Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

I'm sitting here on a nice, sunny day in London and all I can think about is hockey.

Game one is in the books, and the Red Wings have a 1-0 lead in the series. The difference last night was Marc-Andre Fleury, who was nothing short of terrible. We've seen this kid choke before (WJC), but he really needs to shake last night's game and move on. Game two goes tonight, the Pens have no time to sit and reflect. Go back out there, fight hard, and tie that series up!

So many things I'd like to talk about right now, but let's just take one thing at a time.

We are heading into the summer of Mats Sundin II, except this time he won't be the best free agent available. Yes, Mats can still play; we saw that at the end of the Chicago series, but should he come back to the NHL he will be signed at half the price.

Sources tell me that the Canucks will not bring him back, and other sources tell me that should Sundin return, he may want to return to Toronto. Whether Burke wants him remains to be seen, and this could all revolve around how well Toronto does on June 26 and July 1st. If Burke has room, I think he'd welcome him back for a year, but if Burke is successful in landing the Sedins, Jay-Bo, Cammy, etc, then Sundin won't have a chance to finish his career in Toronto.

The Montreal Canadiens have one last chance to make a splash on their 100th season in Montreal, and I still believe they will pull the trigger on something massive at the Draft. Will it be Vinnie? That I don't know. For the Habs to offer Kovalev a contract with guarenteed captaincy, I am sort of doubting the Habs have Vinnie in their plans. Tampa Bay holds a lot of cards right now, as what they do will dictate what several other teams do. Tampa has the Vinnie card, the #2 card, and of coarse the rumoured "lets sell Malone and Prospal" card. I'm interested to see what Tampa does, because they really are the team most in control right now.

Speaking of the Habs, I believe letting Koivu go is a mistake. This guy has been such a big part of the Habs over the last ten years, it will be sad for many Habs fans to see him go. All money has him going to Minnesota, which will be nice for Wild fans, since it looks like Gaborik will be on his way out, maybe to Vancouver (depends on Sedins and if they leave or not).

Speaking of Vancouver, what do they do with Luongo? With one year left on his deal, there are strong rumblings that Luongo isn't interested in re-signing with the Canucks any time before next season. I think the team has to hang on to him, as dealing him would send the wrong message to their fans. The Canucks have to have a big offseason, build a solid team around Luongo, and convince him that Vancouver is his best chance to win a Stanley Cup.

If the cap does fall the $2-3 million that we're hearing, how do the Red Wings keep Hossa? I've been friends with forum member Brandon Allin too long to say Hossa is done as a Red Wing. Ken Holland is a genious, and if Ken wants Hossa back, and Hossa wants to stay, something will get worked out.

On the Penguins side, if Guerin does return for another NHL season, and there is no reason to think that he won't, how does he not stay in Pittsburgh? He's looked at home in a Pens uniform, and I think the two are a great fit for one another.

Finally, if you are an NHL GM, who are your top choices in this year's draft. We'll be doing a mock-draft closer to the draft (if you are a team blogger, please email me at, I have a fun concept I'd like to do for this year), but as of right now, I'm split between Tavares and Hedman. Both are going to be stars in this league, and I honestly believe Hedman is more NHL ready. As for Matt Duchene, I'm not sold on this kid. He'll be good, but not yet, his body just isn't there yet. If I'm picking 3,4,5, I'm looking at Schenn, Kane and Pjaarvi-Svensson.

That's all for me today, make sure to contact me if you're a team blogger and make sure to catch game two of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight!

Saturday, May 30, 2009 Predicts:

I just wrote a long blog about who will win and why, and then it erased itself. I'll go into my reasons again when I have time, but for now, I'll just throw out my prediction:

Penguins in six!

Enjoy tonight's game!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Balsillie unveils new Copps plans

I just got an email from Jim Balsillie's people and with the email included a much bigger look at the "new Copps".

What do you guys think about these plans? Looking at this, I really don't see how the NHL can deny Jim this team. You've got a world-class arena, a guy who wants the team, and a city ready to support it.

Make It Seven Gary!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Coaching Catch-Up

I've been a little busy lately so I haven't been able to blog as much as I'd like to.

So the Oilers made headlines this week by hiring Quinn and Renney on as coaches. Brilliant move by a team that needs a good kick in the pants. I said all along Quinn would end up in Edmonton thanks to Tambo's loyalty to Quinn's attempt to bring him to Toronto several years ago. This coaching move tells me to expect some veteran UFA's to be brought in to Oil town, as Quinn has always loved working with the older players. Hopefully Quinn's days as the Leafs coach and Quinn's brief tenure as Canada's WJC coach will merge together to lead the Oilers into the playoffs next year.

Darryl Sutter saying he will coach the Flames isn't as sure of a thing as people like TSN are playing it off as. I still think Brent Sutter will be behind the bench in Calgary this October. Darryl said there was no coaches available that were better than himself, but for those not aware, Brent is still under contract by the Devils.

How about Roy burning the Avs by turning down both the GM and Coach roles in Denver. Sources tell that the Habs and Avs will now both battle over Hartley. Bringing Maurice back worked for Carolina, maybe Hartley in Colorado could work again. Interesting that Lacroix is once again the GM of the Avs...

Less than a month until the biggest draft the NHL will ever see. The Habs are set to turn some heads on their 100th aniversary. They missed their chance during the season, the draft on home court is their biggest chance. I still think Vinny becomes a Hab on June 26th. Imagine Gary B going to the podium and announcing that in front of the crowd of 1000s of Habs fans. It will almost be as big as a moment as when the Leafs draft John Tavares.

And finally, a stanley cup rematch? When was the last time that happened? I'm picking the Penguins, but thats another blog all in itself.

For all the latest, check and our twitter: Hockeyleaks

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flames Drop The Axe On Keenan

Sources tell that the Calgary Flames have fired head coach Mike Keenan. This firing comes after the Flames failed to get past the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of this year's playoffs.

Steve Simmons gets it right

Read this article:

while I very rarely agree with Mr. Simmons, he has this one exactly right. Destroy the coyotes, take them out of the league, give their players to the other 30 teams (I suggest a random lottery / draft process, giving all 30 teams equal chance at first pick), and then build a brand new team in southern ontario that would start play this fall.

If you were in charge of deciding this whole mess, how would you resolve it? email me at and I'll post your responses on the team bloggers blog

Habs / Leafs bloggers wanted

I am looking for really good writers to be my habs and leafs bloggers for Please email me at if you are interested!

Make sure to drop by our forums for all the latest hockey news and rumours. \

Have a great weekeend everyone, make sure to follow Hockeyleaks on twitter!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Round 3...Go!

So we have round three with a pair of what are sure to be classic series.

In the East, we have last year's Eastern Champions vs. the once again Cinderella Carolina Hurricanes.

Both of these teams underwent mid-season coaching changes, and both have been incredible since. Paul Maurice looks especially good, going from Zero in Toronto to once-again hero in Carolina.

This series also puts the two most offensive Staals against each other, with ultimate bragging rights on the line.

We'll start in net, where the easy edge goes to Carolina. Cam Ward is the reason Carolina is where they are, and while Fleury has been just good enough, Ward has been nothing but good.

On defense, the win once again goes to Carolina. Pitkanen has been brilliant, while his supporting cast has stepped it up when needed. The Pens defense has always been their weak point, and they're defenders just don't stand up to Carolinas.

On offense, the big win goes to Pittsburgh. They have the young superstars (Malkin, Crosby), the still-producing vets (Guerin, Sykora) and the role players (Staal, Dupuis, Fedotenko). Carolina's offense isn't to be overlooked, but I don't think there is any offense in the NHL, and especially the Eastern Conference, that can be compared to Pittsburgh.

In the West, we have a classic original six, divisional match up between Chicago and Detroit. Detroit, last year's cup champs, vs. a team that you can hardly remember their last playoff berth in Chicago.

In goal, I give the edge to Chicago. Both starting goalies have cup rings, and both have seen their careers rebound to an extent this season (more so Khabibulin, as Osgood has been brutal until the playoffs, when he's been lights out). I expect both to play very well, but both will face tests unlike any other offense they have faced thus far.

On defense, Detroit wins easily. Yes, Chicago has a great young d-corps, but Detroits got the experience and the talent to rank above any of the remaining defensive pairings.

On offense, I call it a draw. While Detroit may look like they have more fire power, Chicago's youth gives them speed and these kids seem to be getting better as the playoffs progress.

So who meets in the cup finals? predicts:

Chicago in 7
Pittsburgh in 6

Blackhawks / Penguins cup finals

you heard it here first!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Big Night Ahead...

While last night's game was the conclusion of possibly the greatest series we'll see in this year's playoffs, that doesn't mean tonights games won't be HUGE.

First, Boston and Carolina have put on one hell of a show. The Canes surprised everyone and jumped out to a 3-1 series lead. Now, the Bruins surprised everyone and tied this thing up. The Bruins have all the momentum and are on home ice, but that doesn't mean Carolina is done. We saw this last round, and Carolina came out on top. The Hurricanes must be tired by this point, but they are not out of it. This game is on Cam Ward's shoulders, they'll win or lose due to the way Cam Ward plays.

In Detroit, the Ducks and Wings continue to prove they are two of the leagues best and most consistant teams, year after year. This series has been one of the tighest of this year's playoffs, with home ice being ever so important. Once again, this game, to me, is about the goaltending. Whoever the better goalie is, Ozzie or Hiller, will lead their team to victory.

So my prediction?

It's hard to bet against the Bruins and the Wings, so I'm not going to. Both will use home ice and momentum (Detroit has it due to the way Game six ended) and home ice to blast their way into their respective conference finals. With that said, both games could go either way and I really look forward to taking both in tonight. Here's hoping I get off work tonight in time to do so!

Make sure to check out for the latest blogs on your favourite teams. If you are interested in contributing, please email me at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sevens Are Wild

Two notes:

1) sorry for the lack of updates the last week. Between moving, my neighbours digging into my cable lines, and the colonoscopy I had this morning, I've really been away for the computer this week.

2) I really need some new team bloggers, as well as the ones who have signed up to post more blogs. We really want to make this a big part of the site but we can't do it without you guys! Email me at if interested.


As we hit the halfway point in Game Six of the Chicago/Vancouver game, the Canucks currently trail 2-1 in a must win game. I am hopeful they will pull the comeback off, as nothing is better than a game 7.

We are guarenteed one, with Pittsburgh and Washington playing theirs in Washington on Wednesday night.

Tomorrow, we will witness two HUGE game sixes, with Boston hoping to force a game seven back in Beantown, while Anaheim will look for some home-ice support to help them take the series back to Detroit for a seventh game.

We've yet to see a game seven go to overtime, and it really is about time. Can you imagine any of these four series going to a game seven, overtime situation (Washington/Pittsburgh, I'm looking at you).

Game sevens are one of the wonders of the world, and I can't wait until we get a couple in this round. One is guarenteed, don't be surprised if we see three by the end of tomorrow night.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Coyotes Better Off In Canada

First of all, sorry for the lack of updates this week. My new house is great, my neigbours, on the other hand, not so much. One decided to dig a big hole in their yard, cutting the cable lines, and bam, there goes my cable and internet for four days. I'm back though, so let's get to it.


As you all know by now, Mr. Blackberry has put in an offer to buy the Phoenix Coyotes for a price that nobody is going to even come close to matching. This is the same Phoenix Coyotes team who is currently being kept alive by the NHL themselves and who is losing a boat-load of money on a daily basis.

So what is so wrong with the NHL moving this team that has clearly failed to Canada? You have a huge hockey fan who wants to own the team and make them a big deal. To do this, the team needs to move from Phoenix and what better place to put them than in Southern Ontario.

Gary B didn't freak out when Winterpeg moved to Phoenix or when the Nordiques moved to Colorado, so why the problem now? Canada deserves at least one more team, maybe more, and this is a perfect time to do it.

When the NHL is about to tank financially, resulting in the Salary Cap tanking along with it, why not inject some life and money into the league by moving a strugging, money losing team to a city where sell-outs are guarenteed and a top-ten money making tag guarenteed.

I understand that Phoenix doesn't want to lose their team, and that their fans will hurt because of the loss, but if the team had more fans that spent more money on their team, they wouldn't be in this situation. This is a team who has never spent up to the cap, who has never spent the necessary money to be really competitive, so why not let a new owner, who is richer than most NHL owners, take this team and turn it around.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this, especially if we have a die-hard Phoenix fan on our hands. I invite you to email me and I'd love you to write blogs during this time for about the current Coyotes situation.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Naslund Retires / Leafs News / Emery Return?

After a weekend of moving / no internet I am back and better than ever. I finally have wireless internet for the first time in my life, I really don't know how I lived without it.

New York Rangers forward Marcus Naslund has retired from the NHL after 15 seasons. Naslund, 35, signed a two-year, $8 million contract with the Rangers last offseason. Because Naslund was not 35 at the time of his contract signing, the Rangers will not be on the hook for the remaining $4.

The Leafs are closing in on signing Jonas Gustavsson. Gustavsson looked great against the Americans last week and the Leafs are very impressed. The Stars are still after him as well but at this point he is the Leafs to lose. He would be signed to an entry level deal, similar to the one Hanson and Bozak signed. If you have any doubts on the Leafs signing this guy, check out this quote from USA Today.

"You would never have seen a U.S. team dominate a Swedish team like we did for 50 minutes," coach Ron Wilson said by telephone. "Their goalie was unbelievable."

Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, a free agent who is drawing heavy attention from NHL scouts, made 39 saves.

"How many games do you see a goalie get the best player's award when he gave up five goals?" Wilson said.


Ray Emery is getting a lot of interest, but the rumours of him going to the Flyers are premature. From what I've heard, the Flyers are going to persue J.S. Giguere in the off-season, and Emery would be a plan B or even a plan C. I could see a team like Calgary or San Jose, both of which either need a change in net or a goalie to push their #1, taking a chance on Emery.

Always looking for more team bloggers. Make sure to check out for all the latest on your favourite teams. Email me if you want to join the team!