Leafs add grit to alumni game roster

Cam Charron
August 16 2012 10:32AM

There's talk of a lockout shutting down the early part of the season, but since the Winter Classic acts as the unofficial kick-off to the NHL's romp in mainstream American sports discussion, I doubt the league would prolong the work stoppage to force a cancellation of their major January 1 event.

Sure, the NHL has the right to cancel the game, but we're told that's standard legal proceedings, protecting the league against weather and Acts of God, such as an injury to Jimmy Howard forcing the Red Wings to start Jonas Gustavsson in net.

But that's not the main attraction yet. The alumni game, which has had a bunch of people speculating whether or not Dave Keon will mend fences with the Leafs and show up, got an infusion of grit for the game. The team announced today, as per James Mirtle, that Tie Domi, Brad May and Tiger Williams will represent the Leafs.

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Which first-line centres were available?

Cam Charron
August 15 2012 10:12AM

One of the major concerns about Brian Burke's tenure thus far in Toronto is his inability to find a first line centreman for Phil Kessel, and, to a lesser extend, Joffrey Lupul. (This is ignoring that Burke already has a first-line centre in Mikhail Grabovski, but I think recent history has shown that you can't go too far without two good guys down the middle. There's still that need.)

I've looked at it before and if there is a concern about the Leafs not having a goaltender, it's because they missed out on Kari Lehtonen, Craig Anderson and Jose Theodore, and possibly even Jaroslav Halak. Using the same sort of analysis, are there centremen that have been moved in Burke's tenure that were both attainable and good enough to be on Toronto's first line?

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Martin Lapointe and NHL player salaries

JP Nikota
August 15 2012 07:49AM

"Everybody but the people who run teams base performance on how many points you get [or] how many goals. Well, we don't. If he gets goals, that helps, but you have to look at the overall contribution to the team. Martin [Lapointe]'s a character person. He comes to play every night. He came from a winning program. And we needed at his position."

- Harry Sinden

The above quote tells us a lot about how the NHL's financial situation got to be where it is today.

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Leafs Nation round table - Should a goalie be Burke's priority?

Cam Charron
August 14 2012 02:58PM

This may be an extended offseason, so to break up the time, some of the writers on TLN are exchanging emails to each other, discussing the Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL hockey as whole. Today's topic is whether or not the Leafs ought to make it a priority to acquire a goaltender, or if they ought to focus on building the roster first.

From: Cam Charron
To: JP Nikota, Ryan Fancey
Subj: Priorities

I mostly want to ask JP this question because we had a mini-discussion in a comment thread earlier this week about the Leafs' priorities. I think the priority for Brian Burke ought to be to acquire another defenceman, but JP suggested that they need a goalie.

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What they're saying: Morgan Rielly

Cam Charron
August 14 2012 10:58AM

Original source Toronto Sun

What I like about the Canada-Russia Challenge is that it's giving us a good look at several of the members for Team Canada at the World Juniors, playing together on the same team. We get to know a little about the style that coach Steve Spott is going to bring to the table, and, if any of the first three games are any indication, the Canadians are going to play a very up-tempo game wherein they activate the defence often.

That's good news for Leafs fans. Morgan Rielly, the No. 5 overall pick from June is on the team and he's an offensive defenceman with good skating instincts and he looked pretty good in Game Three. Here's a brief rundown on what people are saying:

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