September 18 2012 09:38AM
An unresolved question leading to the CBA expiry date on September 15 was the Leafs not signing Cody Franson. The 25-year-old rearguard is a restricted free agent coming off a uninspiring season after much expectation.
So let’s break down Franson.
Towering at six-foot-five with a modest 213-pound frame he has a long stride but lacks both first-step burst and top end speed. He appears unbalanced at times, such as in transition to backwards skating, limiting his mobility and agility. He stiffens up trying to maintain balance, in turn leaving big gaps he can’t close down fast enough.
September 18 2012 06:46AM
25 players have donned the #2 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, most of them Defensemen. Probably all, I don't know I didn't click on everyone's bio at hockeyreference. Unlike #1 there was no slam dunk Hall-of-Famer to make my life easy. And lord help me if I have to talk about Luke Schenn any more.
September 17 2012 11:36AM
Why didn't Francois Allaire do interviews all the time?
Very often in sports reporting, people give vague answers to questions. The quotes are nice to have because of the name attached to them, and they're great for filling up pages, but that doesn't mean they always add actual value or substance to the story. For that very reason, Francois Allaire's quotes from Michael Trakos' peice in the National Post are a bit jarring.
"To be honest, I don't think the Leafs need a goalie coach. I think they have enough of them. They have two or three guys who were making decisions with the goalies. In the NHL, that's not the way it works. If that's the way they want to operate, then I'm not there."
That cool breeze you just felt was the breath of fresh air that, that quote was. There's just something about being blunt and up front that I love. They don't even need a goalie coach?
September 17 2012 09:16AM
Whenever we get a new writer here at the Nations, I warn them about the software. I have lost countless posts to the bowels of the Internet and most of the formatting is done manually through HTML, so the "post-production" phase of a post usually takes a while.
But at least I have software, and at least we have a platform. François Allaire, goaltending coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, well, formerly, apparently, was basically a blogger without any software, or a computer for that matter. So news of him quitting out of frustration would be acceptable. He was pretty much Batman:
He’s the goalie coach Toronto deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll blame last year’s .900 on him, because he can take it.— Ryan Etics (@ryantologist) September 17, 2012
Of course, Batman had a utility belt. Allaire had Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson.
September 16 2012 06:50PM
And it's official. As of midnight last night, the NHL has locked out its players from practicing, from training camps, and from games. We somewhat know the issues. The NHL wants to cut costs, the PA want to have their current contracts honoured, it's a ripe big mess and an indication that despite having all the leverage in 2005, the NHL didn't fix anything they wanted to fix.
The general consensus is that the league will restart before it misses out on significant dollars, and those come when games start being broadcast on national TV starting with the Winter Classic on January 1st. My money's on Detroit and Toronto being the first game of the season.
Some reaction, stories filed for publishing at 12:01 am Sunday morning: