May 17 2013 11:00AM
via Claus Anderson/Getty
Okay, maybe that wasn't the *big* news of the day, but it's something that happened. Tyler Bozak, the first-line centreman for the Leafs for the last four years, is an unrestricted free agent this summer and it doesn't sound like the Maple Leafs have a huge interest in bringing him back.
In the playoffs, the Leafs were short-handed for two games without Bozak—games six and seven—and replaced his spot in the lineup with Nazem Kadri and filled Kadri's spot with Joe Colborne. In an effort to stack the deck against Bruins' defenceman Zdeno Chara, Kessel spent a lot of time in the playoffs, pre-Bozak injury, on a line with Kadri while Bozak played with Joffrey Lupul and Matt Frattin as an improvised third line.
Kessel's offence was unaffected by this.
May 16 2013 11:49AM
It was locker clear out day in Toronto Thursday morning, which means the coaches and players are available to talk about the disappointment of not getting the job done.
Randy Carlyle and Dave Nonis also spoke. I'll focus more on Nonis because ultimately, he's the guy who runs the team and makes the final decisions. Nonis is a very reserved talker and is as conservative with words as he is as a manager—it's rare he'll open up or deviate from the script.
Here are Nonis' thoughts on Phil Kessel, the Meltdown, his strategy and what they'll do going into the draft:
May 16 2013 09:41AM
Say Good Night Gracie
I guess it would be foolish not to start off this post with at least addressing Game Seven, though frankly, I’m over it. There is nothing this franchise can do anymore that legitimately surprises me. While a collapse like this is unprecedented and unlikely statistically, it doesn’t change the fact that the Leafs struggle defensively, and the Bruins are a more talented team that Toronto is incapable of matching when they are firing on all cylinders.
I’ve divorced myself from the last ten minutes of the Leafs season, which is a pleasant change after normally trying to rid my brain of entire Leaf seasons, instead I’ll put myself back in the mindset I was in after Game Four. “At least the Leafs didn’t get swept.” Despite picking the Leafs to win the series in six, all I ever wanted out of this series was to avoid a sweep, for the Leafs to not be embarrassed by Seguin, Hamilton, and Rask, and for Phil Kessel to prove that he can play against Zdeno Chara. All of those things happened, and we got to watch some really good hockey before heading into summer hiatus.
May 15 2013 10:12AM
I don't want to re-hash "The Game" or analyze what went wrong for Toronto in the waning minutes of Game 7 against the Boston Bruins. I will indicate, however, that it's not like all levels of the Leafs capitulated in the end—offence, defence and goaltending.
A series of highly unlikely events took place in a sequenced order that makes the probability of Game 7's ending even more unlikely.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
May 14 2013 09:58PM
Something happened on Monday that I won't direclty mention, because the majority of you are showing signs of post-traumatic stress. But it's lead to the focus in Toronto hockey to go, at least for a bit, to the Marlies. They're in the second round against the Grand Rapids Griffins, and after suffering a 7-0 game 1 loss, rebounded to tie the series heading into Wednesday's game three. As it stands, the Marlies still appear to be favourites to win the series, but you know what could make them better? The return of some key players to push them over the top.