January 08 2013 10:12AM
I was going to put some thoughts together on the Leafs players in the World Junior Hockey Championships played in Ufa, Russia, but with the imminent opening of NHL training camps, my thoughts drifted into connections for Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly and his NHL readiness and forward Tyler Biggs putting on display his translatable skills.
Before I get into the actual players I have some general thoughts, particularly on NHL readiness, at the World Junior Championships. Draft decisions often take readiness into consideration, and sometimes it’s just a nice surprise (Cam Fowler, Jeff Skinner). Generally, prospects take time (and resources) to develop.
The World Juniors is geared towards older players, normally drafted, and it's a very good test to see a player amongst the best of his peer group in a high intensity, short burst tournament. The top prospects game has a similar effect with a competitive nature, but a one-game small sample that’s more of an audition.
January 08 2013 03:06AM
Following up on some speculation from the week, it seems like the hockey world is bracing for a deal that would send Roberto Luongo to the perpetually embattled Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending rotation, regardless of what Randy Carlyle told the media today. Rob Longley over at the Toronto Sun quotes Luongo as giving Canucks' GM Mike Gillis the "green light" to make a deal. Luongo is protected by a no-trade clause, but it should be done too surprising he would waive it if he still wants to be an NHL starter.
Now, as for Roberto Luongo's owed salary and contract is the elephant in the room. I never understood the meaning of the term "elephant in the room", since if there were an elephant actually in the room, I would freak out and point out to everybody that there is an elephant in the room.
January 07 2013 10:52AM
A few things to consider this afternoon. One is that the NHL lockout has yet to be lifted, so teams can not communicate with players, nor can teams move players around. There appears to be no timeline yet on when any of this changes, but several observers expect camps to start up some time next week and the season on January 19, which is a Saturday and will feature a slate of rivalry games.
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle had a press conference today, addressing what some of the housekeeping issues will be when the collective bargaining agreement is ratified, player movement begins and training camps start. The biggest two issues for me in regards to the Leafs is goaltending and defence. We can talk about Roberto Luongo trade possibilities later.
January 06 2013 05:04PM
What's that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It's time for about 1000cc of that.
January 06 2013 09:39AM
After 16 hours of bargaining and mediation Saturday and early into Sunday morning, the National Hockey League and its Players Association came through with a tentative labour agreement that will see the remainder of the 2012-2013 season played out under a pro-rated salary cap.
A groggy Gary Bettman, who was speaking about as quickly as Luke Schenn accelerates, clarified that the deal must be ratified on both sides, and that there was no information available yet on schedule or number of games to be played.