Reading The Tea Leafs: Superstitions of the Toronto variety

JP Nikota
July 12 2012 06:39AM

Not every hockey player is superstitious, but they are almost all creatures of habit. Myself, I have a certain way of taping the knob at the end of my stick, certain types of socks I like to wear under skates, and I almost never wash the shirts I wear under my shoulder pads. There are plenty of other little things I've done over the years on game days, but there are some former Leafs out there that make my own habits look pretty darn tame.

I recently read Andrew Podnieks' Hockey Superstitions, and, from that, have culled a list of former Leafs with some peculiar habits.

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2013 Winter Classic Alumni Rosters Announced

Danny Gray
July 11 2012 11:16AM

Today the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings announced a small portion of their respective rosters for the Alumni Games, that will take place as part of the 2013 Winter Classic. Oh boy are they something to get excited about!

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Nikolai Kulemin, and an introduction to "shooter regression"

Cam Charron
July 11 2012 09:18AM

Nikolai Kulemin has a difficult task ahead. It's going to be convincing fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that he can be more than a seven-goal scorer.

That's all Kulemin had last season. A year after a career campaign where the silent Russian notched 30, he came back down to earth in a big way and now faces a tiring restricted free agency battle.

He's an interesting case, his last two years marked with two extremes.

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Patrick Burke on You Can Play's Progress, Pride Toronto, and Criticism of his Dad

Steve Dangle
July 10 2012 11:12PM

About five months ago, Patrick Burke (scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and son of Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke), Brian Kitts, and Glenn Witman launched the You Can Play Project. As their website describes, their mission is to ensure equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. Since their launch, You Can Play's PSA videos have made waves around the sports world, featuring both professional and amateur athletes from the hockey world and beyond.

I recently spoke with Patrick Burke about You Can Play's involvement in its first Pride Parade, progress the project has made since its launch, and his own personal experience. Patrick also addresses the claim some people have made that his dad, Brian Burke, should not have been involved in the parade because it landed on July 1st, the opening of the NHL's free agency period.  

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Tim Connolly, a look at his role and his future

Cam Charron
July 10 2012 12:10PM

One thing that gets me when I'm mocking up lines for next season is I always seem to forget about Tim Connolly. There's just a lot of clutter in this lineup, and Connolly didn't have a particularly good campaign so he's easily forgettable.

Connolly's boxcar numbers are pretty lacking: he had just 13 goals and 36 points in 70 games this season, playing as a hybrid first-and-third line centreman, and clearly wasn't the answer to the Phil Kessel centreman riddle, splitting much of his time with Tyler Bozak.

He was signed to a low-risk two-year deal, so this is his last season with the $4.75M cap hit that is probably overpriced for the 31-year old. What should we expect?

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