Playoff Predictions

April 8, 2012

Well, another year gone by, and another year without Maple Leafs hockey in the post-season.  I can’t say I’m terribly surprised, although I did expect this year would finally be the year that they would end the curse and crack the top eight in the Eastern Conference.  Of course, it took a monumental collapse – the largest in the history of the franchise – to take them out of contention for that final spot, but as sure as the sky is blue and the sun will shine, the Leafs found a way to pull it off.  Read the rest of this entry »


Rumor of the Day: Chicago/Toronto Preparing Deal

February 9, 2012

He certainly has the look of a 'Brian Burke Player....'

With today’s earlier post about Mike Komisarek and the possibility of him being  more moveable than perhaps some fans and media imagine, it seems like a good time to mention this rumor making its way around the internet.  Granted, it is just an internet rumor and could be (and likely is) completely untrue – but there is nothing wrong with generating a little discussion.  The pieces of this deal have all popped up in the trade conversation before, and for that reason, something like this actually makes a little more sense than your standard rumor.  Normally this kind of chatter always has star players headed to big markets, but this one is a little more modest. Read the rest of this entry »

Trade Winds: Mike Komisarek

February 9, 2012

Could there be interest in Mike Komisarek?

A lot of hockey fans would scoff if you told them that Mike Komisarek was a name worth talking about at the trade deadline. After all, Komisarek hasn’t really been himself since he left Montreal and the media has worked very hard to make that readily apparent. Playing alongside Andrei Markov, inside a tight-trapping, defense-first system, Komisarek was once a defensive juggernaut – considered to be worthy of donning the ‘C’ in the post-Koivu era. In Toronto however, injuries and a fast-paced system that doesn’t play to his strengths in the least, have slowly eroded his reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

Trade Winds: Jeff Carter

February 6, 2012

No Trade Clause No More...

Jeff Carter has been the hottest topic of conversation in the NHL the last few weeks.  The speculation surrounding Columbus is that General Manager Scott Howson is very much open to making enormous and sweeping changes in the organization.  It sounds like he would like to retain his long time captain, Rick Nash, but he did not sugar coat the reality that Jeff Carter is available for a trade.

I don’t think it’s really necessary to talk about the reasons that Carter may be available.  They are pretty obvious at this point.  The Jackets are dead last by a country mile and their organization is veering dangerously close to being an embarassment.  With a massive payroll not living up to expectations, changes must be made. Read the rest of this entry »

The Return of Optimus Reim

February 5, 2012

Coming into this season, James Reimer was thought to be the Leaf’s best chance at ending their post-season drought.  The fans had affectionately named him Optimus Reim, reasoning that his performance had ‘transformed’ the blue and white into a far better hockey club.  On top of that, he seems to have a natural and contagious sense of optimism about him – always smiling, and always positive.

That all changed when Brian Gionta leapt across Reimer’s crease and elbowed him in the head, causing him to suffer from whiplash-like symptoms for six-eight weeks.  The real damage though, was to Reimer’s confidence.  Having lost the reigns of the team to Jonas Gustavsson, and struggling to return to game-shape in the wake of what may or may not have been a concussion, Leaf fans began to get fed up with Reimer’s “aw gee shucks” demeanor and ability to brush aside losses. Read the rest of this entry »

Trade Winds: Ryan Suter

February 4, 2012

He has probably been the most talked about potential trade commodity all year.  Fans from all over the league are salivating at the idea of adding him to their blue line.  They have convinced themselves that Nashville cannot afford to have Pekka Rinne under contract at 7 million dollars per year, and also fit their captain Shea Weber and his side-kick Ryan Suter into their budget.  On the one hand, this is a completely justified stance to take – Nashville is a budget team and they likely don’t have the cash to make those contracts work.  On the other hand, a lengthy playoff run might provide the kind of revenue necessary to make the dollars and cents add up in their favor. Read the rest of this entry »

Trade Winds: Chris Stewart

February 3, 2012

Just a year ago, Chris Stewart was thought to be the major part of the return in a trade that sent Erik Johnson – a former 1st overall pick – to the Colorado Avalanche.  However, under Hitchcock’s watch, Stewart has been one of the few Blues who has struggled to be his normally dominant offensive self.  Granted, Stewart has always been a bit of a streaky goal scorer, but lately the streaks are getting shorter and the gap between them longer.

There seems to be a sense among hockey fans that the Blues would have to be compensated enormously in order to consider moving their power forward winger.  After all, they gave up a guy who was considered to be the very best in his draft class, as well as an 11th overall pick in order to acquire him.  It seems like they gave up a lot to just turn around and move the guy after a significant fall-off this year.  That said, there is a long list of reasons growing in St. Louis right now that might demonstrate why they’re not too concerned about the apparent failure of the Stewart experiment. Read the rest of this entry »