February 23 2016 12:59PM
It's 30 Thoughts Day! While we are dealing with a much more tight lipped front office this year and as a result there have been fewer leaks to insiders, Elliotte Friedman still manages to deliver the goods.
He elaborated on his Kadri to St. Louis speculation from his Reddit AMA, but he also dropped this new tidbit for us.
22. Sounds like contract talks have started with Morgan Rielly. Next time we hear about it will probably be when he signs.
February 23 2016 12:00PM
In a season that has become far less about the product on the ice and far more about what the management team is doing, the games this week seem even more buried that usual. With only six more sleeps before the trade deadline, the Maple Leafs are well into the fire sale and there's a good chance fans at the ACC will be more interested in the speculation on Twitter than how mark Arcobello is doing on the second powerplay unit.
In any season, getting up for a game against Nashville on a Tuesday in late-February is a difficult task but this season more than most, the outcome of the game will be of little interest beyond "are we below the Oilers in the standings yet?"
February 23 2016 10:40AM
At this time of the NHL season, it's important to remember that not all trade speculation is created equally. We need to make sure we separate the good rumors from the bad and that we always keep in mind that while many claim to be, most people on Twitter are not 'Insiders'. That being said, Bob McKenzie is definitely a good source of information and when he speculates on a trade destination we should take it somewhat seriously.
February 23 2016 06:56AM
As we've mentioned in a number of posts recently, the Leafs are a team with a lot of cap flexibility and basically have an endless flow of money, so expect them to continue this trend of taking on dead money to accumulate other assets up to the deadline and into the summer. Already we have Torres, Cowen, Greening - players with short term but problematic cap hits - and there's likely more on the way.
February 23 2016 06:22AM
Last week in Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts, he fired out a quote from an NHL executive that read "If Toronto acquires a right-hand shot defenceman who can make a good pass on the power play, go nuts". Nobody really knows what it meant, including Friedman himself. Is this something related to the Stamkos rumour mill? Or is it just pointing out a need?
Regardless of the possible hidden codes here, it's no secret the Leafs absolutely need to find a way to strengthen that right side. Actually, strengthen would be putting it lightly, they need to do something franchise-altering.