As the NHL trade deadline draws nearer, expectation is growing over possible moves by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their mid-February trading of Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators is considered the first of several significant moves as the Leafs begin a long-overdue rebuild.
The Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley reports “many players”, led by winger Daniel Winnik, center Tyler Bozak, defenseman Roman Polak and perhaps goaltender Jonathan Bernier, could be playing elsewhere soon. Read more
If there’s going to be trade action in any division, the Atlantic is the one to watch. With Montreal, Tampa Bay and Detroit fighting for top spot, Boston and Florida trading punches in the Wild Card and Toronto set for a full rebuild, there’s potential for the entire division to be shaken up on March 2. Even if the star players, such as Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, aren’t moved at the deadline, there are going to be changes coming to the Atlantic as the teams either push for a shot in the wide open Eastern Conference or shuffle the deck and build for the future. Read more
Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly made a mistake in front of a reporter on Friday. People make mistakes every day in every profession, but the public nature of Rielly’s job propels into the spotlight everything he does, whether it’s good or bad.
And don’t fool yourself: what he said on Friday was a mistake. We should take him at his word when he says he meant no disrespect, but in making a throwaway comment denigrating women as lesser than men, Rielly was absolutely wrong. That doesn’t mean he needed to be suspended, imprisoned or crucified, or that nobody will ever forgive him for it. It means he was wrong.
I said as much in a series of Tweets, and then a very strange, sad and telling thing happened. In replying to the tweets, two larger groups formed: women who agreed Rielly’s use of the word “girl” as a pejorative was a problem; and men who angrily lashed out just at the thought of having a discussion about it, let alone actually taking any steps to address it.
Go look at the conversations for yourself. The only conclusion you can arrive at is there’s a stark separation in reaction, and it happens across gender lines. If that fact on its own doesn’t tell hockey’s power brokers (who are, for the record, men) there’s a chasm of understanding that needs to be bridged, nothing will.
Now, that didn’t stop some men – including the usual toadies to power and status quo sycophants in the sports media – from falling on their backs, pounding their fists into the floor, dropping their soothers and crying out about their personal boogeyman, “The Outrage Police”.
If you’re unfamiliar with the embarrassing concept, The Outrage Police is an imaginary constabulary formed by people with whom you don’t agree on a particular subject. Read more
Curtis Glencross‘ days with the Calgary Flames could be numbered. The 32-year-old left winger is eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported Tuesday there was no contract discussions between Glencross and Flames management, fuelling suggestions he could be dealt by the trade deadline.
Those rumors ramped up Friday when reports emerged from Calgary claiming Glencross, who has a full no-movement clause, was asked to provide a list of preferred trade destinations. However, the Calgary Herald’s Kristen Odland reports GM Brad Treliving said the veteran hasn’t requested a trade, adding it was possible Glencross could finish the season with the Flames. Read more
Since replacing coach Randy Carlyle with Peter Horachek, the Toronto Maple Leafs have gone 2-14-2, but there looked like there was a glimmer of hope against the Carolina Hurricanes – at least for 16 seconds.
With the Maple Leafs down 1-0 after a power play goal by Eric Staal midway through the first period, Brandon Kozun tied Friday’s game 1-1 at the 17:53 mark of the opening frame. Kozun’s goal, the first of his career, stood as the game tying goal for less time than it takes to tie a pair of skates. Read more
New York Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski has a long history of head injuries over the course of his eight NHL seasons, and he had another incident to add to the list Thursday after absorbing a massive check from Nashville winger Eric Nystrom.
The Isles had a 1-0 lead approaching the midway point of the first period at Nassau Coliseum when Grabovski grabbed the puck deep in his own zone and took it to the top of the circle with his head down. That’s when Nystrom laid into him: (video via Somehockeyvideos) Read more
All is not well in Leaf Land, as Toronto has sunk into a funk that has eclipsed the cataclysmic slumps of the recent past. As reported by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston yesterday, Maple Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas has publicly stated that if the team needs to start from scratch, that’s what they’ll do in order to make things right.
Luckily, this is a great time to do so.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel remains the subject of intense trade speculation leading up to the March trade deadline. Despite his hefty contract ($8 million-annually for the next seven seasons), there’s reports he’s attracting interest from several NHL teams.
On Monday, Leafs GM Dave Nonis told Sportsnet’s Hockey Central panel the 27-year-old Kessel lacks a full no-trade clause. Nonis admitted the Leafs “have teams we can trade him to,” claiming they have the flexibility to change their team. Despite having discussions with other clubs, Nonis notes stars like Kessel carrying expensive contracts tend to move in the off-season, “if at all.”
Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov believes Kessel would love to play for the Florida Panthers, as he lives in South Florida during the summer. Fialkov notes the Panthers have depth in young talent to interest the Leafs, though he doesn’t believe Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will part with defenseman Aaron Ekblad or forwards Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad or Brandon Pirri. Read more