can be or were in the past for the team, it was proven that they weren't important to the team winning.
September 10 2013 07:33PM
One day before camp, Nick Kypreos is the one to break the news:
That's a hell of a price for the Maple Leafs. Dave Nonis was stone cold during this negotiation. It got a little messy, but he did what he had to do, and there may, just may be space to get Cody Franson under contract with the money the Leafs have left to spend. Here's the official release from the club. Per Darren Dreger, the annual average value is $2.9-million, just slightly higher than Logan Couture's bridge deal that wound up being a bargain for the San Jose Sharks.