August 10 2015 06:35PM
As we embark on our annual TLN Top 20 Prospects series, it's important to remember and recognize the special players that paved the way for tomorrow's stars. Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing our first ever TLN All-Time Greatest Leafs Team, announcing a new player every day until we've filled out our 23-man roster.
Coming up with an All-Time team is a real challenge. So many of us have different ideas as to what an All-Time team should be... today's NHL stars are much, much better athletes, playing a dramatically different brand of hockey than was played back in, say, the 1930s... Are we building the best team possible? Are we considering what players, who might not be the most skilled, contributed and gave to the team and organization? Do we overlook off-ice transgressions?
There are so many different things to consider when building such a team, and it caused a great deal of heated debate and discussion at TLN HQ (which is less a base of operations, more a crude and GIF-filled chat room). Hell, Jeff almost made Jon quit, but then we sent Jeff to Canucks Army and he's their problem now.
Point is, there's always going to be controversy with a team like this. The Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the most storied franchises in professional hockey, and while the club has been struggling for well over a decade now, the organization has seen many legends pass through. By the end of this series, there will be controversy (so beware the comments section), and that's why I'm so glad to be kicking things off tonight with perhaps the easiest player announcement in the series.
When we talk about the greatest Maple Leafs of all-time, Darryl Sittler is always one of the first names that comes up. He's a shoo-in, and the first member of our TLN All-Time Leafs team.
August 10 2015 12:30PM
Heading into last year's preseason, our expectations for Matt Finn were sky high. He had just come off of a near point-per-game season with the OHL's Guelph Storm, and in the process, captained said team all the way to the Memorial Cup Final. They lost that game, but in the process, he climbed up our charts, making a three position jump from fifth to second on our annual rankings.
Which makes it all the more surreal that we're opening up this year's rankings with a twentieth placed Matt Finn.
August 10 2015 09:00AM
As we make the transition from "oh, hockey is over for a bit" to "OH MY GOD, CAN'T HOCKEY JUST START AGAIN", the crew here at The Leafs Nation are always looking for new things to talk about. As you've probably noticed, we've begun multiple mini-series, looking back, at, and ahead into the history of the Leafs. If you've ever wondered how we decide who the best of the best are for these series, I'll tell you straight up; it's by screaming at each other. The only thing that has stopped Jon and I from coming to blows is a 3500km gap between our houses.
That's what makes us the best. We care and we laugh it off afterward. I don't know what this has to do with the mailbag, but as I'm sure you've noticed, I've given up on pretending the opening paragraph of the mailbag means anything. So, uhh, keep sending in your questions every week! (Seriously though)
August 09 2015 05:25PM
Welcome to the 2015 TLN Toronto Maple Leafs Top 20 Prospects rankings, our annual prospect countdown that we will carry through the next few weeks. We'll laugh, we'll cry... We'll probably fight a lot. The point is, we're going to be diving head first into the Leafs' prospect pool and harshly judging a group of teenagers, hyping up their strengths and brutally criticizing them for their weaknesses! Yay!
August 09 2015 02:48PM
We’ve reached the end of our Reliving journey and come to think of it, we should’ve Benjamin Buttoned this thing so we could end on the high note of the Quinn years instead of a season that saw the Leafs with their highest draft selection since the Leafs picked Scott Thornton in 1989. This is also the year you just had to endure and would probably love to forget. Compared to some of the other seasons we’ve discussed this is far from the worst. We saw the Leafs do a few things to set themselves up for success further down the road, and we closed the door on the Carlyle era, the Nonis era, and unfortunately the Kessel era. So once more unto the breach, dear friends…