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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Alex Posted - 04/23/2008 : 14:22:09
Go to the bottom of page 17 in this thread for the latest installment

Welcome all to the Alex Blog! (That name needs some work… not the catchiest, eh?) It’s playoff time, where the traffic is high and the pollution is too, if you get the metaphor. Not many of the ‘trademark’ members are active of late, and that really grinds my gears. Off school for two weeks with me, myself and my trusty ol’ computer! I need a haven where I can just ‘let it all hang out’ as the admin appropriately gave the tag line to our forum on general hockey chat, and I think I have found my solution. Here’s hoping this tides me over until the rest of y’all get back to remind me what an idiot I am

I’ll run through the rules, but I warn you, if you read ‘em you’re wasting your time because I’m going to break them every day for the sheer fun involved! In a nutshell, expect me to throw out my opinions on the headlines of the day, my predictions, my hopes and all that stuff you don’t really care about but are bound to find yourself reading anyways Who knows, I may just start a fad! Imagine me, the trendsetter!

So, what the heck are we waiting for? Let’s start at the beginning, sound like a plan? Good! Lot’s to talk about to stick with me. I’ll put my subheadings in boldface so you can navigate this bad boy!

(Oh, and feel free to comment!)

April 23 2008

Washington / Philadelphia Game 7

First off, kudos to Bruce Boudreau on a hell of a season. AO, I feel your pain buddy. One has to wonder, ‘what could have been’ had the Capitals advanced to play another young dynamic squad anchored by none other than the NHL’s poster boy and his apprentice. But hey, their careers are young and the pages of history are bound to be chock full of great stories these two guys and teams will fill them up with.

My thoughts on the series? Well, I don’t like Philly. I don’t like Bobby Clarke, I don’t like it that they bought their team, I don’t like the way they played, and I hate their fans with a passion! They were not the better team out there my any stretch of the imagination. Washington let two heartbreakers slip through their fingers, but then again, so did the city of brotherly love. With it all on the line in game 7, everything you knew was going to happen did happen. In the end, it was those stinking zebras in charge of calling the play that cost Washington a second round berth.

I’m not even talking about the OT penalty. That was 100 percent a trip, and, if nothing else, it was fair game to call it based solely on the fact that turned a blind eye to one a few minutes earlier. But for goodness sake, what the hell is ‘impeding’ a guy, if full out ransacking him isn’t? Huet is a great tender, but even he can’t save a puck with his own player thrown on top of him! The refs did a good job of consciously balancing out the penalties. The TSN commentator said it well, you knew that if the other team was called for a penalty, any little infraction would send the other team to the box to try and even things out. Is that fair? No. Is that life? Yes.
But the goalie interference is beyond me. That is not within the legal constraints set out by the National Hockey League to review such an obvious play is a real shame, because any fan of hockey wanted Washington to move on.

San Jose / Calgary Game 7

My dad rarely caves in on his established curfew for me, but seeing as the Philly / Caps game was such a nail-biter, it afforded me the luxury of watching this game, as we expected close to the same outcome.

Bing bang boom it’s 2-2 in the second! I was expecting a better version of the Philly game. But then it fell apart. Dion Phaneuf could not settle down, Jarome Iginla tried to do to much, Miikka Kiprusoff faced way too many pucks, and Mike Keenan was trying too hard to rip a page out of Gordon Bombay’s playbook. Or maybe, Herb Brooks.

Game 7 of the National Hockey League playoffs is not a Disney fairytale. Last time I checked it was Mike Keenan, not Mickey! There were no ‘miracles’ waiting in the pads of a rusty CuJo. I’m surprised the Calgary guys weren’t trying out any knuckle pucks! You rode Kipper all year. Especially in game 7 a coach has to be competent. The look on his face when CuJo let in that weak little wrister rubbed off on all the players and from the looks, sounds and everything in between of the post-game interview, no one liked the decision.

On a positive note: Jeremy Roenick, good job pal. As a true Canuck, I can’t focus much more happy light on seven games that saw the pride of Alberta get ousted by some team from San Jose.

The deciding game in this series was undoubtedly Game 4, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. San Jose escaped with a thriller and needs to settle down and commit to play their game if they want success against the boys from Texas.

Round 2 NHL Playoffs: Great match-ups, but put an asterisk next to that one, as it could have been so much better. In Pittsburgh-New York I can hardly wait to see what Avery has up his sleeve. In the end, the 1-2-3-4-5… punch on offence for Steel Town will be too much for King Lundqvist to handle.

Moving on to Philly and Montreal. Both squads came off game 7 wins, though the Habs played a lot better than the Flyers. Carey Price had a two game cushion that allowed him to grow up smack in the middle of the post season! Philly, watch out! This club looks rejuvenated with Koivu back, and you just know that the PP is bound to get better.

Over to the West, where the President Trophy look to take on the very deceptive Colorado Avalanche in the same manner they did during regular season play. With Foote back and the young guys starting to produce though, this series could renew the nostalgic battle dormant of late between these two clubs. Detroit will take it though.

And last, San Jose [BOO] against Dallas [BOO, copy and paste!] Thornton, Cheechoo and Marleau came up big in game 7, but how often does that happen? I don’t really want to delve deep into this one, as it really bores me. Final call, the Stars will take it.

GM News: Brian Burke ain’t going anywhere. They like him over in Anaheim; granted, he didn’t have as big a mark as some would seem to suggest on the success of the Ducks last year. Toronto and Cliff Fletcher will have to sit and wait.

Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks organization is handling their situation like a bunch of turkeys. They had gold in Nonis, who made arguably the trade of the decade. You can not say that the Canucks failure to make the post-season this year should be left on his shoulders.

And then replace him with Mike Gillis? I wouldn’t know that guy from a hole in the wall! Vancouver is headed in ten different directions at once. Like some guy following a GPS system surrounded by magnets.

Canada captures gold at U18 Tourney

Kudos boys! I saw enough in the first period to convince me the game was over! A quick short-handed breakaway tally to get themselves up on the scoreboard, followed by a lot of sloppy play in the Russian end of the rink and a shaky net-minder accounted for a greatly lopsided game. And you know what? We’ll take it!

Last word: Say it ain’t so! Mark Messier didn’t mean to tell reporters that they would win Game 7? Is it just me or does that ruin the essence of the Moose?

Happy readings,

"You're playing worse every day and right now you're playing like the middle of next week."
-Herb Brooks

EDIT: This is a blog. I have the liberty to say things no one agrees with I personally do not have anything against a GM that succesfully buys a team, I just resent the whole notion. What can you do, it is part of the new CBA. The whole system ticks me off. I miss the days where players were snynonomous with teams. Many agree, others don't give a hoot. Fine, so be it

Nonis may have riden that trade a little past its prime but in the end the deal was great and he did try to nab guys like Forsberg and Richards, it just did not work out. Injuries in the end made the Nucks miss the playoffs, and that cost a great GM his job. Someone will soon discover him as the diamond in the rough.

Bobby Clarke does have nothing to do with my current dislike of Philly. It really is just the organization as a whole I never liked them, never will. At least I can look forward to my team knocking them out

Finally, on a serious note, the Pride of Alberta comment was a Sean Avery one in nature, meant to get all the Oil fans on these forums (I actually had Beans in mind when I wrote this) back in action Also tried to get the Leighs on this site to comment on it! No sweat, I love both teams I think they display true Canadian values through their game, good gritty passionate dynamic bunch of guys I would root for any moment of any day so long as they aren't playing my Habbies

EDIT no. 2 Yes, LRP I am quite impressed at your memory! I posted a rough copy and subsequently the later editions of a speech I gave in school that got me to a runner's up position to get to the semi-finals of the Royal Canadian Legion public speaking contest.
40   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
slozo Posted - 02/25/2010 : 21:04:01
Not bad Alex. Here's my contribution:

Snow-Jobbed By Canada in Evening

There was a game that I remember,
In February, not December;
Between two rivals most supreme
The fan of one I was a member.

The mighty Russian bear stood tall
A team with swagger, talent, gall;
Opposite came forth Canucks
On hard home ice they formed a wall.

The game was 'sposed to be real tight
And both gave at with all their might;
Canada stormed out with force -
But the bear did not know left from right.

After assigning all the blame
The Russians bear slinks home quite tame.
And Canada has two more games,
And Canada has two more games.

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Alex Posted - 02/25/2010 : 17:00:05
Originally posted by Guest7309


Look, I said in the original post, never backspaced or went back. That's essentially raw, off the top of my head, free-styling.

I never considered it to be top-notch, but I challenge anyone to come up with something better, honestly saying that you never stop typing and just go with it.
irvine Posted - 02/25/2010 : 16:28:28

Alright Alex. I will give you some 'props' on your rhyme. It ahh... had some good moments, just don't quit your day job. please!

Alex Posted - 02/25/2010 : 12:39:15
February 25, 2010

So I've taken up rapping recently, I figured I should be pretty good since all you need is vocabulary and a topic. Figured a good way to get some material would be to recap the Olympics, depending on whether or not it lends itself, I'll try to do some games and big story lines in the NHL, since this blog needs some serious life support.

I follow a few rules when rapping. 1) Never stop. You stop, you're done. 2) No going back until the end (to fix spelling, punctuation.) It's slightly easier when I type them up, since speaking is faster, but still quite a challenge, only have a couple seconds to come up with each line. Lemme know what you think!

Whaddup Canada,
Are we ready to rock,
Vancouver 2010
From the very first puck drop?

Coast to coast we’re cheering
Fans centre, left and right
Putting back Molsons in the tavern
Way into the night

Hockey is the passion
That unites us all
Four years ago, however,
Team Canada she did fall

Ever since that moment,
Fate is ours to force
There’s no bigger stage
Than the intn’l one of course

And so we’re going to recap
Last night’s game with rhyme
Beat box in the background
Spare a bit of time

Canada vs. Russia
Rivalry renewed
Emotions running high
Tension, she be brewed

Fifty years of hockey
Missing the W
Against those blasted Sputniks
What a major I.O.U

Last night’s dubbing,
Proved to be, 7-3,
Hats off to my boys Rick Nash,
Ryan Getzlaf, Sidney Crosby

Storyline coming in,
Depending on who you ask
Was whether or not Canada
Would be equal to the task...

First period was a thriller
Goals, goals, goals galore
Nothing like the famous
Words, “he shoots, he scores”

Ovechkin, where you hiding?
Kovalchuk, you OK?
Does anyone know how the hell
To spell half these last names anyway?

Volechnkov dumped Staal
To a chorus of boos
Russian firepower
Meet my good friend Bobby Lou

Game’s progressing nicely,
Canada putting on a show
Santa Claus, crash this party
And bring your Ho-Ho-Ho’s

Maybe they’ll inspire
An uninspired crew
Russia, they just disappeared
Good riddance, vamoose!

Defence was a rock
On the line of blue
Going off to the semis,
Was nice to have known you!

Tretiak, scratch your head
Stevie, have a gloat
T-Pain’s partying it up
Celebrating on his boat

Pride has been restored,
At least, that is for now,
Tomorrow is another day,
Against Sweden – holy cow!

Read the score again,
Take out a pair of glasses
Slovakia dumped defending champs
With hits, shots, blocks and passes

Underdog much?
How will our boys respond?
Next time we lace ‘em up
And take to our frozen pond?

Well one thing is for sure
Our brains we are a rackin’
How do you say, get me a dictionary –
“See ya next year!” in Slovakian?
Guest0482 Posted - 12/24/2009 : 17:01:50
u think you could label at the end of this A.B for alex blog or something along the lines example

"Lessons from a Panthers-Thrashers Game Pt 1 A.B"
"A.B Lessons from a Panthers-Thrashers Game Pt 1"

Beans15 Posted - 12/24/2009 : 15:54:35
Why not look up how far Glendale is from Scottsdale, or Mesa, Chandler or the other suburbs. It's 35 minutes from Scottdale, 45 minutes from Mesa.

Whatever, we can argue this as much as we want. Popular opinion from the Phoenix bankruptcy case was the arena was in a bad location comparatively to the other options at the time the arena was build.

And you may be right about a team like Phoenix doing less with more. However,the most important piece is an owner. That's something the Canadian teams didn't have when they left.
JOSHUACANADA Posted - 12/24/2009 : 10:17:22
[i]Originally posted by Beans15[/i]
[br]Are you for real?? Seriously, did you see the stadium that Phoenix played out of??? And then they go an build a stadium in Glendale. That would be like the Oilers or the Flames building a new facility in Red Deer!!

Don't confuse mismanagement with wasting resources.

Winnipeg and Quebec both lost their teams because both needed new arenas and neither could find an owner to take the team in a money losing market.

Sound familiar???

Glendale is more like a suburb of Pheonix and lots of teams play out of the suburbs.

Here is a wiki link which states a population of glendale at 246000 and the fact it is 14 km away from downtown Pheonix which has a population of 4.28 million.,_Arizona

If your gonna disagree look at the statistics 1st. 14 km away is not an hour, hardly a comparison to Red Deer. Jobing Arena is suppose to be a wonderful Arena to play out of and has a capacity and revenue potential higher than the facilities Winnipeg and Quebec played out of. Beside my point was Pheonix is doing worse with more than the failed canadian franchises, ie deep pocket owners larger Population and better facilities.
Beans15 Posted - 12/24/2009 : 09:11:36
Are you for real?? Seriously, did you see the stadium that Phoenix played out of??? And then they go an build a stadium in Glendale. That would be like the Oilers or the Flames building a new facility in Red Deer!!

Don't confuse mismanagement with wasting resources.

Winnipeg and Quebec both lost their teams because both needed new arenas and neither could find an owner to take the team in a money losing market.

Sound familiar???
JOSHUACANADA Posted - 12/24/2009 : 08:59:12
With all due respect Bean's, the numbers you have quoted are not for NHL teams. The Moose and the Hamilton teams, while fine teams in there league, have neither the NHL talent, fan base or marketing of the big league. While I agree, short of a Toronto market, I do not believe there is such a thing as a sure thing for relocation.

An arguement can be made that Pheonix, Atlanta and a few of the other Sun belt team's were less successful with more to work with than Winnipeg and Quebec City ever had. They have a larger population and currency exchange rate which benifits the team if they have success. An american city will subsidize a professional team by either providing tax incentives, Arena upgrades, has a deeper well for financing a struggling franchise, has a larger merchadising and television income potential.

While they have had little success in these markets proves little during a recession, I do think it proves having a product relatively close to your fan based would have insulated these teams from the resession better than being in a developing market.
Beans15 Posted - 12/24/2009 : 08:35:57
I won't get too deep here, but let's not let short term gains appear as long term gains. Edmonton, Calgary, and even Vancouver at time has very low attendance. At one time in Edmonton 13,000 fans was considered a success. And that time was not that long ago.

I am not saying that I 100% agree with teams in some places. I think one team in Florida is enough. I think that ATL has some risk to it. I think Phoenix would be a great place for hockey. The problem is that the team is in Glendale and people don't like driving a hour one way to go to a game 3-4 times a week.

The quick answer is to move the team. But is that the right answer in the long run. Honestly, none of us have a clue so don't even try.

All I know is that some of these places being talking about (Winnipeg, Hamilton, Quebec City) had teams that did not survive.

An example of what I mean right now. Jim Balsillie has us believe that the Hamilton area is a starving hockey market, right?? Why is it that the AHL team there, which is reasonably successful(7 winnings seasons in the past 10 and a Calder Cup), has average attendance at best with just over 4,600 fan a game last season???? This season they are lower.

Compare that with Hersey or the Moose who literally have double the fans each game and that not even close to enough to have an NHL team.

Canucks Man Posted - 12/24/2009 : 01:08:07
Well, all thats good except for the fact that a lot of those Franchises lose way more money then they gain "cough The Coyotes cough". and have you ever seen the attendance records for some of these teams? Atlanta averages less then 14,000 people at a game, how on earth can you justify a team being there? Also who knows how many of the 14,000 tickets sold actually have people sitting in the seats, corporations buying season tickets and not showing up etc... having teams in citys like that is completely ridicoulus. Even New Jersey who has been a very good team for almost 20 years can't come close to filling their Arena, face it, the NHL ultimatly loses money and revenue by having teams in these places where HOCKEY JUST DOES NOT WORK! They should be looking into these Canadian citys where they acutally have a long term plan and a built fan base, Hamilton had basically sold out the entire season this year and they never had a realistic shot of having one this season. The NHL should cut it's loses and start bringing a couple teams back up to Canada, Frankly its embarresing to watch games in Atlanta, New Jersey, Long Island and Flordia knowing the at least 10,000 empty seats would be filled up north where Hockey is what people live for.

BTW, you should really look up facts before you make a post about American Teams in the CFL, they tried that in the early 90's, 95 had the most with 5 American teams, Baltimore being the most successful team and only one left in 96 before they moved to Montreal, (who in case you didn't no just won the Grey Cup) in 97. So basically I'm saying the CFL already tried, failed and cut there losses with American teams, Why would or should they try again?

Alex Posted - 12/23/2009 : 21:49:34
December 24 2009
Shout it from the rooftops: Alex lives! Thanks to those of you who watered me periodically and turned me towards the sunlight during the extended hiatus – much appreciated! Been here reading, not writing, but enough ramble… let’s talk puck!

Conventional wisdom says life’s lessons are learned in a classroom. Conventional wisdom is a government conspiracy. Offices, street corners, clubs and even *gasp* rinks are all better places. So shall it be written, so shall it be done. Presenting: Lessons from a Panthers-Thrashers Game Pt 1.

You know when you’ve got something special, and you really want to share it with someone else? My P.E. teacher calls it sex. With apologies to Tiger Woods, there are purer mediums of mutually enjoying aspects of the human experience. Let me explain.

During a delayed penalty early in the third, Hedberg naturally made like a librarian and booked, heading for the bench. Couldn’t help but overhear the fine folks sitting behind me remark (in deep Southern accents) “Strange, thought they only did that near the end of the game.” Nerds in the crowd will appreciate the itching sensation you get when there’s some gem of wisdom locked within you just aching to come out. Despite mommy’s advice never to talk to strangers, yours truly simply could not resist explaining the rules to the people sitting behind me. Now, these people genuinely appreciated the game and the sport more after that incident.

Micro to macro…

Lot’s of grumble from so-called “fans” (hey, controversy is in my constitution) who claim hockey has no business south of Windsor. Read some Robert Munsch, people: “We Share Everything!” If hockey truly is the best sport on earth, and we are privileged to know that, is it not noble – nay, dutiful – to expose other parts of the world to it?

Now you’ll tell me “but not at the expense of Winnipeg, Quebec or Hamilton”. Confession: I’m a fan of both Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League. No one’s got it in for Canada. Rather, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. It’s the theory behind social welfare and it’s the reason why – despite best efforts – the Jets and Nordiques had to get yanked.

From a business point of view, you must expand into the States to maintain relevance. Case in point: CFL. Think how many people would be devastated if that league folded (and it’s a wonder it hasn’t). Think how many would be willing to justify allowing American teams into the mix if it meant saving theirs.

Bee tee dubs, no one ruled out expansion. A team that makes money is good for the league. If there’s a business case proving beyond doubt that a Canadian market could consistently support itself, why WOULDN’T anyone jump all over it? Newsflash: the brass over at the NHL have kids to feed and clothe, too.

There’s more to say but not much room left to say it. Anyways, that’s my spiel on American hockey franchises, including those in non-traditional markets: a way to share what we love, ensure the NHL remains relevant, and bring money into the league. Frankly, no one loses by icing a team in Raleigh. A few lucky teams just get some free points, that’s all!

Canucks Man Posted - 08/18/2009 : 15:07:34
The new jerseys are awesome! I really want to get a new Canada jersey (with Nash on the back) but have been waiting for the new design which I hoped wasnt that different from the world championship jerseys and they werent. I think the fact that the designs in the logo are so sutle it makes them more awesome.

redneck76ca Posted - 08/18/2009 : 11:40:19
I like em. Was thinking that they would be hella ugly but in the end they still capture the essence of the Hockey Canada jerseys from before. Looks like most people on here agree that they like em.
leigh Posted - 08/18/2009 : 10:58:49
Here is a link to some more photos of it...
leigh Posted - 08/18/2009 : 10:56:39
From the half dozen photos I've seen so far, I absolutely love them! I think the detail in the leaf is pretty incredible. It's subtle and like beans said above "it adds some dimension". I've heard peple get upset about the first nations tribute in the middle...I'd be more concerned about the nike logo! Nope, I dig them immensely! Great stuff!
Beans15 Posted - 08/18/2009 : 07:43:58
I agree that these jersey's look awefully sharp. Sharp is a very good word to describe them. On TV, you won't really notice the 'business' of the Leaf and the First Nation Design provides a different dimensio up close, gives the jerseys some class, and is a great tribute to the First Nations People of Canada on a global scale.
Matt_Roberts85 Posted - 08/18/2009 : 07:40:52
At first glance I was a little dissapointed... they seem a little too plain for me. I would have preferred something along the lines of the old Canada Cup sweaters.

The native designs dont really bother me, it just that they seem like a generic jersey that EA sports would use because they couldnt get the licencing.

All in all, i wont lose sleep over it. Im sure they will look great once the boys hit the ice.

There is no "I" in team, but there is an "M" and an "E".
Rambo2305 Posted - 08/18/2009 : 06:02:35
Spit 50/50 with the new ones. The actual "Maple Leaf" is filled with Native symbols and images, very nice! However, other then the logos and numbers, the jerseys are too plain.

So yes and no to them. Either way, will look alot better with the Gold :)

Hockey Canada couldn't put their Corporate logo on the jersey like they normally do with the new regulations by the IOC.

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
Axey Posted - 08/18/2009 : 05:48:12
I like 'em. Although I haven't seen the full product yet just what is in the link above. But, from what I've seen they are really nice IMO.
slozo Posted - 08/18/2009 : 04:36:25
Sorry Alex, we are back to disagreeing again!

These jerseys look damn sharp to me, actually . . . very, very nice, and a big credit to whoever pushed forward the First Nations idea. I don't think it looks too busy at all, that's the reason the colour variation is so slight, from far away you wouldn't notice it, but upon closer look you see the interior has these native styled designs. The only thing I have a problem with is the Nike swoosh, which they conveniently make sure is not in the photo shown . . . but, that is the way of the corporate world, and they are the sponsors, so it's a very minor blemish on a very nice shirt.

Two thumbs up from me!

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Alex116 Posted - 08/17/2009 : 23:15:51
I don't mind it at all. From the clips on TV i've seen, the images inside the leaf are pretty subtle. Looked to me like from any distance, you won't even see them, but up close you'll be able to make them out. I'm okay with it.
Guest0494 Posted - 08/17/2009 : 16:59:45
The new jersey looks sick here we go canada lets win a gold
Alex Posted - 08/17/2009 : 16:52:27
Aug 17 2009
Team Canada will be wearing a new jersey for the Olympics this year. Frankly, I don't like it.

(It looks slightly better in that picture)

The overall design is as much of a mimic of the old one as possible without overstepping legal boundaries, but then the artists had to go and scribble inside the Maple Leaf. It's supposed to be a tribute to the first nations, which is great, except that it looks terrible. It's simply too busy. I think it was a bad idea to mess with the maple leaf given that it is the nucleus of the whole jersey and the first thing you notice. Less is more.

They could have done like an arm patch or something as a tribute to the first nations, but drawing inside the maple leafs? No. Don't like it.

Given that these Olympics are so big to hockey Canada with the whole Vancouver story I think Canada should have gone to something retro like the Canada Cup jerseys. THAT would have been fun. But these jerseys stink.

leafsfan_101 Posted - 07/07/2009 : 18:00:57
Let's not get ahead of ourselves now. We are not building for a championship, we are building for a strong future down the road. Next year is not our season to win, even with our new defense corps. I wish it was LOL, but it isn't. What Burke HAS done is create a team that will at least be competitive next season. A playoff spot is possible, but even that I doubt.

Kabby needs to be traded, we need a top line winger more than we need an offensive defenseman. Ian White can do it, he proved he has the potential to do so last year. He is smallish, but he is also a guy that is reliable to bring the puck up. He can do what Kaberle could, slightly worse, but he gets the job done without too many hitches.

If your team can take care of their own end then the rest will come naturally. And our defense can simply do just that. But we do need a scorer, and we will get one. But the price to pay is Kaberle.

Sorry Kaberle fans, but he has to. You want a Cup? Then it must be done.....
Matt_Roberts85 Posted - 07/07/2009 : 13:38:31
dont get too far ahead of yourselves leaf fans. There are still players on this roster that are named "Blake, Ponikarovsky, Stajan, Mayers and Stempniak". I dont see any of these guys as being cornerstones for a future offense. There still has to be an overhaul on the forward side of things before I fully start to drink the kool aid again. The new D corp is great, as is getting the monster, but when Grabovski and Blake are your best forwards, you have a serious problem.

Guys like Hanson, Bozak, Kadri, Stalberg, hell even Kulemin are a couple seasons away from being solid NHLers (IMO). Its great to see that they are in the system and hopefully are developed properly but next year its gonna be

Kulemin - Grabo - Poni
Blake - Stajan - Mitchell

and crap like that. I can see it now..... "BIG save by the Monster! OH MAN! WHAT A HIT BY KOMISAREK! The leafs come back the other way, Stajan.. to Mitchell... OH!.. he trips over the blueline and the play is broken up..."

There is no "I" in team, but there is an "M" and an "E".
Rambo2305 Posted - 07/07/2009 : 08:37:45
With the signing of Gustavsson, we're set in net. Toskala will have a bounce back year winning 30+ games. Gustavsson, he'll be playing for a long term deal and will win 10-20. So is it crazy to say the Buds can win 40-45 games? Maybe more?

Are D is as good as they get. Not many teams can compare. Losing Kaberle would hurt, not too bad, but we'd lose an offensive anchor on the back end.

Look for Burke to keep Kabby, we've got enough young talent up front to develop, we were 10th in goals for last year. Now that we have toughness to protect the smaller scorers, look for them to strive.

We may not be the best team on paper, but it's what you do on the ice that counts (Ottawa last year for example).

Not just because I'm a Leafs fan, but this team is not "being rebuilt"'s almost done.

I don't care who you cheer for, what city you call home etc. You'll admit that the Leafs, correction, Burke, has waved his magic wand and put together a playoff team. Now, whether or not this team can take it a step further, we'll see come October.

P.S. If you still criticize, it's ok, we all know that once you turn off your computer, you'll actually think and realize that this team is well on it's way....don't need to say where they're going.


"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
slozo Posted - 07/07/2009 : 08:15:49
It must be a blue moon tonight, because, well . . . I agree with you, Alex!

Which means, I disagree with Porkchop, Leafsfan, and Beans. I'll take you through my reasoning on Kaberle point by point gentlemen:

Your Arguments
*Leafs would still have a solid defence without Kaberle

Sorry, but no . . . I mean, the defence would still be better than last year's, don't get me wrong. But we are building for a championship here, not for a competetive team that might squeeze in the playoffs. Clearly, there are goalie issues to be worked out, but that aside, Burke is attempting to build a team that can compete for the cup with your Pittsburghs and Detroits. For a team like that, one would have to keep at least one A defenceman for offence, qb'ing the power play, making those crisp breakout passes. And no, White cannot step into Kaberle's role, no offence to him, but he is not of the same calibre, even if you look at last year's inflated goal totals due largely to an injured Kaberle and increased minutes. On a good team, I see White as your #3 or 4 guy . . . which is exactly where he would be now, behind Kaberle, Beauchemin, and eventually Schenn.

*Leafs need scoring, and can get full value right now for Kaberle

Wrong premise, and wrong. The Leafs need scoring . . . well, they obviously lack a real first line, so yes, the Leafs need some top line talent - but not at the expense of their newly formed solid defence. Besides, patience, young jedi . . . there are at least a few more weeks to build a Stanley Cup contender ;)

On the second premise of getting full value for Kaberle - I doubt it. We saw by the deal that was offered by the Bruins at the draft (Kessel for Kaberle and the Leaf's 7th pick) that even for a young good first line player, we'd still have to chip in something besides Kaberle. I am sure there was negotiating room, but at most, we could get a first line youngish guy, a 60 to 70 point guy, or thereabouts - for our top scoring defenceman and our power play QB. Part of the problem is that Kaberle, although he came back from his injury and played well, was damaged goods last year, and teams look at little things like damaged wrists on defencemen, and it diminishes their value.

For me, full value would be someone overpaying after Kaberle plays a full season and gets his 55-65 points. That would be either a star first liner, or a young star to be with superstar potential, or a player like Kessel and another body that plays (third-liner, 5th defenceman, etc).

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug
Guest4803 Posted - 07/06/2009 : 19:46:33
the whole reason they signed beauchemin is so they have a defenceman to step in for kaberle, now that they have secured that spot they will be looking to deal kaberle for sure, probably either to boston for kessel or to vancouver for picks and prospects.
Porkchop73 Posted - 07/06/2009 : 15:57:04
Although you make a very strong arguement for keeping Kabby, he is a greater asset to the leafs in his trade value. A package deal with him in it nets you a top 6 or even a top 3 forward. Look at the the potential deal with the Bruins and Leafs where Kessel was the return. The Leafs need to address the scoring and a trade involving Kabby is the only way. I think you deal Kabby and slot VanRyn in. If he stays healthy, he can provide the offense from the blueline. I think that White and Frogren are the odd men in this situation.
Defense could be:
Schenn Komisarek
Beauchemin VanRyn
Exelby Finger
White and Frogren are your spares
leafsfan_101 Posted - 07/06/2009 : 15:50:44
Alex, you are kinda wrong on some fronts here.

Firstly, our offensively-inclined defenseman is Ian White. A far cry from Kabby, but a capable PP guy. So that means that it is not Kaberle vs. Van Ryn for the offensive defenseman role. Secondly, Beauchemin is not a not a bottom two defenseman, or a "depth" guy. He can, and has, played top two minutes in Anaheim. I believe for a time he was on the top pairing along with Pronger. Although he will not get that time in Toronto, he is very capable of handling minutes as a 3rd or 4th defenseman. So none of this 5th-6th garbage :P.

Secondly, defense wins championships. This defense can now be compared among some of the best full units in the league. Our offense is not comparable, however. That is why trading Tomas Kaberle makes sense. Getting a top six forward for Kaberle makes a ton of sense simply because we really need them. And the defense looks quite capable of making up what we lose in Kaberle, especially in our own zone.

Here are my predicted lineups:
Komisarek - Schenn
Exelby - Beauchemin
White - Van Ryn
Finger/Frogren (one of them will be gone come training camp)
Beans15 Posted - 07/06/2009 : 15:28:06
Very quick and very simple.

Any GM in the league would look at this team and try to move Kaberle for a top line forward.

You have 3 players that can play in the #1-#3 spot in Beauchemin, Schenn, and Komisarek. Granted, Kaberle is better offensive and at moving the puck than any of these guys, but they can fill the roles.

Then, you have 5+ guys not including prospects that can fill the other starting 3 spots and give you a couple of guys on depth.

Kaberle is the odd man out and one of, if not the most valuable players on the Leafs. Him getting traded for a top line forward is significantly more valuable to this team today and tomorrow than keeping him.
Alex Posted - 07/06/2009 : 14:32:58
July 6, 2009

For those who haven't heard, Brian Burke won more hearts in LeafLand today by signing six players, including Nazem Kadri, and more notably, signing Francois Beauchemain to a three year deal at under 4 million per season.

For those keeping score, that means the Leafs' blue line looks like this:
Tomas Kaberle, Mike Van Ryn, Mike Komisarek, Luke Schenn, Francois Beauchemain, Garnet Exelby, Jeff Finger, Ian White, Anton Stralman, Jonas Frogren and one or two prospects.

Now we know that Komisarek, Beachemain and Exelby will all be keepers since Burke just traded for them. Obviously Schenn is in that mix too. So with two spots left on the blue line you're going to have to choose between Kaberle, Finger, Van Ryn, and White if you are Brian Burke. Not such an easy choice, but not an impossible one either. Blue and white faithful the world over are playing the prophet and claiming that the latest acquisition means Kaberle is on the way out. Here's why that doesn't make sense.

Komisarek and Schenn can both play big minutes and could fill the 1-2 holes. Exelby and Beachemain are good, but they're still depth guys. On the Buds, they would probably fill 5-6 spots, give or take a spot. But the reoccurring pattern amongst these four is that they're all defensively inclined. Not a great offensive guy among them (we haven't seen Schenn for more than a season, but all those who praise him do it by virtue of his defensive canny, so that's the type of guy he seems to be.) The Leafs need a guy that can make that long stretch pass, headman the breakout or quarterback the power play. Within the organization, that role falls on the shoulders of Kaberle or Van Ryn. Or you can go on the open market and find a guy like Bouwmeester (taken), Campbell (taken), Boyle (taken)... you get the picture. Oh, and Jeff Finger will be gone pretty soon, either through buyout or trade.

Burke is a sound general manager. Sound general managers know that the better teams are those that are homegrown. Clearly, offense is something that will need to be bought, but if he can take his offensive d-man from what he's got, one would think that is what he will do. So, Kaberle or Van Ryn? Well, Van Ryn is a year younger and makes a million less. Sounds good. Except, he has played half as many seasons (5 vs. 10), has been far less consistent, and has been injured here and there. And really, does anyone think he can make that lead pass the way Kaberle can? I've been entertaining that until know to show you the thought process, but clearly Kaberle is the better asset.

So now we get into trade Kaberle or keep him. If you trade him, you're just going to need to find yourself another guy like him who gets paid more money. And it's not like there are many Kaberles available even if you do happen to have a fat wallet. Here's why you keep him:

At 31, he still has a good amount left in his prime (3-4 years.) He's the only notable guy left from the ''old'' Maple Leafs. He's good in his own end and even better in the opponent's. If you can offer him the captaincy and keep him in Hogtown for roughly what he is making now, your defense is Stanley Cup caliber. Leafs fans aren't going to like the idea of giving up on Kaberle for Kessel, but a) that deal is off the table and b) why not keep Kaberle and see what Van Ryn can fetch?

I've rambled for long enough, but in closing, here is what the Leafs defense should look like according to me (you can toy around with the top four):

I know I'm going to get some heat for suggesting Kaberle gets the 'C' over Schenn, so if you've got beef, take it up with the ''Reply to Topic'' button.


P.S. This is the first time in about three months that I've taken the time to write a blog that is above Twitter quality, not to mention I think there is a lot to discuss on this topic, so please leave your thoughts! Thanks guys!
Axey Posted - 07/01/2009 : 23:01:06
A reply to the Habs. Lol Since when have the Habs had an identity? No cup in 15+ years? Time for a major shake up, that is what happened.

Look at the players that were signed, especially the forwards, they know how to play under a trapping style coach in Martin.

Gainey is not done yet I don't think. We will only know come April '10 is they are losers. And really paper bags? Your a Habs fan man.
Guest0459 Posted - 07/01/2009 : 22:11:54
leaf fans are funny
Alex Posted - 07/01/2009 : 15:43:05
July 1, 2009
It seems like every general manager in hockey today is like a kid in a candy shop. And right now, a few teams are about to get some really bad cavities, if you know what I'm saying.

First off, let's look at the Canadian teams and the changes they made today (keep in mind, I'm only covering the big names and what I remember. Not an exhaustive in/out list):

Calgary - In: Bouwmeester, Out: Cammalleri, Leopold.

They are the runaway best team in their division right now and are going back to the defensive prudence that made them so good way back when. I'm not sure where they sit in terms of cap money, but if they can keep Jokenin, Iginla, Conroy and crew, throw a defensive core of Phaneuf, Regehr, J-Bo, etc at teams every night, and keep Kiprussoff sharp, then this is definitely going to be the pride of Canada going into the 2009-10 season.

Toronto - In: Colton Orr, Komisarek, Exelby. Out: Kubina, Stapelton

Finally, this team has an identity. That's a win in itself. Not to mention a solid draft and a clearance of all the attitude, plus tons of cap space to toy with, and honestly, no dumb moves (finally!) You do need to ask yourself how much of a good thing is too much. Physicality might be the foundation that is laid down this year with skill coming in next season, but throwing out a team of goons isn't going to be the quick fix to a cup. Generally, I like what's happening, especially the Komisarek signing. The Kubina and Stapelton for Exelby was clearly a downgrade, and I think that they could have gotten much more for Kubina. Not to mention that Stapelton wasn't just a name, he was the captain of the Marlies, their leading scorer, and produced nicely in stints with the Leafs. TSN is labeling it a salary dump, though, so maybe this is just the calm before the storm. Generally, all positive things coming out of Toronto today.


Montreal In: Gomez, Spacek, Camalleri. Out: Komisarek, Higgins, undoubtedly many others.

This is a small team down the middle. The Gomez deal is a joke. He's getting paid to be a number one guy when he simply isn't. At 35 and having signed a 3 year, 11 million and change dollar deal, Spacek can retire tomorrow and laugh all the way to the bank. Camalleri is more of the same in Montreal. They're all non-moves. And the big story is what they're losing. Souray, Streit and now Komisarek is a devastation to their blue line. Kovalev, Tanguay, Koivu, Lang and others may all be on their way out. Frankly, this team has lost its identity and is self destructing. Huge losers. And in other news, paper bag companies are seeing a nice rise in stock in the area. Wonder if there is any connection...

In: Khabibulin, not Heatley, not Gaborik, not Henrik or Daniel, not Havlat. Out: Roloson

The Oil have basically traded a capable goalie for a better one, but are still utterly desperate for a go-to forward and could use some form of an upgrade on defense.


They're not going to get rid of Heatley, and he's going to be forced to play where he doesn't want and is not wanted. If you think they had locker room problems before... And just when it looked like a new stamp was being placed on this team. A straight up Heatley for Kovalchuk or another goalscorer would have made this team a winner. Heatley for Campbell, as was rumoured, would be a loss since a) Heatley is a rarer breed and b) Spezza would see his stock plummet. With Alfredsson nearing the end and no number one goalie, this team has more negatives than positives.


I know this might get some controversy, but all they managed to do was keep the Sedins while losing Mattias Ohlund and failing to make progress on the Luongo front. For all you want to say about their performance last post-season, they won and lost on the playing of one man. That can't happen. Mind you, the day is still young. I'd like to see them pick up a clutch forward (read: Mats Sundin wasn't the answer) at the very least to make them a winner.

That will be it for today - I didn't realize how much there was to say - but feel free to comment on any moves and disagree on any of my assessments.
willus3 Posted - 06/26/2009 : 21:48:46
Originally posted by Rambo2305

Originally posted by willus3

Babcock has the respect of every player in the Wings dressing room. He doesn't try to individually single out a player, but tells the team. Also, he doesn't play a single-minded game, he has the Wings working as a team. In today's era, that's huge. Also, with all respect to the Wings' players, but you have to admit, Babcock has taken a team of 3rd liner's, and turned them into solid, 2-way players (with the exception of Lidstrom, Rafalski, Zetterberg, Hossa and Datsyuk). Also, he made Hossa into a "team" player this year! Before this year, Hossa was an offensive minded, single tooled player. This year, Hossa learned from Babcock, if he didn't expand his style, he wouldn't play.

As for the whole, "Bowman did the work", you forget, Babcock never took over for Scottie. Babcock took over for Dave Lewis after Lewis took over the Bowman Era team and found average regular season success and no playoff success. So when Babcock came in, he had to work with a couple rookies in Zetterberg and Datsyuk, and re-develop the dominating style of Red Wings hockey. So to say he inherited a "golden goose", it was more like a goose with the runs...

Also, no matter how many "skilled" players you may have on your team, 3 straight 50+ win seasons, have to show your respect here. About the "questionable decisions in the playoffs", um, getting to Game 7 of the final, and lose 2-1, only thing you can say is, sh't happens. Did people forget he won the cup last year too?

To sum it up, if you want a team Canada from 2006, by all means, apply for the job yourself. However, if you want to see Canada get back to the top, and not run away with our tails between are legs, Babcock is the coach. He'll be hard on the team, key word, TEAM. He'll won't just let the superstars do as they please (like alot of other coaches), he'll make sire this team plays together, finds a chemistry and will battle for a full 60 minutes, no matter what the score is.

There are other coaches that can probably do the job, but at the end of it all, you have to go with the hot hand (in coaching), and post-lockout, no coach has had more success then Babcock in the new style of play...

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford

As for your first paragraph, you just described any coach worth his salt.

Second paragraph, I forget nothing. You need to realize how much of an impact Bowman had on that organization. Along with management, he is the one that instilled the winning culture in Detroit. He did that with the core players and that attitude gets passed on to the newer players. How to win. Bowman in responsible for that. And as I said after he retired from coaching he was very much involved in that organization. Do you honestly think Babcock hasn't learned a great deal from him?

Third paragraph, it's a culture of winning in Detroit. So much so that most players want to play for Detroit. How hard is it for a coach to win when his team already knows how and wants to.

"Society, have mercy on me. Hope you're not angry if I disagree." - Jerry Hannan
Beans15 Posted - 06/26/2009 : 14:38:55
But Slozo, would you not want a coach with the experience of coaching the "best" team in the league when the Olympic team will be full of super-duper stars???

No disrespect to Hitch. His teams, good or bad, always compete and follow his direction to a tee. Uber Competative as well.

Ultimately, with the 4 guys they picked, they could have had any one of them as the Head Coach and it would be a solid pick. We are arguing minor details.

And ultimately, like every other decision that Yzerman gets to make, he's either a hero or a goat. They win, every decision he made was perfect. They lose, every decision will be under a microscope.
Rambo2305 Posted - 06/26/2009 : 11:36:01
Originally posted by slozo

That Anaheim team that Babcock coached to the final? That was the team that had a red-hot JS Giguere playing like Patrick Roy. It was a decent team with a phenomally hot goaltender that eventually snagged MVP honours.

Sorry, I don't give Babcock a whole lot of credit for that . . . again, I feel he was competent, but nothing exceptional.

To your second point - he won the cup 2 out of the three years he had the best team on paper. Again, I rate that as "competent", nothing amazing there.

Myself, I would have picked Hitchcock, with Babcock as assistant.
And please . . . no jokes about their name endings

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug

Ken Hitchcock? He's had his days in the past...but he hasn't been able to change his style to adjust to the "new NHL" or style of play, which mimics international play. As well as the players that play for Canada, all due respect Slozo, if Hitch was coaching Canada, we'd have a repeat of Torino...

"Most people spend time and energy going around problems, rather than trying to solve them" - Henry Ford
slozo Posted - 06/26/2009 : 11:22:26
That Anaheim team that Babcock coached to the final? That was the team that had a red-hot JS Giguere playing like Patrick Roy. It was a decent team with a phenomally hot goaltender that eventually snagged MVP honours.

Sorry, I don't give Babcock a whole lot of credit for that . . . again, I feel he was competent, but nothing exceptional.

To your second point - he won the cup 2 out of the three years he had the best team on paper. Again, I rate that as "competent", nothing amazing there.

Myself, I would have picked Hitchcock, with Babcock as assistant.
And please . . . no jokes about their name endings

"Take off, eh?" - Bob and Doug

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