THN Rankings – East

1 Montreal Canadiens 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Washington Capitals 4 Philadelphia Flyers 5 Ottawa Senators 6 NY Rangers 7 New Jersey Devils 8 Carolina Hurricanes 9 Tampa Bay Lightning 10 Boston Bruins 11 Buffalo Sabres 12 Florida Panthers 13 Atlanta Thrashers 14 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 NY Islanders Again, I’m going to have to disagree with THN over this. If the Pens had managed to keep Ryan Malone and/or Marian Hossa I’d be inclined to agree that they would finish atop their division, but they won’t. When you potentially have Miroslav Satan as your top scoring winger you’re not going

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New Cat on the Block

As many as 5 different sources are saying that Bryan McCabe has waived his NMC to go to Florida. Long Island was rumoured to be the favoured destination, as McCabe’s wife is from the area, but it seems like sunny Florida sounded like a good spot too. It’s funny how Florida is always able to land or attract top players, but can never seem to quite put it together to ice a Cup-contending team. The Panthers reportedly got into talks with the Leafs after it was clear that Jay Bouwmeester would not be back next year. This does not mean

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TSN Shortcuts

As Canada’s #1 sports network, and hockey obviously at the forefront, I’m a little disappointed and frustrated at times by their hockey coverage, especially those of their staff writers. They’ve recently coughed up a short article on the Canucks. (The Leafs and Habs have also been covered). You’d think that for a sports network as large as theirs they’d take a little more prudence when writing these things, but they don’t. In the Canucks article, they noted that Jason Jaffray as a potential “youngster” that could be thrust into a scoring role should Mats Sundin not sign, but Jaffray is

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Islanders Close to Naming Coach

For Garth Snow and the Islanders, their search for a new head coach to replace Ted Nolan has come down to three candidates: Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice, or the AHL’s Scott Gordon. Hartley’s NHL coaching career started in 1998 in Colorado, whose strong QMJHL and AHL records had caught the eye of then-GM Pierre Lacroix. He enjoyed 4 very successful years in Denver, including a 52-16-10-4 record and a Stanley Cup win in 2001. He was fired the following season in 2002 after a slow start, and joined the Thrashers a month later. Although he had gone from a perennial

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Enough with the Fictional Sundin Rumours

Everyone’s least favourite fictional hockey rumour blogger is back at it again. Yup, Eklund has yet another Mats Sundin rumour. Did we stumble on what the holdup may be? The source, who has MANY years experience in the NHL, told me this…”I just heard that Toronto wants Sundin back and Sundin wants back in Toronto. Toronto will sign him today as long as Mats is willing to NOT include a NO TRADE CLAUSE in the contract.. That is the hold up currently and ONLY that.” Every day Eklund has some kind of Sundin rumour. The other day he had him

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More on Frogren…

Greg Ballantine of The Puck Stops Here has more information on the Frogren mess. The snag is that Frogren was drafted in 1998 by the Calgary Flames, but never given a contract offer. Under the pre-lockout CBA, such a player was classified as “defected” by the NHL if he later came to the NHL with a team other than his drafting team (which no longer held his rights). This classification is a poor name because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with a player defecting. It was agreed, in negotiating the expired IIHF player transfer agreement that it would

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The Frogren Affair

There are some strange happenings in regards to the Toronto Maple Leafs attempts to sign Jonas Frogren and one has to wonder if and why the NHL is standing in the way of the Leafs signing the Swedish defenseman. Yesterday was the day it was expected that the Leafs would finally announce the signing of Frogren but instead news came out that the league had nixed the deal stating that Frogren had to be signed to an entry level contract, not a standard contract. Yesterday news came out that the NHL has rejected the Leafs contract with Jonas Frogren stating

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Is Paul Maurice a Good Coach?

It seems the common wisdom and general consensus amongst the Toronto media and fans is that Maurice is a decent to good coach and is not to blame in any significant way for the Leafs woes this season. But is Paul Maurice really a good coach? I personally don’t think so. A lot of people point to how Maurice took the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup finals in 2001-02 as evidence of his good coaching ability. Certainly he has to be given some credit for that but on the flip side if we assume that the Leafs won’t make

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Leafs Problem: Tanenbaum, Maurice

A couple days ago I wrote an article about the Leafs problems and mentioned that it is probably time for John Ferguson Jr. to be let go whether he deserves it or not. But after listening and reading media reports over the past coupld days I think firing John Ferguson Jr. would be a mistake, at least at this time. I have come to the conclusion that there are two problems with the Leafs. 1. Larry Tanenbaum From all reports it is Larry Tanenbaum who most wants John Ferguson Jr. relieved of his duties as General Manager and it was

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Time for an Overhaul

The Leafs have lost 4 of their last 5 games, are 3-6-2 in November, and 8-11-5 on the season. At times they have showed some signs of life like their pair of shutout 3-0 wins over division rivals Buffalo and Ottawa where they played a smart team defensive game while at other times they look disinterested and a bunch of individuals playing for themselves and not the team. If there were signs of improving consistency you could probably argue that it is worth waiting a little longer to see of the current crew can work it out but they looked

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