July 15 2012 11:22AM
While the UFA "frenzy" remains a sort of tepid, apathetic singles dance, in the distance one can hear the rumble of thunder that signifies the impending battle between the league and the NHLPA. Gary Bettman has already fired a few shots over the bow of Donald Fehr and company, so it looks like the CBA talks are going to be...contentious at the very least.
For now, we'll continue to ignore the whole "there might be another lock-out" thing and keep on talking trades and stats. This week, Allan invited number crunchers and hockey writers from around the league including Benjamin Wendorf, James Mirtle and Corey Pronman to help with our denial.
This is Nation Radio.
July 14 2012 12:46AM
Multiple media outlets are reporting the NHL has tabled its first CBA proposal to the NHLPA. Based on what's being reported, it's a proposal that can only be characterized as a
swift kick in the nuts low-ball offer to the NHLPA and the first volley in what stands to be a protracted and likely ugly negotiation.
July 13 2012 12:28PM
Earlier this week it was reported that Niklas Hagman had signed a deal to play in the Kontinental Hockey League. I couldn't help but think to myself, “LOL, Nik Hagman. I remember that guy.” After that, I thought two more things:
- Did I really just say “LOL” in my head?
- Wasn't he part of the Phaneuf trade?
And that was the thing. I actually half-forgot Niklas Hagman was in the trade that brought the Leafs Dion Phaneuf. As a matter of fact, who the hell was even in that trade? It was almost 30 months ago. That's almost two and a half years – January 31st, 2010!
Let's take a stroll down memory lane, and play a little “Where are they now?” with the Dion Phaneuf trade.
July 13 2012 09:09AM
I wrote a post for the Backhand Shelf this morning that examined the role of the average fighter. I concluded that many regular players in the NHL who accrued a lot of fights also had a specific role on their team. As it happens, Mike Brown had 10 fights with the Maple Leafs last season, but I couldn't speficially determine his role from the advanced stats without some sort of context.
Brown has 19 fights in two seasons with the Leafs, with a record, according to the voters on hockeyfights.net, of 9-5-5. It's a pretty good win percentage, but that hasn't helped the Leafs closer to a playoff spot, nor has it prevented the Leafs' best forwards from getting hit and taken advantage of for their small size.
To take a line from Office Space, "what would you say, you do here"?
July 12 2012 09:09AM
Bit of a media blitz in the last 12 hours relating to the possibility of James van Riemsdyk playing at centre between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul:
The major takeaway from van Riemsdyk's initial meeting with Maple Leafs beat writers was, indeed, that JvR is "definitely excited" about the possibility and "it's a great opportunity for him".
The National Post, and both the Toronto Star and Toronto Sun made that the major focus on their reports. Naturally, it's the big story, but does JvR really fit into the centreman position on this team?