Grabovski, Kulemin, Komarov: Since you been gone.

Steve Dangle
January 18 2013 04:12PM

Let's stop pretending like that's not a catchy song, Ok?

I've spent the last few months covering the KHL. I've been following all of the locked-out NHL players that were over there, and followed the Leafs over there with the most interest.

Many of you have asked "How did Mikhail Grabovski look with Datsyuk?" "How did Nikolai Kulemin look with Malkin?" and "Who the hell is Leo Komarov?" Allow me to try to answer.

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Worst to First Jerseys: The Toronto Maple Leafs

Jonathan Willis
January 18 2013 01:41PM

By John van der Woude

Worst to First Jerseys:This installment of the Worst to First Jerseys features the Toronto Maple Leafs, and much thanks to Leafs Nation for letting me guest post on their blog. On my own blog, I talk about about graphic design in hockey and I'll be doing the jerseys for the rest of the league over time, so come by Hockey By Design to check it out.

I started this series with the Vancouver Canucks, who in just 40 years have produced 8 very distinct jersey designs. Now, with the Maple Leafs, here's a team that in 85 years (since renaming themselves the Leafs from the St. Pats in 1927) have essentially had one jersey design with slight modifications over the years. It makes things slightly more difficult in ranking the Leafs' jerseys – or even in clearly defining different jersey designs that they've had – but I'll have a go at it anyway, because there's definitely still some winners and losers here.

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Leafs cut Morgan Rielly, Matt Frattin, set 23-man roster

Cam Charron
January 18 2013 10:36AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs have finalized their 23-man roster, cutting Morgan Rielly and Matt Frattin Friday to trim their roster and set the lineup they'll likely run with tomorrow in Montreal. (Meanwhile, Tim Connolly cleared waivers, and Dave Nonis says he'll report to the Toronto Marlies)

The moves aren't particularly surprising. Frattin is waiver-exempt, and as a player in his scoring peak he barely moved the needle at the NHL-level. He fits better with the Toronto Marlies and as the first-injury call-up for the Leafs. Morgan Rielly will be sent back to junior in Moose Jaw, impressive as he is as an 18-year-old, the reality of the situation is that he's too chaotic in his own end to benefit the hockey team, and it doesn't benefit Rielly as a player to play 15 minutes a night of panicky hockey.

Rielly will get his chance some day, but clearly that is not today.

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Leafs continue dismantling, waive Tim Connolly

Cam Charron
January 17 2013 11:32AM

Some interesting developments on the waiver wire on Thursday. It's a fairly rare occurrence that happens but during this week's roster crunch, teams have a chance to open doors to the hockey equivalent of baseball's "AAAA" players this week.

The first is Keith Aucoin, who was waived by the Leafs for the purpose of letting him continue skating on their first line with the Toronto Marlies. Him and his team-leading 37 points were claimed by the New York Islanders. There's a chance he could get another NHL shot.

The bigger story though, is who was placed on waivers Thursday. Tim Connolly was placed on there by the Leafs, along with a couple of players Toronto could use.

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Keep it Simple, Komisarek

Gus Katsaros
January 17 2013 10:12AM

First, stop hurting your teammates. 

Firing pucks and injuring Leafs winger, James Van Riemsdyk is only the latest incident.

Mike Komisarek has not lived up to the $4.5 million cap hit signed as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2009. That much is crystal clear.

With two more seasons, barring a trade or buy out at the end of the 2013 season – a likely candidate – Komisarek must make adjustments in his game. No longer can he aimlessly seek targets for body contact, he has to change things up.

It’s doubtful he can ever justify the $4.5 million cap, and never did, but with some tweaks and a lower, altered expectation, for a specific role, not the cap hit, he could still be of use.

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