Monday, February 28, 2011


Campoli is off to Chicago. Sens get their 2nd rnd pick.

Lehner is expected to go down to Bingo with the waiver pickup of McElhinney.


A mix of opinion out there on the 3yr NMC, 9.25mil deal. I heard Phillips saying that he didn't view himself as signing a final contract with this - that he's not in a Ray Bourque situation where if he wants a cup he needs to move.

Nice to hear him think that way and I hope his play backs that up.

I've seen on some stats blogs where they say average teams spend on average 5.3% of the cap hit on their defenceman. That's very much in line with what Phillips signed.

Who is under contract for next year:
Campoli (RFA)
Rundblad (signed entry deal)
Cowen (signed entry deal)

Rundblad will be on the everyday roster next fall so even assuming Cowen spends next year in Bingo you've got to move at least one but likely 2 of Kuba/Lee/Campoli/Gonchar/Carkner. I've put them in order of my preference to jettison.

Friday, February 25, 2011

BoO Hockey Pool...

Jesus, it's almost March and this is the first time we've posted the standings I think.
It's nice to see the Leafs with two representatives in the top 3 in something other than the draft!

I think I have a chance to win this thing. Could the God's be so good to me as to give me the annual pool win PLUS $150 in prize money from THM?

Can the Leafs make the playoffs?

Leaf fans woke up this morning with a strange new optimism. Hell, even Damien Cox had something positive to say.

When we were 6 points back of Carolina yesterday, people we're still throwing down those Vegas Odds, less than 4% chance of making the playoffs. Yesterday we were told only hardcore fans think Toronto actually had a chance.

Today, now 4 points back, the tone has shifted. Seems even the Toronto media are daring to say Toronto may actually do this thing.

So, will they?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


With the trade of Thomas Kaberle this week it's official: Brian Burke has torn down the Toronto Maple Leafs. It took him a few years, but as of today Kulemin is the team leader with 210 games in a Leaf uniform. If a 24 year old being the longest serving player isn't an indication that you've turned over a roster, I don't know what is.

In 2009 on CBC's The Hour, Strombo said to Burke that to make the team better he couldn't just go and trade everybody on the roster. Burke's response was as you will recall: "Watch me".

Below is everybody who touched a puck in a Leafs uniform the season Burke arrived. Only Schenn, Kulemin and Grabovski are here this afternoon. So in the end Burke hasn't "traded everybody", but damn near close. As an aside, if you were going to keep three players from the list below I think 100% agreement that he chose the right ones.

In scientific terms, there is no agreed upon altitude where the earths atmosphere ends and space begins and I reckon the rebuild of the Maple Leafs, the timeline at least, will have the same varying estimates. However Nasa kind of drew a line by saying that if you travel 62 miles skyward you are officially an astronaut. So I figure after 5 or 6 years here at BoO why not throw down the same kind of gauntlet.


It's, well, um, official.

Wait, still need more evidence that a page has been turned? Do the same acid test to the Toronto Marlies roster. You'll find similar results. It's a whole new team down there with an entirely different attitude. Add that they are actually winning, a good sign that the big club has reinforcements coming soon if any of the current personel fail. That includes Dallas Eakins who I think all Leaf fans could easily see coaching this team or another NHL team at some point in the near future.

I remember writing a few years back about the rebuild process ahead for Burke and saying that while difficult, tearing down the team is actually the easy part. Clearly it wasn't so easy that it took a few years, but the real work now begins. Turn an inconsistent and young team into a powerhouse playoff guarantee year in and year out. He has performed major surgery on this team, in his own words, but now the physiotherapy begins. How do you turn this group into a damn good hockey team. Then, even further ahead, phase three, how do you put them over the top to win a cup?

As a Leaf fan I can say that without a doubt I am glad Burke is the guy. I know rival fans dislike him. I know he's an opinionated man, a condescending man at times... but as a Leaf fan you can't help but trust him. Like him or not, he did a hell of a job turning this disaster of a franchise into what it is today: Full of youth, full of budding talent and full of hope.

See you at the next flag pole.

Go Leafs.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


What - you aren't that pumped up for this classic matchup?

Well, to stoke the fire, here are some things to consider...

1. The season series is 2-2! The all important go-ahead game!

2. Anderson starts his domination of the Leafs tonight! The Sens destroy Optimus Reim's confidence tonight!!

3. Learn the Binghamton roster!

4. Komisarek and Lebda are playing together - you know it's not going to be a low scoring game!

5. You might be seeing the last game Phillips, Neil, Kovalev, Kuba, Gonchar, etc, play as a Senator!!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Not sure what to think about this one. I suppose if you've decided that Elliot isn't in the plans for next year you might as well audition someone else.

Anderson's stats.

Ruutu love

Milks with a nice post with some of Jarkko's Sens highlights.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

From Denny's, with Love.

I don't usually eat a big breakfast during the week, but today I feel like celebrating.

Last night the Toronto Maple Leafs got me drunk both for real and figuratively. I laughed, I cheered... I may have even cried a little, and then I passed out on the couch.

Now here I sit with an American Slam breakfast in front of me on Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles, California, the first rainy day since I moved here five weeks ago pelting the windows around me. But I'm not bothered. Nothing could bother me right now. I had a big fat dose of hockey-fan crack last night. It's sunny and 75F for Leaf fans everywhere today.

What a game.

Phil Kessel versus the entire city of Boston? Chalk one up for Phil who not only scored two goals on the night breaking the Tyler Seguin curse, he also (gasp) threw around his body, fought his old poker buddies for every puck and rang one off the post that was so loud I'm sure its high-pitched scream is still ringing in Boston fans ears this morning as they gloom over the sports pages.

Tyler Seguin did sweet F all, which was icing on the clam cake.

And then there was Mikhail Grabovski versus Zdeno Chara, a night long battle that had me standing on the couch, 24oz Bud Light and Clamato in my hand (yes, they sell them pre-mixed here and they are as awesome as Grabovski). Zdeno laid two hits that probably should have knocked Grabbo out of the game if Grabovski was not the toughest son-of-a-bitch on our hockey team. Instead of curling up in a ball, he only went and scored the game winner with a deft snipe. I can recall the exact thought that went through my mind as he hit top shelf: "I want to kiss Cliff Fletcher for getting this guy for a 2nd round draft pick and I hope Habs fans feel a shitload of regret". Pay Cliff as a consultant for another 5 years and have him speak at conferences in Montreal about it.

Thomas Kaberle versus His New Team? Another thought as I was watching the game, "What happens if one of the Bruins forwards has the chance to run Kabby into the boards hard, do they do it"? This "potential" trade now seems so real it has become surreal. Nonis and Chiarelli spent a good amount of time talking in the media hallway last night, but why do I even want this trade anymore? Is a pending UFA d-man going to fetch a top forward now when he couldn't last summer? I'd rather think about James Reimer's ridiculously poised presence in net and think Jonus who?

Yes, I'm blissful. I'm full stop in love with my team, even if it only lasts until mid-3rd against the Sabres in Buffalo tonight, down 3-0 and enduring another snooze fest in the armpit of America. Or wait, could my team provide me with two mornings like this in a row? Is it possible? Has it ever been done?

Speaking of done there goes the last of my eggs.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kaberle Boston bound or nowhere

Kabby said today he will consider a trade to Boston.

Phil Kessel has just scored the tying goal against Bruins to a chorus of booing.

While the hockey central panel discusses in during the second intermission I ask myself and I guess you, does Kaberle's proclamation mean he won't be traded at all? Can Burke do another deal with the Bruins at this point from a position of weakness?
If Toronto sent Kabby and the first rounder from Philly for our own first rounder would you do it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Versteeg trade

What do you think about it?

Think Burke would get less than Murray got for Fisher?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome Mr Underwood!

How do you signify a rebuild?

Well, you trade your untouchables.

Assistant Captain and long time Ottawa Senator heart-and-soul favourite Mike Fisher has been traded to his 2nd home in Nashville. Muppet has suggested this is a really bad move and we should be disappointed in Murray for landing only a 1st round pick this year and a conditional 3rd next year. Well, while Burke is trading away his best (snicker) defenseman for a marginal, perpetually injuried mid-20 goal journeman while picking up salary, Murray effectively opens a huge door for 1) taking on a massive salary of a pending, underperforming UFA with picks to ride and 2) making a large gap to take ON salary by pitching hard for a UFA this summer or next. Burke will have some competition.

Fisher has always worked hard, often underperformed, but always made a difference both on the ice and in the community. He will be missed for more than just his hits and gritty play.

Ottawa now has two 1st rounders in this draft. No, 1st round draft picks don't always measure up (cough, cough, Kadri), but the odds are better when you have several first round picks (cough, cough Toronto). That they are in the same year is a bonus. To be sure, these will be either combined to move up to #1 or #2 or traded for - a la Rundblad - for a well developed forward prospect.

Let's hope Nashville tanks this year and scores a 3rd round performance next year.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Leafs add salary

Yes, the Leafs have decided to load up for the playoff run by acquiring 4.25 million dollar forward Lupul from Anaheim.

What? He actually has fewer points than Beauchemin over the past two seasons? And he's under contract for more money for a season longer than Beauchemin?

He must bring the truculence then, eh?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Elliotte Friedman's latest 30 thoughts include, almost histerically at #13, this gem:

"If the Maple Leafs really want to work with Jonas Gustavsson, they should consider bringing over his Swedish goalie coach, Erik Granqvist. After last year's Olympics, when Gustavsson spent time with Granqvist, he returned to Toronto with a seven-game winning streak. He started this season reasonably well, but just doesn't look comfortable with Francois Allaire's "blocking" style. It's hurting his confidence. Maybe there's another solution."

Seems like Allaire the Super Goalie Coach isn't so super.

Monday, February 07, 2011


Ray Emery has been signed by Anaheim and must now pass 18 teams on the waiver wire to play in the AHL.

If you are Brian Murray do you:

claim him and give him starts with the big club?
claim him and keep him burried in the minors on the bench?
claim him and give him Bingo starts?
claim him and tell him not to report?
let teams without a future in goal (i.e., Toronto) claim him? free polls

Ronald Regan haz a sad.

Shortly after Allaire's wunderkind Reimer earned a 6 GAA and 0.833 SV%, Phil Kessel was once again held almost solely responsible for the team's play.

When questioned about how Leaf's coach Ron Wilson has addressed his performance - quite disapointing for a perennial '40 goal man' - Kessel had this to say:

"No, me and Ron don't really talk."

There is some irony in his statement: it was made on the 100th birthday of Fmr. Pres. Ronald Regan known around the world as "The Great Communicator".

Wrong Ron.

Alas, all is well in Leaf land.


Kessel says: "I want to be a Maple Leaf Forever".

Hug it out boys. And cue music. The lyrics are begging to be altered....

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Leafs lock up Brown

Three more years of a guy that gets bones broken blocking a shot and then blocks another shot before going to the bench is fine by me and I'm sure with all Leaf fans.

I look forward to him lifting the cup in the final year of his contract despite the pain of the broken rib he just played four rounds of hockey with.

Nice work Burke.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Speaking of all-stars....

Bobby Butler, undrafted college sign-ee of the Ottawa Senators was declared MVP of the AHL All-Star game for a one goal, three assist effort.

Sure beats getting picked last!

Afterthought All-star addition Keith Aulie recorded the third hardest shot in the skills competition. Radar guns everywhere let out a collective yawn.


In real-game action, Colin Greening gets called up for his first pro game. He's pretty excited. It would seem he's more of an NHL ready type player than the skill-guys. At 6-3, 211 lbs his 21 points in 38 games are pretty impressive, but it is his two-way play that really stands out. The Senators need size and toughness and this guy has both.

And that's what's great about a true rebuild - getting to watch the young guys play with excitement but without the expectations of a playoff seed or anticipation of having your car vandalized by an average Leaf fan.