If I'm the Leafs…

As I am sure you are all aware, tomorrow is free agent day. As some of you know, I am a Leaf fan but I live in Ottawa so am intimately aware of all the happenings in Senator land. The Senators are in a tough situation heading into the free agent period. As of right now they have close to $42 million spent on 16 players with at least another million dollars committed to Saprykin should Saprykin want to sign his qualifying offer. They have 3 restricted free agents that they likely want to re-sign in Ray Emery, Chris Kelly

» Read more

Kansas City vs Hamilton: Saving Bettman's Babies

I just heard Doug MacLean be interviewed on Team 1200 here in Ottawa. He said Columbus was top 10 in attendance, top 10 in corporate support but near the bottom of the league in local TV revenue. He said that what he made all season in local TV revenue, the Leafs make in 3 games. That’s crazy. He then talked about advertising rates. A 30 second TV ad in Columbus nets $220, in Detroit $1250. He mentioned that he believes that the average TV ad rate for Kansas City is below that of Columbus. That means, even if the people

» Read more

Leafs looking at Muckler?

There is a lot of talk about the Leafs wanting to bring in a veteren hockey man to provide some assistance to current GM John Ferguson Jr. Apparently the Leafs tried to get Scott Bowman and even may have made inquiries to Brian Burke about whether he was interested but neither of those two want the job. The current talk is that they are now looking at John Muckler, the recently fired GM of the Ottawa Senators. The question I have to ask is why John Muckler? To the best of my knowledge, Muckler has been GM of two teams,

» Read more

Evaluating defence and goaltending revisited

A couple weeks ago I posted an article about the Leafs defence and how it isn’t as bad as many people think. Well, since then I have been working on trying to improve on the methodology by including shot type (slap shot, wrist shot, snap shot, tip in, backhand, wraparound) and in that process I found a few mistakes/issues in what I did previously. First, I found a bug in my program that caused a number of powerplay goals to be considered even strength goals. When I fixed this the general conclusions of that article remained in tact though the

» Read more

Musical Goalies and Eastern Conference thoughts…

This season could be the off season of changing goalies. Yesterday we saw two goalies get moved in Toskala and Vokoun but there will be a lot more goalie movement to come. Ottawa is certainly going to move Martin Gerber, even if they get nothing in return and Manny Fernandez has probably played his last game in Minnesota. With the Ducks giving Giguere a big time contract it is difficult to see the Ducks keeping Bryzgalov around as a backup just to see him walk as an unrestricted free agent next summer. With the Panthers acquiring Vokoun, Ed Belfour, who

» Read more

Steve Simmons Rant…

I don’t read every sports writer in every newspaper in every city in North America. In fact, I don’t even come close. But even so, I have to be confident in saying that the absolute worst sports/hockey writer has to be Steve Simmons. The reason why he is such a bad hockey writer is he for some reason has a personal vendetta against everything Maple Leaf. Even if he is writing about something non-Leaf he still has to get a Leaf jab in. For example, yesterday he wrote an article about Garry Monahan who was the first player every drafted

» Read more

Goalie Salaries

One of the interesting things when it comes to hockey players salaries is how little top goalies make relative to top defenseme or forwards. I don’t think many people will argue with me when I say that goaltending is the most important position in hockey. Few teams with questionable goaltending make the playoffs. Of the top 16 teams in save %, 15 of them made the playoffs. The only team to make the playoffs and not to be 16 teams is Tampa (which interestingly had the worst save % in the NHL) and the only team in the top 16

» Read more

Draft Day Tomorrow

It is draft day tomorrow so I figured it would be a good idea to refer everyone to a simple draft analysis I conducted a year or so ago. It basically gives everyone an indication of what to expect from players based on where they are drafted (i.e. top 5, top 10, mid first round, late first round, etc.) but everyone should remember that this is supposedly a weak draft so the chances of a player making an impact in the NHL are probably even lower (at least for first round picks).

» Read more

Slumping Snipers

Dany Heatley: 1 goal in last 9 games, 3 shots in last 3 games Teemu Selanne: 2 goals in last 10 games Combined those two guys potted 98 goals in the regular season but both have been in horrendous playoff scoring slumps. If one of them can break out, it could be the difference in the series. It’s something to watch for in the remainder of the Stanley Cup finals.

» Read more