1:17 AM EDT, Thu September 24, 2020
16 hours ago
Another Alex Pietrangelo Article

Another Alex Pietrangelo Article

Photo by Bruce Bennett/ What’s going on here? Mass delusion or a real possibility? I’ve written three big articles about the Leafs’ endless quest for defencemen over the years. I keep trying to get my head around the concept of just how much value there is in adding a defender to the team, and how good he has to be to make it worth it. I keep not publishing them because the answers are always unsatisfying. I had one where I said: What if the Archangel Gabriel came to earth and waved his right hand — he shoots right (get it?) — and said, “I want to be human now, and I want to...
17 hours ago
Pre-draft filler content: The Maple Leafs favourite CHL teams to draft from

Pre-draft filler content: The Maple Leafs favourite CHL teams to draft from

Marlies’ captain Bruce Boudreau has good reason to whoop it up. After long struggle and many setbacks; Marlies finally won OHA Major Junior A cup and championship with an 8-3 win over Hamilton Fincups. | Photo by Boris Spremo/Toronto Star via Out of the 60 CHL hockey teams, only three have seen double digit numbers in draftees. In 1967 the NHL established the amateur draft, and this tradition continues each year despite the league occasionally cancelling a season or two. The Maple Leafs have drafted at least one player each year, from a wide range of leagues. Not surprisingly, the...
19 hours ago
Wednesday FTB: Grit

Wednesday FTB: Grit

Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Or, an argument against sacrifice. There’s a certain degree to which being a professional athlete requires an innate physical sacrifice – performing athleticism in a professional capacity, especially at the highest levels, has a physical cost in every sport, though that cost varies in both severity and unavoidability. However inherent a physical toll playing sports has on the human body though, professional hockey joylessly takes that cost and chooses to make it so much worse than it needs to be. This is achieved not just through the types of injuries,...
Sep 22, 2020
Can the Leafs afford Pietrangelo by replacing their depth with cheaper alternatives?

Can the Leafs afford Pietrangelo by replacing their depth with cheaper alternatives?

Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Let’s see if we can make a roster that’s cheaper, not much worse, and leaves enough room for Pietrangelo Ever since the Leafs were eliminated from being allowed to participate in the playoffs, there’s been a lot of talk about players on the Leafs that the they would entertain trading. We’ve already seen Kasperi Kapanen traded to the Penguins, but there are others left on the list. The common belief is that the Leafs will be trading away other players (listed below) to make cap space so they can go out and acquire a defenseman... or three. But if...
Sep 22, 2020
What would it cost for the Leafs to trade up from 15th overall?

What would it cost for the Leafs to trade up from 15th overall?

Beware who you trade up for. | Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via I don’t think Kyle Dubas would do this, except in extremely rare circumstances, but it’s a popular idea with fans. Running through a mock draft without cheating and giving your team a good pick is very instructive. One thing it has revealed is that once you get to the 15th pick, the chances a player who is really cool with a lot of buzz will be there to be taken is fairly small. This naturally leads to a little disappointment from Leafs fans. We had a terrible playoffs. The season was frustrating, and the next season will...
Sep 22, 2020
Tuesday’s FTB: The votes are in

Tuesday’s FTB: The votes are in

Photo by Bruce Bennett/ Meanwhile, in Edmonton, the Lightning tie up the Finals. The NHL Awards were announced last night, tragically without the usual pomp, circumstance, and intense secondhand embarrassment. (I usually turn in for the red carpet and the red carpet only, but no one is showing up in a dinner jacket for me this year). None of the big awards were a real surprise—Roman Josi picked up the Norris, Cale Makar nabbed the Calder, Connor Hellebuyck won the Vezina, and Leon Draisaitl (metaphorically) took home both the Hart and the Lindsay. Alex Pietrangelo was named to the...
Sep 21, 2020
What does and does not need to happen for the Leafs to land Pietrangelo in free agency

What does and does not need to happen for the Leafs to land Pietrangelo in free agency

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 09: Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs reacts after his team was defeated by the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round at Scotiabank Arena on August 09, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. | Photo by Chase Agnello-Dean/NHLI via How the Leafs can (realistically) afford Alex Pietrangelo and the choice he comes with. Cap Friendly has been overrun with Leafs fans this weekend as reports indicate contract negotiations between the Alex Pietrangelo and the St. Louis Blues have deteriorated. It’s becoming more and more...
Sep 21, 2020
No one wants a John Tavares style contract this season

No one wants a John Tavares style contract this season

Photo by Claus Andersen/ The rich teams win by giving big signing bonuses concept is about to meet a whole new contract reality. For the last couple of offseasons, an easy story heading into July 1 was to goggle at how much the Leafs were going to pay out in signing bonuses. The Leafs flexed their rich-team muscles by signing John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander to contracts with huge signing bonuses and very low base salaries in every year of the deal. Those deals were all front-loaded as well, so that the player would have a high percentage of the total...
Sep 21, 2020
Monday FTB: Who has enough Pietro in the tank to win the Cup?

Monday FTB: Who has enough Pietro in the tank to win the Cup?

Photo by Jeff Vinnick/ I regret absolutely nothing about that headline. Things related to hockey I care about now, ranked: The upcoming draft, since I dove headfirst into prospects this year I’m excited to see what happens and write about who the Leafs get. Free agency day, for obvious reasons. William Nylander workout videos. I guess the Stanley Cup Finals. About the draft, it was fun this weekend following scouting twitter people. There has been various leagues who are already into “next season” in various stages. Sweden, Finland and Russia have their regular seasons under...
Sep 20, 2020
FTB: Dallas Stars take 20 shots, win Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

FTB: Dallas Stars take 20 shots, win Game 1 of Stanley Cup Final

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Anton Khudobin #35 and Jamie Benn #14 of the Dallas Stars celebrate their teams 4-1 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game One of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Place on September 19, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. | Photo by Bruce Bennett/ It was 4-1. The Dallas Stars won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final 4-1 over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Anton Khudobin stopped 35 of 36 in the win, while Andrei Vasilevskiy only stopped 16 of 19 in the loss. The Stars were led offensively by some very unusual goal-scorers. Joel Hanley, Jamie Oleksiak...
Sep 19, 2020
Filip Hållander’s team has a moneyball CEO with a development mindset

Filip Hållander’s team has a moneyball CEO with a development mindset

Who does that sound like? When Kyle Dubas traded Kasperi Kapanen, he got back prospect Filip Hållander in the deal. In doing that, he accidentally aligned himself with a Swedish hockey club that has a lot in common with the Maple Leafs. Hållander, still only 20 years old and in the first year of his ELC after the deal slid twice, is playing his third full year in the SHL, the second with Luleå Hockey. He’s walked back into a very familiar environment this season, now on loan from the Leafs, playing left wing with the same centre and in the same role on the team he had success with...
Sep 19, 2020
Top 25 Draft Prospects of 2020: Good teams, tough choices

Top 25 Draft Prospects of 2020: Good teams, tough choices

You don’t need a top 10 pick to find gold in the draft. | Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via The place you most want to be picking in the first round has the hardest decisions. Today marks the end of this mock mock draft exercise. The point of all of this for me was to put myself in the shoes of the GMs and see what it’s like to make these choices. I’m not here to tell you which prospect is better than the others, but trying to pick one out of two, three, five, then 10 or more as you move down the draft order is not an easy task. Imagine the work that goes into deciding who to take in...
Sep 19, 2020
Saturday’s FTB: The hunt for the biggest prize in hockey is on

Saturday’s FTB: The hunt for the biggest prize in hockey is on

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/ We’re talking about the Alex Pietrangelo sweepstakes, of course! The Stanley Cup Final begins tonight with Game 1 between the Stars and Lightning at 7:30 p.m. ET, but that’s not the only game in town. There’s also a drama unfolding around Alex Pietrangelo and where he will play next season. All it ever takes is the slimmest of chances a big free agent could sign with the Maple Leafs to get the whole Toronto hockey media machine going, and that was handed to them this week on a silver platter with rumours that he is not happy with the offers made to him by...
Sep 18, 2020
St. Louis has told Alex Pietrangelo to seek free agency: reports

St. Louis has told Alex Pietrangelo to seek free agency: reports

Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Let’s do it. Let’s have 50 million in five players. These things can change, but sources also suggest tonight exactly that, that the top potential UFA is headed to market. https://t.co/eFspY2x2XC— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 18, 2020 And: Just spoke with Pietrangelo who says contract talks haven’t gone the way both sides were hoping and, unless something changes, it’s in the best interests for both to see what the market looks like on October 9th. https://t.co/OWHiWMidkC— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 19,...
Sep 18, 2020
Friday FTB: The Stanley Cup Finals are set

Friday FTB: The Stanley Cup Finals are set

Photo by Bruce Bennett/ We were saved from the most boring finals matchup in NHL history At long last, our global nightmare is over. The terrifying(ly dull) scenario of a New York Islanders vs Dallas Stars final has been averted thanks to the brave men on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa won yet another overtime game 2-1, where Anthony Cirelli was the hero to send the battered and bruised Lightning to the finals. Now, about the dullness of the Stars and Islanders. There is this bizarre conflict online where some people are pushing back against the idea that either team are “boring”....