Tyler Biggs, Garret Sparks named to preliminary USA junior roster

Cam Charron
December 04 2012 10:42AM

As speculated yesterday and widely assumed, two Toronto Maple Leafs prospects were named to the American World Junior preliminary squad, both off their OHL teams. That's Tyler Biggs of the Oshawa Generals, selected in the first round of the 2011 draft, and Garret Sparks, goaltender for the Guelph Storm, selected in the 7th round that same year.

America's camp runs from December 16 to December 23, with much less pomp the Canadian trials will offer, and also fewer players. Only four skaters will be cut from the preliminary roster, and with the team likely to take three goalies to Russia, I think it's safe to say both Biggs and Sparks will make the trip. Whether Sparks sees any action is dependent on the health of John Gibson.

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NHL OWNERS AND PLAYERS FACE-TO-FACE

Jason Gregor
December 04 2012 08:21AM

Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman will not be directly involved in today's meeting between six NHL owners and a select group of NHL players, but don't jump to a conclusion assuming that both sides will suddenly find some common ground with their leaders out of the room.

Bettman has long been the player's whipping boy. They actually believe that he wants to ruin the game and that he's the ultimate puppet master pulling the owner's strings. Meanwhile the NHL is certain that Fehr is not telling the players the truth, even though many of them have been present during most of the negotiations.

The lockout was asinine to begin with, but it's becoming more laughable by the day. It would be great if today's meeting will start an avalanche of positive negotiations, or as Steve Burton reported continue on the "significant progress" they allegedly made yesterday.

We'll see.

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The Joe Colborne Conundrum

Gus Katsaros
December 04 2012 07:33AM

Let’s start this by establishing boundaries. Just what kind of player did the Leafs acquire in Joe Colborne?

At the  2:15-2:55 point of the press conference announcing the trade that sent Tomas Kaberle to Boston for Colborne and a first round pick, Brian Burke makes this statement about newly acquired Joe Colborne.

“Meets our criteria of assets that are close, not guys that’ll take three years to get there.”

That press conference took place in February 2011. The wrist injury affected his progress and timelines need to be adjusted. – even with the lockout. Recovery time would spill into the 2012-13 season, so there’s a distinct possibility that Colborne is playing through an injury, either the wrist, or something else.

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Morgan Rielly named to Team Canada's selection camp - Percy omitted

Cam Charron
December 03 2012 11:20AM

And this morning came the much-anticipated announcement of Canada's World Junior squad selection camp roster. Specifically, we at TLN were looking for Toronto Maple Leafs on the roster. As expected, Morgan Rielly was named to the camp roster as a defenceman and Stuart Percy, who has been captaining the Mississauga Steelheads, was not.

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Joe Colborne was scratched twice this weekend. What now?

Cam Charron
December 03 2012 08:58AM

Lacking an ECHL affiliate for some reason, the Toronto Maple Leafs have somewhat of a surplus of B-prospects moving in and out of the lineup at Ricoh. Sunday, it seems, Joe Colborne was held out of the lineup and his replacement, Spencer Abbott, scored three assists in just his sixth game of the season in Toronto's 5-4 win over Lake Erie.

Colborne has passed the eye test this season, but he hasn't put it together offensively, recording a single goal (on the powerplay) and five assists (all at even strength) in 18 games this season. Holding him out of the lineup wasn't simply an injury precaution, but a tactic used by Dallas Eakins to presumably kickstart him the way he did with Nazem Kadri's scoring earlier this season.

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