Leafs, award votes don’t mix

- June 25th, 2014

LAS VEGAS — Further proof that the Maple Leafs are in need of major improvement wasn’t required.
Still, the point was hammered home on Tuesday night at the NHL’s annual awards show.
No Leafs name was to be found in any of the voting for the league’s major awards. Not even a measly fifth-place vote.
Nothing for goalie Jonathan Bernier in the Hart or Vezina races, despite a .923 save percentage and a realization by anyone who watched the Leafs over a long stretch that if not for their goalie, they would have been out of the playoff race long before an eight-game losing streak did them in.
Nothing for Morgan Rielly for the Calder, even though Rielly had 25 assists in 2013-14, the second-most among first-year defencemen.
Nothing for Phil Kessel, who was sixth in NHL scoring with 80 points. Wait, there was a bit for Kessel. He finished third in all-star voting among right wingers, finishing behind Corey Perry and Alex Ovechkin.
We’re not suggesting that any Leafs deserved to be in consideration for any of the awards, whether it was through 50 votes or 10 votes or one. With the way the club bottomed out in the season’s final weeks, no Leaf deserved recognition.
Personal awards don’t amount to much in the bigger picture — ask the Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask or Patrice Bergeron about that, or the Los Angeles Kings, who have the Stanley Cup but no major individual award winners.
Yet the fact the Leafs didn’t garner so much as a hint of consideration for anything should set off alarm bells in the club’s front office. Of course, Brendan Shanahan probably gleaned that not long after he took over as the team’s president in April.
The Leafs have been attempting to be active on the trade front, as they’ve spent much of the spring trying to move up and get the No. 1 pick, with defenceman Aaron Ekblad the prize. Just about every player — except Bernier, Rielly and Kessel — are thought to be available to some degree. That includes captain Dion Phaneuf, who despite signing a long-term contract extension last winter, didn’t garner a single vote for the Norris Trophy. Go figure.
The awards are a measure of the league’s best players and the Leafs weren’t close. You would think general manager Dave Nonis will try to change that in the coming days.

Gauthier lone Leafs pick named to Canada’s summer camp

- June 23rd, 2014

Toronto Sun
No less than 41 players have earned a golden opportunity from Hockey Canada, which released the summer camp roster for the 2015 world junior team on Monday.
All 11 players who were part of the team that finished fourth in Malmo, Sweden, last summer have been invited to the camp, Aug. 3-8 in Montreal and Sherbrooke, Que.
Hockey Canada also announced the camp schedule. For the first time, Canada will play host to an exhibition tournament.
Benoit Groulx recently was named the team’s head coach. His assistants will be Scott Walker and Dave Lowry.
Canada, which has not won gold since 2009 and was fourth in each of the past two years, kicks off the 2015 world junior in Montreal on Dec. 26 against Slovakia.
A total of 22 players will be named to the final roster.

Aug. 3-4: Canada practices in Brossard, Que.
Aug. 5: Canada vs. Czech Republic, Ed Meagher Arena, Montreal, 7 p.m.
Aug. 6: Canada vs. Russia, Palais des Sports Leopold-Drolet, Sherbrooke, 7 p.m.
Aug. 7: Canada vs. Russia, Palais des Sports Leopold-Drolet, Sherbrooke, 7 p.m.
Aug. 8: Canada vs. Czech Republic, Ed Meagher Arena, Montreal, 12 p.m.

SUMMER CAMP ROSTER (with home town, team and NHL rights):
Eric Comrie, Edmonton, Tri-City (WHL), Winnipeg
Philippe Desrosiers, St-Hyacinthe, Que., Rimouski (QMJHL), Dallas
*Zachary Fucale, Rosemere, Que., Halifax (QMJHL), Montreal
Tristan Jarry, Delta, B.C., Edmonton (WHL), Pittsburgh
*Chris Bigras, Elmvale, Ont., Owen Sound (OHL), Colorado
Madison Bowey, Winnipeg, Kelowna (WHL), Washington
*Aaron Ekblad, Belle River, Ont., Barrie (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Haydn Fleury, Carlyle, Sask., Red Deer (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Ben Harpur, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Guelph (OHL), Ottawa
Dillon Heatherington, Calgary, Swift Current (WHL), Columbus
Roland McKeown, Listowel, Ont., Kingston (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Samuel Morin, St-Henri, Que., Rimouski (QMJHL), Philadelphia
*Josh Morrissey, Calgary, Prince Albert (WHL), Winnipeg
Darnell Nurse, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL), Edmonton
Travis Sanheim, Elkhorn, Man., Calgary (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Shea Theodore, Aldergrove, B.C., Seattle (WHL), Anaheim
Nick Baptiste, Ottawa, Sudbury (OHL), Buffalo
Sam Bennett, Holland Landing, Ont., Kingston (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Tyler Bertuzzi, Sudbury, Ont., Guelph (OHL), Detroit
Greg Chase, Sherwood Park, Alta., Calgary (WHL), Edmonton
Michael Del Colle, Vaughan, Ont., Oshawa (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Jason Dickinson, Georgetown, Ont., Guelph (OHL), Dallas
Max Domi, Toronto, London (OHL), Phoenix
**Jonathan Drouin, Huberdeau, Que., Halifax (QMJHL), Tampa Bay
Anthony Duclair, Laval, Que., Quebec (QMJHL), N.Y. Rangers
Robby Fabbri, Mississauga, Ont., Guelph (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
*Frederik Gauthier, Mascouche, Que., Rimouski (QMJHL), Toronto
Jeremy Gregoire, Sherbrooke, Que., Baie-Comeau (QMJHL), Montreal
Jayce Hawryluk, Roblin, Man., Brandon (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
*Bo Horvat, Rodney, Ont., London (OHL), Vancouver
Morgan Klimchuk, Calgary, Regina (WHL), Calgary
*Curtis Lazar, Vernon, B.C., Edmonton (WHL), Ottawa
*Connor McDavid, Newmarket, Ont., Erie (OHL), 2015 NHL draft eligible
Zach Nastasiuk, Barrie, Ont., Owen Sound (OHL), Detroit
Nick Paul, Mississauga, Ont., North Bay (OHL), Dallas
Brendan Perlini, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Niagara (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
*Nic Petan, Delta, B.C., Portland (WHL), Winnipeg
Brayden Point, Calgary, Moose Jaw (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
*Sam Reinhart, West Vancouver, B.C., Kootenay (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Nick Ritchie, Orangeville, Ont., Peterborough (OHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible
Jake Virtanen, Abbotsford, B.C., Calgary (WHL), 2014 NHL draft eligible

* — member of 2014 team
** — member of 2013 and 2014 team

Leafs open Oct. 8 vs. Canadiens

- June 21st, 2014

The Maple Leafs will open the 2014-15 NHL regular season on Oct. 8 against the Montreal Canadiens at the Air Canada Centre, the league announced on Saturday.
The NHL announced the home openers for each club. Also on Oct. 8, the Boston Bruins will play host to the Philadelphia Flyers, the Los Angeles Kings will begin defence of their Stanley Cup title against the San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames will entertain the Vancouver Canucks.
The Leafs will be involved in one other home opener, when they visit the New York Rangers on Oct. 12.
The full 2014-15 schedule will be released on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET.
The list of home openers:

Anaheim Ducks: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota
Arizona Coyotes: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg
Boston Bruins: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Philadelphia
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Columbus
Calgary Flames: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Vancouver
Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. NY Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Buffalo
Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota
Columbus Blue Jackets: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. NY Rangers
Dallas Stars: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Chicago
Detroit Red Wings: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Boston
Edmonton Oilers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Calgary
Florida Panthers: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. New Jersey
Los Angeles Kings: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. San Jose
Minnesota Wild: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Colorado
Montreal Canadiens: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Boston
Nashville Predators: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Ottawa
New Jersey Devils: Saturday, Oct. 18 vs. San Jose
New York Islanders: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Carolina
New York Rangers: Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Toronto
Ottawa Senators: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Colorado
Philadelphia Flyers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. New Jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Anaheim
San Jose Sharks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Winnipeg
St. Louis Blues: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. NY Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Florida
Toronto Maple Leafs: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Montreal
Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Edmonton
Washington Capitals: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Montreal
Winnipeg Jets: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Nashville

Leafs announce pre-season schedule

- June 20th, 2014

The Maple Leafs announced their pre-season schedule on Friday:

Mon., Sept. 22 vs Philadelphia at London, Ont., 7 p.m.
Tues., Sept. 23 vs Philadelphia at the Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Sept. 24 vs Ottawa at the Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m. (split squad)
Wed., Sept. 24 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. (split squad)
Fri., Sept. 26 at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 28 vs Buffalo at the Air Canada Centre, 7 p.m.
Mon., Sept. 29 at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Oct. 3 vs Detroit at the Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Canada to host exhibition tournament, expected to name Groulx coach

- June 11th, 2014

The Russians are coming. So are the Czechs.
Hockey Canada will play host to an exhibition tournament at its national junior summer camp in August.
“What we still haven’t decided is whether we will split into two teams or go with one,” Hockey Canada senior director of hockey operations Scott Salmond said on Wednesday.
“We will talk to the coaches about that once the staff is announced (on Thursday).”
Benoit Groulx of the Gatineau Olympiques reportedly will be named head coach for Canada in the 2015 world junior, which will be in Montreal and Toronto.
Scott Walker of the Guelph Storm and Dave Lowry of the Victoria Royals will be the assistant coaches, TSN reported.
There had been speculation that Dale Hunter of the London Knights would be the head coach.
The summer camp will be in Montreal, tentatively scheduled Aug. 4-9. The roster of invitees will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
Russia and the Czech Republic will participate in the camp tournament. Sweden, which will be taking part in USA Hockey’s tournament in Lake Placid at the same time, will head north for one game, to play Russia.
Last summer, Canada participated in USA Hockey’s event for the first time.
Canada, which has not won gold at the world junior since 2009, will play its preliminary round games in Montreal this winter before moving to Toronto for the medal round.
Under coach Brent Sutter last January in Sweden, Canada finished fourth.