July 01 2012 01:34PM
The first couple of hours of free agency were hardly notable for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That's not exactly new. Though Brian Burke said that the team might be active on July 1st, there's not a lot of recent history to suggest he would.
Last year, Burke took the hardly-publicized trip to Afghanistan to meet with the troops. His overall summer was very quiet, signing only Tim Connolly and Pascal Dupuis. Both deals at the time seemed like good bets, Dupuis especially since it was signed at the league-minimum. A year prior, he had signed Colby Armstrong to a three year deal, but rectified that mistake with a very savvy signing of Clarke MacArthur.
July 01 2012 09:47AM
Join us at 12pm MST (10am EST) to criticize, mock or applaude all the big additions and/or mistakes NHL GM's will make today.
June 30 2012 09:56AM
Colby Armstrong was bought out Saturday, the day before NHL free agency, as per several hockey sources including Colby Armstrong's own Twitter account:
Thanks to the leaf nation for the support over the last couple seasons. Although I had tough luck thanks for everything. #lotsleftinme— Colby Armstrong (@armdog) June 30, 2012
It's not really a huge debate, but Armstrong certainly had his share of misfortune in Toronto. He had strong underlying numbers in Atlanta and Pittsburgh, but his health took a turn for the worse in Toronto. He missed games with everything from "blurred vision" to a "sprained left foot" and played just 79 games in two seasons for the Maple Leafs, most of them below replacement level.
June 30 2012 09:40AM
----This new regular Friday/Saturday feature column was written by Matt Wright. Follow him on Twitter @mattwright9
Welcome to the first *official* edition of 13 thoughts: a simultaneous tribute to the inspiration for the column (Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts” – the best hockey column on the internet right now) and the Leafs all-time point leader and most recent Hall of Famer. As the season approaches, this column will be a source for Leafs facts and behind-the-scenes information. However, due to my writing hiatus I’d like to take Volume 1 of this post and column on some of the most important matters since the off-season.
The last time I wrote for this website was February 10th. To give you a frame of reference, when I wrote that column, the Leafs were cruising to make the playoffs, the Kings were on the outside looking in, and Roberto Luongo was a Canuck…well, okay, we’re not all the way there, but the fact is, a lot has changed. However, there is one constant. Take a look at thought #10 from my previous entry:
The Schenn for James Van Riemsdyk trade talks refuse to go away. To be honest, I'm okay with it. It's no secret Burke wants JVR, so I asked noted Philly fan @DownGoesSpezza who he'd want for Van Riemsdyk: Luke Schenn and a second rounder.
Done. JVR is going to be a real beauty and is young enough to grow with this team. While I like Schenn, he's surplus to requirements and is a little slow compared to the rest of our defense. The only knock I have on Van Riemsdyk is the concussion issue. Let's make sure he's healthy before we do anything drastic.
June 29 2012 11:03AM
Kudos to the guys from Maple Leaf Hot Stove who extracted audio from Brian Burke's stint on Halifax radio yesterday. If there's one positive thing I can say about Burke that we can agree on, it's that he's available, he's clear, he's concise, and he doesn't leave anybody in the dark.
On this stint, he spoke a bit about Maple Leafs team needs, the James van Riemsdyk trade, and why he doesn't think that Morgan Rielly should play in the NHL next year, but the major bit of information in there was about his plans for July 1st and free agency day.