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Schenn on the way out?

As the end of January approaches, so too does a trade from Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke to bolster his team and elude the madness of the trade deadline.

Burke has stated publicly that he has at least one trade on the burner and he's in conversations with one or more teams. If he pulls the trigger on any deal, however, it will have to a) add size to the top-six unit, and b) upgrade the Leafs for this season as they make a push for the post-season. The only exception, Burke said hypothetically, would be to trade "a 22-year-old for another 22-year-old who plays a different position" in order to fill a need---like, for example, a lack of size in the top-...

Leafs Blank Jets 4-0

TheCheckingLine.com - The Toronto Maple Leafs handed Winnipeg their second loss in as many days on Thursday night as the Jets faced off against the Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Jets came out with some energy in the first period, but that was quickly countered by the Leafs as they generated some quality scoring chances. Just 4:49 into the opening frame, Phill Kessel jumped on a nice pass from Joffrey Lupul to put Toronto up 1-0.

Toronto continued to up the pressure in the first, but Chris Mason stood strong between the pipes. Prior to tonight, Mason had won his last four starts.

In the second period, it didn't take lon...

Burke will target Getzlaf, Ryan, Perry


The Anaheim Ducks are prepared for a roster overhaul, and its three star players in Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are available for the right price, according to Ducks general manager Bob Murray.

The news is a minor surprise as the Ducks are two points removed from being the worst team in the National Hockey League. Moreover, Ryan was available barely a month ago before Murray removed him from the trade market and instead hired head coach Bruce Boudreau in hopes of providing his club with a spark.

Nothing changed.

"I thought they'd figure out when we changed coaches that time was running, the clock...

NHL's Concussion Protocol

After receiving a concussion attempting to watch the premiere of HBO's 24/7 last night, I decided to take a closer look at the NHL's concussion protocol that we got a glimpse of in last night's show.

The following procedures are taken when a player suffers a blow to the head.

After receiving a blow to the head, the team's medical staff will immediately check on the player. The player is asked to give an answer to specific questions. For example, one of the questions usually asked is, "Who's your Daddy?" If the player answers "Dion Phaneuf," then that player is done for the night and is sent to the locke...

Interview with author of The Lives of Conn Smythe

Recently, I reviewed "The Lives of Conn Smythe" for The Checking Line, a biography on the former Leafs owner by Kelly McParland, writer and editor for the National Post. I had the opportunity to ask McParland some questions regarding the book, which reveal even more facts about Smythe, which hockey fans should find intriguing. If you haven't had the chance to pick up the book, you're doing yourself a disservice as a hockey fan.

The following are Mr. McParland's answers:


How did this project materialize? What made you decide to write a biography on Smythe?

I happened to come across an autobiography he wrote with Scott Young just bef...

The Lives of Conn Smythe review

The Toronto Maple Leafs franchise has been revered in the National Hockey League since its inception in 1917. The team that dons the blue and white and is named after a World War I fighting unit, the Maple Leaf Regiment, was built through the ages because of one particular Canadian icon that aided its development.

This icon, who was essential for the growth of Leafs and the NHL, was Conn Smythe.

Kelly McParland (National Post, TCL), writer, editor and columnist at the National Post, has offered hockey fans a truly remarkable book on the man who essentially built the Leafs we know and love, or hate, today. The Lives of Conn Smythe effortlessly shifts through the many chapters i...

Is Gunnarsson the odd man out?

The Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-2-1 start to the National Hockey League 2011-12 regular season has been somewhat deceptive.

That's not to say the Leafs, who are the youngest team in the NHL, have not deserved its 11 points in the standings, but the wins have accumulated despite the team's sluggish opening periods and mediocre team defense.

That said, the youthful Leafs have displayed plenty of vigour which has allowed them to escape with points in the standings---and you can't ask for more from a young team, really.

Nonetheless, it's difficult to gauge whether the Leafs are for real or on the verge of struggling with con...

Stealing Signs: Hockey Artwork At Its Finest

It's not often that the sports and art worlds mix, but you have to admit that there is a certain "art" to playing sports at their highest level, especially hockey. Guy Lafleur flying down the ice, with their hair flowing through the air, the infamous picture of Bobby Orr leaping like superman, the examples are surely endless.

Hockey and art are a better fit than you might think.

Artist Mark Penxa is on a quest to link the two together even further, with his most recent exhibition, titled "Stealing Signs II: Memories From My Last Life; Saskatewan, 1934" (part one was a set of baseball paintings), where he takes his passion for the sport of hockey and com...

Habs Squander Everything in Loss Against Leafs

Another game, another loss for the Montreal Canadiens.

More squandered leads, more lazy plays, and another failure to capitalize on opportunities that should have meant a tick in the win column for this team, at home, against the Toronto Maple Leafs

It was an exciting affair that included 9 goals, and (at times) end-to-end hockey. The Habs and Leafs traded leads and goals, and even runs at each others goals; James Reimer would not return to the game after the first period, thanks to an accidental shot to the head at the hands of Brian Gionta at the top of the game. Travis Moen would put up two goals, Lars Eller 2 assists and Andrei Kostitsyn...

"The Lives of Conn Smythe" Book Launch Invite


If you're in the Toronto area this weekend, and you're into hockey and books, you might want to check out the launch for "The Lives of Conn Smyth", by National Post editor and columnist, and occasional TCL contributor Kelly McParland!

The book is the first full-length biography of the man who created and built the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the namesake to one of the most coveted individual trophies in the NHL today.

Smythe's story goes well beyond the Leafs, from his role in two World Wars, to his family and political life, and everything in between. Smythe was certainly a colorful character, and we don't just mean the navy blue tint of To...