Category Archives: Big Smoke

Something Has to Give

If you haven’t watched last week’s video yet, check it out!

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had an interesting past couple of weeks. The team has gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games, but have given up leads in FOUR of their SIX recent games. The problem hasn’t been their lack of scoring. They’re averaging almost five goals per game. The problem hasn’t been their goaltending. Frederik Andersen has a .918 save percentage despite a forgettable 12-game start to the season! The problem has been the team taking the foot off the gas pedal after a period and a half.

Beneath their recent success has been a goaltending carousel. Jhonas Enroth was waived and sent to the Toronto Marlies. The Marlies had signed Karri Ramo to an Amateur Tryout, posting an unenticing 3.80 goals against average and an .880 save percentage in just three games. Antoine Bibeau posted a friendly .927 save percentage with a 1.99 goals against average in just two games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And on January 10, the Leafs claimed goaltender Curtis McElhinney off of waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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The 2016/17 NHL season is about to begin! Here are the four season preview that I’ve been working on in the past four days! Be sure to share the videos with friends!

Will the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators push for playoff contention?

Is tanking over for the Oilers? Could the Flames clinch a playoff spot with NHL-calibre goaltending? Are the Vancouver Canucks looking to Nolan Patrick?

Could the Nashville Predators be the powerhouse of the Central Division? Will the Winnipeg Jets trade or sign Jacob Trouba?

Will the Washington Capitals win another President’s Trophy?

Gambling Protection

2017 might be the year of the Expansion Draft. Las Vegas might be the first expansion team that will be granted an expansion draft. Per Lighthouse Hockey and Darren Dreger of TSN, the basic outline before the expansion draft will be as follows:

  • Teams can protect either 3 defensemen, 7 forwards and 1 goalie, or 8 skaters and 1 goalie, per Darren Dreger.
  • However: Teams can only lose one player per expansion team. (So if there’s only one team, you only lose one player).
  • Prospects and “first- and second-year pros” are exempt and don’t need to be protected.

2017 might be the year of the Expansion Draft. Las Vegas might be the only team that will be granted an expansion draft. If so Which players will be protected by each Canadian NHL team?

Continue reading Gambling Protection

Youth Infusion

Wednesday evening, the National Hockey League announced four outdoor games throughout the 2016-17 season. The 2017 Winter Classic will feature the Chicago Blackhawks hosted by the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium January 2, 2017. The Philadelphia Flyers will face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field February 18, 2017 for a Stadium Series game. October 23, 2016, the Winnipeg Jets will host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field for the 2016 Heritage Classic. At the center of the universe, the Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Detroit Red Wings January 1, 2017 for the first Centennial Classic. The string of outdoor games throughout the 2016-17 season are just a slice of the NHL’s 100th anniversary.

The 2016-17 outdoor games are a celebration of hockey’s beginning outdoors. For the Winnipeg Jets and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the games are celebrations of symbolic Canadian teams that are developing into competitive teams.

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Show Me the Money!!!


February 1, 2015: Elliotte Friedman mentioned in 30 thoughts that contract talks have begun with Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly. Rielly, 21 has his contract ending at the conclusion of 2015-16 with an entry-level cap hit of $894 166. So what can the Leafs do with their top defenceman of the future?

Morgan Rielly can be considered as the Leafs’ top defenceman. Therefore, the Leafs can either lock him up long term or bridge him for the short term.

Continue reading Show Me the Money!!!

And so It Begins

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded Dion Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert, and Cody Donaghey to the Ottawa Senators for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg and a 2017 second-round pick.

The Ottawa Senators acquire an unpleasant seven-million dollar contract which expires in 2021. Phaneuf is a good second pairing defenceman who will likely play alongside Erik Karlsson. Look out for the Erik-Dion offensive punch on the powerplay.

Continue reading And so It Begins

The New Logo

The Leafs have unveiled the new logo which the players will wear going into the 2016-17 season. The new logo has 17 veins marking the first season that was 1917-1918. The logo has 31 points for the year that Maple Leafs Gardens began as the home of Toronto’s hockey team. Hopefully this logo marks a turning point of success!

What do you think of the new Toronto Maple Leafs logo?

Hitting the Delete Button

Going into the 2015-16 season, the league increased the salary cap by $2.4M from $69M 2014-15. The salary cap could increase by a maximum of $3.1M for the 2016-17 season, but with the free-falling dollar, the NHL will not likely rise by the max of $3.1M from the cap of $71.4 in s2015-16.

The need for more salary cap space has never been higher (except for the Winnipeg Jets who have $25M of space). Ten of the stronger NHL teams are restricted to less than three million dollars of cap space. The Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning likely want to improve their roster for a deep playoff run, but are restricted by a lack of cap space.

Each team in the NHL has at least one bad contract, in assessing performance for money. Ryan Callahan of the Tampa Bay Lightning is effective, but overpaid at $5.8M. Brandon Dubinsky is paid to $5.85M be a second/third line center.

Continue reading Hitting the Delete Button

Dangling with Familiarity

Be-Leaf no more. Signs are pointing to “Stamkos will not sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2016.” Why? Stamkos has mentioned that he envisions winning a Stanley Cup in Tampa, and as the captain of the Lightning, he is the leader of the group. Lately, Stamkos has returned to his playing style, leading the charge with five points in five games and the Lightning tentatively holding onto the first wild card spot.

Whether or not Stamkos signs with the Leafs on July 1, 2016, Toronto will stick with the plan of rebuilding. Queue in Steve Dangle, who has mentioned that the Leafs could make draft history with ALL the draft picks in 2016.

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Another One?

The use of the coach’s challenge option feels exhaustively long to fans, players, and people involved with the game of hockey. The NHL might be looking to correct human error with the use of a coach’s challenge for video review, but some reviewed video might need some closer looks. Already a month into the season with new rules, some kinks will have to be worked out (as expected).

Saturday night, Alexander Ovechkin’s game-tying goal was waived off because Justin Williams had interfered with Leafs’ goaltender James Reimer. The reasoning outlined by the NHL Situation Room revealed that “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Referee, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to ‘Interference on the Goalkeeper,’ as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3, and 69.4. Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Washington Capitals.”

Continue reading Another One?