The Essential Toronto Maple Leafs: Part I

Danny Gray
August 29 2012 05:59AM


"The last goal he ever scored, won the Leafs the Cup." 

You've probably all read the excellent Maple Leafs' version of The Essentials over at Puck Daddy (h/t to Bitter Leaf for doing the leg-work. We all thought it was an excellent idea and decided to borrow it. So I asked my fellow Leafs' fans—and Cam—to list off their Essential players, seasons, fights, swag and whatnot. Since we've got the time and space I decided to chunk it into a few pieces. Since I'm the smartest I'm going to be writing in-depth about what I consider to be the Essential Leafs. I'll also list my fellow bloggers' responses, and include some justification from those who went off the map with their selections. Feel free to post your own in the comments and disagree with everything we said. 

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NHL 13 with Doug Gilmour

Steve Dangle
August 28 2012 08:31PM


Member of TLN, video blogger, and overall handsome young gentleman (who's clearly writing this) Steve Dangle sits down with Leafs legend Doug Gilmour at an event for the upcoming release of EA Sports' NHL 13. Dougie talks about gaming, the CHLPA, the upcoming (we hope) Winter Classic, his epic cow leggings, and more.

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August 28 2012 01:18PM

While NHL fans do a slow burn and the league's player prepare for a season that may never come, the owners and Bettman appear to be enjoying another season of good times on Boardwalk, Park Place and Pennsylvania avenues. Allan Mitchell tackles the issues with some heavy hitters.

This is Nation Radio.

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Extreme Makeover- Leafs Dressing Room Edition

Danny Gray
August 28 2012 12:16PM

I bet Versteeg did this to Kessel. 

I’m not going to say Randy Carlyle stole my idea, but he definitely has been picking up what I’ve been putting down. His desire to revamp the Leafs dressing room shows he knows a thing or two about exploiting cognitive biases. 

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Randy Carlyle's revamping of the Leafs dressing room

Cam Charron
August 28 2012 08:10AM

Toronto Maple Leafs

Lost in the controversy surrounding one Sun TV idiot's comments about Randy Carlyle's revamping of the Toronto Maple Leaf dressing room is any sort of discussion on how good of an idea it is.

No, adding a few motivational posters isn't going to be the difference between the Leafs' going from a 13th place team to a 6th place team, but the club is in an extraordinarily unique situation generating the highest revenues in a salary cap system.

I've talked earlier this summer about the Leafs needing to find creative ways to out-spend the opposition. Non-hockey revenue isn't capped, although it was reportedly part of the NHL players' proposal to the owners as a cost-cutting suggestion.

Here are the changes:

The Leafs' dressing room is getting a makeover this summer, complete with some special touches from new coach Randy Carlyle.

The dressing room was considered a fairly modern place when it opened with the Air Canada Centre in 1999, but coach Randy Carlyle believes you can impact your team's mentality through the atmosphere.

As such, Carlyle is working with an interior designer to upgrade the dressing room, including better carpets, new ceilings, brighter lights and some fancy murals on the wall.

Carlyle apparently "just thought the room looked dark and tired in places".

Now, perhaps new carpeting and ceilings and lightning don't go far enough. If you have the money, you may as well reinvigorate the room that makes visiting players extraordinarily jealous and make minor-league players want to stick. How about a massage chair in every stall or heated toilets? Perhaps a limousine for every player coming to and from the rink.

You may as well spend to excess.

Carlyle taking this initiative is admirable. You may recall that he was a driving force behind the Leafs signing Jay McClement, and perhaps there was another player he had in mind that the Leafs missed out on because the atmosphere of the locker room was preferable somewhere else. These aren't the priorities of many players, but as long as you have the money to improve the overall team culture, you may as well.

But don't take it from me, take it from the Tampa Bay Rays, a team that went from worst to first in the toughest division in baseball. A lot of that credit is given to manager Joe Maddon. From Jonah Keri's analysis of the Rays, The Extra 2%:

It's in that last area, interacting with players, that Maddon receives the most glowing reviews. Soon after taking the manager's job with the Rays, Maddon posted a series of motivational and philosophical quotes throughout the clubhouse for players to read—a natural progression from his "I Got Loud" catchphrase as a minor league instructor. 

—Alan Greenspan

—Albert Camus

—John Wooden

To inspire his players and bring them together, Maddon has concocted slogans for every season.

The Rays are a model organization. They manage to survive on a limited budget, with a terrible stadium deal in the middle of a suburb of a city that doesn't care about baseball. It's all about looking for little advantages and working in the margins to give the team a 51-49 advantage or a 52-48 advantage.

So, kudos to Randy Carlyle.

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