June 11 2013 02:53PM
via Wikimedia Commons
Pension Plan Puppets have released their official list of things they would like to see the Leafs do between now and October, and seven of the wishes in some way have to do with the defence. Get a Top Four defenceman! Shore up the bottom pair! Buy-out Mike Komisarek!
The defence remains an issue. The Maple Leafs allowed 32.3 shot against per game last season. Quibble all you want about the "quality" of all those shots, but if you look at the stylistic comparable to the 2013 Toronto Maple Leafs, you wind up with the drastically out-shot Montreal Canadiens of 2002, who allowed 32.7 shots against per game. In 2003, they allowed a similar number of shots (31.7) but won six fewer games. Eventually, bad habits catch up and the Maple Leafs right now have a very thin defence.
So let's break it down.
June 10 2013 02:34PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a black cloud looming overhead. Phil Kessel is an unrestricted free agent next summer, meaning that he will, in July of 2014, be eligible to negotiate his services with any clubs in the NHL or elsewhere.
Good players are expensive, and good players are expensive for a reason. Getting one or two players under value contracts is a lot about what we do in the statistical corner of the blogosphere, but ultimately, the story of the game will be drawn to its superstars. When a team underperforms, there's a tendency to blame the veteran leadership group rather than the supporting core that simply wasn't built up from enough good players. Kessel and Dion Phaneuf are definitely aware of this quirk. Place Rick Nash on a team that people watched for the early part of his career in Columbus, and he'd have taken much more heat for failing to lead his team to regular playoff appearances or more victories.
June 10 2013 12:43PM
Dynamo Moscow GM confirms Leo Komarov comeback. He will sign with Dynamo the same contract he had before he left for the Leafs this Tuesday.— Andrey Osadchenko (@AOsadchenko) June 10, 2013
via Nations' roving Russian correspondant and Andrey Osadchenko, and corroborated by Yahoo! Sports' Russian reporter extraordinaire Dmitry Chesnokov, it appears as if yesterday's reports are true, and that restricted free agent Leo Komarov has signed with his old KHL club.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 09 2013 08:55PM
While no papers have been signed, it is believed by many in the hockey media that Dallas Eakins will be departing from the Toronto Marlies to become the new head coach of the Edmonton Oilers. Eakins was in, fittingly, Dallas while this news came out, for an interview with the Stars, but will officially sign on as early as tomorrow. This concludes a couple of weeks of speculation, that saw Eakins interview with Edmonton, Dallas, New York, Vancouver, and Colorado. Naturally, there's some stuff to look at with a move like this.
June 09 2013 01:43PM
Dallas Eakins will be introduced as the Oilers Head Coach tomorrow. #TSN— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 9, 2013
Two bits of Leafs news today...
Dallas Eakins leaving to the NHL was essentially a done deal. When the Leafs decided to go with Randy Carlyle next season and leave Eakins with the Toronto Marlies, unless the Leafs fired Carlyle a year into his contract, Eakins would get his NHL shot with somebody else. With half a dozen teams needing to fill coaching vacancies, and possibly still more to come, it was unlikely that a team would pass over one of the most successful AHL coaches.
Jeffler will have more on Eakins a bit later. He's covered the Marlies for years at this blog and his own Marlies HQ.