Showing posts with label Toronto Maple Leafs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto Maple Leafs. Show all posts

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Toronto Star: Kessel not hot on Spott’s breakout strategy

Interesting article about former Golden Gopher and Boston Bruins forward Phil Kessel. You have talented, millionaire athletes telling coaches what they will do and not do. It's a great perspective that's not put out there a lot. Per Score: Kessel denies a rift with the Toronto coaching staff.
Dave Feschuk, Toronto Star – At least, such was the gist of an anecdote Spott shared at a coaches’ clinic at which he was a guest speaker last month, this according to interviews with three minor-hockey coaches who were in attendance.

“Spotter said that when he went to Phil (with the breakout play), Phil said, I’m not doing it,” said one of the attendees, a former professional player.

Said another: “Spott was saying (that) these are the things I’ve got to deal with now that I’ve never had to deal with. In the AHL (where Spott coached last season with the Toronto Marlies), when you’re the coach what you say goes. Whereas now that I’m here (in the NHL), I’ve got a guy telling me: No. I’m not going to do that.”

The 46-year-old Spott told the group that he made Carlyle aware of the pushback he’d received from Kessel, 26, who signed an eight-year contract extension worth about $64 million last season.

“Spott said Carlyle’s attitude was that we’re fired before (Kessel is) out of here, the hierarchy doesn’t want to deal with Phil. He scores 30 (goals) a year and that’s all they want,” said one of the attendees. “(Spott said) Phil hates coaches. He hates Randy. He hates me and I don’t even know him yet.”

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Time for the NHL to Embarass the Divers

s/t Pro hockey talk... I really like the idea of exposing and publically humiliating the divers in the NHL. I am all in on that idea. In fact, let's have a wall of shame and expose the frauds weekly that cheapen the game of hockey.

I have a great idea. Let's have an end of the season dishonor award for the frauds that get caught diving and embellishing the most. I would suppose the players union won't let this happen, but if you don't want to get called out and publically humiliated, stop flopping and diving all over the ice. It's really that simple.
Dan Rosen - -- The players in the session, including Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman John-Michael Liles, led an impassioned discussion on enforcing the diving/embellishment rule (Rule 64.1), [Colin] Campbell told He said the players want to distribute a list of divers around the League so it can be posted in all 30 dressing rooms and be delivered to the on-ice officials.

“They want to get [the list] out there,” Campbell said. “They want the player to be caught, whether it’s on the ice by the referee or by us on video. They are all tired of diving. The object is to make them stop eventually and, by doing that, they can get it out there around the League, embarrass them. The referees will know it, too, so the divers don’t get the benefit of the doubt.”
According to Elliott Freedman of the NHL seems to be moving away from exposing the divers and frauds. Again, diving to draw a penalty is cheating and poor sportsmanship.
The first example the NHL showed in its diving video was Tomas Plekanec’s head-snap in the Eastern Conference Final. The league wasn’t so sure about publicly naming those warned or fined, but the players pressed for it. Montreal’s centre is going to be closely watched at the start of the season

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Jake Gardiner signs Five-Year Contract Extension with the Leafs

Matt Frattin's Maple Leaf teammate Jake Gardiner just inked a five-year, 20.25 million dollar contract.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

(Video) Sharks and Leafs blown Call - Tommy Wingels No Goal

Last night, San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels fell victim to the infamous intent to blow the whistle by the referee call. In my opinion, this is a horrible call. Looks like it should have been a goal.
Situation Room Blog --- At 9:37 of the first period in the Toronto Maple Leafs/San Jose Sharks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck entered the Toronto net. The referee informed the Situation Room that he was in the process of blowing his whistle to stop play while the puck was under James Reimer's body in the crease. According to Rule 78.5, apparent goals shall be disallowed "when the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle." This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal San Jose.
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Saturday, February 01, 2014

Nazem Kadri boards Cody Ceci and then assists on Toronto Goal

Toronto Leafs forward Nazem Kadri hits the Senators Cody Ceci from behind and then passes the puck out front to forward Joffrey Lupul who scores a goal. However, there should have been no goal on the play. Kadri should have been given a penalty on the play. This goal tied the game 2-2.  The Leafs would go on to win the game 6-3.
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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Russian Olympic team for the 2014 Sochi games

English: Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Fedo...
English: Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Fedor Tyutin prior to a National Hockey League game against the Calgary Flames, in Calgary]] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Semyon Varlamov (Colorado Avalanche)
Alexander Eremenko ( Dynamo Moscow)
Anton Belov (Edmonton Oilers)
Vyacheslav Voynov (Los Angeles Kings)
Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
Andrei Markov (Montreal Canadiens)
Evgeni Medvedev (AK Bars)
Nikita Nikitin (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Ilya Nikulin (AK Bars)
Fedor Tyutin (Columbus BlueJackets)

Artem Anisimov (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Datsyuk (Detroit Red Wings)
Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA)
Denis Kokarev (Dynamo Moscow)
Nikolai Kulemin (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Valery Nichushkin (Dallas Stars)
Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)
Alexander Popov (Avangard)
Alexander Radulov (CKA)
Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues)
Alexei Tereschenko (SKA)
Viktor Tikhonov (SKA)
Sergei Soin (Dynamo Moscow)
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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

USA Hockey: Team USA releases their Olympic roster

Here’s the Team USA Olympic Roster, there's a few head-scratchers on this roster. I am surprised that Bobby Ryan, Jason Pominville and Keith Yandle were left off of the team. The question is, who would/should have been left off of the team to make room for these three guys? I am sure we all have our own suggestions. 
Goalies (3)
Ryan Miller/Buffalo Sabres – Michigan State
Jonathan Quick/Los Angeles Kings – UMass Amherst  
Jimmy Howard/Detroit Red Wings – Maine

Defensemen (8)
Brooks Orpik/Pittsburgh Penguins – Boston College
Ryan Suter/Minnesota Wild – Wisconsin
John Carlson/Washington Capitals – London Knights
Justin Faulk/Carolina Hurricanes – Minnesota Duluth
Cam Fowler/Anaheim Ducks – Windsor Spitfires
Paul Martin/Pittsburgh Penguins – Minnesota
Ryan McDonagh/New York Rangers – Wisconsin
Kevin Shattenkirk/St. Louis Blues – Boston University

 Forwards (14)
David Backes/St. Louis Blues – Minnesota State
Dustin Brown/Los Angeles Kings --
Guelph Storm
Ryan Callahan/New York Rangers --
Guelph Storm
Patrick Kane/Chicago Blackhawks --  London Knights
Ryan Kesler/Vancouver Canucks – Ohio State
Phil Kessel/Toronto Maple Leafs – Minnesota
Zach Parise/Minnesota Wild – North Dakota
Joe Pavelski/San Jose Sharks – Wisconsin
Paul Stastny/Colorado Avalanche – Denver
T.J. Oshie/St. Louis Blues – North Dakota
Max Pacioretty/Montreal Canadiens – Michigan
Derek Stepan/New York Rangers – Wisconsin
James van Riemsdyk/Toronto Maple Leafs – New Hampshire
Blake Wheeler/Winnipeg Jets – Minnesota

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Winter Classic Humor

s/t Addicted Hockey Fans. The game is going to the dogs.
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yeah in Review 2013

Personally, I think that 2013 was a crummy year, however, it was a very good year for sports. There's been some really nice stories. When it looked like the Boston Bruins were going back to Chicago for game seven, but it wasn't meant to be, as the Blackhawks scored two goals in 17-seconds to win the Stanley Cup over the Boston Bruins.

The last team in the NCAA tourney, wins the NCAA tourney by going through a bunch of one and two seeded teams. Also, Yale becomes the first Ivy League school as well as the first ECAC team since 1989 to win the NCAA title. With the NCAA title win, the ECAC sheds the EZAC label.

The Minnesota Wild sign the big-time free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise in the summer of 2012 and the Minnesota make the Stanley Cup for the first time since the 2006-07 season. However, the Wild playoff drive is short lived as they are quickly dispatched in five games (4-1) by the eventual Stanley Cup champion the Chicago Blackhawks.

After much discussion, hand wringing and teeth gnashing, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference begins play in Oxford, Ohio as North Dakota and Miami play in the first ever game. North Dakota would go on to win game one by a score of 4-2.

The Toronto Maple Leafs looked like they were headed to the second-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Leafs had what looked like a comfortable 4-1 lead. Then the roof fell in on the Maple Leafs during the third period. The Bruins would move on to face the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs.

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand, aka the Little Ball of Hate, would get things rolling in round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Boston Bruins would win in overtime.

Like I mentioned earlier, personally, for me, 2013 has been one of those years that I will soon hopefully forget, but there's been some great sports stories. Happy New Year and see you next year.
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jonas Gustavsson makes a save on Dion Phaneuf.

Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson makes a beautiful 10-bell save on Toronto Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf. This has to be one of the top saves of the season so far. This is a game changing save right here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

(Video) Robert Bortuzzo head shot on Jerry D'Amigo

Penguins Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo delivers a headshot on Maple Leafs forward Jerry D'Amigo. Bortuzzo was given a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head. I think there's a chance that Bortuzzo could get a call from the NHL's department of Player Safety.

I also agree with the fans that say that the Pittsburgh Penguins don't have the moral high ground, either. Lastly, Is this the same kind of hit that Deryk Engelland put on Justin Abdelkader? I don't know? Thoughts?

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Toronto's Clarkson to have hearing for hit on Sobotka

The Department of Player Safety might not be the Christmas spirit when it talks to Toronto's David Clarkson. The Maple Leafs forward has already been suspended this season and could be looking at another lengthy one.
NHL.COM -- Toronto Maple Leafs right wing David Clarkson will have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Saturday morning for a hit on St. Louis Blues left wing Vladimir Sobotka in a game Thursday night at Scottrade Center.

At 6:28 of the second period, Clarkson was assessed a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head of Sobotka, who remained in the game.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

St. Louis won the game, 6-3.
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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dion Phaneuf suspended 2 games for hit on Kevan Millar

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf has been suspended for two-games by the NHL for his hit on Kevan Millar. Personally, I think that is the right decision, and I can live with this suspension. In my opinion, a two-game suspension seems like an appropriate length for that hit. The NHL can't go around suspending every player that boards another player five-games. While it was a dangerous hit, Dion Phaneuf has never been suspended by the NHL.
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Sunday, December 08, 2013

Bruins Kevan Miller boarded by Leafs Dion Phaneuf

Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller is absolutely destroyed by Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf. There's no sense to this hit, this is a major penalty, in my opinion. This is a dangerous hit and has no place in any level of hockey. The refs in this instance should be fined for not making the proper call.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Are the Wild a soft team?

English: Kadri at the 2010 world juniors
English: Kadri at the 2010 world juniors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
From Michael Russo's blog today. Russo asked Yeo about the Wild being called a quote-unquote “soft” team.
“First off, obviously who’s the first [player] to jump on top of him [Kadri]?” Yeo said. “[Ryan] Suter. So to say that we didn’t do anything, that’s false actually. And if you want to get into it, it’s this simple really: They’ve got [Colton] Orr on the bench, they’ve got [Fraser] McLaren (he actually didn’t play, so I’m not positive whom Yeo meant), they’ve got [Mark Fraser]. They’ve got one after another. So if we go after Kadri, well, are they going to go after Konopka? No. They’re going to go after one of our top guys. They’ve got more down the line where they can keep playing that game.

“So where we have to be better is on the power play. Teams have to be afraid to pull that crap on us [because] they’re fearful of our power play. But at the same time, what I like is that our guys continued to play the game. I’ll take exception with anybody that tries to call us soft because that’s not true. Where it’d be soft is if they tried to have a physical impact on us. And as far as I’m concerned, we raised our game. And that to me is tough[ness]. It’s a different type of tough.
I think there's a good point here. Does Ryan Suter beat the crap out of Nazem Kadri and negate the power play or do the Minnesota Wild wait and pick a time to challenge Kadri later in the game. I say take the power play. The best way to make the Leafs pay is on the power play in that situation. Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs are full of cement heads and the Wild only have Zenon Konopka and Clayton Stoner, there's not a lot of other fighters on the Wild. That's not their game. I don't think their a soft team either.
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Maple Leafs' Kadri suspended three games for Bush League hit (Video)

First, I was out of town and away from the computer, but this hit did get my ire. I don't like this hit one bit, it's a dangerous hit and it's unneeded. In my opinion, the headline should read, Maple Leafs' forward Kadri suspended five games for bush league hits. Second, why isn't there any supplemental discipline for the hit on Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund? That's a dirty hit in my opinion as well. I don't know, maybe I am not looking at this objectively because I am Wild fan? Thoughts on this?

But I digress.

Nazem Kadri's hit on Niklas Backstrom is a chicken wing elbow. Anytime a player extends the elbow like this, it's intentional. I don't care what the players says at his hearing. The NHL has suspended Nazem Kadri three-games for his elbow on Backstrom.  Also, watch the suspension video, it's utter crap. I would use another word, but it's now a word that is used on this blog.

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Finding a silver lining in a mountain full of garbage

This makes me very happy; the Boston Bruins continue their domination over the Toronto Maple Leafs. After the UND vs. UNO game, my wife’s cousin asked me what I thought and I told him, I was a fan of the Boston Bruins from 1988 to 2011 and I had to wait a long time to watch them win a Stanley Cup. I am not going to let this team ruin day. I am no too upset about this. This is just one part of the season. There’s a lot of season left. This is one game.

I must admit, I didn’t think that the season would play out like this, not with the players that this team has on the roster. So far, this team is under achieving and they’re really not doing much on the ice. Tonight they played better. I think it’s all minor things that the coaching staff will fix and fix quickly. If not, the coaching staff will sit the players that aren’t playing well and try another player.

As far as fixing what ails this team, It will happen either tomorrow night, next weekend, or soon. A Dave Hakstol team will not continue to play like this for very long. This is a coach that bag skated his team after they lost 1-0 to the BSU Beavers in November of 2011. If he doesn’t have their attention, he will soon.

I thought that UND played well against UNO tonight, In the second period. Bad goals have killed this team so far this season. I also think the goaltending has been poor all-season long. I also think that the forwards have been lazy getting the puck into the offensive zone and the defensemen have been doing things a step slow.

UND has lost four straight game for the first time since 2006. Something has got to give. So, their either going to get their act together and play well, or their going to get buried in the bottom half of the NCHC standings, time will tell. They have a tough schedule ahead of them in November. 
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

NHL Hockey: Anti-Fighting Cabal uses Parros Incident to Push Agenda

Last night, newly acquired Habs tough guy George Parros while fighting fellow Leafs Pugilist Colton Orr, slipped and fell awkwardly on to the ice, landing on his chin.  The violent fall knocked the Habs tough guy out. Fortunately, Parros wasn’t seriously injured and this is the tweet that George put on twitter account this morning.  [Video of incident]

Now, the anti-fighting cabal which never lets an incident go to waste, immediately jumped on the Parros injury to make their call to ban fighting from hockey. Almost on cue, the tweets and articles to ban fighting in hockey started showing up from the usual suspects, you know who they are. Proving once again, that the people that write about hockey probably never played the game, ever. 

Whether you want to admit it or not, fighting is part of the game of hockey, that’s a historical fact, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Sure, Fighting is not legal in college and most levels of youth hockey, but it’s part of the "culture" of junior hockey and the professional game. Let the hand wringing begin. Checking one of my favorite hockey blogs this morning, I found a few very predictable examples of the anti-fighting cabal’s stance on the issue. Obviously, they just can't help themselves. 

There's also an emerging theme starting to reappear almost every time the topic of fighting comes up in the Eastern Conference. Team are getting tougher because they're tired of getting beat up by the Boston Bruins. I kid you not.
Michael Grange, Sports Net -- With modest skills, he was smart enough to recognize that at six-foot-five and 230 lb. his best chance to make it to the NHL was as a fighter. He took boxing lessons (fighting is not allowed in college hockey) and fought every chance he could in the American Hockey League. He made his NHL debut in 2005–06 and has been in the league ever since, amassing 141 fighting majors and earning about $4 million.

This season he’s part of an arms race of sorts that threatens to make play in the Atlantic Division something like a UFC card on ice.

Parros’s name was added to the Canadiens’ lineup in part in response to the presence of rugged types like Orr in the Leafs’ lineup. The Leafs added fighters under head coach Randy Carlyle because he thought the club he inherited from Ron Wilson was too easily intimidated by the likes of the Boston Bruins, who won the 2011 Stanley Cup and were the toughest in the league.

Here's a few of the examples that I was talking about.
Pierre LeBrun, -- Everyone who reads me understands that I believe the game could survive without fighting. My belief is simply based on my fear that one day a player will die in a fight on the ice. Pure and simple. I say that because Don Sanderson did die in a Senior A Ontario game fight in 2009.

Am I concerned how the game would look if the "rats" in our game weren’t policed? Yes, I am. And I don’t have a good answer for that other than I’d hope the refs would police it as well as they could.

And you cannot discount the emotional lift that some fights do provide in games. The Habs seemed buoyed by Parros’ first fight with Orr, as well as Travis Moen taking on Mark Fraser.

I totally understand that and do not argue that fights in games have an impact. No question, they do.

But I come back to my one and only concern, the only one I’ve ever held on the sensitive subject: I’m worried we’ll have a tragic incident one day, because today’s players are just stronger and bigger than ever.
I believe that LeBrun is right about one thing, the NHL can't let the "Rats" in the NHL run wild. If the NHL takes fighting out of the game of hockey, the Patrick Kaletas and the Matt Cookes of the NHL will flourish and will run wild. Unchecked these players will be free to take runs at the leagues star players without the fear of retribution. You might want to ask Sidney Crosby if he want's the leagues "Rats" to have more freedom to take runs at him if fighting was banned from the NHL. To me, that's unacceptable. 

You must read this one, below is a blurb from the Hockey News, the anti-fighting hockey web page. It's almost like you have to be have an anti-fighting bias to write for them. 
Adam Proteau, the Hockey News -- In one respect, the injury could have happened on any play; it was an unexpected shift in weight and momentum that could’ve happened on a body check, as we saw with Kevin Stevens in 1993. As always, the standard disclaimer about how the game will never be 100 percent safe has to be issued, lest the straw-clutchers in the comment section get riled up.

But there’s no arguing one point: if Orr and Parros had been ejected from the game after their first fight in the first period, there’s no way Parros is hospitalized tonight. Tell me again why there shouldn’t be an automatic ejection for NHL fights?

To do so would allow fans of fighting and those who see it as a stress release valve to still watch fights. They just wouldn’t get to see the same guys punch each other repeatedly, repeatedly. Given what we’re learning about the long-term risk regular fighters such as Parros and Orr may face after their careers are over, the least we can do is acknowledge the toll one fight can take on them and not make them face two or three fights in the same night.

This is the nuance many fight fetishists can’t wrap their minds around. They throw out empty arguments such as the classic “you want to ban fighting”, when, at least for most people I know, that isn’t true at all. You can no more ban fights in hockey than any other sport. But you can punish it appropriately. And in all other sports, a fight gets you ejected.
We can’t have the anti-fighting debate without Adam Proteau chiming in. Proteau is a one of the founding members of the anti-fighting cabal. Proteau is a dove that hates fighting,  and sees no use for any fighting what-so-ever, in the game of hockey. Of course he’s right as well, Parros’s injury could have occurred even if he hadn't been in a fight. How about all of these grotesque checking from behind calls that aren't punished to the full extent of the rule book? I am more concerned about those kinds of hits. 

We can't forget Damien Cox from the Toronto Star. I used to follow this guy on Twitter but I had to unfollow him because I got tired of reading his political views in my twitter feed. Again, hockey is an awesome escape from the realities of real life. I don't care what these Canadian sports writers think of our countries flawed political system. Just write about hockey.  

But I digress.

Cox is another member of the anti-fighting cabal, that never misses an opportunity to slam the NHL's stance on fighting. I wonder sometimes if he wouldn't be happier covering baseball or figure skating. Hockey is a contact sport, people are going to get hurt no matter what. Injuries are a fact of life in the NHL. One NHL hockey player got hurt eating a stack of pancakes in his home. 
Damien Cox, Toronto Star -- After a summer in which the Bettman adminstration fiddled with silly rules like tucking in hockey jerseys and made changes to icing into a debate worthy of the Meech Lake Accord, of course it was the elephant in the room that made itself heard on opening night of the 2013-14 NHL season.

Fighting. The dangerous, pointless, bloody shame of fighting in the NHL, the combination of a league terrified to let the sport stand on its own two feet and a union that refuses to protect its workers.

In his 211th professional fight, Montreal’s George Parros went down for the count on Tuesday night, missing Maple Leafs enforcer Colton Orr with a wild haymaker and awkwardly hurling himself face-first into the ice as the bloodthirsty Bell Centre crowd, so thrilled with its new goon, roared.

And then went deathly, eerily silent.
Lastly, no one wants to see anyone get killed on the ice, that would be a travesty. However, fighting only accounts for about 10-percent of the on-ice concussions. Personally, I am more concerned about the dirty head shots, and the God awful, dangerous, checking from behind calls that need more scrutiny. Why doesn't the anti-fighting cabal members show as much disdain for these acts of violence as well?

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

It's official: Kessel re-signs with Leafs.

Well, my scheduled post was little out of date. So, the Leafs have re-signed their prized forward to a fat 8-year deal worth $ 8 million a year. Also, a no trade clause in his contract.
MHL.COM -- The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to announce Tuesday a new contract for star scorer Phil Kessel, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The reported eight-year contract, which would start with the 2014-15 season, will have an average annual value of $8 million, and include a limited no-trade clause.

Kessel is in the final season of a five-year contract he signed after being acquired by the Maple Leafs from the Boston Bruins and would become an unrestricted free agent if not signed before July.

The 26-year-old led the Maple Leafs with 20 goals and 52 points last season, a total that tied for seventh in the League. He led the team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with four goals, including two game-winners.

Kessel had at least 30 goals in his first three seasons with the Maple Leafs, and in seven NHL seasons with the Bruins and Maple Leafs, he has 185 goals and 379 points in 504 games.
Well, my scheduled post was little out of date. So, the Leafs have re-signed their prized forward to a fat 8-year deal worth 8 million a year. Also, there is a no trade clause in his contract. With Kessel signing of this lucrative deal, the expectations for him in Toronto are going to go up. Toronto is a tough town to play in and I expect him to be the whipping boy if things don’t go well for the Leafs this season.