Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
July 16 2013 11:49AM
With no new signings or moves to talk about, we were on the verge of stale discussion in Toronto. Thankfully, Tim Leiweke wasn't prepared to let that happen. The new CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment was asked by Bloomberg to talk about his new teams and the vision he has for them, and boy, did he ever. The quote that's causing the most trouble right now?
July 15 2013 03:21PM
It starts with a few ill-timed comments on CBC, and it ends with snarky words from Chris Selley in the National Post:
"For $2,200 in total, you can buy James Reimer's pads, catcher and blocker. Any goalies out there looking for fatter rebounds? Get in line early."
(I actually like Selley and get that it's snark, but there are some people that perhaps take Selley's writing a tad too seriously.)
It's not exactly a secret that people out there don't exactly trust James Reimer's glove hand and his rebound control. The simple truth is that most goalies are weak when it comes to the glove hand and rebounds, and Reimer is just under a lot more scrutiny than a goaltender like, say, Jonathan Bernier, because he's been the most successful goaltender the Maple Leafs have had since Ed Belfour.
July 15 2013 11:02AM
Something we'll start to notice this summer is that in roster projections like the one I had this morning, Tyler Biggs or Josh Leivo are going to be slotted in to make the team. This isn't a bad thing. There's a roster spot open and two equal players that are going to be challenging for it, both young players with a few games of pro experience to wind up on a depth spot on an NHL roster.
Leivo was taken with the 86th pick in the 2011 draft while the Leafs traded up to take Biggs in the same draft at No. 22. In doing so, they forfeited a high 2nd round selection to take a player with marginal offensive upside. In the video above, Tyler Biggs' comparable player is Colby Armstrong, a player that needed four years of AHL seasoning and became a marginally-good top six forward until becoming a replacement-level checking forward the day he turned 27.
July 15 2013 09:23AM
Right into the dog days of summer as the initial free agent frenzy appears to be over.
The best players still available in free agency are Tom Gilbert and Mikhail Grabovski. Since the Toronto Maple Leafs are forbidden from signing one of those players and don't have an awful lot of money left for the second, it's safe to say that any roster tweaks that appear between now and September 15th will be minor. Not that there's a problem with that, because the top six looks pretty good on paper, but because the Leafs didn't improve in the spots it needed to improve.
July 14 2013 09:40PM
Hey did you hear Ilya Kovalchuk did a thing? He sure did!
On the new Steve Dangle Podcast, Steve (that's me) and Adam talk about Kovalchuk, Bozak's quotes, Morgan Rielly, and Leo Komarov being my bestie.