June 18 2012 09:37AM
Whenever any player is drafted in the first few picks, the commentators covering the draft really like to envision the same player five years into the future, after having righted the ship of a troubled franchise. In hindsight, it's always nice to read old draft coverage to see which players were wildly overrated or underrated by the hockey establishment.
Like the 2008 draft for instance. Steve Stamkos went number one overall, and then four defencemen followed. 2008 is actually quite similar to 2012 in the sense that a lot of the talent at the top of the draft tended to be defensive players. The '08 defensive class bucked a trend, because less than five years later, so many of them are already playing in the NHL: Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo, Zach Bogosian, Luke Schenn, Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner, Luca Sbisa, Michael Del Zotto and John Carlson were all taken in the first round.
June 18 2012 08:11AM
With silly season entering what should be one of its busiest weeks, the focus on the Leafs' needs in goal and, well, everywhere, will be front and center up until Friday's draft. Of course, we've been discussing most of this since the regular season ended, but it's time for that last kick at the speculation can before things start happening for real.
June 17 2012 10:17AM
Less than a week until the draft boys and girls and the anticipation is starting to build. Will the OIlers pick Yakupov, Murray or trade down? Do the Leafs finally convince someone to take Luke Schenn? Will Calgary trade one of their "big three" contracts? Will everyone in the arena boo the Canucks organization again?
These questions (and more) will be answered in Pittsburgh this coming Friday/Saturday. For now, we're left speculating with folks like Jonathan Willis, Brad MacPherson and Kent Wilson.
This is Nation Radio.
June 15 2012 09:48AM
Perhaps it wasn't Darren Dreger's intention to stoke some fires this morning when he went on TSN radio and suggested that if the Toronto Maple Leafs may be looking to make a move of real significance, for a player such as Rick Nash.
This came after a brief bit about how Phil Kessel, the Leafs' star winger and 37-goal scorer may be uncomfortable in a fishbowl environment like Toronto that is not for everyone. The transcript of Dreger's discussion with Mike Richards this morning is available thanks to our friend b1rky at Pension Plan Puppets, and it's worth a read.
Let's not take away from how silly it is, from a hockey perspective, to trade Phil Kessel, one of the premier goal scorers in the National Hockey League, for Rick Nash, who is up there but his star is fading. Nash is 28, makes $7.8M a year, and scored 30 goals in the NHL last season. He's had a declining total every year since 2009.
June 15 2012 06:08AM
Finding UFA defensemen that can actually play defense - and do it for a decent price - is a tough task. Heading into next season, this is a crucial task for the Maple Leafs as they are in dire need of defensemen that drive play away from their terrible goaltenders.
I wanted to find some UFA's that weren't a known commodity that will also be available for cheap, come July first. I'm quickly realizing though that the unknown players are unknown for a reason. UFA's that are actually good have already been talked about to death.
Jason Garrison had a breakout season last year and may be a decent option for the Leafs. Providing they clear up some cap room, obviously.
A deeper look over the jump.