July 08 2016 08:55AM
It's been a couple of weeks now since the Leafs made the draft day trade that sent prospect Scott Harrington and a conditional fifth-rounder to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Kerby Rychel.
In retrospect, that's probably the Leafs' most universally well-liked move of the off-season.
A first-rounder of the 2013 draft, Rychel plays a hard-nosed, well-rounded game. He was a two-time 40 goal-scorer in the OHL, so he has some legitimate skill, too.
Harrington was a second-rounder in the 2011 draft and came over to the Leafs as part of the Phil Kessel trade. He's a stay-at-home defenseman that spent half of his season with the Leafs and half of it with the Marlies before being shut down for the year with injury in February.
Generally speaking, it's not surprising that Leafs fans favor a deal that saw the team move out a defenseman considered to not much offense to give in exchange for someone that people think could total as many as 30-40 points in the NHL in a given season some day.
Nation World HQ
July 08 2016 05:00AM
Leafs changing course with signings, where do the Canucks go from here, Ken Holland's unfinished business in Detroit, Brouwer expensive for the Flames, all Lucic in Edmonton, the AHL cracks down on fighting, why free agents continue to get overpaid and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.
July 07 2016 12:52PM
Photo Credit: Kim Klement
The Winnipeg Jets have signed the versatile forward Mathieu Perreault to a four year extension with an average salary of $4.125 million. Perreault had one more year left at $3 million, meaning the Jets have Perreault signed until the 2020-21 season.
July 05 2016 11:47AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Remember back in 2013, when we were all yelling about shooting percentages creating a mirage for the playoff-bound Leafs? A mirage which involved the Leafs scoring way beyond their means, James Reimer looking like a Vezina candidate, and everything going from zero to amazing until the last ten minutes of the season?
A mirage that led to acquisitions to make the team tougher, grittier, and more leader-y to make sure the Leafs wouldn't get burned in their next playoff run? Yeah, well, that wasn't great. Anyway, it's a different group now, and the circumstances are a lot different. This year's Leafs team was absolutely wrecked by bad puck luck and are in a position to get some revenge. The concepts are the same as they used to be, but lets see how the odds end up in their favour.
July 05 2016 10:44AM
Everywhere you look, there's incompetency and a lack of accountability in the Detroit Red Wings franchise.
Don't believe it?
Since a pair of back to back Stanley Cup Final berths in 2008-09, the Wings have gone from class of the NHL to a fringe playoff team.
Once a team that was a given to be at the top of the standings every year, the Red Wings have willingly committed themselves to mediocrity, with no clear thought process in place to get better.
Much of it goes back to the decision-making, thought process, and strange love affair with the history and past success of the franchise.
But as Albert Einstein famously once said, the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results".
This weekend as free agency opened, once again we saw prime examples of what exactly is holding this Original Six franchise back. With the signings of Steve Ott, Darren Helm, and Frans Nielsen, a hope to return back to the glory days of the Red Wings was met only with lateral moves, at best, and confusing long-term deals, at worst.