January 29 2013 09:36AM
It’s finally reached the point where the chatter to trade Phil Kessel is getting so hot it’s lighting the kindling for the bon fire that’s coming. Forever maligned as a piece involved in a fateful trade, Kessel will burn his name into the annals of Leafs history, or scorch a path out of town.
There’s merit in trying to maximize asset value and get a decent return for a goal scoring threat, perhaps from a team with a need of scoring help and is willing to pay for it.
That’s also contingent on whether the Leafs are inclined to move him.
I don’t believe in the value of a player fluctuating such wide variation over short periods unless there is a fundamental change in the player’s makeup, a bad injury perhaps. Hockey personnel already have a vibrant profile of every NHL player knowing their skill sets and capabilities under the right circumstance.
January 28 2013 01:18PM
The negatives of the Leafs season so far have overtaken the positives after Toronto put up two stinkers against both New York teams to finish last week at 2-3-0. In a vacuum, the 2-3-0 record isn't jarring or worrying. It's a long season, despite what the pundits tell you, and usually in an 82-game season the teams that make the playoffs are the ones who are in playoff position after Game 48.
There's a slightly larger cushion for bad games or bad weeks, but the Leafs can get away with two or three weeks scattered throughout the season of poor performances. That's not what I'm particularly worried about, but the way the team has played this season, they've been heavily relying on their goaltending.
January 28 2013 11:19AM
So NHL hockey is back and every nation site is rocking with tons of daily content, comments, arguments and the odd terrible MS paint picture or photoshop.
Every site, that is, except for the baby in the network: JetsNation.
I convinced Wanye to buy JetsNation.ca and develop the site as soon as they announced a team would be returning to Winnipeg because, hey! Opportunity! I figured it would be easy to track down tons of shiny new excited bloggers and that JetsNation would be bigger than the Beatles in no time.
January 27 2013 03:50PM
The Fan 590, in its efforts to incite reactions out of Torontonians rather than educate, asked this question on its sports radio station today:
Our answer is unequivocally "no". Dion Phaneuf took some heat in our comment threads for his play against the New York Rangers. One commenter referred to him as a "better version of [Brett] Lebda".
Most defencemen are better versions of Brett Lebda, of course, but that's not really the question asked. Phaneuf is paid $6.5-million over the next two seasons and is hardly a buy-out candidate. While he may not be worth every penny on his deal, he's the best defenceman on Toronto and he doesn't play a position the Leafs can afford to give up good players.
Consider the following about Phaneuf's play so far this season:
January 27 2013 01:07PM
The Rangers expose some serious problems on the Leafs by totally out-classing them. Only five games in, but what now?