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.
The first player that will be looked at in the new revamped ‘Where Are They Now’ is Brad Isbister. For those who don’t remember Isbister was apart of the Islanders team that finished 5th in the Eastern Conference and lost in seven games to the Maple Leafs in 2001-2002 season.
Isbister was drafted in the 3rd (67th overall) 1995 NHL draft by the Winnipeg Jets; this was the same draft the Islanders selected Wade Redden then moved him in a package to the Ottawa Senators for the 1st overall pick in 1995 Bryan Berard.
The first acquisition for Washington Capitals General Manager George McPhee is forward Joey Crabb from the Toronto Maple Leafs. He signed on a one-year deal worth $950,000.
The right winger had 11 goals, 15 assists and 101 hits in 2011-2012, his first full season in the NHL. At 29, he has scored 18 goals and has 32 assists in 144 games with Toronto and Atlanta after being a seventh-round pick in 2002.
Crabb is projected to be a bottom-six guy for new Capitals coach Adam Oates, possibly teaming up with Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle on the fourth line. He could play some on the penalty kill and he's not afraid to drop fists either. He ends up catching m...
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 ...
Joffrey Lupul had a great season: He notched 25 goals and 67 points in 66 games, played in the All-Star Game, and was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy. His season ended abruptly with a separated shoulder, but it remains his most successful since joining the National Hockey League.
That being said, Lupul probably isn’t a point-per-game player. Some think the numerous injuries he’d sustained halted his development and he is just now displaying his capabilities. Whatever the case may be, Lupul’s trade value is the highest it’s ever been, and the Leafs have an excess of wingers with the arrival of James van Riemsdyk---Nazem Kadri could be ready, too.
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...