Dave Morrison's Fishing Holes

Adam Laskaris
June 22 2015 08:00AM

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Photo: LeafsTV

Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison's has been with the Toronto Maple Leafs since 2004 and in his current role since 2006. Because the Leafs have quite clearly not been exactly the NHL's most talented team in that timeframe, it's natural to wonder exactly what's going on in their scouting department. 

Prior to the 2013 draft, our own Justin Fisher wrote a piece examining the history of Dave Morrison's draft tendencies, looking at the leagues where Morrison often decided to cast his scouting rod

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #4 - Antoine Vermette

Ryan Lambert
June 22 2015 08:00AM

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Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.

There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.

We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.

At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions. 

And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.

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Update: Leafs the front-runner to land Zaitsev

Ryan Fancey
June 22 2015 07:04AM

Last week we had an interesting day trying to figure out if the Leafs had signed defenceman Nikita Zaitsev out of the KHL. Initially it looked like he would be coming to Toronto, foregoing his last year in Russia with CSKA Moscow, but eventually it became clear nothing would be sorted out until after next season. 

Igor Eronko, a writer for Sports.ru who first relayed the news of Zaitsev and the Leafs being linked, provided a few updates on the situation this morning.

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What about the Goaltending Prospects?

Jon Steitzer
June 21 2015 07:14PM

You might have noticed recently on The Leafs Nation that we’ve had a lot of draft coverage. You might have also noticed recently that the Leafs really need to start doing an incredible job of drafting in order to turn their franchise around. That has led us to looking into as many skaters in the draft as we possibly can. The one area we’ve ignored has been goaltenders, with the exception of Justin Fisher’s plea to consider drafting one again this year.

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The Leafs' Top 5 Draft Busts

Elizabeth Bate
June 21 2015 03:05PM

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Screen cap courtesy Leafs TV

It's time for the worst of the worst. The biggest mistakes the franchise ever made come draft time. And who better to point them out then the Leafs biggest fan who loves to hate them? ...And since she wasn't available so they asked me. 

But really, when you think about who was the biggest waste of time, the biggest waste of money, and simply just the weirdest choices, these are the picks that come to mind. These are the mistakes you pray they'll never make again, but you know in your heart of hearts there's always the potential for a pick like one of these to show up and just ruin your whole season before it's even begun. (I find if you're having a nightmare about the potential for a bad pick, or you're just feeling sad that we didn't get McDavid it's helpful to sit down with a nice cup of tea and chant quietly 'we have Babcock, things will be ok now.' repeatedly). 

With no further ado, lets get to the hate fest.

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