Friday, May 30, 2008

Coaching Roundup + Fantasy News

First of all, props to Eklund. The guy called Ron Wilson talking to the Leafs this morning, before anyone picked it up. Now the major media is featuring this story, nice to see Eklund get one right for once...

Some don't realise the amount of abuse bloggers like myself and eklund recieve on a daily basis for our rumours. We reports what we hear (or in Eklund's case, make up), and usually it doesn't happen. That's not because we didnt hear it, or it wasnt in the works, it just didnt finalize like it was suppose to. When I reported a few weeks ago that Barry Melrose was set to become the next coach of Tampa, I got many emails bashing myself and the site, saying that Tampa had a coach, and if they were to replace their current one, Melrose didnt have a shot. It's nice when something people bash you for happens, makes this all worth my time :)

The fantasy league for 08-09 is taking sign ups currently. We have about half of the spots left, with about 15 already filled. Make sure you get in on this ASAP, as it's going to be a lot of fun. Remember, the draft is random order, so even if your the last to sign up, you still have an equal shot at the number one pick (who I predict will be Detroit...). for more information, make sure to email me asap to secure your spot in the league!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Finals

Well, I've had a decent post-season as far as picking winners goes, so lets try to end things on a high note.

Pittsburgh and Detroit have both had great post-seasons. Pittsburgh was always my pick to win the East, while I figured San Jose would have been in the final for the West. Even so, the Red Wings have proven all doubters wrong, and have easily won three series. Will Pittsburgh be their greatest challenge? The Red Wings have yet to face an offense as strong as Pittsburgh's, and it will be interesting to see if Chris Osgood can continue to put up Conn Smyth numbers against what I feel is the best offense in the NHL. On the other side, Pittsburgh has never faced a defense like the one Detroit possesses.

Both teams are determined to win this series, and it really could go either way. Fleury and Osgood are the two biggest question marks in this series, and their play will determine the winner of this series. My heart tells me Pittsburgh will win, but my brain is telling me that defense wins championships, and there is no defense better than Detroit's.

Detroit in 6

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hockeyleaks 08/09 Fantasy League Launches

Please join ASAP as spots are limited to 30. This is going to be a really fun league, so make sure you secure your spot. Any questions, please respond to the rules topic and I will make sure to clear it up!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Expanding is about to enter it's fourth year of being a website. was started by me in 2005 during the lock-out, and I've continued to run it mostly on my own since then (though some people have contributed greatly over the years and I have appreciated every second of it). As we enter the 2008 Offseason, I am looking to expand even further. This year, Hockeyleaks. com will have it's first ever mock draft. We will introduce what should be the most fantasy game on the internet. We will cover the 2008 UFA class closer than ever before.

With that said, I am looking for a little help. I am looking for someone who can help me possibly update the site during the summer months. Summer is a very busy time for me, with regular work as well as a week vacation I usually take in early July. I am looking for someone who would be willing to volunteer their time (though if I am able to land any advertising deals I would be willing to give something back) for times when I am unable to update the site. I am looking for someone with some HTML, Microsoft Frontpage and FTP experience, and for someone who is a regular hockeyleaks reader, and who has talked to me via email, the forums or messenger in the past. As time moves forward, so will, and I am excited for what lies ahead for this website.

No Shortage of Available Coaches...

With Ron Wilson the latest to be axed, there really is a nice crop of UFA coaches on the market. Toronto, San Jose, Colorado, Ottawa, Atlanta and Florida all need coaches, while Vancouver, Carolina and Tampa Bay all still could make coaching changes before the beginning of next season. If ever you were going to hire a new coach, now is the time, as the coaching coaching available is amazing.

The most interesting part of the these coaches to me is how I realised I view some of the available coaches. I still picture Ron Wilson coaching the Caps, I still Paul Maurice coaching the Hurricanes, Laviollette coachings the Isles, Burns coaching the Bruins, and Quennville coaching the Blues. I don't have to go back too far for these things to be current, which just shows how often coaching decisions are made. Most of the mentioned are likely to find work before next season, while Laviollette may get to keep his job with the Canes'. If I'm a team looking for a coach, I act fast.

The best coach available is said to be Quennville, followed by Burns. The Leafs, Sharks and Senators all have to have serious interest in these two guys. After them, you have what I call the second tier guys: Wilson, Quinn, Torterella (who I believe will be fired and replaced by Barry Melorse soonish), Maurice and Hartley. Then you have your wild cards in DeBoer of the OHL's rangers, and Buffalo's all-star farm-team coach Cunneyworth, who I still think has a very good chance going to Ottawa, though they will likely go for someone with more NHL experience. None of these guys are bad choices, and they all have possible shots at getting hired.

Lets get out my crystal ball, and see what I can predict...

Quennville to Toronto, if they can get a GM in place before he panics and signs with someone else. It was a mutual decision for him to leave Colorado, and part of that is because he's interested in the Leafs' job.

Burns to Ottawa, because they failed with Paddock, and need someone with experience to take over.

DeBoer to Florida, I know he's talked to an American team about a coaching job, and at the time Florida was the only one with a vacant spot.

Cunneyworth to San Jose, he's good with young talent, and San Jose has plenty. If Buffalo is going to let him go, they'd rather it be to the Western Conference. Maybe letting San Jose talk to Cunneyworth will be part of Brian Campbell coming back to Buffalo.

Torteralla out, Melrose in for Tampa Bay, the rumours have been everywhere, hard to argue with them.

Vignault stays in Vancouver, Gillis will give him a team and see what Vignault can do with it. If he fails, he's fired, but he'll be given a chance.

Laviollette will also keep his job in Carolina, he'll be given one more shot.

Pat Quinn goes to Atlanta, I know he's interested in the job, and when he realizes he can't land any of the others (Florida is the only other job I see him having a chance at), he'll try his luck with the Thrashers.

Colorado is a tough one for me. Patrick Roy doesn't fit right now. Pat Quinn is a maybe, and they'll take a run at Pat Burns. The only coach I haven't really used up for the Avs is Paul Maurice, so I guess I'll insert him into the slot for now, but I highly douby Maurice gets a chance at the NHL level for awhile, if at all.

Email me your coaching predictions at, or reply to the topic in the forums blog section. On Wednesday I will put them all together and post who the majority of readers feel will coach where, then we can see how many we get right!

Tomorrow could be a big news day in Leafland, as Dave Nonis will meet with the MLSE big boys. I really want a new GM to be named sooner rather than later, I am tired of talking about the Leafs, and they're my favourite team!

and one last thought, poor Dallas. Detroit has outplayed them from the start, and are looking like the team to beat. A Detroit / Pittsburgh final has me very excited already...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Avs Axe Quenneville

Joel Quenneville has been fired as the coach of the Colorado Avalanche. I really don't agree with this move, as injuries were by far the teams downfall. They were underdog first round winners over the Wild, but just didnt have the man-power to beat the Wings. That, and the fact that the team wasn't given a reliable goaltender in Quiennevilles four years. Yesterday I said Hartley, Robinson and Burns were the only coaches the Leafs were allowed to hire. Add Joel to that list, he's a great coach and I think this is an unfair firing.

More on the Leafs: Jim Nill and Ken Holland are off of Toronto's list. The Red Wings will not give the Leafs permission to speak to either of them. Reports also are suggesting that Dave Nonis will be in Toronto early next week to have a formal interview with the club. The saga continues...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Brunnstrum Signs With Dallas...

The "best player not playing in North America" has signed a deal with the Dallas Stars. I believe it's a basic three year, entry level deal...

Eklund moment of the day = "Jose Theodore to Ottawa (E4)"

How do you give something an E4, especially this? Theodore will probably go back to Colorado, who hasn't even been eliminated for a week...Ottawa has two goalies, that has to be resolved before they can even think about Theodore. And why would they replace one question mark goaltender for another? Eklund and his dog are really stretching their 15 minutes...

Game one of the Western series goes tonight @ 7:30. Tsn for our Canadian readers, while Versus will show our American friends the game. Enjoy, should be a great series!

Looking At The Leafs...Again...

Leave it to the media to make the Leafs GM search their main headline, when we are on the verge of one of the best series in a long time is about to begin. Detroit and Dallas should be an epic series, both teams very evenly matched. But here we are (including myself), wrapped up in the saga that is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

First, the Leafs contacted the Vancouver Canucks about the possibility of talking to their former GM Dave Nonis. Their request was granted, and the Leafs have already talked to him. Next, they asked the Sharks to speak to GM Doug Wilson, a man who a lot of people in the industry believed would be fired by the Sharks. Apparently, Wilson's job is safe, as the Leafs were denied their request to speak to him. Who's next?

If the Leafs are going to do their search right, Jim Rutherford and Doug Risebrough will be contacted in the next 48 hours. If you listen to Eklund (which I don't recommend), Jay Feaster is also on that list. Neil Smith and Doug Armstrong will also be contacted. Bob Gainey, well, I don't think so but his name is worth throwing out their, along with Glen Sather.

Then there are the four remaining teams. Detroit's Ken Holland, and possible Jim Nill and Scotty Bowman, could all be contacted at the end of their playoff run. Bobby Clarke, who is still employed by the Flyers, could be talked to following their playoff run. I don't believe anyone on Dallas or Pittsburgh (Craig Patrick isn't an option from what I've been told) will be contacted following their exits. So if the playoffs go as I think they will (Dallas/Pittsburgh final), all candidates will be available within a three week period. So with all the candidates on the table, who gets the job?

The Answer: Brian Burke. I've been talking to a lot of people over the last 24 hours, and a lot of them still believe Burke is the guy. Some say the Leafs will wait it out, with Fletcher or Nonis or both running the show until 2009 when Burke is available 100%, but some believe Burke will be in place for the 2008 UFA season, and maybe even the draft. If the Leafs stick with Fletcher, or hire Nonis, Burke will still be in media, with everyone predicting he ends up in Toronto after his contract expires. Burke has told Ducks' management that he will move east once his contract expires. So in the end, it makes sense for Ducks ownership to let Brian go now, and avoid not only the fact that he's leaving anyways, but the media shadow that would follow the Ducks all season long. Burke is the guy that Toronto wants, and Toronto is where Burke wants to be. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out.

If Burke isn't the guy, then I hope the Leafs stay clear of Nonis. The Leafs need to start re-building now, and I don't believe they could do that with a "temporary" GM. As a Leaf fan, I'm disapointed that Doug Wilson isn't an option. This guy has made San Jose a very dangerous team, both through trades, free agency, and especially through developping young talent. I've always felt he was the best man for the job, maybe even ahead of Brian Burke. Being based out of Toronto, having Burke here would be the most fun, as this guy really knows how to play with the media. He wouldn't fold under pressure, and he would do what it takes to bring Toronto back to the top third of the league. That said, if he's not available for this summer, I truely believe it's time for the Leafs to move on and to get a guy who can start building now. Looking at realistic choices, Doug Armstrong is near the top of my list. Doug Risebrough is another guy, who if the Leafs can get him, should be in the top three. I'd avoid Jim Rutherford, Bobby Clarke and Neil Smith, as I just don't feel they are what Toronto needs. Yes, all have had success, but not in the new NHL. Carolina won the cup, but with a team assembled pre-lockout. Since, Rutherford has struggled, making deals that have hurt the team more than they've helped. The one move I'll give him was taking a chance on Samsonov, which has turned out brilliantly.

The Leafs now also have an open coaching slot. One name I've heard a lot about is Doug Gilmore. This doesn't make sense to me. Doug Gilmore would love to coach, but you can't throw this guy right into the biggest pressure coaching job in the league. The Leafs have one coach right now, Keith Acton. The other two assistants were either fired or given a new title. The theory by some is that Nonis will be GM, Gilmore will be coach, and then Burke comes in next year, with his own coach. Bad Idea. Bring in a solid GM now, and make Gilmore an assistant coach. Down the road when it comes time to fire the new coach, then bring a more experienced Doug Gilmore in to coach your team. If I'm Toronto, there are three coaches I talk to, and only three. Bob Hartley, Pat Burns, and Larry Robinson. Hartley has won a Stanley Cup and Calder Cup as a head coach, Burns has won three Jack Adams trophys (Coach of the Year), while Robinson won two cups with the Devils, one as a head coach, one as an assistant (Robinson still employed by the Devils as an assistant).

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my ideas, so reply to this on the forums, or email me at It will be an interesting six weeks in Leaf Land, without a doubt.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Brunnstrum down to four teams (E5+I)

For those who havent heard the news, Eklund's "E" system now has an I in it, with the I standing for you know...

Anyways, Fabian Brunnstrum is down to four teams: Detroit, Dallas, Montreal and Toronto. He will call his agent JP Barry tomorrow and either make his decision, or cut the teams down to two. Don't you worry, will be all over that decision. At this point, it's hard to say who he will end up. Toronto has the lineup space for him, and has several Sweedes on the team that would make Fabian feel at home. Detroit has the swedes and a presidents trophy, but they don't have the top six room for him, which appears to be the most important. Montreal doesn't really have the room, or a large cast of swedes. This leaves Dallas, who I think may have the top spot in this race. I could see the kid fitting into Dallas' top six. If I had to make a guess, and this is all this is, no insight on this whatsoever, I'd put the order as Dallas, Toronto, Detroit and Montreal...maybe we'll know who wins tomorrow. I will say this, the Leafs have done all they could to get this guy. They've promised him a chance to play, they've had Salming talk to him, they've travelled to Sweden a few times to meet with him, and Fletcher has met face-to-face with his agent. I really believe this kid could be the first of many good steps taken by Toronto to fix the mess it's currently in. The next step comes at the draft with that 7th overall pick (Still feeling they take Filatov with that pick).

Great Canada vs. USA game today, how great is it that TSN is covering these games online? This should be a great world championship. Is anyone else wondering where Dany Heatley's amazing play was for Ottawa?

I know a lot of you would love for me to talk about rumours like our friend Eklund, but seriously, you can't start rumour talk this early! Accordign to the big E (not Eric Lindros), Demitra is going to Vancouver, Liles is going to Vancouver, and Streit is going to NYR. Write those down, none will happen....

You can blame our friends at NBC for the playoffs not starting to Thursday. Question of the day : How mean is the NHL? You give us the best game of the season (aka San Jose vs. Dallas - game six), and then you make us wait for what seems like forever for another puck drop...oh well, I can't wait for this third round, should be a couple of great series'

Monday, May 05, 2008

Round 3 Picks....

(2) Pittsburgh vs. (6) Philly

Both teams won their series' in five games, both looked very impressive in doing so. Both teams have had great goaltending, while their offenses have not been too bad either. Overall, this could be a tight series, but I just don't see the Penguins losing it. How great a story would it be for the Flyers to go from last place, to the stanley cup final, in just 12 months? It's possible, but it's an uphill battle in my opinion. Crosby, Malkin, Hossa and Fleury will lead this team to the cup final... Prediction: Penguins in 5

(1) Detroit vs. (5) Dallas

All week i've been telling myself that Detroit would top Dallas in the third round if that was the match up. San Jose would beat Detroit, but Dallas wouldn't. My Mind was changed last night in what may have been the best game I've ever seen. Lets compare the two teams by position. In goal, Dallas is the huge favourite. Turco has been nothing short of stellar, while Detroit has had their questions between the pipes. Yes, Osgood is unbeaten, but he's played against a mediocre Nashville team, and an injury depleted Colorado team. Dallas is on a much higher level than the two teams he has previously faced. On defense, I'm going to give this to Dallas. I know a lot of you may disagree, but Zubov and Norstrom are playing the best hockey of their careers. Sure, Detroit has Lidstrom, but as a whole, I really like the defensive game Dallas is bringing into this series. Up front, Detroit has the edge, as the Mule, along with Datsyuk and Zetterberg have been unstoppable to this point. With that said, Dallas has Modano, Richards and Morrrow, all three of which have been playing some amazing hockey. Prediction: I will say Dallas in 7, but if they took it in 5 or 6, I wouldn't be surprised at all...

On another note, Eklund is already E3ing Demitra to Vancouver? The playoffs are not even over yet!!! This guy is just crazy...

look for details for the 08-09 Fantasy league to come out this week, it's something I'm really excited about.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Deadline Impact Players...

Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver were three teams who went into the trade deadline hoping to land an impact player. All three missed out, and are out of the playoffs. With that said, there were three teams who dealt for impact players, and all three are still around, though one team will be soon gone.

The Penguins gave up a lot of young talent to get Hossa, and so far, he's been just what they've needed. Two goals today put the Penguins ahead to the third round. In total, Hossa has 10 points in 8 games, and has played very well.

Brad Richards was the biggest name moved at the deadline, and has been huge for the Stars. 11 points in 11 games, his playmaking is a big reason that the Sharks are likely onto the third round. He has been a perfect addition to this team, and compliments Morraeu and Ribeiro nicely.

Finally, Brian Campbell is a huge reason why the Sharks are still alive. Seven points in 11 games, with the biggest being in the form of his lone goal last game to keep the Sharks alive. I honestly believe that the winner of this series will beat the Wings next round, but I'm sure a guy named "The Mule" will have something to say about that.

So in past years, deadline deals have been called unneccesary. The teams who make the deals rarely go all the way, once again showing that in the NHL you have to build from within. This year things could be different, as the Penguins, Stars and Sharks are all much improved since the deadline, muchly because of their moves. While Detroit and Philly did little at the deadline to make themselves better, they will give it their all, I think this year the deals made at the deadline will be the difference.