September 19 2012 04:42AM
During TSN's regular segment "Insider Trading" Wednesday evening, it was relayed to us the news that the next 7 to 10 days of discussions between the NHLPA and the league will likely make or break this lockout. If some common ground doesn't start to come together, it looks like everything could go south and we're left looking at a potential full-season cancellation once again.
Whether it's a few weeks, months, or the full season, there are some things I will be upset about missing. For one, hockey in general of course. But in particular, there are a few interesting stories that should be written, or at least started, about the Leafs this season.
September 18 2012 12:30PM
Earlier this morning (or afternoon if live on the other side of Atlantic ocean) top Russian newspaper Sport-Express reported that Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski is about to sign a lockout contract with Dinamo Minsk. However, two respectful Belorussian media outlets suggest the deal is far from being over and they have quotes to back it up.
‘Mikhail is stuck at the crossroads. He doesn’t know what to do. Nobody knows anything for sure and he doesn’t think it makes any sense to go play somewhere else for a month,’ said Yuri Grabovski, Mikhail’s father, in his interview to Goals.By. ‘I would like to see my son play for his native club – Yunost. However, [Yunost head-coach] Mikhail Zakharov said he has nothing to do there. To be honest with you, I’m against these short-term contracts.’
Yunost currently plays in VHL – a farm league for KHL clubs. Its notable alumni include the Kostitsyn brothers. Zakharov in one of his interviews this summer made it clear both Andrei and Sergei as well as Grabovski should sign with Dinamo Minsk come the lockout, no matter how much they wanted to play for Yunost.
Nevertheless, it appears there’s another fish lurking in KHL waters for Grabovski.
September 18 2012 12:13PM
September 18 2012 09:38AM
An unresolved question leading to the CBA expiry date on September 15 was the Leafs not signing Cody Franson. The 25-year-old rearguard is a restricted free agent coming off a uninspiring season after much expectation.
So let’s break down Franson.
Towering at six-foot-five with a modest 213-pound frame he has a long stride but lacks both first-step burst and top end speed. He appears unbalanced at times, such as in transition to backwards skating, limiting his mobility and agility. He stiffens up trying to maintain balance, in turn leaving big gaps he can’t close down fast enough.
September 18 2012 06:46AM
25 players have donned the #2 for the Toronto Maple Leafs, most of them Defensemen. Probably all, I don't know I didn't click on everyone's bio at hockeyreference. Unlike #1 there was no slam dunk Hall-of-Famer to make my life easy. And lord help me if I have to talk about Luke Schenn any more.