I'd be surprised if Wash or Van isn't interested in Rutherford's experience. He may want a break. McPhee makes sense in Van and Cgy.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 26, 2014
I'd be surprised if Wash or Van isn't interested in Rutherford's experience. He may want a break. McPhee makes sense in Van and Cgy.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) April 26, 2014
The Caps are a bit of a joke.
The players decided the fates of McPhee and Oates. I guess the inmates run the asylum.
Its all OV. The Great 8 is a great goalscorer but awful at everything else. A terrible captain, a terrible leader, a terrible teammate, a terrible defensive player.
I can see the caps hiring Ron Wilson to coach them. Yes, that Ron Wilson.
He is a guy who likes to have his players play offensively and play a bit of run and gun. That suits the Great 8 just fine.
I am not sure anyone good will want to go there. it will either be someone like Wilson who wants back into the game, or a green rookie coach looking to get his start in the NHL.
As for GM, well they will have no power and i am not sure anyone who’s been around the game, like a Jim Rutherford, will want to touch this job at all. All the players seem to be able to run to Leonis and get their way.
As someone on the Hockey Night panel said, they better make sure this is a one time deal for the players or else it will really be chaos.
As for the Canucks, Linden for sure needs help in terms of experience and McPhee, having been there before, and been a top guy for 17 years, he’d be a solid guy to bring in. I wonder if Calgary is interested too. I think McPhee worked with Burke way back when they both got started in Vancouver under Quinn.
“A terrible captain, a terrible leader, a terrible teammate, a terrible defensive player.”
OV or Phaneuef?
Ovechkin obviously. I didnt even mention Phaneuf.
I know, but they’re pretty similar…No?
Not at all.
Dion isn’t perfect captain material but he can lead in his own way.
Dion isn’t a terrible defensive player, if he is playing the correct side he was meant to play on. Name any top Dman who is playing their off-wing? None.
Plus name a top Dman who is void of good teammates on the blueline other than Suter? Hardly any.
Subban has Markov, Weber has Josi and Jones, McDonagh has Girardi and Staal, Letang has Martin and Niskanen, Chara has Seidenberg and Hamilton and Boychuk, Pietrangelo has Boumeester and Shattenkirk, Jack Johnson has Tyutin and Murray, Doughty has Voynov, Keith has Seabrook, Phaneuf has Gunnarsson. Yay. Not.
And by all accounts from hearing teammates speak, Dion is a great teammate. (even Kadri said it on HNIC) Again, he isnt captain material probably not, but I don’t see anyone on the current Leaf roster capable of that role.
And he isn’t captain material in terms of motivating the room perhaps or the lead by example. He is without help in that regard.
But he’s great at being the lightning rod and taking the heat. He handles himself very well. I don’t think any other Leaf currently could handle that media/fan pressure/hatred as he can. Look at what people did to Kessel for no FN good reason because he went Fishing.
Ovechkin is all about Ovechkin. That for sure is not how Dion is like.
Both have a lot to prove in regards to leadership though.
Eating media shit for the benefit of the team is admirable, but he has to find a way to be able to calm them down when things start to spiral out of control. So far, he has always been an integral part of why the collapse has occurred.
I think Phaneuf would be a perfect assistant captain, he’s just not exactly the player you expect your captain to be. He’s not a bad captain or a bad leader, just not ideal.
I wish Kessel had some sort of leadership qualities. Your best player and one of the players who’s been on the team the longest should be at least an assistant captain. But Phaneuf, Lupul, Mcclement, Bolland, Gunnarsson + potentially more are ahead of him in being leaned on as a leader.
I know Phil’s game is best when he’s out of the spotlight and all, when he’s just focused on scoring. But I just wish that the teams 8 million dollar franchise player would be more of a leader. It realy annoyed me seeing him yelling at his teamates for giving a bad pass and getting pissed off because he accidentally blocked a shot. It makes me question whether we can win with our core.
I’m in no way a Kessel hater, he’s a phenomenal player.
Kessel should never be put in that position to lead. I hope he never is.
8 million to score anywhere from 80-100 points and around 40 goals. I’m good with that.
Anyone else sick of the Phaneuf isn’t a leader stuff? Phaneuf’s problem is he can’t handle the puck in his own zone and gets himself out of position. I could careless if he doesn’t give a motivation speech or calls a guy out in the locker room.
Leadership? It’s like saying Phaneuf isn’t being a good enough Nanny for the rest of the roster. Take the C off Crosby does Kutinz start to coast because he isn’t being lead properly?
Leadrship… buzz word.
he cant handle the puck and gets himself out of position playing the wrong side. its really that simple to be honest.
If you look at the best D, Weber, Doughty, Chara, Keith, Lidstrom for that matter, they all stuck to the side they were meant to play.
Obviously Dion is not as good. Not even close. Throw him on the opposite side, where he has to backhand everything against the boards, is slow afoot and can get pressured easily on his weak side, no wonder he is mistake prone.
He has been put in the absolute worst positions since he’s been an NHLer. Calgary did it, because they were loaded with LH D, like Bouwmeester and Regehr and now the Leafs.
Its a big factor why he such a mistake prone Dman. And with Gunnarsson his partner, his rather overwhelmed and inadequate top pairing partner, no wonder the Corsi stats are awful for the Leafs.
Also, Reilly and Gardiner for that matter have been put on the wrong side. Their skating gets them out of some trouble, but again, stupid. Its no secret why the LH-RH pairings are so key, its what Canada and Mike Babcock insisted on at the Olympics.
But historically the Leafs have been very inadequate there. Komisarek, Holzer, Kostka, O’Byrne and the best of the bunch sadiy, Franson are the ones of late who have played that side…..to little success.
Its an important area for Nonis/Shanahan to focus on. Moreso than getting a centre to replace Bozak/Kadri, and probably more than the leadership problems too.
Getting a legitimate player to handle the right side as Dion’s partner will make the whole team a whole lot better.
If San Jose blows that series, they are officially the biggest choke franchise in NHL history. Surpassing the Washington Capitals of the 80s and Philadelphia Flyers of the 90s.
the Sharks are in massive trouble. They’re lucky to have home advantage but that is all they have right now.
I cant see that core staying together if they lose tomorrow night
LA and the Wild winning game 7 is the last hope I have in my hockey pool. God bless SJS for stretching it to seven.
The Jackets are in good position going forward. A good showing by them and a huge step forward to win 2 playoff games.
Doesn’t sound like much, but they’re moving in the right direction.
They’re built via the draft with Johansen, Jenner and Murray core guys. Rychel, Wennerberg, Dano, Dansk are on the way and they also had some nice finds Atkinson, Calvert, Savard, Prout.
Nice trades too. Not too often you trade a top player in the deal and you come out well. See Atl/Win when they have traded Hossa and Kovalchuk. They got hardly anything back.
Anisimov, Dubinsky, Jack Johnson plus draft picks came in trading Carter and Nash who didnt want to be there. Its really worked out for them.
And stealing Bobs from the Flyers, along with other quiet trades, Nikitin, Tyutin, Letestu, its worked out real well.
And they went out to get Gaborik and while it didnt quite work out, they didn’t break the bank there.
And free agency, they’ve been quiet but competitive getting Horton (who they missed this playoff) and Wisniewski.
While the foundation was built mostly by others, the stability that Kekalainen and John Davidson has provided, clearly putting together a vision and a plan has really worked and brought them some credibility. Winning 2 playoff games for the first time will help with that as well.
And boy is this team ever big, plus fast. Thats a nice combination going forward. Such a hard group of forwards to handle. No wonder the Leafs had so much trouble with them.
Like the Jackets, the Blues are similar. Big team, young, well built, have some nice pieces going forward and a stable franchise.
Both these teams are seemingly modeled around the way the Bruins are built.
A team with a lot of size, but not void of speed or skill. lots of organizational depth. Draft success supported with smart signings and trades.
No organization is perfect, bad moves will happen, poor decisions will be made, but it seems to be the model going forward.
But it seems there is a high focus for the blues/jackets on getting high end guys with character. guys with the ability to lead in all areas not just offensively.
It is ok to have guys who simply provide offence. but if that is all they are capable of, thats fine, so long as there is those surrounding that player or two who can insulate them from all the other stuff and support them.
I look at Seguin in his time in Boston, Oshie in St Louis, Kane in Chicago, as some examples. Not captain, leadership material, but thats not their job. Their job is offence. Bergeron, Toews, Chara, Backes, Pietrangelo, their the leaders of the group, lets the Kanes and Oshie’s do their thing.
We’ll work our way back to the Leafs. the Kessel comment above prompted this. I am truly and absolutely fine with Kessel getting 80-90 points and scoring around 40 goals and doing nothing else. I can live with some of the defensive lapses and soft play should that kind of production be the norm….which it has been. I don’t care if he says he loves fishing and all that, i don’t know what the big deal is. The guy isnt that rah rah or carry you on my back type of guy….like Sundin sort of was.
The guy scores. I am fine with that. But, its that around him that needs to be better. Of the other top players on the Leafs, none of them are the kind of guy who seems willing to go hell and back for the team.
The Sharks for example, for all their talent, they too don’t have that killer instinct player. Thornton is one of the most laid back guys, Marleau a quiet leader, Boyle too. Not sure if Vlasic or Couture have that makeup to be go through the wall kind of guys.
LIke a Toews, though not many if any are like him. He looks like a warrior out there and there is an amazing support group around him.
They’re impossible to find and not really suggesting the Leafs do that. They may need to find their own way. But, there is a void there on the Leafs and from what i see, I am not sure the high end guys on Toronto, Lupul, Kessel, JVR, Dion have that makeup to be top leaders and more suited to be supporters or followers.
They’re not going to find the next Yzerman or Messier out of the blue, but if anything, the Leafs do need higher end guys who are willing to give just a bit more than what the guys they have now can give. they tried with Clarkson and Bolland but they need more than that. Where they find it I am not sure.
But seeing how CBJ and STL have gone, being big, being fast, being harder to play against, Toronto certainly has blueprints out there to follow. Its just finding the appetite to do that and mixing the patience to do it, along with still trying to strive to be a playoff team, not rolling back to tanking and rebuilding like the Oilers.
That is something I have been “preaching” for a long time. We need to be bigger and harder to play against. Speed matters, but is not everything. Speed can be controlled. Size is much harder to prepare against and control. Its not like you can make your players bigger overnight in order to handle a bigger opponent.
Unfortunately, too many fans get mesmerized by dangles and foot speed. All great, except these players are not going to win battles, you still need guys who can win battles and keep the puck in the other teams end. This is how you wear down a teams defence. You don’t do it with end to end rushes. Kessel and JVR had great years, but were both minus players. 1/4 of their offence comes on the PP. 5 on 5, they get outscored. That has to change.
The Leafs are simply too easy to play against. They don’t control the puck, the don’t win battles, they don’t cycle well. They don’t wear the opposition down. Until we can do this, we will be playoff contenders and not much more.imo
I proposed a trade earlier in the year of Gardiner to CLB for Savard and Prout. Leaf fans hated it. Is Gardiner the best skater, dangler and offensive player? No doubt, but he is easy to play against. Savard and Prout would give us 2 RHD with size and some toughness. We need that more than Gardiner. The option to move Franson for a needed piece also would have been viable. I would still do that trade…doubt CLB would though.
Plus, I know many will hate this, but if Franson is willing to sign a 3-4 year deal at $3.5 or less…I expect he will be back. I doubt the Leafs let their only RHD with experience and size walk if the deal is reasonable.
Gardiner is one of our better puck possession players. Players offering toughness on the back end don’t get the puck out of the zone or improve possession.
Though would to improve the forecheck with two more power forwards. Draft Ritchie (I’m coming around on this kid) and target E.Staal or E.Kane?
If Nonis didn’t make Franson a priority last summer after a better season can’t imagine he makes a priority of him this summer.
What are the pros/cons of drafting Ritchie? From what I’ve seen he looks like a solid pick. He could be our answer to Milan Lucic when it comes to facing the Bruins down the road.
Major con is that he isn’t a C. I was worried about the bust factor when players get overrated based on size. I’ve read that scouts are concerned that he might be a bit too heavy at 230, I’m sure he can drop weight though.
Pro, he could be a Byfuglien that actually plays wing. If he becomes what you hope he could become the best player in this draft when all is said and done.
Would love to see him on a line with Clarkson on the other wing, should be punishing. Clarkson is really out of place on this roster, both could be 20/20 guys in the near future IMO.
Doesn’t look like their are a lot of natural centres around the 8th pick. Virtanen or Nylander are listed as both, but from what I’ve read they are more suited to the wing.
Perlini looks like an intriguing pick. He has chemistry with Verhaeghe already, good size and skill, and apparently plays a solid two way game.
Do you know if the top 5 is set in stone? In previous years we have seen consensus top 5 picks drop a few picks, so its not out of the realm of possibility that the Leafs grab Dal Colle or Draisaitl I’d imagine.
Burke has bashed Draisaitl and Edmonton apparently loves him. Who knows there is always a prospect that people scout hype in hope another team bites on ‘consensus’ opinion. Look at Forsberg two years ago, we were expected to take him or Girgarenko going into the draft over Rielly and he feel hard.
Or something like Seth Jones, Av took MacKinnon, Florida wanted a C so took Barkov and TB feel in love with Drouin, Nashville jumps on their gift. Every team has there on script, when a chip falls sometimes teams stick with her initial plan.
There were rumors of Burke bashing Perlini but they weren’t really substantiated. Besides he said Treleving would have full say on the draft so what Burke thinks really doesn’t matter.
Savard is pretty good with the puck. He is no Gardiner, but he can move the puck. We have Rielly, with Percy and Finn in minors for puck movers. We can’t keep everyone and guys like Gunnar/Franson/Gleason will not return a Savard and Prout in the same deal. You have to give to get and we need what they bring.
As for Franson, it’s got nothing to do with making him a priority. He is RFA not UFA. Not likely Nonis lets a D with his size, puck moving ability and decent value walk as an RFA. That would be stupid.
No matter who is playing on the Leafs they’ll get a ridiculous amount of criticism when the Leafs struggle from top to bottom. Especially star talent.
During the early Kessel years TSN would bash Kessel every time he didn’t score at a goal a game pace, which one one does, then bashed him for being pick last by his peers at the all star game and Leaf fans buy into this.
All Kessel has done is get better each season, can you imagine if we trade him, do you really expect the next guy to be up to the task like Kessel has been?
its all expectations for me with Kessel.
I know full well he doesnt deserve a letter, wont be very strong along the boards and a 50/50 proposition to be a defensive liability.
That being said, 40 goals, 80 points + and so what about the rest of it.
The key is the rest of the roster. JVR, Bozak, Kadri, Lupul + can’t be the same meh attitude and soft defence. but they sort of are, and therein lies the problem, makes Kessel the lightning rod, which he shouldnt be.
Its not like Lucic or Marchand will ever win any Selke trophies, but Bergeron and Krecji are so sound in their own end, the team as a whole plays so sound that all you can ask for from a Lucic is to be in position. He’s not going to win races to the puck but that liability doesnt hurt the team.
When Kessel is soft on the puck, it hurts the team often because the rest of the team has zero ability to back him up.
I doubt a guy like Kane is any better at the defensive end for the Hawks. But he plays with Toews or Handzus. Or has Sharp and Hossa on the other wing with Keith/Seabrook on D. there is tons of guys who can carry the mail defensively and get Kane the puck.
Poor Phil, while yes he could be better, with maybe more effort, sort of has to carry the mail on his own. Thats just not his game, but its both the lack of players plus system that leaves him hanging to dry.
My comment above sort of came out the wrong way abou Kessel. I love the guy. I was more trying to get at the fact that we’re not going to win with just having one star player who is only an offensive threat. Chicago wouldn’t win with just Kane and no Toews, Washington couldn’t win with Ovechkin being a 100+ point player.
Toronto has the elite offensive player, but they’re going nowhere until they have a player who can be relied upon for big plays in both ends and also show some signs of leadership.
I’m completely content with Phil making the money he makes and putting up 80 points, we’re just not going to win with only him.
Thats right. Like Washington and OV.
Sadly there is no short way of doing that.
But, there is also no need to build brand new team all over again from scratch. That is no need to go backwards.
i think what will help the players, Kessel, JVR etc, will be more battle tested. Can’t really do that missing the playoffs every year. so they have to find that balance, be competitive, but be mindful of a steady plan going forward.
building some success with the Marlies and those young players will help.
With Donald Sterling’s lifetime ban from the NBA, does that mean he can get parole in 25 years?
This is evidence why the NBA sucks now, just a bunch of bratty whiners that get overly offended and build stuper teamz. NBA sucks.
25 year ban and 2.5mil fine? for what because a man just voiced an opinion? Racism will never leave so if someone just makes a comment like that then just ignore it because the man will lose a large amount of respect anyway. What if the man said he doesn’t want any colours in his house instead of the games? Does he still get fined? It’s his house and he can have any conversation he wants. It’s a bad comment but at the end of the day it’s just words!!! seems like a harsh punishment for just words! Good thing the NHL is a lot more calm and doesn’t get involved with these issues and just focuses on hockey and not what goes on outside.
Yup, lot of grand standing, love that if a protected minority made comments like this it isn’t even a story.
Also love Magic Johnson’s moral high horse, it’s not like Sterling spent the 80s giving white girls HIV. Class act that Magic.
The media is scary in the sense that it has the power to change the world! They are trying way to hard to be nice to minorities. and I agree with you that if a minority made such a comment about a white person that it even makes it to the media. I love the Fan 590 but everyone on there is making Sterling out to be like a Hitler or something. I bet you over 50% of the world is still racist whether it’s whites hating blacks, blacks hating asians, asians hating indians or whatever the only difference today as oppose to 20 years ago is that people only express their racists views behind closed doors and not out in public. Racism will never leave so the media needs to stop making a big deal about it and just learn to roll their eyes and ignore it.
Fan 590 is evidence of media scared of media, no one has the balls to say it’s no big deal.
The disturbing thing is that it’s this kind of stuff that enforces division/alienation/racism. It isn’t PC to point out that the comments themselves didn’t hurt anyone but the speaker. No one was oppressed but the NBA handed out ‘justice’.
A good part of our collective public school experience is shaming racism. It plays on everyone’s heart, everyone has a clever way of calling themselves evolved to berate any type of bigotry and is itching berate the homophobic, the racist, ect… Hell organizations get government funding to fight ‘ignorance’ in favor of protected minorities.
Racism = oppression, Sterling should have been attacked years ago for denying minorities housing, that’s an issue. Him berating his side girl is bs. People don’t fight oppression though, they ‘social justice’ empty comments.
So if SJS implodes would they finally shake things up?
Boyle’s contract is up, Phaneuf could actually be a good fit there, a package beginning with Phaneuf + Franson + Bozak or Kadri for Couture or Pavelski?
Would even be willing to do a package of Bernier + for Pavelski. Easier to find a goaltender than a 1C
I would do your first proposal in a heartbeat but I doubt SJS would. I see the sharks rather moving Thornton and Marleau and keeping Couture, Pavelski and Hertl as the future leaders of this team. Hertl and Kadri are a wash but one thing that Couture and Pavelski have that Kadri and Bozak don’t in terms of forwards is leadership, grit and 2-way play. Bozak kind of plays a two-way game but not as well as Couture and Pavelski. It’s easier for the sharks to keep those 3 and build around them.
No way in hell I move Bernier! We finally found our future no.1 goaltender and he is still very young. Especially with Reimer 99% not returning what the hell do you do if Bernier is traded? Easier to find a goaltender? We have been searching since ’05-06 and have just now found a no.1 G…lol. I doubt Bernier goes anywhere.
Phaneuf is the key for SJS to turn a page. I’d wonder if they would have bid on him had he hit the open market. SJS’s window is best now with Thornton and Marleau having years left.
I’d hate to give up Bernier but more comfortable in a #1 goalie search rather than a #1 center search. Really if you think about it, it would amount to Frattin, a 2nd + Scrivens for Pavelski.
Boyle leaving and Vlasic not really a # 1 doesn’t SJS not gamble instead of become a laughing stock?
There is also the potential that Bernier doesn’t have another great season. Many goaltenders look really good for a season or two. Bernier looks to have franchise potential but it’s not a sure thing like Pavelski would be.
Hell make this deal then go out and sign Miller
Young number 1 goalie or young future number 1’s are not easy to find. Aging ones like Miller maybe, but I doubt Miller wants to come to Toronto anyway. So I don’t do the second one of Bernier+.
Money wise, I doubt the first deal works for SJ. They have pretty much a full roster already for next season and Phaneuf $7mil, Franson $3.5(projected) Bozak $4.2 or Kadri$2.9 going in against only $6 for either Pavelski or Couture going out. SJ would have to be willing to take on an extra $7mil minimum.
Plus, as you said, unless SJ wants a rebuild they need to win now. Why would they want Phaneuf? They need to get better under pressure games and take the next step. Dion was a -19 during our playoff drive and had a poor playoffs last year. I doubt SJ wants a guy who there is questions about his ability to raise his level of play when needed.
I seriously doubt any team that wants to contend now, is looking at Dion if they need a top d-man. His new contract and play, or lack there of, under pressure is not an asset.
Vancouver, Caps, Sens, T-bay may be interested if you’re looking at teams that could already contend and don’t need “the” guy but a solid number 2 to pair with the #1 they already have. Teams building like Edmonton, Florida, Carolina and outside chance of CLB or Colorado being interested in Phaneuf I see possible. SJ? Don’t see them interested. Maybe, big maybe if we were also willing to take back Havlat in the deal.
I think this scenario for Dion is more likely. I know you wouldn’t, but I would do Phaneuf for Bieksa straight up. It gives us a guy to play with either Gardiner or Rielly and we have an extra $2.4 mil to spend on D-help. It is a change of scenery for both players and a “culture” change in the dressing room for both teams.
Colorado will spend their off season trying to deal with Stastny and ROR.
If SJS gets humiliated they’re rip to take advantage of on the trade market. Boyle is off the books, the cap is going up, the rest of their roster is set.
They’re also too top heavy without a blueline, Phaneuf + Franson would help their PP and provide offense from the back end (Dion would be better in a market where he can play more reckless like he did when he was younger).
SJS can’t rebuild, they have too many good pieces already. If any team can pull off a success retool in one trade it’s SJS.
Again, I’d be curious to see had we not locked up Dion if SJS would be offering him 7+ on the open market. For all the Dion hate, is there a better single defenseman as fully formed as Dion on the trade market?
No the better ones are already franchise defensemen or still developing players.
Give Miller a good contract offer and he has roots in Buffalo, wouldn’t have to uproot his family and life. He always played great at the ACC and the guy seems to have a bit of an ego which success in Toronto would cater too. Don’t see how we’re any worst a fit than another market.
I agree with you on likely Stastny is the odd man out in Colorado.
Disagree on Phaneuf for the reasons I mentioned. I doubt SJ gives up a Couture or Pavelski to get Phaneuf as their main guy. Dion is a very good support guy on a first pairing, but I don’t view him as a guy to lead the first pairing.
Miller wouldn’t come to Toronto because he is in a win now window of his career. The Leafs may be too far away yet to want to come here. He will want a STL, Pitt type of situation.imo
This thread got me curious on him, apparently he wants to play in California. So Ducks are most likely.
Ok, Ducks, I could see that. Solid contending team, but not on the downslide yet. That would make sense.
I think the Leafs have a better shot at getting Ryan O’Reilly or Matt Duchene from the Avs.
With O’Reilly a RFA I really wonder what kind of salary he is going to get. The Avs need him, he is such a big piece.
Plus, they need to re-sign Stastny who has formed a great duo with MacKinnon.
Duchene is huge for them too, he was having such a terrific season, including an Olympic spot.
But I am not sure they can keep all 3. Plus they have MacKinnon to re-sign in a couple years.
Granted, they are not in big cap trouble. They could just dump PA Parenteau so they are not in dire straits, but, I definitely see Duchene or O’Reilly more likely, albeit long shot options for toronto than anyone on SJ.
I don’t think the Avs are sacrificing anyone except Stastny in case Statsny decides to walk. Their fanbase is convinced that Duchene is they’re Yzerman and will be a career Avalanche. ROR would demand a massive overpayment and then contract.
Difference with Colorado and SJ is that Colorado’s talent actually feeds off each other with good chemistry, they’re greater than the sum of their individual parts and SJS has a more somebody else will step up attitude. SJS needs the re-tool if they lose while the Avs are still building.
As far as Phaneuf is concerned, the Avs seem happy with EJ and Barrie and what does SJ really have for a top blueliner?
Either way fingers crossed both the Avs and Sharks get blown out on home ice.
While watching the big Sharks-Kings Game 7, you quickly realize what a joke the Eastern conference is.
Last time they over achieved
Yeah baby, those were the days. I can still hear Garpenlov hitting the cross bar in OT.
Cry party tonight in San Jose. Have to give credit to the LA Kings. Coming back from 3-0 against a strong team like San Jose (playoff challenged or not), that is an incredible achievement.
After watching much first round hockey so far, the Kings are my pick to win it all in ’14.
Had 4-1 on the Wild, made a clean 4 bills. Great hackey night.
Like the Kings? That guy who built them, Leiweke was on Tim & Sid and he said expect some big changes and hard decisions for the Leafs this summer. Good stuff.
I’m not going to bother with the regular circle jerk of stupidty that usually surrounds questions about Phaneuf’s “leadership”, trading Gardiner for a defensive RH’d dman, or Kadri needing to be traded or blah blah blah bullshit.
Instead I’ll focus on the draft, since I’m guessing I’m probably the resident draft junkie here.
We’re in a good spot to get a good player. Don’t believe the hype (or lack thereof rather) about this draft. It’s got some pretty good depth in it. It’s not 2013 by any means but there are some damn talented players.
The Leafs will likely not have a shot at Reinhart, Ekblad, Draisaitl, Dal Colle or Bennett barring any draft day falls.
They will be in a good position to snag one of the following.
Jake Virtanen – One of the youngest players in the draft, the guy can flat out dominate games at times. Hell of a shot and a fantastic skater. Good but not amazing size at 6 foot 1 but will probably grow. Inconsistent at times but he’s learning to figure it out as he matures. Unique kind of player but roughly comparable to Evander Kane.
William Nylander – Center/RW (played RW for the U18 Swedish team, has played both in Sweden this year). Top line potential, and could have the highest offensive skillset in teh entire draft. But he’s on the smaller stature side and he’s weak defensively. But he’s so smart.
Nick Ritchie – Brett Ritchie’s brother, he’s a power forward through and through. He’s huge and can skate very well for a guy that’s 230 pounds. Has one of the best shots in the draft (neck and neck with Virtanen). He’s not Lucic (he gets comparisons sometimes) but he’d be a half decent answer to him. He’d sort of be what the exaggerated hopes for Clarkson were. He led the Petes in scoring, and has some good leadership qualities as their assistant. He can take bad penalties at times when he lets his emotions get control of him, but that’s a minor issue and can be coached out of him. Better than not being interested. He’d be an almost perfect fit on Kadri’s wing.
Nikolaj Ehlers – Could be this drafts version of Jeff Skinner. Put up top 3 pick type numbers, and although he played with Drouin, he was absolutely not a product of him. Put up 60 goals in 79 Q games this year, which was his rookie year. Huge amounts of offensive talent, but he’s a strong defensive player, showing lots of commitment to that side of the game. Not one-dimensional in the least.
Any of these four players would be a huge addition to the system. Leafs are in a great position in the draft. My personal prefence would have Ritchie/Ehlers first, Virtanen second, Nylander third.
Saw Perlini mentioned above and I absolutely want nothing to do with him. Started strong but completely tailed off after December, and was a complete no-show in the playoffs and U18’s. His biggest concern is compete level, and it’s pretty concerning. Guy doesn’t have that fire to win. The chemistry with Verghaeghe shouldn’t be considered IMO.
Where do we land on the safe pick vs. home run debate? Nylander/Ehlers seem like hit/miss home run picks, but Ritchie seems like a sure thing NHLer in some role.
I’d be thrilled with any of those guys, but Ehlers/Virtanen seem the most intriguing to me.
I think we need to go for a home run, we have plenty bottom 6 potential prospects. I’m with you, Virtanen and then Ehlers are my top 2.
Ehlers does not make the Leafs a better team, now or down the line.
Unless you trade that disaster Kadri for something larger.
Of course he would. He’s got elite offensive upside and he’s actually a strong two-way player.
You don’t make draft choices based on need, you just take the BPA. If it gets to the point where we need to figure something out, you can make a trade.
Who would you have rather picked over Kadri? (who was rated at a similar draft spot)
I want elite offensive potential honestly. We lack it in the system. Nylander is probably the highest boom/bust pick of the bunch.
Ritchie is the safest but still has good upside.
Ehlers is actually safe IMO. He’s a strong second line shot IMO, but has top line potential. He’s a strong defensive player surprisingly.
Virtanen is actually the biggest boom pick of the bunch IMO, probably tied with Nylander. His skating and physicality give a safety net as a bottom 6 player at the very least but he’s got the kind of home run potential that could see him be an elite power winger.
We’re in a very good spot right now. Ehlers/Virtanen are the most intriguing of the four, but I wouldn’t say Ritchie is far behind. Give him a offensively talented center and he could be pretty strong in the NHL. Nylander is the least intriguing IMO, but he’s got huge potential.
All four would be great to add.
Yes, trades are stupid. Never mind trades, lets get all horned up about the draft like every year and another top 10 pick because that’s how you build a winner. We can predict how a guy like D’Amigo will be great when he develops.
We have 6 top 10 picks already on the team and 11 1st round picks? Shouldn’t we have won a cup already?
Compared to say Chicago who only have 2 top 10 picks and 5 first rounders total who play full time.
L.A only has two top 10 picks as well and 1 is Gaborik!
The Bruins, 1 top 10, Dougie Hamilton.
How can these teams possibly win when they trade away 1st rounders? Mind boggling really. Yet Toronto, who have 1/3 of their roster are top 10 picks…can’t make the playoffs. How can this be?
So yes, let’s forget about trades, because that it is just circle jerk stupidity.
Do it through the draft with top 10 picks, because all the top teams like Edmonton do it that way.
Brilliant game plan. Of course, it’s the same one, year in and year out and we miss the playoffs, year in and year out.
And how would you fix the team through trades? You can’t offer guys you don’t want and expect a Pavelski back.
So being realistic and considering the needs of both teams making these deals – how do you fix the team?
I’m on the side that thinks outside the top 5, first round draft picks are not more valuable than pieces you can get trading your first. People think first round pick means stud player, but that’s not true. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can blow your first round pick every year or all your draft picks. You need to acquire prospects one way or another.
But you have to do what makes sense for the team. If the core pieces are in place, you’re not a rebuilding team. Trading that first is not a big deal.
If what you’re missing is that #1 Center, #1 D-man, #1 elite player – you do not give up your first round pick. You take the risk because trading that pick does not bring in a #1 elite player.
I think Toronto can afford to move their pick this year – but for what package? If you’re looking for that #1 Center, #1 D-man, you might as well stop looking because the package needed to acquire that is more than you’re willing to give. Spare parts you don’t want will not bring you that elite player back, regardless of quantity involved in that package.
You know, unless you’re Seguin…
On the overall, I agree with what you said, and I agreed we weren’t getting Pavelski for what was offered. But unlike many, I am willing to move a Gardiner, Kadri, our 1st, or make a package of those type of players.
I would move just about anyone if the deal is right except probably, Kessel, JVR, Bernier and Rielly. I am open to improving the team. The key word is team. We lack certain elements and have an excess of other elements, so I would move a guy like Gardiner for a big RHD puck mover and a RHD tough to play against D.
To me, a team is built with all elements, not just one that the team is built around. I am not saying trade is the only way to go, but to say questioning Phaneuf’s ability to lead, or moving Gardiner or Kadri is stupidity, is actually… stupid in itself. Quality drafting is key, but to get a boner every year at the draft, thinking that will fix the Leafs, isn’t realistic.
Boner, really? Grow up. Getting core pieces at the draft is far more realistic than the typical quantity for quality proposals.
Wasn’t meant for you Gambo. It was meant for someone who has to start there post with calling everyone else stupid who doesn’t agree with his way of thinking.
I’m not sure where you are going with typical quantity for quality proposals…since as I said, I didn’t throw out the Pavleski one or think it could happen.
Whoa.. I wasn’t calling anybody stupid here.
I am not big on any of these players you mentioned because if we do draft one of them it may take 3-4 years before we even see them in the NHL and the leafs cannot wait that long. Unless the leafs can trade up into the top 5 then I think we should package our 8th overall pick for a young player that is already in the NHL in the 22-25 year old range. Like I said before, if we were just starting our rebuild then I would say keep that 8th pick and just be patient but we have been rebuilding for 5-6 years now and it is time to start seeing some results. That 8th overall pick won’t help us get into the playoffs anyway so trade it for a young player who can make a difference now.
Ha, it’s funny when comebacks happen to someone else.
So Caryle may stay to finish his contract so that the Leafs can go after Mike Babcock next summer when his contract expires?
This sounds like a Lieweke type move, Babcock is said to a have a huge ego, Toronto would be a great destination if he’s chasing a legacy.
Would also give management sometime to do a facelift on this team. Wouldn’t mind punching a ticket in the McDavid lottery.
Tallon is said to be shopping the 1st overall pick.
Likely shopping it to the Oilers in all likelihood.
Theyre the only team who will be drafting solely on need and they need Ekblad.
Everyone else in the top 10, will just grab who they feel is the best talent available like normal.
Honestly, if it cost the Oilers Yakubov or Gagner and the 3rd overall to get the 1st overall, just do it.
But, they won’t. They’re the organization who has the most overrated players and who overrates them the most themselves.
I think if I am Tallon, i’m drafting Ekblad anyways if a trade with Edmonton cannot be worked out. But if it can, you get either Reinhart or Bennett, another offensive minded forward to join Bjugstad, Barkov and Huberdeau. Thats just fine and dandy for them.
You pretty well know the Sabres will be picking a forward. Reinhart or Bennett, as that is simply what makes sense for them, getting talent up front.
The Oilers need Ekblad bad. So bad like I said, do that trade suggestion above. They shouldn’t be pussy footing around too much. They need something on defence to build with if they want to go anywhere.
The Flames who pick 4th are in a very intriguing spot. If Burke was still in charge, you could have just assumed a big forward like Dal Colle, Draisaitl or even Virtanen or Ritchie would be locks. But I am not sure. They need skill, and there is a history there with Nylander. I think he’d be a great selection for them.
But, they too could phone up Tallon. Not sure what they could offer up, but my thinking is, they’d love to get Reinhart. They have his older brother in the system and of course his dad played there. He is a dynamic skilled forward. Granted, the Flames have Monahan, and prospects Baertschi, Klimchuk, Poirier, Gaudreau and Jankowski. But this is a team that never really had that young depth since when Nieuwendyk was coming up the ranks with Roberts, Hull and others. Thats a damn long time ago. their D is thin yes, but Giordano is a legit top 2 and Brodie is a top 4 guy. Thats enough to get by for now. They often look bad bc their goaltending is awful.
The Isles are a bit of a wildcard if you ask me. they’ll either be extremely predictable, pick an OHL guy like Dal Colle or I think they’ll go maybe off the usual path, maybe take Ehlers or even further off the wall, maybe Tuch. A trade too is not out of the question either.
So lets assume top 5 is:
If any of them happen to fall out of the top 5, they will be a Canuck. Otherwise, I think Nylander would be a great fit for a team in need of skill, and a player who can learn a lot from fellow Swedes, the Sedins. But, Linden is new to the job, his thought processes may be different and there may be a new GM by that time. Who knows what they’re leaning on. It could be Virtanen too, a highly touted Western Leaguer who is a big strong centre, what every team covets.
That brings us to the Canes. I think Nylander, Kapanen, any of those i’ve mentioned really should they drop all the way to 7 would help Carolina. I think though a good pick for them is the high skilled Ehlers. They’re not going to select a defenceman, and are not too worried about what position a player plays up front. They have 2 big centres in the Staals. Plus, they drafted Lindholm last year. A guy with some gamebreaking skill like Ehlers, Nylander or Kapanen would fit nice. Ironically, both Nylander and Kapanen were drafted by the Canes organization as Whalers.
This brings us to the Leafs. A lot of consensus is big forward Ritchie. I like Ritchie. He has all the tools to be a high end power forward. But these guys take time. The team went “All In” on a guy like him in Tyler Biggs. It cost them Richard Rakell, who’s playing for the Ducks in these playoffs, and John Gibson, arguably the best prospect outside the NHL. I think that falling in love with big boys who’s size lets them dominate the Junior leagues is a bit of a risk. Like last year’s pick Gauthier. The guy won’t score. He doesn’t even have the skill level of a Hanzal or a Couturier to even earn high 3rd line minutes. I hope the Leafs are not fixated on size.
That being said, Virtanen is a power forward type, but the guy is also high skill. He is my preferred selection. I think position matters as if it did come down to him and say Ehlers, I’d rather pick the guy who can play centre. So i really hope they land this guy. I think he is the kind of difference maker at centre the team could use in a couple years. He has enough flexibility to float to the wing, but ideally, develop a top line centre.
I again like Ritchie and he is a local kid too so thats always nice to pick the local guys. and Ehlers, along with Kapanen, Nylander are incredibly skilled. And there is a guy like Tuch, big, strong centre, but at end of the day a skilled centre with no. 1 potential is needed. Virtanen at that spot is the guy IMO.
I can’t see the Islanders keeping their pick, they can’t risk losing their 1st next year. I agree with the picks, hopefully their is some movement just to make it exciting
The Hockey News is speculating that the Kings may want to move, or even buyout Mike Richards.
Nonis should be all over that.
He has not been producing lately, but I think he would be a good bet for 50-60 points on the Leafs while providing a solid two way presence/leadership.
If he’s cheap and shorter term than what Bolland is rumored to be seeking by all means.
If LA is actually looking to buy him out, I can’t imagine he would cost very much. Out of curiosity, what would you alll be willing to give up for him?
Kadri? I’m a big supporter in going after Mike Richards. One of the best leaders in the game today.
I’d be willing to give up Kadri, but would it even cost that? If they are actually considering a buy out they may be able to get him for less.
If LA can get some solid cheap assets without adding on salary they may consider it.
2 years ago I was proposing to trade Phaneuf straight up for Richards. He is not even close to the player he was in Philly but I guess that is because he is surrounded by much better players in LA where he doesn’t have to be the best player, but if he can become that player that he was for the flyers in the playoffs against chicago than that would be huge!
I think Phaneuf would be a much better player in a quieter market like LA and being surrounded by Doughty, Regher and Muzzin will take more pressure off of Phaneuf. Trading phaneuf would leave a hole on defence but it’s worth it to get a great no.1 centre that can be a captain!
I think if Carlyle stays, Shanahan should force an entire new coaching staff on him.
I would see if I could hire Kirk Muller, Adam Oates and Todd Gill.
All 3 were fired from their respective teams in the last week or so.
All 3 have ties to Toronto with Muller and Gill having played there and Oates being born there.
All 3 have ties to Shanahan having been his teammate for 3 different teams.
Oates I thought did a good job in Washington considering the hand he was dealt with. Its an impossible job if one player can dictate everything. He was Deboer’s assistant in New Jersey and by all accounts did a good enough job there to get a head coaching job. He is an X and O type who’d probably help special teams. He is also a Hall member which should carry more weight than say a former Minor League goalie or a College coach.
Gill recently coached the Kingston Frontenacs. He changed their program there and may have developed a couple of future stars in Sam Bennett and Roland McKeown. The Leafs need someone to help their defence and Gill, being in the NHL for 20 seasons, the guy knows what it takes, what to do to survive and succeed.
Muller is a former top assistant in Montreal and is highly regarded in that role. He too was dealt a poor hand in Carolina. something deeper is at the root of their problems than just coaching. Muller carries a stanley cup ring so that holds weight and in his time with the Habs had a great rapport with players.
I think hiring 3 guys with head coaching experience should put some pressure on Carlyle to be better. 3 very good former NHL players doesnt hurt when trying to relay the message to the team. They may also bring a few other things to the table to change things up and I think those 3 have a good grasp on the game today, better helping to adapt to the current NHL.
I am not sure if there is that coach out there who is infinitely better than Carlyle or who could solely improve this group of players.
But they can definitely improve their assistant coaching ranks and these 3 guys are my choices.
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