Category Archives: Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leaf News and Rumors
As Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis wrapped up his season-ending news conference, there was only one player on the roster who received his unwavering support: Phil Kessel.
When he mentioned the names of others — such as pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Bozak and No. 1 goalie James Reimer — there was praise followed by a quick reminder that changes are in the offing.
The issue with Kessel is come July the Leafs will be able to offer their top forward a contract extension. He was asked if he would.
“I think this is the best stretch of hockey Phil Kessel has ever played,” said Nonis. “He’s — in my mind — one of the top players in the league. Would we look to extend Phil? Again, he has a year left on his contract, there is no urgency in getting him signed to an extension.
“Phil Kessel is going to be a good player in this league for a long time. If there is a deal that makes sense for both of us, then no question we’d look to bring him back for an extended period of time.”
As for Kessel’s centre and best friend — Bozak — Nonis was a tad less effusive in his praise.
Bozak tore his oblique muscle at the end of the season and ripped his triceps muscle during a faceoff in Game 5 and was missing for Games 6 and 7. He said he wants to return to Toronto.
What does Nonis think?
— Kevin McGran (@kevin_mcgran) April 3, 2013
Did Roberto Luongo give the thumbs down on a potential trade to the Maple Leafs last summer?
So says Sportsnet’s Doug MacLean, who claims Luongo refused to waive his no-trade at the time in the hopes that a deal was in the works that would have reunited him with the Florida Panthers, the team he broke into the NHL with.
According to MacLean, a tentative off-season deal for Luongo was in place at the time between the Leafs and Canucks.
Interesting news Monday evening with a source confirming to ESPN.com that the Calgary Flames have given permission to the Toronto Maple Leafs to speak to Miikka Kiprusoff’s camp about a contract extension.
My TSN colleague Aaron Ward was first to report the news.
Kiprusoff has one more year on his deal next season, which pays only $1.5 million (although it counts $5.8 million against the salary cap), and the suspicion here is that the 36-year-old netminder would sign off on a trade to Toronto only if he can get another year out of it financially.
Meanwhile the Leafs reportedly continue to look at bolstering their top four on the blue line. Names such as Keith Yandle, Dmitri Kulikov and Jay Bouwmeester have been linked to the Leafs in various web reports. Bouwmeester’s $6.6 million US ticket through 2014 seems a bit pricy.
According to Vancouver Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman, the Luongo trade chatter is becoming more than just web scuttlebutt.
“Mike is in discussions with multiple teams … Talks are beyond the tire-kicking stage,” Gilman told the Vancouver media referring to Canucks general manager Mike Gillis.
Various reports from the left coast suggest Leafs centre Tyler Bozak is in the mix. Bozak will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
The Leafs have been sniffing around the NHL’s goalie market and have held talks with the Canucks regarding Roberto Luongo. While Vancouver has always coveted centre Tyler Bozak to help shore up the middle, it will be interesting to see if this deal can get done. Getting Luongo would help the Leafs stabilize their goaltending for the next six years.
Simple facts are these. Leafs have talked to VAN this week about Luongo. Leafs have some interest. Price has dropped. That’s all for now.
— Damien Cox (@DamoSpin) March 29, 2013
Vancouver needs to bulk up at centre — and Roberto Luongo is the only ace up general manager’s sleeve
This brings us back to Luongo. Years of suspect drafting and trading picks, by this regime and the one that preceded it, has left the Canucks without a bankroll of prospects from which to purchase help at the deadline.
They can’t afford to trade Nicklas Jensen or Brendan Gaunce or Frank Corrado or this year’s first-round pick. Who they can afford to lose is Luongo.