Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tyler Seguin No Longer Haunts Leafs

"Does it hurt to watch Tyler Seguin?"

That's a common question many Leafs fans get, especially as Seguin launches an offensive assault on the league.

You may have heard this before, but the Maple Leafs traded the draft pick that eventually became Seguin. The Phil Kessel trade is rarely discussed so don't feel bad if you didn't know this fact. Oh, what's that? You've heard that before. Of course, because by law the Kessel-Seguin swap needs to be brought up EVERY SINGLE DAY. For eternity.

But unlike other painful trades of the past that continually hurt Leafs Nation's collective psyche (like the Tom Kurvers-pick-that-became-Scott Niedermayer deal that everyone was reminded of as Cody Franson crept up on a Kurvers points streak record), the Seguin trade doesn't hurt. And I'm not just saying that because the Leafs have killed off any feelings I still might have inside of me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

What to do with Cody Franson

From the press box to the top defensive pairing, Cody Franson has come a long way in his four seasons as a Maple Leaf. Now in the final year of his contract the Leafs have to decide whether he's a key piece for their future or whether he's expendable.

For a while it looked like Franson was merely a bottom-pairing defenceman with a good shot capable of racking up points on the power play. Now Franson has become the Leafs best possession defenceman while playing alongside Dion Phaneuf on the top pair. When Franson takes the ice the Leafs gain a shot advantage they haven't enjoyed in years; the team controls 50.1% of all shot attempts with Franson, and fall back to their customary shelled selves when he takes a breather.
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