Category Archives: Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leaf News and Rumors
No. 1 centre is Leafs priority one – Forget about a goalie, Leafs need to find someone to feed Kessel the puck — and quick
The bottom line is this: Without a front-line centre, Kessel’s talents are being wasted. He was a 37-goal scorer last year but with a bonafide first-line centre, he might be a 50-goal scorer. Further to that, the Leafs will not take the next step in becoming a threat to go deep into the playoffs until they address the first-line centre situation.
Centre should be priority No.1 for the Leafs.
When the club was looking for a coach to replace Ron Wilson in the grim days when last season transformed itself into a lost season, NHL sources say Nonis went to bat for Dallas Eakins, then and now the coach of the AHL Marlies. Nonis and other front-office executives were of the belief that Eakins is everything a modern-era coach should be; progressive but hard-nosed, communicative with players but never friends with them. Burke, of course, insisted on his old friend Randy Carlyle.
The question was clearly asked to a member of the Maple Leafs front office and the answer was just as direct.
Why not make a restricted free agent offer on unsigned defenceman P.K. Subban? Why not take a run at the best player not playing for the Montreal Canadiens?
After Montreal GM Marc Bergevin sat down with agent Don Meehan for a meeting Friday, the future of Habs blueliner P.K. Subban is all the rage. The two sides have gotten nowhere and many wouldn’t be surprised if this ended in a trade demand from the Subban camp in the near future. As reported last week, Subban wants a five-year, $27.5-million deal at $5.5 million per season. Sources say Bergevin used Florida D Dmitry Kulikov (two years, $5 million) and New York D Michael Del Zotto (two years, $5.1 million) as comparisons. That won’t wash with Subban. If the Habs decide to deal Subban, Detroit, Philadelphia and the Rangers will make a push. But sources insist there is a surprise candidate that could have the assets to acquire Subban — the Winnipeg Jets. League sources say GM Kevin Cheveldayoff wants to make a splash to get an impact player. The problem for Bergevin is simple: As mad as the Habs’ camp is at Subban, he’s a thoroughbred and they don’t come along often … Lots of teams are waiting to see where the dominos fall with Vancouver G Roberto Luongo before making a move for a netminder. Canucks GM Mike Gillis has told several teams he’s not doing anything until he gets his asking price. Yes, the Edmonton Oilers have what it takes to acquire Luongo, but he wouldn’t approve a trade there. The Panthers don’t want to make a deal unless Gillis is willing to take cash back. The Canucks know the pressure is mounting in some markets to win and they’ll find a desperate GM trying to save his job, maybe even Washington or Philly.
The conversation begins again. It has to. It has to because with any kind of goaltending the Maple Leafs don’t lose to the New York Islanders Thursday night.
The conversation begins again, because there were boos instead of Lous at the Air Canada Centre. And the more there are boos, ask Ron Wilson about that, the more calls there will be calls for Roberto Luongo in the Maple Leafs net, because over two nights, one a win, one a loss for Toronto, the number of weak goals given up is five.
Matt Frattin is getting a second chance to show he belongs with the Maple Leafs.
The 25-year-old winger will play Thursday night at the Air Canada Centre against the visiting New York Islanders after being called up from the Marlies to replace injured Joffrey Lupul.
Lupul is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks after fracturing a forearm in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Those in the vicinity of the Leafs dressing room during the second period of Wednesday’s 5-2 win over the Penguins got a hint at how bad the news was just by hearing Joffrey Lupul’s reaction.
The Leafs forward and alternate captain had taken a Dion Phaneuf blast from the point off the arm midway through the period and preliminary X-rays revealed a fractured forearm. It’s not an injury one recovers from quickly and Lupul let it be known rather audibly how he feels.
Wayne Gretzky was linked to the vacant presidency of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, which created a social-media firestorm before the rumour was shot down by MLSE president Tom Anselmi.
Bob McKenzie of TSN reported the Hockey Hall of Famer may have been discussed internally at the Leafs parent company, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., as a candidate for president in August. He speculated there might even have been inquiries made of Gretzky through third parties, but no direct contact.