August 16 2015 06:44AM
The weird thing about a team as illustrious as the Toronto Maple Leafs was that, despite being only behind the Montreal Canadiens in the historical depth charts, they rarely had players that you could argue to be the best in the world, even in their role. They'd grab a Borje Salming, but Denis Potvin would be across the border ready to take him in Long Island. Mats Sundin was a first-ballot hall of famer, but played in the Gretzky-Lemieux-Jagr stretch generation, with even further talent overlapping him on any given year. Darryl Sittler would get out-shone by Guy Lafleur. Frank Mahovlich was no Gordie Howe. It goes on, and on.
But Charlie Conacher was the exception to that rule. Not only did he have his moment where he was the best, he had his better part of a decade. Charlie Conacher was the thirties, something no other Leaf could truly compare to.
August 14 2015 06:13PM
Robbie Russo was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders - but in their hurry to fill organizational needs on the blue line, they filled up roster spots that could have potentially been his by now.
August 14 2015 11:34AM
Even a month and half after the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Latvian winger Martins Dzierkals in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, there's still tremendously little information about him out in ther internet wilderness. Dzierkals was drafted out of the MHL, Russia's top Junior league, meaning that many Western-based scouts never had a great chance to see him play. Even on the international circuit, the Latvian U20 team he suited up for played in the Division I A tournament held this year in Italy. Only the U18 team played in the IIHF's top division, meaning those six games were the best chance to see Dzierkals live.
Here's what we do know, though... Dzierkals, standing 5'11, 180lbs, put up good points with each of the four teams he represented this past season. With Ogre/Saga 18, a junior club based just outside Riga, Dzierkals posted 10 points in six games. With HK Riga in the MHL, it was 28 points in 32 games.
August 14 2015 08:38AM
Yesterday we had some news out of Montreal that the Leafs had contacted Jacques Lemaire, one of the most well-recognized coaches in league history, to join their bench as an assistant. Today the team made it official, adding Lemaire as a special assignment coach.
August 14 2015 08:06AM
Frank Mahovlich, The Big M. He's a fascinating story. With a lot of these players that played for the blue and white a long time ago, it's tough to really find much of a tale to tell. Mahovlich, though, is something else. Not only was he a superstar on the ice, but he went through quite a lot off of it. For despite all of his talent and productivity, he was the victim of constant abuse from both the organization and the fans - so much so that this legendary Leaf was ran out of town as the team's last great dynasty came to a close.