Archive for July, 2012

Leafs, Wings team up for two alumni games

- July 11th, 2012

So rich are the histories of the Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings that the clubs have included two alumni games as part of the 2012 Hockey Winter Festival.
“When we began the process of determining who should be on the roster for the Red Wings alumni team, it became very obvious very quickly that we simply did not have enough room on one bench to hold enough of the deserving players,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a news conference in Detroit on Wednesday.
“When we contacted Toronto and asked them what they thought about the possibility of two games, they immediately breathed a sigh of relief as they were going through the exact same issues we were in trying to fit all these players on one team.”
Close to 100 players are expected to take part in the games on Dec. 31 at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Fans will have to pay for just one ticket for the games.
Both teams announced preliminary rosters on Wednesday.
Toronto – Darryl Sittler, Rick Vaive, Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, Darcy Tucker, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer, Kevin Maguire, Wendel Clark, Curtis Joseph, as well as Johnny Bower, Ron Ellis and Jim McKenny
Detroit – Mickey Redmond, John Ogrodnick, Luc Robitaille, Dino Ciccarelli, Chris Chelios, Mark Howe, Larry Murphy, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Joe Kocur, Chris Osgood, Mike Vernon, as well as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindsay and Alex Delvecchio
The centrepiece of the week, which will include AHL, OHL and NCAA games, will be the regular-season game between the Leafs and Wings in the Winter Classic at the Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1.

Nash’s pick six does not include Leafs

- July 10th, 2012

The Maple Leafs aren’t on Rick Nash’s list of preferred destinations, a fact they share with the other six Canadian NHL teams.
The Columbus Dispatch revealed that Nash has six teams to which he would be willing to be traded – the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks.
It’s hard to say why Nash, born and raised in Brampton, would want to be part of the Leafs at this point anyway. Toronto is the lone club in the NHL not to make the playoffs since the 2004-05 lockout and there is no guarantee the Leafs will make a return to the post-season in 2013.
Nash might not like the microscope of playing for a Canadian team, but the glare of the spotlight can be fairly harsh in most of the places on his list.
As it stands, the Leafs don’t have the organizational depth to make a proper offer for Nash, especially since general manager Brian Burke has no interest in trading defenceman Jake Gardiner.
If it’s true that Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson wants two players, two prospects and a first-round pick for Nash, he could be waiting a while this summer to get something done. Nash has scored at least 30 goals in each of the past five seasons but has played in just four NHL playoff games in his career.
The Leafs, would they have been able to get Nash, would have needed more than just a goal-scoring winger to put them into true playoff contention.

Reimer-Scrivens tandem looking more likely

- July 2nd, 2012

Not that they really stood a strong chance of getting him, but the Maple Leafs will have to keep looking for goaltending help now that Martin Brodeur has returned to the New Jersey Devils.
Whether they actually acquire a netminder is debatable.
That Brodeur re-signed with the Devils, to the tune of two years and $9 million US, should surprise nobody. He had zero interest in leaving New Jersey despite hiring agent Pat Brisson to field offers.
The Leafs kicked the tires on the 40-year-old Brodeur, which was smart.
But with the expectation that Roberto Luongo eventually gets traded to the Florida Panthers by the Vancouver Canucks, the goaltending window for the Leafs will just about close.
As it stands now, envisioning anything other than a James Reimer-Ben Scrivens tandem coming out of training camp in September seems a bit far-fetched. There’s nothing of note available in free agency, not that the Leafs were going to go that route for a netminder anyway, and after Luongo, there is not much on the trade market.
The Leafs, meanwhile, said goodbye to another forward, as Joey Crabb signed a one-year deal worth $950,000 with the Washington Capitals.
General manager Brian Burke has said that he expects Jerry D’Amigo to push for a job in camp. Another forward who will be worth watching is Leo Komarov, who is participating this week in the prospects camp at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke.
Komarov, 25, has spent the past three seasons in the KHL with Moscow Dynamo. In 46 games last season Komarov had 11 goals and 13 assists and helped Dynamo win the KHL title.
The Leafs, under John Ferguson, selected Komarov 180th overall in 2006.

Monster goes to Motown

- July 1st, 2012

Good for Jonas Gustavsson.
For various reasons – health, on-ice struggles, not seeing eye-to-eye with goaltending coach Francois Allaire – it never really worked out for the Swede in Toronto in three seasons.
Now, the Monster, a nickname he was given in Sweden before he stepped foot on an NHL rink, will get a shot at picking up his career in Detroit. Gustavsson will be paid $1.5 million US in each of the next two years, primarily to back up Jimmy Howard with the Red Wings.
Gustavsson spent too many days in Toronto, especially this past season, trying to put his confidence back together. Many in the NHL figure he was stunted because he wasn’t able to rely on his athletic ability, with Allaire emphasizing the technical side.
With the emergence of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, Gustavsson had to know his days in Toronto were done.
Because the Winnipeg Jets were unable to sign Gustavsson after acquiring his rights from the Leafs for a seventh-round pick, the pick will stay with Winnipeg.