July 02 2012 09:38AM
(Mark Blinch, Reuters, Original Source)
The Leafs Nation was able to procure audio of the conference call with Toronto Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke on July 1, after the signing of Jay McClement, the re-signing of Matt Frattin, and several dollars were handed out, in Burke's estimation, that cost too much.
July 01 2012 10:25PM
Sharing the burden of a high pressure environement can often bring you closer than you might expect to people you wouldn't normally hang out with. Of course, sometimes, you're lucky enough to meet someone who is actually a decent person in this same situation, and you become something of a Bert & Ernie.
In the case of Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky, it was the (probably unfair and impetuous) expectations of Leafs' fans all across the globe that Nik and Poni should turn into superstars that provided the fertile loveground this bromance to blossom. That is, we have to assume that's why they became such friends, since fan pressure gets all the heat for negative things, so why not let it have this one win?
July 01 2012 06:55PM
Tyler Bozak. Mikhail Grabovski. Tim Connolly. David Steckel. Jay McClement. Quick, which of these is not like the others?
Four of those players will be Toronto Maple Leafs next season. One will indubitably not. If any hockey mathematics are to be trusted, it's that a team can't have five guys playing centre with only four spots available.
July 01 2012 03:44PM
Looks like it was Bob McKenzie who broke the news late Sunday afternoon...
TOR signs Jay McClement to to 2 year deal worth $3M.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2012
McClement represents a very savvy signing by Brian Burke. Similar to last season's major pick-up of David Steckel, Jay McClement is a checking centreman who has spent time with the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. He is a darling with underlying numbers.
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.