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 »
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 »
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 »
When I first heard about the potential for the NHL to move to the 4-conference format, my initial thought was that this would be a win for the Maple Leafs. After all, now the Leafs will only have to best three teams to make the playoffs. Currently, the Leafs would be sitting in 3rd place in their Conference though, which is a little more tenuous than a Leaf fan might have hoped for. Long term, there are some issues that could dramatically effect the Leafs and their new Conference.
First of all, one needs to look at the young cores that these conference rivals are currently establishing. The current rosters don’t tell us much, and perhaps give Leaf fans a false sense of hope that making the post-season each year will be easy from here on out. It would be a little more prudent to look 2-3 year down the road at what kind of teams we might be running into then. Keep in mind though, it’s impossible to take into account the draft selections these clubs might make this year or next. While we can assume that those players will take a long 3-5 year road to the NHL, like 95% of all prospects, the potential to pick up a Jeff Skinner could dramatically alter the playing field. As it stands though, these are the young cores the Leafs and their competition are moving forward with: Read the rest of this entry »
Rumors are swirling that if Jonas Gustavsson continues his strong play, he could be traded when James Reimer is ready to return to the net later next week. However, ‘Monster’ has been providing solid netminding for the last few games. In the last two, the Leafs managed to outscore their opposition by a total of 14-2. Even with Reimer in the net, Leaf fans are not accustomed to blow out wins and top notch save percentages – and certainly not both in the same game. So if there is interest in Jonas Gustavsson, the return would probably have to be fairly substantial for Burke to be willing to toss away what looks like a very nice insurance policy.
That said, I doubt there are any managers out there willing to deal a lottery pick for a hot-and-cold goaltender like Gustavsson. Burke was a little late to the party if he wanted Greg Sherman to bite on that kind of deal. Still, a good prospect or a high pick (2nd rounder) might be enough to entice the Leafs GM. Read the rest of this entry »
Yahoo! Sports author Sam McCraig has recently put out his list of the top 25 centers and right wingers in the NHL. You can view his list of the top right wingers here. Before you do though, you might want to consider taking his lists with a very large grain of salt. For starters, many of the right wingers listed there are not even right wingers. Daniel Briere is a center, who plays the occassional shift at right wing (say 1 in 10). Claude Giroux similarly splits his time between center and wing. Ilya Kovalchuk, Dany Heatley, Alex Semin, Loui Eriksson and a few others, are all in fact left wingers. I was left wondering who he thinks plays the other side of the ice on these teams.