June 08 2015 03:30PM
The Toronto Maple Leafs were my favorite tire fire this past season, so I actually probably watched more Leafs games than any other team I wasn't covering. So, to give everyone an opportunity to get to know me, my stance on the Leafs, and exactly why we could all use a bit more Swede in our lives, I'm taking over the mailbag this week. Let's take a look at what you threw my way:
June 08 2015 02:00PM
As the draft quickly approaches most of the spotlight is on the players expected to go in the first round of the draft. That's cool and all, but there's still six more rounds and a boatload of players to go after that. Like a lot of you I've watched a lot of the consensus first-round talents this year and feel like I have a pretty good handle on them. The players I know a lot less about are the one's expected to go in the later rounds of the draft.
While I've missed my chance to really go back and watch them, what's cool is that there are now a couple of prospect projection tools (PCS% and The Projection Project) that can at least give me the chance to evaluate players by the numbers. That's where this article comes in.
June 08 2015 12:09PM
Sheldon Keefe has gone from an outcast to the head coach of the Toronto Marlies - one of the most prestigious head coaching jobs in hockey outside of the NHL ranks - in the blink of an eye. The 2015 OHL coach of the year's career trajectory is rocketing forward with the dizzying momentum of an Imperator Furiosa-led post apocalyptic Road War.
With the Marlies Keefe will be judged less on his win/loss record than by his ability to develop players, Toronto Maple Leafs assistant general manager Kyle Dubas told the Leafs Lunch crew during an appearance on TSN 1050 radio in Toronto on Monday. He'll also be tasked with matching Mike Babcock's systems, and perhaps experimenting with some newer ideas that the organization hopes to eventually implement at the NHL level.
It's a fascinating opportunity for one of hockey's highly regarded up-and-coming young bench bosses. Read on for more comments from Dubas about the Keefe hire.
June 08 2015 10:51AM
When Elliotte Friedman talks Phil Kessel it's always worth a listen, and that's what happened Monday morning on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary (via Today's Slapshot). Elliotte reiterated his points from his 30 Thoughts and Saturday Headline comments on Kessel that Justin Fisher has previously summarized on TLN that things are beginning to heat up on the Kessel trade front.
“From what I understand teams are calling the Toronto Maple Leafs and asking ‘If we're serious about doing this, what is the price going to be?"
The new insight from Elliotte Friedman is after the jump.
June 08 2015 09:47AM
Trying to pinpoint Jake Gardiner's value has been a tough task since he joined the Leafs four years ago, and how he's viewed as a trade chip both internally and externally is especially hard to speculate on. Because he's been seen as a bit of a wildcard among fans and media, he's also prone to being dropped into trade rumors often.
The Avalanche are a team apparently looking to make some changes this offseason, and shoring up their blue line is, or at least should be, a priority. And now Gardiner's name is surfacing again.