5 things: Let's say Phaneuf and Kessel gets traded

Ryan Lambert
June 25 2015 11:27AM

1. Re: The title

It's important to start off by saying that a scenario in which both Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are not wearing Maple Leaf blue on the first day of the season is not particularly likely. These are big contracts, and while there are plenty of teams that would certainly like to have these players (though perhaps not so much at this price point), the number that both can afford them and would would to actually give up significant assets for them has to be small.

We know now what the salary cap is going to be for next season ($71.4 million), and that should facilitate a lot of trades in the next week-plus as desperate teams scramble to clear space ahead of July. Toronto's not really in a desperate cap situation, of course, but they'd like to be rid of these deals so they can get a little worse, finagle a higher pick for themselves, and hopefully rope in a few more picks or young players in the process.

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Movers and Shakers: Leafs talking to Andy Miele

Jon Steitzer
June 25 2015 10:12AM

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Screen cap courtesy Syphus Training

In an attempt to give you more than just a tweet to go on, here's a bit of a background on what we know about Andy Miele. Andy spent the entire 2014-15 season in the AHL on the Grand Rapids Griffins, the Red Wings AHL affiliate. So there's some level of familiarity with Babcock, and Babcock systems. Previous to that, Miele was in the Coyotes system and played a total of 15 NHL games since 2011 picking up two assists.

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The 2015-16 Leafs Schedule

Jon Steitzer
June 25 2015 08:40AM

Unfortunately real life doesn't have a simulation option, and the Leafs will have to play games in order to get through next year. As a result the Leafs have posted their schedule for the upcoming year. Of course, there will be exciting new faces, and a Mike Babcock coaching system that will make that more bearable than the season we just went through. 

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #3 - Cody Franson

Jeff Veillette
June 25 2015 06:00AM

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy! 

When the Nashville Predators acquired Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli in February, everybody thought it was a match made in heaven. After all, the team was getting two quality players that they were familiar with, without giving up any present assets. Theoretically, it was the type of move that should've taken a good team to greatness, but instead, it was a bust.

David Poile was quick to admit that the team was forcing a square peg into a round hole. After all, the Predators are very adament about following shot handedness with their defencemen, and they already had three quality righties. As such, Franson didn't recieve the necessary playing time, didn't fit in, and will now hit free agency. But what will he command?

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Thomas Drance's NHL Awards Ballot

Thomas Drance
June 24 2015 08:00PM

Photo Credit: Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports

This was my first hockey season as a member of the PHWA, and I had the mixed blessing of casting an NHL Awards ballot. It was an honour, but it was also a heavy burden.

After years of slamming NHL awards voters for this, that and the other thing, actually having a ballot this season changed my perspective. I agonized for weeks over my selections, researched deserving candidates for each award heavily, re-streamed game video, and talked to a variety of industry people whom I trust before allowing my vote to be tallied. 

Some of these decisions were decided by a wafer thin margin. I'd wake up one day thinking that Erik Karlsson was my pick for the Norris, and I'd go to sleep that night thinking that 'really, P.K. Subban was the most valuable two-way defender in hockey this season.' Then I cast my first place Norris vote for neither player.

Anyway, in the interest of transparency and because these sorts of hockey conversations are pertinent and fun, I'd like to present my 2014-15 NHL Awards ballot for your scrutiny, consideration and entertainment. 

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