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Toronto players officially in a war against Toronto media

Posted on March 3, 2015 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

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Yesterday, an inappropriate tweet about Joffrey Lupul and Dion Phaneuf's wife was accidently aired on TSN TradeCentre 2015. Due to the viral nature of social media, the tweet instantly caught the Toronto Maple Leafs' attention and has some members of the team angry.

With all of the on-ice problems the Leafs are experiencing, this is the last thing they need.

Today, in response to TSN's mishap, Phil Kessel called the media's treatment of captain Dion Phaneuf "embarrassing". He also went on to say how Phaneuf is "owed some apologies". Good on Kessel for standing up for his captain. 

Phaneuf himself elected not to speak with the media this morning, and Joffrey Lupul let everyone know they should get used to the phrase, "no comment".

It's about time Leafs players are standing up to the terrible treatment they get. I see a similar issue in Edmonton. The vicious scrutiny surrounding these two franchises has hindered their abilities to move forward and build sucessful contenders over the past decade.

Despite the franchise being in the midst of one of their worst seasons ever, and with many members likely on their way out following the NHL post-season, it's nice to see some unity between the players. Maybe the entire core doesn't need to be torn apart.

Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas commented as well and said, “I think players have a right to be pissed off”.

GIF: Alexander Ovechkin falls down during celebration

Posted on March 1, 2015 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)



Alexander Ovechkin scored less than minute into the first period today against the Leafs. As you can see, he hilariously wiped out during his celebration. This has actually happened to a handful of other players in the past as well, including Martin St. Louis and Drew Doughty

The goal was the sniper's 40th of the year, which is the best in the NHL. If he can stay healthy, he'll finish with 52 at this rate. 

David Clarkson traded for Nathan Horton

Posted on February 26, 2015 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have made yet another major move, trading David Clarkson to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Nathan Horton.

I was almost positive that Clarkson was going to be a Leaf for an extended period of time. There hadn't even been a lot of talk about the forward getting traded due to his gigantic contract being deemed as unmovable. I am in total shock right now. 

Comparatively, both players have very similar contracts. Horton has 4.5 years remaining on his, with annual earnings of 5.30M. Clarkson also has 4.5 years remaining, with annual earnings of 5.25M. 

But, here's the interesting aspect of the trade. Nathan Horton has not played a single game since 2013-14; his hockey career is in jeopardy because of a serious back injury. Because he's on the a long-term injured reserve, his contract doesn't count against the cap. 

In real money terms, neither franchise is really saving anything. But essentially, Toronto management is okay with undertaking an inactive player if that saves them cap room. Meanwhile, Columbus management, who has some more cap space, would rather have a player contributing to the team than one on the IR, even if they do sacrifice their cap space as a result. 

It's a very unconventional trade that you usually won't see too often in the National Hockey League. 

I wish nothing but the best for David Clarkson in Columbus. I respect any player who wants to come and represent their hometown team. 

It's unfortunate the way it ended, but the Leafs have somehow gotten themselves out of a mess. I did not like the Clarkson signing from the start.

"I don't regret signing here or playing with the Leafs", Clarkson said following the trade. "It's a dream I've had since I was a little boy, to wear that jersey."

Oddly enough, within the last two weeks, Toronto has now traded three players who were Leafs fans growing up: Franson, Winnik, and Clarkson.

Leafs deal Franson, Santorelli to Nashville

Posted on February 15, 2015 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Toronto Maple Leafs trade defenseman Cody Franson

The Toronto Maple Leafs have started the initial steps in the rebuild process. On Sunday afternoon, the Maple Leafs dealt soon-to-be free-agents, Cody Franson and Mike Santorelli to Nashville In exchange for a first-round pick, prospect Brendan Leipsic and soon-to-be-free-agent center Olli Jokinen.

“We feel that the pieces we got are good, they’re quality pieces,” general manager Dave Nonis said on a conference call Sunday. “We just felt it was the right time to act on it.”

The first-round-pick Toronto is receiving will be in the 2015 draft, likely near the bottom because of the immediate success of the Nashville Predators. Brendan Leipsic, is a former third-round pick who is a work in progress and will need time. All in all, good assets to re-stock the farm. Olli Jokinen is likely auditioning to be moved before the trade deadline for more young assets.

“In preparation for the 2015 playoff run, our goal was to add a veteran defenseman who could play in all situations and a proven forward who could move up and down lineup based on the situation,” general manager David Poile said in a statement. “We were fortunate to do this in the same transaction with players who are in the prime of their careers more than two weeks before the [NHL] Trade Deadline in order to give them more time to contribute and jell with their teammates”.

Mike Santorelli and Cody Franson must feel like they just won the lottery. The Nashville Predators currently sit atop the National Hockey League standings with 82-points. Cody Franson was the Maple Leafs top asset heading into the trade deadline of March 2. Simply put, Franson is that right-handed defenseman every NHL team is looking to add this time a year. I hope Toronto received the maximum bounty for him… because Cody Franson is returning to the place where his NHL career began. A place where he will be most comfortable and performing at his highest level.

Nashville already possesses one of the deepest bluelines in the game. With the likes of: Shea Weber, Seth Jones and Roman Josi. Adding Franson’s 32 points in 55 games makes this one of the most sought after groups in the National Hockey League.

Mike Santorelli is the responsible third/fourth liner that every playoff team needs to make a deep run. 

[Source: HockeyFanLand.com] / [Photo: Jennifer Kuhn]



GIF: Carter Hutton makes an amazing spinning save

Posted on February 3, 2015 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)



Nashville beat Toronto 4-3 tonight, and it was this late save by goaltender Carter Hutton that helped his team capture two points. Is it the save of the year?

The Leafs have now lost ten straight games for the first time since 1967, while the Predators are 6-2-2 in their last ten and sitting at the top of the Western Conference. 

13 awesome GIFs from the 2015 NHL Skills Competition

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)



There were a lot of awesome highlights from the NHL Skills Competition last night in Columbus. You can see some of the best in GIF form below. What do you think was the moment of the night? 

"As long as the fans enjoy it, I think the guys enjoyed us going out and putting on a show," captain Jonathan Toews said after the competiton despite his team losing by a score 25-19. "It changes the pace a little bit." 



The GoPro perspective of Zemgus Girgensons in the Fastest Skater Competition. That looks super fast. 



Alexander Ovechkin tries to use Roberto Luongo's goalie stick to knock the puck out of the air during the Breakaway Challenge. 



A very unique GoPro angle of Brent Burns skating with the puck before the commencement of the Skills Competition. Out of all of the different types of GoPro cameras and angles that have been used, this one has been my favourite. 



Filip Forsberg goes one-hand and tucks the puck past goaltender Carey Price for a great shootout goal. Scroll down to see him put on a stickhandling show in the Relay Challenge. 



Shea Weber wins the Hardest Shot Competition registering a shot at 108.5 mph. 

"You never really know how hard it is until it registers," Weber said. "It's different, too. In a game you don't really see that. Guys don't skate right into a puck and take a slap shot. Guys are one-timers or standing still and taking it in different situations." 



Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane, and Nick Foligno react to Weber's cannon which was the second fastest in Skills Competition history only 0.3 behind Zdeno Chara's record. 



Jonathan Toews destroys some targets and nearly goes 4-for-4 in the Accuracy Shooting. He was beat by teammate Patrick Kane who was able to hit the fourth target on one less try. 



Ryan Johansen gets some assistance from 7-year-old Cole Vogt. Johansen went on to win the Breakaway Challenge in front of the hometown Columbus crowd. 



Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel (13.596) narrowly beats out Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin (13.631) in the Fastest Skater Competition. 



Nashville defenseman Shea Weber can barely even contain his emotions during the player introductions. 



Filip Forsberg puts his amazing stickhandling on display through the lens of a GoPro. This was the Nashville forward's first ever NHL All-Star event.



After Johansen's attempt, Jakub Voracek got some help of his own, this time from Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames. 



Mike Hoffman scores an incredible goal during the Elimination Shootout. Probably the best goal of the competition. 

Video: Nikita Gusev scores an amazing lacrosse-style goal

Posted on January 25, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

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While the NHL Skills Competition featured some hilarious and creative goals, none were quite as spectacular as this amazing goal by Nikita Gusev in the KHL Skills Competition. 

The 22-year-old picked up the puck with his stick between his legs, and then put it past the goalie on a spinning lacrosse-style move. Perfectly executed! 


Brian Elliot takes a selfie during NHL Skills Competition

Posted on January 24, 2015 at 8:05 PM Comments comments (0)



Goaltender Brian Elliot pulled out his phone and took a selfie in the middle of a Breakaway Challenge attempt by teammate Vladimir Tarasenko. He posted the photo to social media soon after (see it below) with the caption: "#NHLAllStar game Selfie!!!!" 

It currently has 20K retweets and favourites on Twitter. With that in mind, I wonder what the most popular Tweet by an NHL player is? 

Team Foligno went on to win the Skills Competition over Team Toews by a score of 25-19. 


GIF: Max Domi scores unbelievable goal in the OHL

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 11:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Hockey, Max Domi, Amazing, Goal, London Knights

Max Domi has scored one of the best hockey goals you'll probably ever see. In some OHL action, the London Knights forward flipped the puck in the air over a diving goaltender and then tapped it into the net to give his team a 5-1 lead. Shades of Peter Schaefer.

The amazing goal looks like it was initially overshadowed by the 2015 NHL All-Star Draft (which was on around the same time). But, it's quickly making it's way around social media now.

Domi doesn't even have any NHL experience yet but he already has two ridiculous plays under his highlight-reel. If you haven't seen his through-the-legs saucer assist to Bo Horvat, you can check that out below.

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Video: NHL players show off their skills with GoPros

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (0)

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The National Hockey League appears as though they are taking another step forward in the utilization of GoPro cameras. Today, they released this amazing GoPro captured footage of NHL stars showcasing their talent.

In case you didn't already know, the league partnered with GoPro in September so they could deliver cool videos like this regularly.

Hockey fans have already been able to see some amazing point-of-view footage over the past few months through the Rogers Ref Cam (which is basically a GoPro mounted onto an official's helmet).

But this latest video, unlike the others, features some of GoPro's more advanced cameras, including the GoSwivel.

For the upcoming weekend's all-star festivites, the NHL will be delivering even more content like this. Many of the players will be wearing these for the Skills Competition on Saturday, and the All-Star Game on Sunday. I can't wait!

Related:
Barry Trotz unhappy with officiating (Ref Cam)


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