June 14 2013 09:43AM
We've begun slowly rolling out our offseason game plans. Last year, we concentrated on specific players and dedicated a post for each of them, but both the free agent and trade markets appear to be so thin right now. They will become a bit more interesting at the conclusion of the first buy-out window which I believe is 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Finals until July 4 at 5:00 p.m.
TSN's Scott Cullen, an excellent columnist, had a very good breakdown for the Leafs' offseason game plan and generally came to the same conclusions we often do at The Leafs Nation: the Leafs still have some holes to fill and they can't assume they'll make the playoffs in an 82-game season based off last season's success.
As always there will be personnel decisions to address, but the first order of business for the Maple Leafs is understanding that they overachieved last season. That is, their place in the standings was not supported by sustainable underlying statistics, so they can't rest on their playoff laurels thinking that they are simply a playoff team going forward.
Bolded the fun bit that will surely draw lots of agreement in the TSN comment section. Read past the jump.
June 13 2013 01:23PM
Like it or not, in the course of an 82-game season, you need a Colton Orr.— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) June 13, 2013
Let's assume for a minute that Lance Hornby's assertion is correct, and that fighting leads to wins (but it isn't true).
Why would a team need to re-up an enforcer to a two-year deal, even if fighting mattered (which it doesn't).
Let's take a look at a few transactions that happened this season, and keep that in mind when you ponder why the Toronto Maple Leafs just gave Colton Orr a two-year contract, especially when you consider that on Orr's last contract, he was sent down to the minors in his third year.
June 13 2013 01:01PM
If you've been reading me for a couple years, you'd know by now that I have a lot of respect for David Poile and Don Maloney, two general managers who had consecutive playoff appearances despite playing in small markets without big-name stars. Those teams are the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively, but you could probably add in Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues and Garth Snow of the New York Islanders. The Blues were a floor team this season, won 29 games (4th in the NHL) after a year they won 49 games (also 4th in the NHL). They'll probably have a higher salary cap this season, because they have four of their stars needing new contracts, but they drafted and developed possibly better than any team in the league, finding lots of hidden gems in the later parts of the first round.
June 13 2013 10:14AM
Yesterday we asked readers network-wide to vote their choices for the first 10 slots in this year’s entry draft. The results are in; which teams landed which players?
June 12 2013 11:03AM
Something I've been pondering for a while, or at least for the few minutes it took me to get ready for work this morning, is whether Randy Carlyle can return to the Leafs in the fall as a better coach than he was this past season.
The whole Carlyle debate has been dug up a little more again with the recent departure of Marlies' coach Dallas Eakins to the Edmonton Oilers.