Category Archives: Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leaf News and Rumors
While it may be a stretch to say defenceman John-Michael Liles is on borrowed time with the Maple Leafs, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
We’re not suggesting Liles, who has an annual salary cap hit of $3.875-million US through the 2015-16 season, has played his last game as a Leaf. But he has been a healthy scratch for three consecutive games and could be out again on Saturday night in Ottawa against the Senators.
Tim Connolly’s return to the NHL may come sooner rather than later, but whether or not it will be with the Toronto Maple Leafs is in question as general manager Dave Nonis told Sportsnet 590 The Fan that a number of teams have called to inquire about the 31-year-old centre.
“Is there a chance (Connolly) will be back (in the NHL)? No question,” Nonis told Brady and Lang in the morning. “We’ve had teams call on him. I would expect at some point whether it’s with us or someone else that he’ll be back in the NHL before the season’s over.”
Komisarek, the whipping post of seasons past, has played only four games and simply can’t bust his way into the lineup. Liles was scratched Monday against the Panthers to make room for Carl Gunnarson, back from hip problems. The former Colorado defenceman played fairly well early in the season, but his prowess in the offensive zone generally isn’t matched in the defensive zone, something that may not fit easily with defensive-minded head coach Randy Carlyle.
Komisarek has one more year left at $4.5 million. He may be bought out this summer. Liles has three more years left at $3.875 million, not an onerous salary but one not moved easily, either.
Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis joined The TSN Drive with Dave Naylor on TSN Radio 1050 Toronto on Monday and discussed his club’s desire to acquire a veteran goaltender.
“Both our (current) goalies are aware of it, it’s not that we don’t think that we have NHL-calibre goaltenders, or goalies with the ability to become very good starting goaltenders,” Nonis explained. “But if we could add someone to help them along, a veteran that would help them grow, then we would do it.”
According to @renlavoierds the Flyers, Rangers and Leafs are among those interested in Ryan O’Reilly. Lavoie says Avs asked for Couturier.
— Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell) February 19, 2013
@darrendreger – “Toronto Maple Leafs would love to get their hands on Ryan O’Reilly”
— TSN Radio (@TSN1050Radio) February 14, 2013
Phil Kessel wants to be a Maple Leaf for life.
So says his agent, Wade Arnott, who went on Toronto radio Wednesday to say so.
“Phil (Kessel) is still a really young man,” Arnott told the SportsNet Fan590. “He really enjoys living in Toronto and playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If Nonis decides to go shopping, Jonathan Bernier of the Los Angeles Kings, Jonas Hiller of the Anaheim Ducks and Nikolai Khabibulin of the Edmonton Oilers are names that have been part of scuttlebutt. Free agents include Brent Johnson and Ty Conklin.
#TMLtalk news: James Reimer will not return tonight due to a lower body injury
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 12, 2013
What is brewing as a much bigger story in Toronto, however, is what happens with Kessel’s contract situation and if he remains with the team long term.
The five-year deal he signed when he originally landed with the Leafs in former GM Brian Burke’s infamous trade with the Boston Bruins is set to expire on July 1, 2014, meaning Kessel can sign an extension in less than five months.
It is also believed that while Leafs GM Dave Nonis isn’t offering his top sniper around the league, he is willing to listen to offers, rumours that will only increase should Toronto fall out of the playoff race before the trade deadline in early April.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, sitting first in the Atlantic Division, could be looking to acquire another winger to play alongside Evgeni Malkin.
It’s believed the Penguins are once again taking a look at Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nikolai Kulemin.
Nonis may consider moving F Phil Kessel. Just one problem: Somebody has to be willing to take him. Not easy finding a fit because he is making $5.4 million and is one year away from being a UFA … Once the New York Islanders are officially out of the playoff picture, expect D Mark Streit to get dealt.
He could be available. But, there will be a fair amount of interest in him and he won’t come cheap.”
That was the opinion of a prominent Western Conference executive when I wondered, this week, whether Anaheim Ducks would trade potential free agent Ryan Getzlaf. Depending on the night, and the person with whom you speak, Leafs’ biggest priority is an established goalie or depth and size at centre. They may need both, though it appears James Reimer is regaining the confidence and poise he had as a rookie two seasons ago. More time is needed to confirm that, but Leafs demand for a big body up the middle is irrefutable.