January 12 2013 09:02PM
Above is the Toronto Maple Leafs' schedule for the month of January. As expected from yesterday's various tweets, the Leafs will open at the Bell Centre next week on CBC.
Toronto will play exclusively in the Eastern Conference this year, playing Montreal and Ottawa five times and Buffalo and Boston four times. The full schedule can be found here. They'll play nine back-to-backs, and, as our good friend b1kry points out, "7 dreaded MON or TUE games vs. SouthEast opponents".
For those of you stuck in the 1950s and can only watch hockey games via national television, Toronto play on TSN nine times and CBC 14 times.
January 12 2013 01:08PM
Somewhat unorthodox, but Brian Burke was granted the opportunity by the team to have a farewell press conference, where he spoke to the assembled media about the circumstances surrounding his firing, but for the most part thanked fans and ownership for the opportunity to work with the Maple Leafs.
But it's not a Burke presser unless there's some serious snark being turned. I transcribed some of the subtle, and not-so-subtle, zingers Burke used on the gathered media, via the video centre at the Maple Leafs website:
On the timing of his firing:
"I got a cold when I was in Russia and I wasn't able to shake it, so I apologize in advance. It would have been nice to get this notice before I went to Russia."
January 12 2013 10:25AM
Once lockout is over, I expect TOR to announce a 1 year deal with defenceman Cody Franson. Likely for a shade over $1M. #tsn— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 12, 2013
Franson's name has come up a few times when discussing the Luongo sweepstakes, and this obviously doesn't change that. If the cap hit is actually just over a million, that's a pretty good deal for a guy who can hold his own on the offensive side of the puck, either for the Leafs or Canucks.
Remember Franson came over as part of the Lebda deal before last season, but perhaps didn't see as much ice with the Leafs as he would have liked. Though, he still managed 21 points in 57 games played.
Franson has spent this season in the Swedish Elite League, where he had 7 points in 26 games played for Brynas IF Gavle.
January 11 2013 04:26PM
Nate Silver has theorized that consensus builds models for better forecasts, but even moreso, having a financial stake in the outcome will force people to build better forecasts. Sports odds, by proxy, have a lot to offer.
Basically, sports odds represent the consensus forecasts of people willing to spend money, and they do it well. For a while, I was under the impression that perhaps popular teams got way more favourable odds than less popular teams due to the sheer volume of fans betting on them, changing the line. A quick look at records of Dallas Cowboys games against the spread showed me that, if that was ever a market inefficiency to be exploited by the betting market, it already has been.
January 11 2013 08:30AM
I'm quite confident saying that this past week the Toronto Maple Leafs made a bigger headline than the moment the lockout ended. Brian Burke was fired, Dave Nonis hired in his place, and now here we go.
The reasons for Burke's firing probably had something to do with the team being 13th in the conference last year, no clear direction on where things were going, and a number of huge decisions coming up in the next year that I guess MLSE didn't trust him with.