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.
June 14 2012 11:14AM
Part of the problem with such limited goaltender blood on the open market is that the Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the best goaltenders in the minor leagues who, if he were in any other organization, may be anticipating his entrance to the NHL next season in a backup capacity.
But that isn't the case for Ben Scrivens, the 25-year old (26 in September) out of Spruce Grove, Alberta. Scrivens, who is a restricted free agent, faces an odd situation.
June 14 2012 08:26AM
Awwww yeah. -Photo from Reuters
When breaking down the Leafs' Player Usage Chart from the 2011-2012 season Rob Vollman observed that: "Toronto certainly is a two-horse blue line (Phaneuf and Gunnarson), and Schenn is certainly the inexplicably weak link on defense - at least Komisarek’s poor results can be partially explained by playing in his own zone far more often than he should have been allowed." Unfortunately we're paying three other player's Top 4 money. This needs to change. The Leafs need to find a Top 4 "shut-down" defenseman on the cheap.
June 13 2012 05:16PM
There were only so few articles in Canadian media written about the Leafs signing Leo Komarov. Most of them didn’t even go deep enough to explain what type of a player Komarov is as they were limited to general information – 25-year-old Finnish energetic winger, born in Estonia, 5’11, 198lbs, 11 goals and 24 points in 46 KHL games this season…
While all of it is true, it doesn’t address his key-feature for which his was glorified in Dynamo Moscow and hated by everyone else outside of the organization. Leo Komarov is let-him-know-you’re-there, Avery-vs-Brodeur type of agitator whose idol is Jarkko Ruutu.
I’ve gathered a few recent quotes about Komarov to give you a better idea of what to expect of him. These quotes appeared throughout May in Sport-Express, Sovetsky Sport, R-Sport, Sportbox.Ru, Allhockey.Ru and NTV-Plus: