Monthly Archives: May 2016
As the Toronto Maple Leafs shift their focus to the 2016-17 season a bulk of the discussion will be whether 2015 1st round selection Mitch Marner is ready to take the next step and join the Leafs, rather than play another in junior, where he has nothing left to prove after winning every MVP trophy awarded throughout the OHL and CHL, as well as the Memorial Cup Championship. Another part of that discussion involves Marner’s longterm success in the NHL and how the numbers he scored in junior will translate to the pro level. I looked back at the last eleven CHL MVPs, their points per game and playoff points game in the year they won to try and find a correlation between being named CHL MVP and having longterm NHL success. Here is what I found: Read Article
By: Aaron Greenfield
The IIHF World Hockey Championships coincide every year with the NHL playoffs and while this rarely is an issue for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs to tune in, the tournament is still widely an afterthought as most countries are unable to ice a full roster. Usually, at least one high profile player from each respective nation is still alive in the quest for the Stanley Cup, which leads these countries to instead select a different player whom otherwise would not have made the cut. It’s a fortunate break for those players just below the cut for other tournaments such as the Olympics to get their shot but often lowers the excitement level and legitimacy of the tournament for some fans, as these aren’t the true rosters that would otherwise have been picked. This has been especially true for countries such as Canada, that despite the wide pool of players to choose from, often still have less-exciting rosters because the superstars are largely on rosters of the final few NHL teams that battle for the cup, or decide not join their fellow country-men once eliminated. This year, the theme for many rosters is youth, bringing back excitement to the tournament and once again giving fans an incentive to tune in. For Leafs fans, not only will three roster players be playing and have large roles but also this tournament will feature their first overall selection in this upcoming June’s draft, and for many fans, will be the first professional games they see them play. Here are the Leafs and potential Leafs featured in this year’s tournament. Read Article
By: Aaron Greenfield
An agonizing one-hour left to wait. The 2016 season began with a stern warning from new Head Coach Mike Babcock that there will be pain. For me, hearing this as a lifelong fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs was a bit puzzling at first, because, well, what were the last 20 years all about? Now after waiting all season to see where the team would finish, there was just one more hour left to see if it all worked out in our favour.
Only ten more minutes to see if one of the least statistically successful seasons I’ve ever witnessed my favourite sports team endure was worth it or if it was all for naught. Losing one or two or even all three of the lotteries may not set them back as much as Leafs fans may think but winning one of them puts them in a great spot where they can soon shift their focus from rebuilding to contending. While the Leafs had the best odds at winning the lottery, just 20%, it meant that the Leafs had much better odds of not having the opportunity to draft a potentially franchise-altering player in Auston Matthews.
The big screen at Real Sports Bar & Grill in Toronto changes from showing the Blue Jays game to Sportsnet’s coverage of the Draft Lottery. Adrenaline picks up quickly and there’s a feeling of nervous excitement in the building. Read Article