June 16 2015 08:32AM
Yesterday there was a report circulating that the Leafs had offered D.J. Smith an assistant coaching gig with the Leafs. This morning Damien Cox is reporting that it's all but certain that Smith will be accepting that role.
Sure sounds like D.J. Smith will be an assistant coach along with Jim Hiller under Mike Babcock with the Leafs. 4-year deal.— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) June 16, 2015
The fact that Cox is reporting the term is a good sign that this is actually happening. What is also interesting is that apparently Jim Hiller is all but confirmed as well. More from Cox after the jump
June 16 2015 07:00AM
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
In the three weeks since he became the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs - it still feels good, doesn't it - we haven’t seen a single public action or comment (aside from the lengthy introductory press conference) from Mike Babcock, but undoubtedly he’s a big part
of the discussions that are leading into the biggest player transaction period
of the year.
There aren't any specific rumours floating around in the ether involving Babcock's former charges, but it's frequently observed that in sports, and in all industries and walks of life, familiarity can be a decisive factor when it comes to personnel decisions. While Babcock pulling Niklas Lidstrom out of retirement, or magically poaching Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Nyquist, and Kronwall would help the Maple Leafs, I can’t shake the feeling that it's not a realistic possibility. On the flip side, I also doubts that Babcock is still looking to drain the last hockey from Dan Cleary’s bones..
With those players off the table, here’s a list of five former Babcock players whom the Maple Leafs could be looking to target this offseason.
June 15 2015 05:36PM
The Maple Leafs may be going to back to the Ontario Hockey League in order to fill one of their vacant assistant coaching positions.
According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, the Maple Leafs have offered Memorial Cup winning coach D.J. Smith a position behind the bench alongside Mike Babcock.
June 15 2015 12:56PM
I'm back for another week! Thank you, @Jeffler, for relinquishing the mailbag for a second time to my highly-undeserving clutches.
The draft is just under two weeks away, and the Leafs have made it fairly clear that they're totally fine with going into the draft GM-less - so long as they have someone in charge by the start of next season. I think this is a pretty godawful way of approaching the first draft in your umpteenth rebuild, but I'm like many of you - still clinging to the tiniest plausible deniability that Shanahan is incapable of making mistakes. We'll see.
June 15 2015 10:00AM
He may be Swedish but to me he's all finish.
Disclaimer: I fully admit to having a bias towards any 17 or 18 year old kid who manages to earn a regular shift in one of the European Elite Leagues. That’s one of the reasons why I had Nylander ranked third last year, and that’s why I am falling hard for Joel Eriksson Ek this year.
I will kill any direct comparisons of the two players right now, by saying that Eriksson Ek is not on the same talent level as Nylander. What Eriksson lacks in high end offensive talent, he makes up for with being a center you’d be happy to have on the ice in any situation.