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.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 07 2013 11:33AM
Dave Feschuk put out an article in the Toronto Star today that caught my attention. His point is in no way ambiguous, being the direct headline; the Maple Leafs should trade Phil Kessel. In his eyes, "there's never been a better time". It's hard to call an opinion piece wrong, but you can make some judgements. My judgments are that his conclusions are poor, and that his basis is flawed. Let's look through it.