September 06 2015 10:00AM
Today, we continue to count down the ten best defencemen in Leafs history. Unlike Jon, who had to explain why he cut Rick Vaive, Phil Kessel, and Babe Dye, I don't have any cuts to explain. I will, however, tell you why I didn't include point-per-game leader Harry Cameron on my list. While one looks at his totals and screams "this dude was Karlsson and Green combined, what the hell?!", he played in an era where teams often had one defensive pairing and a rover. Points/60 wasn't a thing back then, but if it was, he'd probably be in Frazer McLaren territory. So, no Cameron.
Anyway, the top five.
September 06 2015 07:00AM
Yesterday we started the countdown of the Top Ten Leafs Forwards and in the traditional of preseason content we've stretched it out into a second day. Your exciting conclusion comes now as we look at the top 5 and the three players from the TLN All-Time Team forward group that didn't make the cut.
September 05 2015 10:00AM
As the witty and handsome Jon Steitzer mentioned earlier this morning, we've successfully rounded out our All-Time Leafs team, and now have an opportunity to talk about who is better than who on these teams. To be honest, Jon had things a little bit easier than the rest of us; with thirteen forwards on the roster, he simply had to pick his ten favourite of the bunch. Defence, on the other hand? We had seven guys, and this is a top ten list. As such, we get to induct three players into the "participation ribbon" level of Leafs greats.
We're going to do that part today. Read on to see how it goes!
September 05 2015 07:00AM
At this point you've seen the TLN All-Time Roster, you've seen the lines we'd roll with them, but we haven't actually ranked them until now. We're taking a slightly different approach and the rankings have entirely been left in my hands with the caveat of not being able to introduce any new forwards into the mix. So my apologies to Benoit Hogue, Mike Johnson, and Peter Zezel who I love so much, but wouldn't be able to sausage into the top ten. The same is true of other deserving forwards like Joe Primeau, Busher Jackson, and Ron Ellis who were all given some consideration when we made the All-Time team, which is still somewhat contentious to even those of us who made it.
Today we'll give you 6-10, tomorrow you'll get the top five forwards according to me, since I'm clearly the authority of the nearly 100 years of Leafs history and I'm sure there will be nothing to debate.
September 04 2015 10:55AM
It literally could not be any closer.
During our voting process, Mitch Marner edged out William Nylander as the Toronto Maple Leafs' top prospect by just a single vote, with four of the seven voters leaning Marner and three leaning Nylander.
Personally, I went back and forth on the matter several times before submitting my final list. At first, I leaned Nylander. A true blue chip prospect when he was drafted by the Leafs with the eighth overall pick in the 2014 Draft, Nylander still somehow managed to exceed expectations with both MODO and the Toronto Marlies last season. His scoring clip - 20 points in 21 games in the SHL, 32 in 37 in the AHL - as an 18-year old in both leagues was insane.
Then I started gravitating towards Marner, who was still playing junior hockey against admittedly lesser competition, but putting up a significant amount of points in his own right. The Markham, Ontario native scored 44 goals and 126 points in 63 games with the London Knights of the OHL, which is just about as impressive as Nylander's accomplishments as a first year pro.
Why Marner over Nylander, then?