August 22 2012 10:57AM
We've heard a lot of complaints—the loudest of them from Don Cherry—about Brian Burke's affinity for drafting players born and raised in the United States.
Now, it's no secret that Burke prefers to build his teams with North American players. Sure, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski are important cogs in his team, but, even looking very casually at the makeup of Burke's teams over the years, it's clear that Europeans are not as well represented in the ranks as their North American colleagues.
So what's the deal?
August 22 2012 07:16AM
I will never quite understand why some people think that the fans are somehow to blame for the latest potential but almost certain lockout. The theory goes that if we had not been so gung-ho on welcoming the NHL back the owners and NHLPA may think twice when it comes to a work stoppage. This is stupid for two reasons. First, it assumes that all lockouts are bad and should be avoided. Second, it ignores the fact that fan support of the post-lockout NHL that will ensure we don’t lose a full season to a lockout this time around.
August 21 2012 08:34PM
It's the offseason, and I was able to get a hold of Ben Scrivens for a lengthy interview, cut into three parts. The first part dealt with Scrivens' 2012 season , while this second part deals with expectations and the power of media in shaping opinion about a hockey team.
One thing I remember you saying in a post-game scrum – because you kind of got to see this team at several different levels. I mean the first time you got called up they were doing pretty well, they were in a playoff spot, but at the end of the season when things fell apart, you said something along the lines of you could see or feel a difference in the Leafs' locker room. What do you think was happening, or had already happened, to that team?
I don't know. I mean, you look at any situation, and you could look at two polar opposite situations. You could look at what happened to the Leafs at the end of the season and juxtapose that with what happened to the LA Kings at the end of the season. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason for the way things play out, you know. Sometimes it's one bad goal, a missed assignment, one post offensively, that causes you to lose a game, and that's the first game of a losing streak that you can never quite pull yourself out of.
August 21 2012 08:37AM
It wasn't a very long time ago that Paul Ranger was one of the up-and-coming defencemen in the NHL. In looking back through the archives, Ranger was a core piece on a good-looking young defensive unit, and Tortorella apparently said he had one of the best first passes in the NHL at 23.
August 21 2012 07:26AM
It's the offseason, and I was able to get a hold of Ben Scrivens for a lengthy interview, cut into three parts. The first part deals with Scrivens' 2012 season, both with the Maple Leafs, and with the Marlies for their Calder Cup run in the spring.
What were your expectations heading into last season?
My expectations were to challenge for a spot with the Leafs right away. I expected myself to come in and have a strong camp and I think I did that. I don't think it was realistic for me to think I was going to make the team, but I did want to force them to have to make a tough decision to send me down, and that's really all I could've done. Then from there, it was just to have a solid, consistent season, put up good numbers, help the team make the playoffs – that was a big thing for me. We didn't make the playoffs the year before, so to play a full season being the guy in net for the Marlies, and to make the playoffs, that was my goal going in.