Wednesday, Mar. 05, 2014 7:52PM EST
Dave Nonis knew he was entering the trade deadline stuck in the middle.
He didn’t want to give up picks and prospects, believing the franchise’s cupboard isn’t stocked nearly enough to do so. And he didn’t want to sell off his unrestricted free agents and rob his players of a chance at a second consecutive playoff berth.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 10:59PM EST
We are now comfortably in that 48-hour bubble surrounding the NHL trade deadline where everybody waits, a little bit like Nikita Nikitin walking in from the blue-line on James Reimer Monday night. Stick-handle, set for shot – move in a little more. Stick-handle, set for shot ... what the heck, nobody’s near ... move in a little more. A few more strides – there’s the shot. Off the post, but a fitting summation of the Toronto Maple Leafs curious return to the regular season after the Olympics. The dreaded post-Olympic hangover, in the unsolicited words of Reimer following a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 9:53PM EST
There’s an uneasy feeling setting in around the Toronto Maple Leafs again.
And you could hear it in the boos that were raining down at the Air Canada Center after the second period on Monday night, for the first time in a while.
After coasting into the Olympic break on a 11-2-1 high, it’s been a struggle ever since coming back, with all coach Randy Carlyle’s work on the hows and whats of defensive zone play during the hiatus apparently for naught.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 12:55PM EST
Team truculence just took a hit.
The Toronto Maple Leafs placed Frazer McLaren, one of their two enforcers, on waivers on Monday afternoon, paving the way for him to be sent to the minors.
The move will also free up cap space for centre Dave Bolland to finally come off long-term injured reserve. Based on the current roster, the Leafs will have nearly $700,000 in cap space with McLaren gone and Bolland in the lineup.More »
Monday, Mar. 03, 2014 11:21AM EST
Buyer or seller?
Neither, really. Management insists they are not in the rental market one way or another, but they want to make a "hockey deal" that can add a player for next season and beyond. It's not impossible they ship out one of their pending free agents, however. Toronto is in a bit of a grey area: They're in solid playoff position so they're not about to tear things down, but they also don't want to give up futures for players who won't be with the organization long term. The Leafs are going to be listening to everything in the next few days, but it's possible they don't make a move at all.More »
Sunday, Mar. 02, 2014 9:39PM EST
The girls are out to Bingo
and the boys are gettin’ stinko,
And we think no more of Inco
on a Sudbury Saturday night.
- Stompin’ Tom Connors
Randy Carlyle came to the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1976 as the 30th overall draft pick from little Azilda, Ont., just north of Sudbury where his father did indeed work in the nickel smelter for the company then known as Inco, a Northern Ontario boy who had its twin passions for hockey and hard work.More »
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 7:08PM EST
To buy or not to buy?
That’s the question facing Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis right now as the days count down to next Wednesday’s trade deadline, and it doesn’t have an easy answer.
The Leafs look like they’re going to be a playoff team – sportsclubstats.com gives them a better than 70 per cent chance of making it with 22 games to go – but not really a contender, meaning buying big on the rental market doesn’t make a lot of sense.More »
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014 7:14PM EST
Behind the scenes, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been busy the last 2 1/2 weeks.
And, at the centre of it all has been Randy Carlyle – a man who hardly sounds at ease over how his NHL team has played this season.
Rather than take off for a sunny destination (as many of his players did), the Leafs head coach and his assistants approached the Olympic break ready to work, using it as an opportunity for a second training camp, with daily meetings, intense practices and 1-on-1 sessions with individual players.More »
Monday, Feb. 24, 2014 7:25PM EST
They had fewer players overseas than almost every other NHL team (three).
They ended up tied with four other clubs for the fewest medals won (none).
And that may well end up being a very good thing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, for a couple of reasons.
First, and most importantly, the Leafs three Olympians are all healthy. Nikolai Kulemin is already skating with the team and Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk are both expected at practice on Wednesday once they recover from their trip home from Russia.More »
Friday, Feb. 07, 2014 10:43PM EST
The importance of going into the NHL’s Olympic break on a roll is such that the new-look Toronto Maple Leafs will likely show their shuffled roster Saturday to the shell-shocked Vancouver Canucks.
Since only a couple of Leafs players skated Friday (injured forwards Trevor Smith and Dave Bolland), head coach Randy Carlyle wasn’t hanging around at the practice rink to confirm anything. But there was no sign of a return to the status quo, either.More »
Wednesday, Feb. 05, 2014 7:55PM EST
The cut was so deep it went through not only his tendon but muscle tissue as well, nearly threatening the ankle bone underneath.
Dave Bolland relays that matter-of-factly now, more than three months after it happened, but the after effects of that devastating skate blade injury continue to be felt.
With the team on its trip through Florida, Bolland is finally nearing his return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup, either just before the Olympic break or soon after. He has been skating regularly and hard with his teammates for weeks now, to the point the team is optimistic he can fully regain his strength in the ankle.More »
Wednesday, Feb. 05, 2014 7:00AM EST
“They kind of dominated us pretty much the whole game.”
They, in this case, being the Florida Panthers.
Us, in this case, being the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And the speaker, in this case, being Tyler Bozak, the befuddled Leafs top line centre said after a 4-1 loss to the Panthers that had all the hallmarks of a terrible Toronto game.More »
Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014 10:22PM EST
It was about as bad as it gets, especially considering the circumstances.
Facing a Florida Panthers team that sat third last in the league coming in, the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled a no-show Tuesday night, looking very much like they had enjoyed their day at Fort Lauderdale beach a little too much.
They were outshot 19-4 in the first period, and 18-8 in the second – a particularly glaring example of a maddening trend the Leafs have been able to outscore during a 9-1-1 streak that had seemingly turned their NHL season around. But just as they looked about to truly turn a corner, they served up the duddiest of duds.More »
Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014 3:40PM EST
It’s not a particularly fair stat to a single player, especially one on the third line, but it’s one that’s sticking with David Clarkson right now.
Prior to his latest comeback against the Florida Panthers, the Toronto Maple Leafs were 16-15-5, or playing at an 84-point pace, when Clarkson was in the lineup.More »
Monday, Feb. 03, 2014 7:51PM EST
It’s a word you won’t often hear associated with Phil Kessel, at least unless you ask his peers, who have seen him up close.
While the Toronto Maple Leafs star gets chided in the media for everything from his work ethic in practice to his non-athletic physique, his teammates insist Kessel is a unique specimen, someone blessed with not only the ability to shoot and skate but a strength uncommon for a player his size.More »
Sunday, Feb. 02, 2014 4:55PM EST
Toronto Maple Leafs fans may or may not care about this, but two-thirds of the hottest line on their team just might bring the United States a gold medal at the Sochi Olympics in a few weeks.
In their past 11 games, which have seen the Leafs rattle off nine wins, Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and centre Tyler Bozak combined for 44 points. This was capped by Saturday’s come-from-behind 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators, in which Kessel scored three goals and added an assist to give him 30 goals for the fifth time in his seven NHL seasons.More »
Saturday, Feb. 01, 2014 10:07PM EST
The Ottawa Senators appeared in good shape to win a key Atlantic Division game over the Toronto Maple Leafs but Phil Kessel decided to say something about that.
The Maple Leafs sniper struck for three goals over the last half of the game at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night, including the winner, to give the hosts a 6-3 win, the Leafs’ ninth win in their last 11 NHL games.More »
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 1:57PM EST
One body is gone and a $1.275-million salary with it.
Now the Toronto Maple Leafs have to shed up to four more in order to slide under the salary cap once everyone gets healthy.
The Leafs have basically been exceeding the cap ever since Dave Bolland went down with an ankle injury, as he was placed on long-term injured reserve almost immediately and replaced on the roster by a host of call-ups and fill-ins.More »
Friday, Jan. 31, 2014 11:59AM EST
The Toronto Maple Leafs traded defenceman Mark Fraser to the Edmonton Oilers for forwards Cameron Abney and the rights to restricted free-agent Teemu Hartikainen on Friday.
Fraser, 27, appeared in 19 games for Toronto this season and hasn’t dressed for the past 11 contests. Fraser played in 45 games last year, registering eight assists and 85 penalty minutes.More »
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 7:11PM EST
Leave it to Jonathan Bernier to cut through some of the bunkum and lay out what’s what with the Toronto Maple Leafs these days.
A newcomer to the organization by way of the recent Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, the 25-year-old netminder has been nothing if not frank about his NHL team’s play in front of him this season, pointing out at times they have allowed too many opportunities or had key breakdowns.More »