June 01 2012 11:28AM
Over the next few weeks heading into the draft and free agency, The Leafs Nation will be updating readers daily on potential shortterm and longterm solutions to some of the problems facing the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Obviously, the Leafs are afflicted in certain areas. They couldn't score without their top players at the end of last season. They don't have a goaltender that has shown to be successful over a full season at the NHL level, and they have a number of depth players making way too much money to be worthwhile, given what they bring to the table.
This isn't in any way an attempt to disparage the effort that some of the players bring each and every night. The effort has never been a problem over the past few seasons. The problem has been that the players that management, both old and new, has forced the coaching staff to deploy needed to bring too much effort to be legitimate NHL players.
You don't want to need nine guys who have to bust their buns to impress fans, coaches and media. The bulk of star players in the NHL make it all look so effortless. Phil Kessel, one of them, is a player nearing free agency for the first time, and the Leafs have to surround him with winning pieces and get the team back into the playoffs.
May 31 2012 12:39PM
Today the Nation Network would like to announce the winner of the NHLNumbers logo contest - Entry "D" by Gregg Beever. Gregg is a graphic designer and webmaster by trade, but he also publishes a web comic called Inglorious Hipsters, which you should definitely check out. Follow Gregg on twitter here as well.
May 30 2012 11:38AM
Most of the photos of Komarov are of him causing a ruckus in front of the net.
Per James Mirtle the Leafs have officially signed 2006 6th round pick Leo Komarov to a one year contract. It’s an entry level deal “with a cap hit of $1.2-million ($850,000 in base salary with another $350,000 in potential bonuses)”. Here is why you should be excited about a move that would go unnoticed among most other franchises.
May 29 2012 02:46PM
So far, these playoffs have defied prediction, as our playoff prediction contest tends to demonstrate. Interestingly though, there seems to be a very clear favourite in the series between Los Angeles and New Jersey.
May 29 2012 09:59AM
Nothing good ever happens to Kessel when sitting in a folding chair.
Today is the annual NHL Draft Combine, a day in which draft eligibile players bench press, standing high jump, and pedal hooked up to giant tubes. Ostensibly it gives scouts and GMs an opportunity to evaluate each player's physical fitness. But it also gives them a chance to evaluate more intangible things like their "drive", "compete level", and "character". While there is definitely something to be learned from the event, I'd caution against taking too much out of what happens here. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that the Combine is not the most accurate prediction of future success.