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Former Leafs prospect budding in Carolina

In trading the prospect Dec. 3 2009, fellow general managers Brian Burke and Jim Rutherford agreed 2006 first-round pick Jiri Tlusty would not thrive in Toronto.

VIA The Toronto Star:

"(Tlusty) is a player who has a better chance to flourish in a smaller market," Hurricanes general manager Rutherford said in 2009. "It takes a certain type of character to flourish in Toronto. Some guys like it, some guys don't. It's something (Burke) and I talked about when we were making this deal."

The Maple Leafs gave Tlusty little time to develop - trading the Czech forward before his 22nd birthday - having played 74 games for the buds over a span of three ...

JVR benefits from net presence

If James van Riemsdyk’s current projections are any indication, Brian Burke’s swan song may be a coup for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The 23-year-old has eight goals and 10 points in 13 games thus far and has provided a net-front presence that’s been lacking on the Leafs for a while. Consider that the average distance of JVR’s goals is 14.9-feet (three came from rebounds in front of the net). If you’re curious, here are the distances of each goal he’s scored so far this season:


1 – 33-feet

2 – 9.5-feet

3 – 6.5-feet

4 – 19.4-feet

5 – 10-feet

6 – 9.5-feet

7 &ndas...

Bruins Remember Defense: Shutdown Toronto

Boston Bruins 1, Toronto Maple Leafs 0

Oh there you are Bruins defense!  Boston played the solid defense we all know they are capable of in their first shutout of the season against the Maple Leafs Saturday night.  James Reimer played amazing for the Leafs, earning him the first star of the game.  Tuukka Rask's twelfth career shutout earned him the second star and the only player to score, Chris Bourque, the third.

As mentioned in the preview, this game was all about the new kids.  The third line must have heard all of the criticism and really stepped up.  Rich Peverley to Chris Kelly who tossed a perfect pass which landed bullseye on Bourque's...

AHL Players Center Stage As Bruins Visit Toronto

Boston Bruins (5-1-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (4-3-0)

The Bruins visit Toronto for the first of four meetings this season and try and leave the trauma of Thursday night's beat down against the Buffalo Sabres behind them.  Last season the B's swept the Leafs in all six meetings, outscoring them 36-10, in their last meeting in March, Boston shutout Toronto 8-0.

James Reimer started that game in net for the The Leafs and will be looking for redemption as he gets the start between the pipes.  Tuukka Rask will be starting for Boston as expected. 

Both the Leafs and Bruins have substantial injuries and have tapped into their AHL reserves for tonight's...

Kadri deserves shot on top line

 

Nazem Kadri has finally made his mark on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With Randy Carlyle proclaiming he is “trying to get Kadri more ice-time,” it could be a matter of time before Tyler Bozak is slotted as the third-line centre with Kadri in-between Joffrey Lupul and Phil Kessel.

But let’s make one thing clear: Kadri is likely not a first-line centre. Is the potential there? Sure, but he’s probably more effective on the second-line. But alas, the Leafs have an abundance of holes to address, and a top line centre is one of them.

Unfortunately for general manager Dave Nonis, it’s not as simple going out into the trade market and grabb...

Leafs Require Clear Direction

With news of Brian Burke’s dismissal fully digested, the watchful gaze of the hockey world turn on newly-appointed general manager Dave Nonis and the direction of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Since his hiring in 2008, Burke had opted for a fast-track rebuild in an attempt to stockpile prospects and draft picks while competing for the playoffs every season. Evidently, his plan was foiled by missing the post-season four years in a row, and the Leafs don’t have an elite batch of prospects to show for it.

I’d be amiss, however, not to acknowledge the decent core and (to a lesser extent) prospect pool Burke has managed to assemble.

Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly and...

The Annual Danglers Winter Classic

At this very moment, the ice of the outdoor rink is glimmering in the sunlight in anticipation of its annual Winter Classic that will take place this evening. Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League may have canceled the NHL Winter Classic that was to be played between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings, but that's not stopping a talented group of hockey players from getting together for the annual Danglers Winter Classic.

The Danglers are a men's league hockey team that I started years ago in order to keep my friends and I together on the ice. High school was over, and many of us were going away to college or starting to work full-time. Every summer, the Danglers were put together through the Midnight Hockey League on Long Island and have continued to go strong for five years.

Leafs Sign McClement; Re-sign Frattin

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed center Jay McClement for two years with a $1.5-million cap-hit, as well as re-sign forward Matt Frattin to a two-year deal worth 850K per season.

The signing is hardly a big splash from general manager Brian Burke, but that’s probably a good thing. McClement will likely play on the third or fourth line, and log significant minutes on the penalty kill. He led the Colorado Avalanche, and was third among forwards in the National Hockey League, in SH TOI/G with 3:06. McClement only averaged 10:03 of even-strength ice-time so his skillset is suited for the penalty kill---an area that has decimated the Leafs since the lockout. He should mesh well ...

Wilson on the Leafs' Radar?

There is no credible hockey insider linking Colin Wilson to the Toronto Maple Leafs. This article is purely speculative based on tweets from Paul Hendrick, of Leafs TV and mapleleafs.com.

To put it simply, here are Hendrick’s tweets in succession:

“Brian burke is back talking with pred gm david poile before going back to leaf draft table.#tmltalk”

“Schenn to flyers for jvr...leafs not done yet.#tmltalk”

When asked if the potential trade could go down today, which was Saturday at the time of the tweet, Hendrick replied, “Quite possibly.”

It’s possible the trade turned cold. It’s also possible the general ma...

Analysis: Leafs acquire van Riemsdyk for Schenn

The Toronto Maple Leafs have shipped defenseman Luke Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers for left-winger James van Riemsdyk.

The trade isn’t a big surprise considering van Riemsdyk has been on the market since the trade deadline. At that time, it was believed the Leafs would have to ship Schenn as well as additional assets to land the 22-year-old forward, but things have changed, and the Flyers may be looking to acquire Bobby Ryan in his place.

Van Riemsdyk is by no means a punishing forward, despite his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, but he injects some skill into the Leafs’ lineup and should find a spot on the top-six unit. The move could also light a fire under Nikola...