January 03 2016 11:30AM
It was a bit of a surprise when Jonathan Drouin, the former 3rd overall pick in 2013, was sent down to Syracuse of the AHL yesterday. It was an even bigger surprise when it was revealed earlier today that Drouin asked for a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning in November, with him reportedly still wanting out.
So the question then becomes, would he make sense for the Leafs? Should the Leafs even want him? If they do want him, do they have the pieces to get it done?
Spoiler alert: the answer to all three of those questions is a resounding yes.
January 03 2016 09:23AM
According to the IIHF official website, William Nylander's WJC tournament is over.
Nylander was the victim of a blindside hit to the head by Switzerland's Chris Egli in Sweden's first game of the preliminary round and hasn't touched the ice since. Nobody has confirmed that it's a concussion issue, but one can assume since it almost always is with these kinds of hits.
According to the IIHF report, Nylander will be leaving the tournament immediately and returning to Toronto, not long after Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello arrived in Helsinki to meet with Team Sweden officials and discuss Nylander. You have to imagine that Lou simply went to shut down any notion that Nylander could return later in the tournament.
January 02 2016 08:31PM
Over the past decade, the salary cap has found a way to create the right amount of parity in the week. Enough that there's still a couple of teams at the top and bottom that deserve to be there, but also enough for a bit of Any Given Saturday-ism. No team is safe from anybody, as the Leafs proved tonight by beating the St. Louis Blues for the second time in as many games together, winning by a familiar 4-1 score.
January 02 2016 05:46PM
Photo Credit: Mike Ivall / @M_IvallOJHLI
I don't think I've ever seen a pre-game line brawl outside of YouTube before. I'd assume that's the same for most of the crowd, but boy did we get close. The Toronto Marlies and Syracuse Crunch had their collective blood boiling before the opening faceoff, and it spilled over into a heck of a hockey game, which ultimately saw the Marlies skate away with a 3-2 victory.
January 02 2016 02:01PM
Maybe this is the 2016 World Juniors Championships talking, but Toronto needs to stop winning against NHL teams that are better than them. I mean, the 3-2 shootout victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday night not only pushed the Leafs higher up the league standings but they also sincerely need Pittsburgh to make the playoffs this year. Remember - Toronto doesn't get that Pittsburgh first round pick from the Phil Kessel deal this year if the Pens miss out.
Tonight, Toronto hosts the fourth-place St. Louis Blues; a team they've already beaten once this season. And Toronto needs to lose, damn it. I mean, did you see Patrik Laine this morning?