Robin Brownlee
July 14 2012 12:46AM

Multiple media outlets are reporting the NHL has tabled its first CBA proposal to the NHLPA. Based on what's being reported, it's a proposal that can only be characterized as a swift kick in the nuts low-ball offer to the NHLPA and the first volley in what stands to be a protracted and likely ugly negotiation.

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Aftermath: The Dion Phaneuf Trade

Steve Dangle
July 13 2012 12:28PM

Dion Phaneuf talking to some blogger douche.

Earlier this week it was reported that Niklas Hagman had signed a deal to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. I couldn't help but think to myself, “LOL, Nik Hagman. I remember that guy.” After that, I thought two more things:

  1. Did I really just say “LOL” in my head?
  2. Wasn't he part of the Phaneuf trade?

And that was the thing. I actually half-forgot Niklas Hagman was in the trade that brought the Leafs Dion Phaneuf. As a matter of fact, who the hell was even in that trade? It was almost 30 months ago. That's almost two and a half years – January 31st, 2010! 

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, and play a little “Where are they now?” with the Dion Phaneuf trade.

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It's a tough role, Charlie (Mike) Brown

Cam Charron
July 13 2012 09:09AM

I wrote a post for the Backhand Shelf this morning that examined the role of the average fighter. I concluded that many regular players in the NHL who accrued a lot of fights also had a specific role on their team. As it happens, Mike Brown had 10 fights with the Maple Leafs last season, but I couldn't speficially determine his role from the advanced stats without some sort of context.

Brown has 19 fights in two seasons with the Leafs, with a record, according to the voters on, of 9-5-5. It's a pretty good win percentage, but that hasn't helped the Leafs closer to a playoff spot, nor has it prevented the Leafs' best forwards from getting hit and taken advantage of for their small size.

To take a line from Office Space, "what would you say, you do here"?

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James van Riemsdyk at centre is going to happen, isn't it?

Cam Charron
July 12 2012 09:09AM

Bit of a media blitz in the last 12 hours relating to the possibility of James van Riemsdyk playing at centre between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul:

The major takeaway from van Riemsdyk's initial meeting with Maple Leafs beat writers was, indeed, that JvR is "definitely excited" about the possibility and "it's a great opportunity for him".

The National Post, and both the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun made that the major focus on their reports. Naturally, it's the big story, but does JvR really fit into the centreman position on this team?

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Reading The Tea Leafs: Superstitions of the Toronto variety

JP Nikota
July 12 2012 06:39AM

Not every hockey player is superstitious, but they are almost all creatures of habit. Myself, I have a certain way of taping the knob at the end of my stick, certain types of socks I like to wear under skates, and I almost never wash the shirts I wear under my shoulder pads. There are plenty of other little things I've done over the years on game days, but there are some former Leafs out there that make my own habits look pretty darn tame.

I recently read Andrew Podnieks' Hockey Superstitions, and, from that, have culled a list of former Leafs with some peculiar habits.

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