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Confirmed : Ponikarovski for Caputi and Skoula

UPDATE: TSN and Bob McKenzie are reporting that Ponikarovski to the pens for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula is a done deal pending the trade call to the NHL. Skoula might be flipped tomorrow before the deadline, and Caputi could play for the Leafs as soon as possible. Bob McKenzie and TSN are reporting that a deal could be in place between Toronto and Pittsburgh this evening. The deal with send Alexei Ponikarovski to the Pens in exchange for 21 year old forward Luca Caputi. The deal would be pending contract movement from the Penguins, who have to make cap space for Ponikarovski's $2.1 million yearly cap hit, as Caputi is in the minors. Stay tuned to this thread, which will be update...

Retain One, Or Trade Both?

With the National Hockey League's trade deadline looming, names like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Lee Stempniak are becoming increasingly popular in the Toronto Maple Leafs brass. Fans of the Blue & White have been playing armchair general manager and have formulated a number of trades since the Olympic break. But amidst the excitement of the yearly spectacle, I'm beginning to wonder if it's in the Leafs' best interest to trade both Ponikarovsky and Stempniak. After all, were they not serviceable players for the Leafs? Take a look at Ponikarovsky's statistics: - 19 goals (3rd on the Leafs) - 41 points (3rd) - +5 rating (1st) - 114 hits (2nd on team, 1st among forwards) Now Stemp...

Maple Leafs, Blackhawks talking swap of awful contracts?

Greg Brady of AM 640 in Toronto is reporting that rumors are swirling around the team that Toronto and Chicago may be talking about a deal that would send Jeff Finger to the Blackhawks for Cristobal Huet. He then speculates that the Leafs would flip Huet for something (though this blogger can't fathom who) and the Blackhawks would then target Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun. Keep your eyes on TheCheckingLine throughout the day today and don't forget to join our live chat beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow for more details as they emerge.

Mikhail Grabovski arrested for street fighting

According to Damien Cox, Mikhail Grabovski, center of the Toronto Maple Leafs and injured member of team Belarus at the Vancouver Olympics, spend the night in a Vancouver jail on Friday-Saturday. Grabovski was allegedly involved in a "street altercation" near a bar on Vancouver's Pacific Boulevard around 2AM late Friday night - early Saturday morning. Grabovski was released to his parents on Saturday morning, and was not charged. The details of the altercation are unclear, but it is said that Grabovski could have thrown at least one punch himself. The Belorussian could not compete for his country in Vancouver due to an injury suffered early in the new year, but chose to accompany his ...

Breaking News: Brian Burke's son killed in car crash

According to a Maple Leafs release, Brian Burke's son, Brendan, was killed in a car accident earlier today, at 21 years of age. Burke was driving along US Highway 35 when his jeep slid sideways into a nearby car. He succumbed to his injuries soon thereafter. Out thoughts go out to Brian Burke and his family. We will have more on this story as it breaks. Source. ----------------------- More from the Palladium-Item in Indiana. Heavy accumulations of snowfall on Friday rendered area roads treacherous and claimed the lives of two people, injuring others and sparking a string of slideoffs and fender benders. Brendan Burke, 21, Canton, Mass., and Mark A. Reedy, 18, Bloomfie...

From New Jersey With Love

When the Devils beat the Leafs last Friday night, they got a general feel for their opponent. The Devils left that game last Friday night with the win and the confidence that they could beat the very same team again four nights later in Toronto. Well by the time that game rolled around, the Devils were staring into a completely different opponent. They had to go into Toronto and take on a Leafs team that all of the sudden had Dion Phaneuf on the blue line and JS Giguere between the pipes. It was obvious that the Devils were not prepared as the Leafs handled them quite easily for Giguere's first win and first shutout in a Leafs jersey. This time the Leafs left the game with a general...

Victim of Expectations

Dion Phaneuf, as of right now, is not a Norris trophy candidate. Phaneuf took the National Hockey League by storm in his rookie season, producing 20 goals as a 20-year-old defenseman. He then had a successful sophomore campaign, breaking the 50-point barrier. In his third year, he had a 10-point increase and produced 60 points, gaining him consideration for the Norris trophy at only 22 years old. Since then, however, Phaneuf has regressed. If his on-pace numbers are realized, this will be his worst season in terms of points, although he will pass his career-low 11 goals of last season. While those type of numbers would warrant a top-two spot on almost any defense corps in the leag...