Friday, November 29, 2013

10 Minute Misconduct: Leafs Mettle Tested

frazer mclaren colton orr suck leafs
It is a dark time for the Maple Leafs. Although the playoffs drought has been destroyed, the opposition has driven the Toronto forces from their lofty Eastern Conference perch and hammered them across the conference. Evading the dreaded regression monster, a group of heroes led by James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier have established hope on the ice. The evil lord Carlyle, obsessed with allowing the most shots ever, has dispatched thousands of forwards onto the far reaches of the bench to allow more ice time for Tyler Bozak....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Next Blackhawks Sell-Off Looms

The next great Chicago Blackhawks yard sale is tentatively scheduled for summer 2015. At that time both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are unrestricted free agents and keeping them both is going to make the Hawks cap situation very interesting.

After winning the Stanley Cup in 2010, the Hawks were gutted in the off-season, unloading Dustin Byfuglien, Kris Versteeg, and Andrew Ladd (among others) in trades, walking away from Antti Niemi's contract in arbitration, and letting useful bit parts like John Madden and Adam Burish walk in free agency. In other words, the Hawks lost a first-pairing defenceman, a No. 1 goalie, two top-six forwards, and a whole lot of depth. No wonder it took two years for the Blackhawks to get back to the top.

Last summer's post-championship off-season didn't hurt the Hawks quite as much, with far fewer significant pieces departing, but the Hawks' depth was still hurt. Chicago dealt Dave Bolland and Michael Frolik in trades, and lost Ray Emery and Viktor Stalberg to free agency.

Expect the next Chicago sell-off to look more like the post-2010 Cup trade bonanza rather than last year's shuffling, because Toews and Kane are going to bring in monster salaries and everyone else is going to feel the squeeze.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Who is Peter Holland?

peter holland leafs trade
After one game of Jay McClement as the team's best natural centre, the Leafs addressed their desperate need down the middle by making a deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

The Leafs acquired Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz from the Ducks on Saturday, shipping out Jesse Blacker, a conditional third-round pick (that could become a second-round pick if he plays 25 games), and a seventh-round pick (which was originally Anaheim's).

The primary parts of the deal, Holland and Blacker, were both blocked in their respective organizations, with Anaheim deep at centre and Toronto deep on the blueline. Blacker had fallen so far on the depth chart in Toronto that he has been a healthy scratch for much of the year with the Marlies.

Dave Nonis did well to deal from a position of strength to get a quality NHL-ready prospect when the Leafs were in such dire need for help.

Friday, November 15, 2013

10 Minute Misconduct: Pray for Stamkos

steven stamkos injury canada olympics
Steve Yzerman sits alone in a dark room, plotting his next move. "Lord Yzerman", his assistant meekly offers, "a decision must be made. What shall we do about S-s-s-s-s..." He can't bring himself to say the name. Yzerman looks at him with cold, steal eyes. "Bring me the head of young Douglas Hamilton."

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 Minute Misconduct: O Centres, Where Art Thou?

dave bolland leafs hurt
The Rob Ford saga picked the best time to amp up. With the Leafs off for five days there was nothing else for people to talk about other than Rob Ford's crack escapades. It came at the perfect moment, because everyone could be distracted from the dire situation the Leafs find themselves in.

Who the hell is going to play centre for this team?

Friday, November 1, 2013

10 Minute Misconduct: Kadri Gets Promoted

nazem kadri phil kessel leafs
The Leafs train keeps rolling, wobbling only momentarily during the first month of the season. It doesn't matter how many shots the Leafs allow, Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer are there to stop them all, and the forwards are scoring more than an bearded high schooler driving a Firebird.
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