February 15 2017 09:55AM
Outside of some Shattenkirk chatter last month, it doesn't seem like there's a huge amount of excitement around the Leafs when it comes to the approaching trade deadline. And while it's a bit of a change-up from previous years, this isn't exactly surprising. The team has somewhat over-achieved and found themselves on the playoff bubble, but also abides to a strict long-term plan. They probably won't be seen as buyers or sellers at the end of the month, and I doubt much of the fanbase disagrees with that strategy.
That said, while it's difficult to envision any core pieces or large salaries moving, there could be a tweak or two. If teams want to unload late-round picks for the likes of Hunwick or Polak, I'm sure that's a deal that could make sense. And as for adding, there are some good depth options out there that likely won't require selling the farm, some of whom the Leafs have already been tied to.
December 31 2016 08:43AM
Not taking anything away from a solid effort by Antoine Bibeau for his first career win on Thursday night, it's no secret the Leafs have some major question marks in net beyond Freddie Andersen. And while Andersen has been other-worldly over the last couple months, vaulting himself to a place among the league leaders in save percentage, Toronto has been riding him pretty hard, starting him in 29 of their 35 games so far.
December 22 2016 12:21PM
With plenty of trade talk swirling around James van Riemsdyk in the last week or so, of course there's going to be an emerging debate over whether it's the right thing to do, under the usual disclaimer that anyone is worth trading for the right return. But some of the speculation out there has caused its fair share of worry, with the Kessel trade being cited as a potential comparison, or even the Hall-for-Larsson deal most recently. I've also seen a potential JVR-for-Josh Manson swap floated out there plenty.
December 20 2016 01:02PM
There was a somewhat recent episode of the NBA podcast The Lowe Post with Zach Lowe that gave me a lot to think about with regards to NHL and its changes in era. The early portion of the episode centered around teams adapting to relatively new playing styles and systems, like that of the Golden State Warriors, among others, and how the league will respond (or is responding now) - sort of "correcting itself" in a sense.
November 16 2016 01:49PM
I don't know why Dougie Hamilton's name has crept up again in trade talks, but if there's anything to be learned from the last time it did, these situations can evolve into something quickly. [See also: P.K. Subban this past June.]
There seems to be plenty of debate among insiders and Flames fans alike about just how much substance there is to Calgary's willingness to ship Hamilton out, but as an outsider looking at things from the perspective of another team, I don't want to get too much into that. The name is out there for a reason. If Brad Treviling is fielding calls on this guy, Lou Lamoriello should be hopping on the phone as soon as possible.