Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Back

Been a while since I posted here but I've decided to take the site for another spin. Why not? Exciting times in Leafland.

Might be nice if we got back into that tournament that happens every spring...what's it called again?

Just kidding. We're headed in the right direction.

Top priority for this summer is to find a number one center. Rumour has it that the Leafs will make an effort to sign Brad Richards come July 1st. A lot of things will have to line up before there's any chance of that happening - Dallas ownership can't get their act together, Leafs outbid Rangers and Kings, and most important of all: Richards wanting to play here.

There are a bunch of Jeff Carter rumours out there but I just don't see Philly letting go of him.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ron Wilson is a Good Coach

Tonight, Jason Blake sits out as the Leafs face the Bruins. Last week, he sent Stajan up to the press box. Now, say what you want about Wilson's judgment in the shootout, but this guy knows how to run a team.

A lot of his moves so far have been headline news. Why? Because the media aren't used to a coach going contrary to their views. But this guy doesn't seem to care one bit about what they think. That's why he's got the mobility to bench even the team's most exciting players - because it's time to rebuild.

All to him.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Leafs Looking Eerily Bare

Training camp is missing that large, taken for granted presence that was Mats Sundin. He leaves behind a huge void for leadership, but also in that spot he assumed season after season as the number one center.

It first hit me when I read that Wilson wants to give Mikael Grabovski, a relatively untapped prospect, the chance to fill the void. I've still got a hangover from the departure of Sundin leaving that place.

Though the 2007-2008 Leafs weren't the best team in the world, it was a relatively familiar gang. Gone now are the characters which we had all grown accustomed to - Sundin, McCabe and Tucker. We all know this was a good thing, but it's also quite hard to just start again. It's going to be a long, painful season, and I can only hope that in the next few years we will have a team that were not only proud of, but familiar with.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Pack 'Yer Bags McCabe

McCabe is on his way out the door soon after the Leafs pick up the 2 million dollar contract bonus that activates on Sept 1st. The question now is what we will be getting in return, and from whom?

It's now out in the open that McCabe has agreed to waive his no-trade clause. Fletcher had been in a stalemate with McCabe's agents over the course over the summer as to what the next move would be.

It is evident that McCabe's agents knew the Leafs would not be having him back, and threatened that if they asked McCabe to stay at home and not show up for training camp, they would file a grievance with the NHL Player's Association.

McCabe's agents then pushed for the Leafs to buy out the contract, knowing that with that money in his pocket he would be willing to continue his career elsewhere.

Well, with training camp around the corner, it seems McCabe's camp has lost this battle. McCabe unofficially waived his no-trade clause this past week and told the Leaf's he would be ready to move on to a team of his choice.

On that list is Florida, which right now seems like the team that is going to take him in along with his contract. In Florida he gets a team with much less media attention, a team with players on it he has played with before, and most importantly a chance to start again.

Although he didn't exactly fall off the face of the earth this year, he had fallen so out of favour with the fans that it was beginning to effect his game.

He went from an offensively gifted defenseman and a competent all around player to a mistake prone, irresponsible player who was over-relied upon. He lost confidence to make high-risk plays because of these mistakes, and slowly retreated into a defensive mode. As a person who watches most Leaf's games, it's notable to mention that this is not the strong point of his game, at all.

Wherever McCabe goes, I wish him the best of luck in returning to the great player he was only a few seasons ago.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sundin is headed to...

Well, August first came and went for Leafs fans with no decision from the Sundin camp. But can you really say, hindsight 20/20, that this is a shock?

Do you think Sundin is the type of guy to hype up a decision he makes, to the point where hes going to give an exact date for it? No. The only reason he keeps making the headlines is because the media keeps badgering him about it, combined with the growing impatience and demand for a decision to be made by him. Sorry guys, that's not how he rolls.

If you're impatient about the situation, then at least know that he will decide sometime before training camp and leave it at that. He's not going to pull a Niedermayer.

The more speculation there is about Sundin's decision, the more people become impatient, and this compounds because people actually believe that if they're hearing more about it in the news that he is close to making a decision. Last summer I completely ignored the Sundin situation because I just couldn't be bothered. The best decision is to not think about it, because the news and media have no influence on his decision, and neither will the growing impatience of his fans.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Where's Sundin Headed?

Well, it's back to the forefront of every Leafs fans mind already. A report came out of Sweden, which was admittedly false but published anyways, that Sundin had agreed to play for Vancouver on a two year contract. In lieu of this, Sundin issued a statement saying that he will not begin to think about what team he wants to play for until he is certain he will be ready to play another hockey season.

So when that time comes, what is he going to say?

Well, if you know Mats then you know how long it takes for him to make up his mind. He knows that time is on his side, and he's going to make the most of it. It's evident that he'll be back in the NHL, because the money is just too good to pass up right now. It's awfully hard to turn down a 20 million offer for two seasons of hockey, no matter how old you are. J.P. Barry, Sundin's agent, thinks he'll be back as well.

Several sources have said he is leaning towards Vancouver, while others insist it's back to the Leafs or retirement.

I personally don't see Mats back with the Leafs. Even if the team is still on his shortlist, Mats is relieved of the pressure of 'abandoning' his team, now that its clear they are not trying to make the playoffs and don't really 'need' him to give that extra push that might take them from 10th to 8th.

I think Sundin is likely to go to Vancouver over Detroit and Montreal simply because he'll be able to be the same sort of player he was in Toronto - relied upon as a leader and a scorer. It might just be his best fit.


Thursday, July 3, 2008


I'll be going to my cottage today until Monday, so I will not be posting at all.

I can assure you that Sundin will not make a decision about his hockey career between now and then!

Hopefully Fletcher will have found another defenceman, literally assuring that McCabe will not be in our lineup come October.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

McCabe Allegedly Not In Leafs Plans

Conversation on AM 640 yesterday:

"Brady: (Talking about how the defense is full and asking if it means the Leafs will need to make a move)

Fletcher: We're going to be signing another defenseman in the next couple days so I count 7 defenseman.

Watters: Does that include Bryan McCabe?

Fletcher: No it does not."

Fletcher has also mentioned that he is looking for another UFA D-man.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leafs Free Agency Notes

Leafs sign Jeff finger for 4 years at 3.5 million a season, Cujo returns for 1 year at 700,000, and Niklas Hagman for 4 years at 12 million.

Who the hell is Jeff Finger? I think the only reason I know who this guy's name is because it's a wierd one.

How did Cliff get pushed into offering him 3.5 a pop? Was he drunk? That shows you how desperate the Leafs are for young talent.

Finger's stock will go up this year and narrow the gap of what he's worth and what he's being paid, so whatever.

But that is no excuse at all. If you look at Detroit, they tend to sign players for what theyre worth at the time, then slowly get a bargain as they improve. The Leafs prefer to gamble that they will improve after they've lured them a with big pay raise. But it hasn't worked that way for many of the Leafs in recent history, has it?

Signing Hagman is a good short term decision. He's in a good age-zone at 28, and had a coming out party last season in Dallas with a 27-goal performance.

Hagman is a bit inconsistent at times, and will definitely fit in with the mediocre forward contingency the Leafs have.

And how about CUJO! Anyone else think this is a splendid deal? When I first read about the possibility I assumed it was just another one of those recurring rumours that would never go away, and never happen. What d'ya know, he's back with the buds for one last run.


Blog Going In New Direction: Let's Talk Leafs!

I'll have to be frank, and come out clean: I am a Leafs fan. Therefore, in order for me to keep publishing quality, relevant content I am going to start talking primarily about the world of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It should be an interesting time. Go Leafs!


Thursday, January 17, 2008

How to Win a Trade

Winning a trade in Fantasy Hockey simply isn't the same as real life. There are no financial agendas, no playoff implications, and no chemistry issues. It is simply a matter of both parties trying to win. Therefore, the only way a trade is going to take place is if both sides think they're winning. I will give you a step by step of how you should make a such a trade.

Do you lack depth? Is that why you are making the trade? Before you make a trade to get more depth in one position, stop yourself and think 'despite the fact that I need to trade for a guy in a certain position, am I getting the better players?' If the answer is no, don't do it. You're probably looking to trade with the wrong team.

ALWAYS trade fairly when you are trading across different positions. If you really want to make a big difference on your team, it won't necessarily happen with a single trade. Thus, to get more tradable assets, you are going to need to make a few 'fair' trades. If you make these, other managers will get the feeling that you are a trustworthy trader. Once you have made your fair trades to acquire depth in the positions you plan to exploit, wait to see what others lack.

Now, turn your attention to another team. Find who lacks depth at a certain position. They will likely be willing to trade and lose if it gets them more 'depth'. It is one of those nonsensical logics in fantasy hockey which managers tend to do to get the feeling that they're actually doing something healthy for their team.

Obviously, if they are a good manager, they will be unlikely to trade some talented stud who's on a cold streak for some unproven player who's on a bit of a roll. Therefore, do not risk breaking down the trade by sending an insulting offer. The number one priority at this stage is to create the illusion that the other team is - at best - getting a fair return. Once you have worked this out, you should end up with a slightly better roster overall.

At this stage you should probably not rush into another trade. Give it a week or two then start to think about things. I stress this because A) you need to see how your previous trade is working out and B) you don't want to appear like you're trying to ravage the league of good players.

Let's review the steps of how to win a trade:
Step One: Assess your teams strengths and weaknesses
Step Two: Make a fair trade to give more depth to your weak areas
Step Three: Make another trade, preferably with a different manager than before, to help them get 'depth' in which you slightly win
Step Four: Repeat the process when suitable

Obviously some leagues are different than the one's I'm basing this on, and so, I'm expecting everyone to use their head whilst trading. My main concern is that you don't make too many trades and end up losing talent. As a rule of thumb, I'm assuming everyone reading knows a thing or two about the players in the NHL and their fantasy worth. Good luck!

If you liked this post, then consider subscribing to my full feed RSS.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crosby vs. Lecavalier meets a fine point on Friday

I remember back in the rookie season of Sid the Kid, things seemed to be all about Crosby and Ovechkin.

Well, with that season well in the past and Crosby well ahead in both points and attention, its easy to see why the media has looked for others to compete with him for superstardom. As it stands, Lecavalier and Crosby are part of a three way tie for first with Ilya Kovalchuk.

On Friday we will see the two play each other in what may turn out to be an interesting game. Sure, neither of the two turned up on the scoreboard after their last matchup, but boy was it ever evident that they wanted to. Whether he likes to admit it or not, Crosby has an insatiable desire to be better than everyone else. With the scoring lead in sight in 06-07, he put up 6 points to get himself there. And while playing Ovechkin and the Capitals he has always pulled out the theatrics as well as the points.

In the previous game between the Penguins and Lightning, there were an uncommon number of memorable moments. One minute Sid was taking a shot with one hand on the stick and the next Vinny was getting robbed by Conklin. Even if neither puts up points - which is statistically almost impossible to happen for a second time - it is sure to be an exciting game.

Tampa Bay will be at Pittsburgh on Friday the 18th of January at 7:30 PM ET. Not to be missed.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why Sidney Crosby Will Win the Art Ross

Everyone in the NHL knows its going to happen soon. They're not sure if it will happen in a day or a month, but the general consensus should be that sooner or later, Crosby will be in the scoring race lead.

Why? It's obvious. He's the best player. As it stands Crosby is one point behind Ilya Kovalchuk whom he has two games in hand over, and two points behind Lecavalier who has played one extra game.

Reasons why he will win again:
  • Crosby is the top assist getter. Sometimes he can't find the back of the net, but his ability to help others light the lamp is almost always there.
  • Kovalchuk on pace for 66 goals halfway through the season? Not likely to actually happen.
  • Lecavalier is not as consistent, and may rely too much on other teammates. Who knows if he goes through a point drought in the last few games of the season.
  • Pittsburgh are on a roll; Tampa Bay are doing terribly. As we know Crosby doesn't like losing. A winning environment and a playoff contender is a great place for youngsters to flourish.
This may all seem relatively obvious, but as it currently stands, Lecavalier is above Crosby on the Yahoo! Big Board. Watch for that to change, just like the perspectives of everybody who said Lecavalier was the better player.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Early points race prediction

As the first quarter of the 2007-2008 season comes to a close, its time to make an early, inaccurate, yet educated guess as to who will come out on top in this seasons point race. I will give names and point totals arbitrarily, but I sort of know what I'm saying...I think.

  1. Sidney Crosby, 133 Pts
  2. Evgeni Malkin, 129 Pts
  3. Joe Thornton, 123 Pts
  4. Dany Heatley, 120 Pts
  5. Henrik Zetterberg, 120 Pts
  6. Jarome Iginla, 118 Pts
  7. Alex Ovechkin, 117 Pts
  8. Vincent Lecavalier, 115 Pts
  9. Daniel Briere, 113 Pts
  10. Ilya Kovalchuk, 112 Pts
  11. Jason Spezza, 111 Pts
  12. Daniel Alfredsson, 110 Pts
  13. Jaromir Jagr, 110 Pts
  14. Marian Hossa, 108 Pts
  15. Martin St. Louis, 107
  16. Paul Kariya, 107 Pts
  17. Paul Stasny, 107 Pts
  18. Marc Savard, 105 Pts
  19. Pavel Datsyuk, 104 Pts
  20. Daniel Sedin, 104 Pts
  21. Patrick Marleau, 100 Pts
  22. Joe Sakic, 99 Pts
  23. Thomas Vanek, 97 Pts
  24. Scott Gomez, 96 Pts
  25. Mats Sundin, 95 Pts
  26. Eric Staal, 93 Pts
  27. Ryan Smyth, 90 Pts
  28. Ray Whitney, 89 Pts
  29. Marian Gaborik, 88 Pts
  30. Brad Richards, 84 Pts
  31. Daymond Langkow, 83 Pts
  32. Justin Williams, 83 Pts
  33. Michael Nylander, 80 Pts
  34. Milian Hejduk, 77 Pts
  35. Mike Cammaleri, 74 Pts
  36. Rod Brind'Amour, 74 Pts
  37. Patrick Kane, 72 Pts
  38. Chris Drury, 72 Pts
  39. Kristian Huselius, 72 Pts
  40. Ryan Getzlaf, 71 Pts
  41. Rick Nash, 69 Pts
  42. Alex Tanguay, 68 Pts
  43. Jonathan Toews, 67 Pts
  44. Jason Blake, 67 Pts
  45. Corey Perry, 67 Pts
  46. Vaclav Prospal, 67 Pts
  47. Nathan Horton, 66 Pts
  48. Milan Michalek, 66 Pts
  49. Vyacheslav Kozlov, 65 Pts
  50. Derek Roy, 65 Pts


Thursday, November 1, 2007

How about them sleepers?

Let's revisit my sleeper picks for this season. I'll have to mention that I've been a Leclaire supporter since last season - I had drafted him in the last round as a sleeper. He was up on my list because I believed that if he was healthy Columbus would be more than happy to make him their starter. The rest are iffy (save Khabi, who is Chi's only option anyways) but have definitely proven their potential.

1. Carey Price, MTL - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
2. Manny Legace, STL - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
3. Mike Smith, DAL - Projected Round - 2/3 to completion
4. Pascal Leclaire, CLB - Projected Round - Undrafted
5. David Aebischer, PHX - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
6. Dan Sabourin, PIT - Projected Round - Undrafted
7. Nikolai Khabibulin, CHI - Projected Round - 2/3 to completion
8. Jose Theodore, COL - Projected Round - Undrafted
9. Martin Gerber, OTT - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
10. Jean-Sebastian Aubin, LA - Projected Round - Undrafted

Pretty pretty good. Those guys are definitely of more value than they were on draft day.

1. Duncan Keith, CHI
2. Carlo Colaiacovo, TOR
3. Mark Streit, MON
4. Brent Seabrook, CHI
5. Ian White, TOR
6. Adrian Aucoin, CGY
7. Niklas Kronvall, DET
8. Fedor Tyutin, NYR
9. Thomas Pock, NYR
10. Cam Barker, CHI

Pretty pretty bad, but then again its really hard to see a defenseman 'break out'. The season is still young.

1. Niklas Backstrom, WSH
2. Lee Stempniak, StL
3. Jiri Hudler, DET
4. Alexander Steen, TOR
5. Drew Strafford, BUF
6. Andrew Ladd, CAR
7. Jonathan Toews, CHI
8. Gilbert Brule, CLB
9. Scottie Upshall, PHI
10. Phil Kessel, BOS

Toews is playing incredibly well. Backstrom is auditioning for biggest bust already. I'm sure he's played well, but where are the headturning plays we expected? Also, keep an eye on Kessel. With Bergeron out, Kessel's offensive presence should increase.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

Keener Kit - Sept 29 2007 Edition

Here are a few names you want to think about as you shuffle your rosters to find those sleepers:

Jonathan Bernier, G, LA
Bernier got a vote of confidence by starting in the Kings season opener vs the Ducks. He has taken and ran with it, and I can't see anyone else within the depth chart taking his starting job away. Get him quick.

Andrew Cogliano, F, EDM
Cogliano has gotten off to a good start and will look to log some good time in his rookie season with the Oilers. On a team with little to provide in the way of offense, he will be called upon to log some big minutes. If all goes to plan, he could put up a surprisingly strong numbers.

Niklas Kronvall, D, DET
The jury is out on Kronvall in terms of his overall potential but you do not want to overlook this guy as he starts to come into his own. The question is whether he is still a season away from playing the role the Wings see him in. Still worth the risk if you're lacking defensive depth.

Bobby Ryan, F, ANH
Is going to step in and play with some talented skaters, no matter where he goes. Once again this is a calculated risk which involves high potential.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hockey Equipment

No Time for Inferior Hockey Equipment


I think we've all found ourselves in this position: It's late in the third period. Your team is down a goal and you're on the bad end of a power play with five guys bearing down on your undermanned squad. This is NO TIME to find yourself and your team with inferior Hockey Equipment! What does having the right equipment have to do with having the WINNING outcome when the buzzer sounds? Everything! When you need a total hockey source, look to the ULTIMATE place for hockey, hockeyx.com. These guys are hockey fans, coaches and referees. The best part: they actually play the game! Only players know how properly sharpened Hockey Skates blades feel when they take the ice, or how the right-sized jersey can mean the difference between a rocket shot into the net and a snagged arm that puts the puck in the first row. Walk into a box store at your local strip mall and try to find a salesman with actual playing experience and a true passion for the game. It won't happen! Hockeyx.com knows that getting value for your dollar is important. Because of this, if you find a lower price in one of the "discount" sporting goods stores, they'll match it! As a bonus, when you get Hockey sticks from hockeyx.com, you'll know that the experts are there for any questions you'll have about stick specifications. Same thing for Ice hockey skates. Selection? No problem! In the rare event that they don't have what you're looking for, they will find it. If you place your order by 4:00 CST, they will process that order the same day! Not only will the guys at hockeyx.com help you find the perfect Ice hockey equipment, they also give you tips on how to take care of the stuff you already have, plus repair and service all your hockey equipment.

The future of the game is in the hands of the teachers of the next generation. Having the right tools to train young players can go miles towards developing the stars of tomorrow. Hockeyx.com knows this and takes pride in its wide selection of coaching aids. They have DVDs, books, even ways to reward your players for all their hard work. Referees and officials can find all the apparel and equipment they need to stay safe and make the right call!

If you want the best hockey equipment period from real hockey fanatics, with guaranteed service and a selection second-to-none, don't burn gas driving all over town when you can have it sent directly to your door, hockeyx.com!


Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Little More Fantasy

I've doing a few fantasy drafts and I've noticed a few things.

1. The wingers go fast. If you need to get your wingers, take them before your centers. Many leagues are designed where you need two times as many wingers as you do centers. The fact of the matter is that the majority of scoring forwards play at center (so theyre in the slot), and the wingers are left with much less depth. However, if the franchise wingers go first, you will need to prioritize a bit.

2. Take your goalie in the second round. Unless its Luongo, get your hands on a franchise forward first. The exception is if there is only one franchise goaltender left, whereas there are a few solid forward picks left. If that is the case, lock up the goalie, then have a few options left for a good forward.

3. Watch what other players are lacking, and will be looking for. The casual player doesn't scrutinize what other people are doing. In other words, if everyone after you has their goalies, don't take a goalie. If you need that goalie badly, wait for the next round when it's your turn again.

4. If you're at the end/beginning of rounds, take two different types of players. You want to diversify the picks you make so to get your hands on the players you need in every category. Stocking up on only forwards or defense at a given moment will cause you to have less depth the next round, and you will likely make a 'desperation pick' as I call it. A 'desperation pick' is when you take a player based 100% on his playing position and not on his merit. For example, if you grabbed Fredrik Norrena because you needed a goalie badly when Mats Sundin (or someone in the 70 pt range) was still available.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Top 10 Fantasy Sleepers for 2007-2008: Goaltenders

1. Carey Price, MTL - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
2. Manny Legace, STL - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
3. Mike Smith, DAL - Projected Round - 2/3 to completion
4. Pascal Leclaire, CLB - Projected Round - Undrafted
5. David Aebischer, PHX - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
6. Dan Sabourin, PIT - Projected Round - Undrafted
7. Nikolai Khabibulin, CHI - Projected Round - 2/3 to completion
8. Jose Theodore, COL - Projected Round - Undrafted
9. Martin Gerber, OTT - Projected Round - 3/4 to completion
10. Jean-Sebastian Aubin, LA - Projected Round - Undrafted

To me, what constitutes a sleeper goaltender is someone who either has never started but has that potential, or is someone on a weak team who could sieze the starter's role. Expect Legace, Leclaire and Khabibulin to grab the No. 1 job for the bulk of games. Price, Smith and Theodore all have potential to steal a number one position, but are in a bad situation to do so. Sabourin and Smith are both goalies who could steal you a few wins if the number one gets injured. Aebisccher is my choice for the man who plays the most games in Phx over LeNeveu, Auld and Telqvist. Theodore and Gerber have both proven their calibre, but need to be traded in order to have any impact. In the case of Aubin playing in LA, he only really has to beat out Cloutier.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Top 10 Fantasy Sleepers for 2007-2008: Defensemen

1. Duncan Keith, CHI
2. Carlo Colaiacovo, TOR
3. Mark Streit, MON
4. Brent Seabrook, CHI
5. Ian White, TOR
6. Adrian Aucoin, CGY
7. Niklas Kronvall, DET
8. Fedor Tyutin, NYR
9. Thomas Pock, NYR
10. Cam Barker, CHI

The sleepers in this list come in packages: You have Colaiacovo and White rising in stock in Toronto, as well as youngsters Pock and Tyutin being depended on in a NYR setting which involves piles of PP time with an arsenal of offense to work with. Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Cam Barker will head a young defensive core with arguably the most potential in the West, if not the NHL. Their mentor of last season, Aucoin, will be moving in to replace Hamrlik's defensive ability in Calgary, where you will see an improvement in +/- and points.



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