Thursday, June 30, 2011

While you were out, we signed Brad Richards?

Tomorrow, as hockey-agent cell phones light up, as the sports networks gear up for a marathon of camera to blackberry to camera drama, and the blogosphere cranks out a thousand words a minute about trades that may or may not happen, Brian Burke, GM of the Maple Leafs, will not be doing his job.

No exclusively, anyway.

Instead, Burke will spend the next few days in Afghanistan with Canadian troops. Sure, he's a phone call away but for some it will seem strange that he's on the other side of the world doing charitable work during one of the most important weekends of the year for the National Hockey League.

Last time he was away for UFA day we ended up with Komisarek.

Just saying.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Welcome to the future...

...where Leaf fans are still delusional and Burke is beginning Round 3 of "Truculence and Belligerence" instead of "skills that help you score and prevent the other team from scoring".

However, some things do change or improve!

If you've come here from a smart phone, you've already figured it out. If not, fire up that QR barcode reader and have a go of this little puppy.

You'll still have access to the full site via a link at the bottom of each page, but this will help your phone or iSteveJobsMindControlDevice render the pages faster on first approach.   Feel free to copy-post this barcode on any page you're hosting/visiting which may relate to this little blog.

We now take you back to the 3 year losing streak of Ron Wilson.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A non-Brad Richards Leaf post

In an interview on Sportsnet 590 radio, Brian Burke talked about his approach to free agency.

He will be looking for a #1 centerman, so long as the price is reasonable.
He does not have as much pressure to look for a D-man now that Liles is on board.
He will be looking at players to beef up the bottom six.

It's this last point that caught my attention. We all love a superstar signing, but fact remains that success comes to teams that have a complete line-up. Toronto had some very good bottom six players last year that are bound to return, but Tim Brent, Joey Crabb Daryl Boyce and Rosehill are all at risk of losing their job to a UFA signing and so they should be. Hanson wasn't qualified and Caputi looks to be on the bubble, which tells me some experienced muscle could be on the way.

Here are three truculent players Burke could be talking to come July 1st:

BEN EAGER: He's huge, he's mean and he has a cup ring. Put him on the left wing opposite Orr or Army and you have the makings of a devastating punish line. He was also a +4 last year in Atlanta and threw down 7 goals in less than 70 games just for good luck.

CAM JANSSEN: Now before you vomit at the mention of his name, this guy is a beast. He stands tall against much bigger opponents, pisses off everybody on the away bench and while he's on the ice for 6 minutes everybody knows it. I hate him, which is why I would have to consider signing him. Toronto need to get a bit more scary, he would help that along.

TANNER GLASS: He's young, he has size, and he fits the bill as far as adding some fear-factor to the bottom six. My friends in Vancouver are scratching their heads wondering why he hasn't been resigned and Lapierre has been... I think he might fit in well in Toronto.

Obviously I've stuck mostly to muscle here, there are a lot of guys available who could provide scoring in the bottom six, or straight up veteran players who would help add some personality and experience to the Leafs. Michael Ryder is a UFA. Ville Leino is a UFA. Lots of guys who could toggle between the upper and lower lines, although my feeling is Toronto will leave these roles to some of the kids.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Senators, Leafs and THM upgrade

Draft day 1 passes and draft day 2 slowly winds its way down. Both Ottawa and Toronto made moves in the first round with both picking up an extra first founder.  Four in total if one counts the acquisition of Filatov, a 2008 sixth overall pick.  T dot made a nice grab of JML.  But that's about as good as it gets for them.

So what's this about THM's upgrade?. New Android phone with Blogger. So here's hoping this publishes ok. Future postings may be weird for a bit, but at least you'll know why.   

Don: another Blogger page I use allowed me to enable a mobile version of a site. Can you do the same here?

Back to hockey talk:. Clearly Ottawa has a better haul from this draft in terms of prospects. It will be a few years before one can judge the long term results so attention now turns to off season trades and more immediately UFA  day ON July 1.  

One final question on drafting to quell anti Murray sent
iments: who traded up to draft this year's MVP?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Draft day open thread

Ok, so with centre and captain Mike Richards being traded from Philadelphia to the Los Angeles Kings for Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and 2nd round draft pick, the rights to Brad Richards and the trade value of Jason Spezza went way, way, WAY up. B. Richards and J. Spezza are each worth substantially more to their respective teams that Mike Richards was to Philly in terms of total overall contribution to net team success. (Read the last part before you object, leafers)

Rumours had it that the Blue Jackets were chasing Spezza hard, but Murray wisely said "GFY".

That puts us into an interesting situation come Draft Day Friday. Do the Sens deal Spezza for a major (MAJOR) draft pick haul? Do the Leafs cough up group of quality product (I know... I know... hold it in Senators fans and realists) for the rights to Dallas' go-to-guy?

Whatever the case, there will be much debate about the quality and wisdom of each team's picks. Use this thread to bash the selection of the other team or to admire the adept manipulation of late picks for higher choices.

It should be a little more exciting here than trade day (Dear Unicorn, let's hope so!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome to the "insert team name" official website.

We all know they are going to be called the Jets, right?

Scroll through the "get to know your team" section. You know all these players from watching Atlanta, but when you see them in a row like that, now in a real hockey market, the potential for a great hockey team is there.

Looking forward to them joining the league!

What would be an impolite way of saying kitty cat?

How about: "Burke".

You were thinking pussy, right? Well at this point the two are synonymous.

A brief synopsis:

Burke's bestie is Wilson.
Wilson coaches the Leafs.
Leafs have been brutal under Wilson.
Burke loves his bestie.

Burke wants to fire someone.
Burke will not fire bestie.

Burke tells bestie to pick who gets fired.

Wilson picks. Burke fires picks.

Really, kids, what kind of coward pulls a stunt like that?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Co-caption contest.

Comments primarily directed to a caption for the combined images. Or to the dumbass-ery of Vancouver fans.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Tyler Seguin = Cup Champion.
Phil Kessel = chumpion.


What do Alfie, Sedin and Sundin all have in common?

Worst franchise in the NHL

The Leafs according to ESPN The Magazine:

According to a press release from the magazine, the list is meant to provide a ranking of 122 teams from NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball "according to how much they give back to fans for the time, money and emotion they invest in them."

The magazine analyzed a team's efficiency in spending fan money compared to its performance on the field, while also factoring in fan feedback in 21 categories.

Obviously this doesn't take into consideration the awesome contracts the Leafs just signed or that Burke will for sure acquire a number 1 center in a few weeks.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Coach MacLean

Globe's Eric Duhatschek:
To sum up, MacLean has a habit of winning wherever he goes; has a history of working well with young players; and should bring the same sort of intelligence and stability to Ottawa that another former Babcock assistant, Todd McLellan, brought to the San Jose Sharks.

The 6ths Sens:
He should eat a bowl of oatmeal at the presser. #wilfordbrimley

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Late hits

I often go back to something Dryden wrote 7 years ago about 'finishing your check'. Read it again.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Monday, June 06, 2011

Has to be a good thing....

Bingo is a game away from winning the Calder Cup after winning 4-2 on Saturday night.

I was looking through the list of previous Calder Cup winners and finalists and it is nice to see teams that had success are also competitive NHL teams - Chicago, Washington, Vancouver, Pittsburgh. Hope that carries on for Ottawa.

Good coverage of the Calder Cup on the Silver Seven blog and the Joy Lindsay's twitter feed. Cowen made the trip to Houston she says - no update on his injury sustained in the game on Saturday.