The Toronto Maple Leafs will seek to upgrade its goaltending this summer whether James Reimer returns to his rookie form in the final 15 games or not.
General manager Brian Burke has remained adamant on retaining Reimer as the goaltender of the future---reportedly shot down a deal that would have brought back a significant return at the trade deadline---so fans should not expect the 23-year-old netminder to be going anywhere anytime soon. Registering a .921 save percentage in his rookie season, Reimer’s .899 save percentage as a sophomore is reason for concern, but nothing to fret over---at least, not yet.
Sophomore slumps are nothing new in the National Hockey League. I...
Mikhail Grabovski has signed a five-year contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
His cap-hit will be $5.5-million, making him the Leafs’ highest-paid forward---that is, until Phil Kessel signs an extension. The cap-hit ranks him 36th amongst forwards, tied with Shawn Horcoff. As a comparable, some of the players that make within $250-thousand more or less than Grabovski are:
The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Carter Ashton from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for defenseman Keith Aulie.
It’s a minor deal but one that makes sense for the Leafs. Ashton is 6’3, 215 pounds and addresses the Leafs’ need for size upfront---although not immediately. Ashton, a 28th overall draft pick, is a 20 year old power forward that needs more AHL seasoning before making the jump to the NHL. Power forwards generally take a bit longer to develop but Ashton is on the right track, producing 19 goals and 35 points in 56 AHL games.
Aulie was in the midst of a rough season, struggling at both the NHL and AHL levels. He has potential as a shu...
The Leafs, losing eight of its last nine games, appear to have little left in the tank and have been cutting its odds of a post-season berth (down to 30 per cent, according to sportsclubstats.com) with each passing game.
It’s easy to forget, however, that the general consensus in the off-season was that the Leafs would likely miss the playoffs for a seventh-straight season. Despite the panic spreading throughout the fan base, the Leafs are three points removed from the playoffs, with two games in hand over the eight-place Winnipeg Jets. Yes, the stats indicate that the Leafs’ chances are below 50 per cent...
Matt Donovan is currently in the second half of his first full season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. In 50 games played, the 6 foot, 202 pound defenseman has registered six goals and 25 assists for 31 points while maintaining a +11 rating.
Donovan has quickly become one of the Sound Tigers most reliable and contributing defenseman, playing with others such as Aaron Ness, Calvin de Haan and Ty Wishart. Selected 96th overall in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Donovan has been developing nicely. He had spent two seasons with the University of Denver before making his transition from college life to that of a professional hockey player. His best year with Denver came in 2011 where he scored 32 points from the blue line in 42 games.
On the depth charts, Donovan looks as if to be one of the most well polished blue liners that the Islanders organization has groomed through their farm system. If he continues his play, this could be the last time Connecticut locals will see him in a Sound Tigers jersey.
He and I talked about that possibility this afternoon over the phone.
With the National Hockey League trade deadline approaching, Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski continues to be amid trade rumours.
The NHL’s first star of the week is a pending unrestricted free agent and could garner significant interest should he decided to test the free agent waters. But that’s not stopping teams from around the league to inquire on his availability for the current season. The 28-year-old (birthday is tomorrow, which means he’s going to light up the Pittsburgh Penguins) is on-pace for 28 goals and 56 points, almost identical to last season’s production, in five less games.
With the rumour mill churning and the Toronto Maple Leafs actively seeking a top-six forward, general manager Brian Burke could soon pull the trigger with the trade deadline looming.
As the All-Star weekend wraps up, trade speculation reaches its peek with what’s sure to be a few weeks of absurd trade rumours (Jeff Carter and the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first-round draft pick for Luke Schenn and Mikhail Grabovski is my personal favorite).
Burke has publicly stated his desire to acquire a top-six forward that can add some size and strength to the line-up. The problem, it seems, is such players aren’t acquired at will. Burke had expressed his prefer...
Josh Rimer, from NHL Home Ice on SiriusXM Radio, tweeted this yesterday: “From what I'm told Gardiner might have a real short stay in minors as Leafs could be making a trade in next 24-48 hrs.”
I don’t normally place much stock in sources outside of Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, because any jackass can fabricate rumours if there’s a logical basis, but Rimer, as far as the “Twitterverse” is concerned, is a legitimate source. Rimer later emphasized that a trade “could” happen, and nothing is set in stone.
We know general manager Brian Burke is working the phones right now. It’s mid-January---when he typical...