Leafs Team Needs: Top-Six Winger

JP Nikota
June 20 2012 07:13AM

Dustin Penner is one option Brian Burke should consider carefully.  (Photo from Getty Images)

In 2011-12 the Toronto Maple Leafs managed to rank 10th in the league in Goals For. If I told you that the Leafs' current set of top-six forwards were likely to put together a very similar goal total next year, would you be surprised? Skeptical, even?

Although Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul both saw themselves the beneficiaries of some puck luck this past season, I've got a few numbers that suggest it won't be such a steep dropoff. The table below shows how many goals we might expect from each of the Leafs' top six forwards based on last year's shot totals and their average shooting percentage: 

Admittedly, this is a very rough predictive tool, but if the Leafs' lost a grand total of 5 goals from their top six from this year to last  year, it would only drop them from 10th to 11th overall in scoring. This begs the question: do the Leafs even need another top-six winger?

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Leafs Nation Podcast: Pre-Draft Fretting

Leafs Nation Podcast
June 19 2012 07:52PM

 

Neither Danny nor I are the 'freak out' types. We generally have a positive outlook on the general direction that the Leafs take. (Hey, we're fans - sue us.) But leading up to the draft in Brian Burke's final contract year could make him do a lot of things, and at this point, we know to expect just about anything from Burke.

Jump for more.

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Defcon Leafs: Don't listen to rumours

Cam Charron
June 19 2012 05:54PM

Look, I know the deal. It's a sweltering Tuesday night and we need to be inside with air conditioning.

We're also desperate for some kind, any kind, of Toronto Maple Leafs news.

As of 7:23 p.m. on Tuesday night, Nik Kulemin, Matt Frattin, Cody Franson, Korbinian Holzer, Ben Scrivens and, uh, Matt Lashoff remain unqualified six days ahead of the June 25 deadline. Josh Harding, Anders Lindback and Tomas Vokoun have been taken off the market, leaving the Leafs with zero goaltending for now.

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Brian Burke first round draft pick history

Cam Charron
June 19 2012 08:49AM

Over the next couple of days, we'll try and figure out just who Brian Burke has in mind for the No. 5 selection in Friday's draft.

First, a couple of notes on philosophy. I think that Burke is a fan of big-moment players, and generally, big guys. He paid a premium for his first ever draft choice in Chris Pronger, trading a first, second and third round picks to move up four spots and get the pick that was going to come after Alexandre Daigle.

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Brian Burke on trades, drafting, and parades

Cam Charron
June 18 2012 03:50PM

I came across an interview from Brian Burke on TVO's 'The Agenda' with Steve Paikin. The full interview, entitled 'The Business of Hockey' can be found here, but I've spliced out some of the more interesting parts and transcribed them here for those of you who don't have the half hour to listen to the broadcast.

He discussed in some depth his team model, his trade philosophy, the steps he took to draft the Sedin twins in Vancouver and Stanley Cup parades in regards to the passion of Toronto fans. In the interview, he also discussed the importance of having an exciting team, his team culture, and the importance of winning.

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