In the E for the Holidays: Tyler Brenner

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Tyler Brenner likes Bakersfield. More wins would be nice.

Flung far across the continent, four Southern Ontario-born Leaf prospects are finding themselves playing in the East Coast Hockey League over the holidays.

The NHL lockout has pushed NHL-worthy talents such as Nazem Kadri and Ben Scrivens back down to the American League. Korbinian Holzer was set to contest the spot on the Leafs roster vacated by the trade of Luke Schenn. Two more Marlies, Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin would be enjoying prominent positions with the Leafs but for the work ...

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Biggs set to represent US at World Juniors.

Leaf prospect Tyler Biggs is accruing a solid record of international experience.

 

 

Leaf prospect Tyler Biggs is accruing a solid record of international experience.

Leafs prospect Tyler Biggs is poised to go to the Big Show.

The six-foot-two, 223-pound right winger will represent the USA at the 2013 World Junior Hockey Championships which run from Boxing Day to Jan 5 in Ufa, Russia.

Coached by one-time Leaf Phil Housley, the American team is coming off a disastrous seventh-place showing after winning a bronze in 2011 and gold in 2010.

The roster is set but for some late-minute tweaking that could involve one of the team’s ...

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In the E for the Holidays: Sam Carrick

Sam Carrick is part of a winning environment shaped by former Marlies captain Ben Ondrus.

Sam Carrick is part of a winning environment shaped by former Marlies captain Ben Ondrus.

GP       G     A      PTS      PIM       +/-
21        6     5       11          20          4

Flung far across the continent, four Southern Ontario-born Leaf prospects are finding themselves playing in the East Coast Hockey League over the holidays.

About a half a dozen players who would ordinarily be in the NHL or shuttling between the Show and the American Hockey League are now full-time AHLers.  That forced young players and those outside the core of the Marlies roster to winter instead ...

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Morgan Rielly On The Long Wait For The Long Ride

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It took an agonizing wait but Moose Jaw Warriors defenceman Morgan Rielly was named to Canada’s World Junior Championships roster.

They used to call it the Turk: the author of the call that comes when you want it least.

“Coach wants to see you.”

Just 18, Leafs prospect Morgan Rielly knows what that means. Or, as the 18-year-old fifth overall pick from last year’s draft will tell you, what not getting a phone call means.

A year after a knee surgery scuttled his season, Rielly is heading to Ufa, Russia for the World ...

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A Heartfelt Message to Senators Fans: Get A Life.

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Irritating Little Brother Is Watching You.

Dear Ottawa Senators Fans:

What is it with you people?

Even without hockey, you manage to feel aggrieved.

A Sens fan named Spencer Callaghan (above)  noticed a whole lot of Leafs’ gear at a Roots Store at Bayshore Mall in Ottawa. Spencer took a picture, forwarded it to a Senators fan group and notified the company via their Twitter account.

Not being fools, Roots acquiesced and removed all the offending Leafs material.

People. Where will your paranoia end?

Someone decided Leafs material sells. It’s not an indictment of your city ...

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Salming Could Be Best Leaf Ever

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That Borje Salming is the best-ever Leafs defenceman is above debate.

The real question is whether Salming is the best player in franchise history.

To cast Salming as the greatest star in the Leafs firmament is to push him past Syl Apps, Johnny Bower, Turk Broda, Wendel Clark, Charlie Conacher, Doug Gilmour, Tim Horton, Ted Kennedy, Frank Mahovlich, Darryl Sittler and Mats Sundin.

Salming’s number 21 is one of 18 banners hanging from the rafters at Air Canada Centre. Those banners account for 46 Stanley Cups. Not one of them belongs to Salming.

Thanks ...

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Matt Frattin continues torrid goal pace.

Winger Matt Frattin owns a share of the Marlies goal-scoring lead with seven goals in eight games.

Winger Matt Frattin owns a share of the Marlies goal-scoring lead with seven goals in eight games.

Matt Frattin’s numbers will leave you gobsmacked.

Despite playing just eight of the Marlies 21 games, the right-hand shooting right winger owns a share of the team’s goalscoring lead with seven.

Last spring Frattin scored 10 times in 13 playoff games before he was knocked out of the final contest of the third round. In 23 regular season AHL games Frattin scored 14 times.

That’s 31 goals in 44 AHL regular and post-season contests. Extrapolate that ...

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The new style of hockey smiles.

Times change.

Bobby Clarke’s gap-toothed smile. Times change.

He is the hockey player’s best friend.

For the last seven years, Marlies dentist Dr. Matthew Orzech has been cleaning up the damage from stray pucks, sticks and punches.

Quick. How many times has one of his players lost a tooth?

Fifty? One hundred?

“Three,” Dr. Orzech said. “Because of the protection from mouth guards, it’s almost unknown for a player to lose a tooth.”

So much for the image of the gap-toothed hockey player.

“Mouthguards are mandatory and even when a player gets a direct hit in the mouth ...

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Leafs GM spends a night on the street.

Leafs GM Brian Burke learned that members of the LGBT community are over-represented at places such as Covenant House.

Leafs GM Brian Burke learned that members of the LGBT community are over-represented at places such as Covenant House.

For Brian Burke, walking in another man’s shoes meant sleeping on someone else’s cardboard.

The Leafs GM took part in the Covenant House Sleep Out, Thursday night.  Burke and a group of prominent Toronto business people slept on a piece of cardboard on a chilly late fall night to support the charity which supplies food, counseling and other services for homeless youth.

“To put this in perspective, I had a nice sleeping bag and ...

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A day to savour how far the game has come.

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There is no one day in which ignorance and stupidity fade from the mainstream and becomes the sole property of the ignorant and the stupid.

But if you look back from the high ground you can see how far the question has come.

For the first time, two European players have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the same glittering year. One of which, of course, is the superb Maple Leaf Mats Sundin, cheek to jowl with Pavel Bure, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates in the Class of 2012.

There ...

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