Monday, February 28, 2011

Consolidated Stats For Leaf Top Prospects

Trying to get basic statistics for a team's prospects is a huge pain.  The hardcore fan is always wondering how their team's futures are moving along and what kind of production they're putting up in the lower leagues.

Our site isn't nearly sophisticated enough to do this in the way I would like to but I've gathered some basic stats from our top prospects and will try to keep it up to date.  It's not perfect but at least it's something.  See the link below.

Prospect Stats

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Tomas Kaberle Deal (For Real This Time!): What Next Year Looks Like

Kaberle is no longer a Toronto Maple Leaf.  He was, without a doubt, one of the best players to wear the Maple Leaf over this trying time in team history.  He was a good player and a good person and I think we all owe him our respect.  I sincerely hope that he's greeted with unanimous applause when he comes back.

Having said all of this, it was clearly time to move on.  Kaberle was not in Brian Burke's longterm plans.  That was clear from the time Burke brought in Komisarek, Beauchemin and Phaneuf.  None of those players are of Kaberle's calibre, but it's clear that the team is headed in a different direction.

The clock is ticking on Kaberle's career as well and the opportunity to play on a strong Boston team, alongside Zdeno Chara is a great opportunity for Tomas and I'm happy for him.  This will be a positive for both sides.

The Leafs add a player that I've been coveting for a long time.  Back in June I wrote about a Kaberle for Colborne deal making a lot of sense.  He's really big and he's a playmaker which would probably remind you of another player that Burke had in the past in Ryan Getzlaf.  I never thought that the Leafs would get a first rounder in addition to Colborne but that's the way the market has turned this year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why Does Everyone Hate the Versteeg Deal So Much?

I've read a lot of blogwork in the past 24 hours and most of it has been angry.  Most Leaf fans, including a large number of people whose opinions I respect, are unhappy about the Versteeg deal.  Others have become more vocal on being dissatisfied with the Beauchemin deal as well.  I think we all need to relax a little bit.

Most of the criticism of the Versteeg deal centers around the likelihood of getting a player of Versteeg's calibre in return.  In my opinion, that's overly simplistic.

First of all, there's the cap space that Versteeg's departure clears.  Admittedly, it's a thin free agency pool this season but impact players like Brad Richards and Tomas Vokoun appear to be headed towards free agency and both would fill sizeable holes on this team if we could land them.  I would think that Versteeg's extra cap space, coupled with re-signing our big four RFAs (MacArthur, Schenn, Gunnarsson and Reimer) and the remaining roster places will likely leave us with about $10M to spend on a goalie and a forward (likely a center).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for a fan of a non-playoff team)

And the last horse crosses the line.  I assure you that this isn't a product of my sudden onset of laziness in the blogger realm.  Rather, it is a calculated move on my behalf to say something meaningful after putting some thought into things.  There are better blogs out there that cover the Leafs to tell you what this trade means for the Leafs and to explain to everyone the virtues of Jake Gardiner, so a day late (and hopefully a day more wise), here I go.

I liked Beauchemin.  His contract was reasonable and he seemed like the kind of guy that could provide that steady veteran presence for this young team moving forward.  Having said this, the Leafs were excessively deep on the backend and this has been well-documented.  In terms of NHL talent, we swapped out an adequate defenseman for an adequate forward.

What We've Got
Lupul is a scoring winger.  Sure, we need a center and I get that but it's tough to argue that the lineup doesn't look better with Lupul in it (and Mitchell out) and Beauchemin out of the lineup (and Aulie in it).  We now have a pretty good group of wingers with Kessel, MacArthur, Kulemin, Lupul, Armstrong and Versteeg.  Three lines worth of wingers seem to be firmly established on Brian Burke's proverbial 'chess board'.

Monday, February 7, 2011

That Was Fun!

Tonight's game against the Thrashers was great to watch.  Ron Wilson is probably going to be surly in the dressing room after the Leafs gave up 4 goals and 34 shots but hey, they scored 5 and that counts as a win.

A day after Phil Kessel scared the poop out of Leaf fans everywhere by saying 'things aren't working here' we can all breath a sigh of relief as he clarified the comments, the GM spoke to fans, and the coach relented and put him with some forwards that are playing some pretty decent hockey.

Kessel showed a little give and take too.  Wilson gave him some linemates and Kessel did some of the 'off the puck' stuff that Wilson has been whining about - flying down the ice late in the game to negate an icing call.  Good to see.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Welcome back!  I'm sure you missed us.  After a brief hiatus we're back and better than ever (which is a good thing because we really weren't that good to begin with).  Since we last spoke, I've seen a pair of Leaf games at the ACC including what feels like Reimer's only loss (Boston) and Reimer's solid play got me thinking about the goaltending of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's noticed that the Leaf crease is a crowded place these days.  Gustavsson was sent down on a conditioning stint which leaves Giguere and Reimer to split starts until Giguere gets hurt or Reimer falters.

If you've seen many games over the past couple of months then you've probably noticed that Reimer has been playing some really great hockey.  Giguere has been inconsistent, playing a solid brand of goaltending one night and channelling the spirit of Vesa Toskala the next.  Gustavsson has had some serious difficulties lately and hopefully this time in the AHL will clear some things up for him.