What if James Reimer actually is the real deal?

jamer-reimer

Leaf fans, you don’t need another goalie.

Maybe not ever. Certainly not now.

The Maple Leafs have 74 days between Saturday’s debut in Montreal and the April 3 trade deadline to find out whether they need to replace James Reimer.

I’m pretty sure they don’t.

When healthy, James Reimer had a 24-10-6 record. That’s not bad.

What you have in Reimer is a goalie who excelled when he was healthy but sank while he was hurt. If James Reimer had never returned to the ice after being smacked in the crease by Brian Gionta ...

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Brian Burke and his brutal relationship with change

Brian Burke, shown in an earlier press conference, said Saturday he was never going to change his personality.

Brian Burke, shown in an earlier press conference, said he was never going to change his personality.

Brian Burke said goodbye the way he said hello.

He did not offer excuses and then pointed out that he wasn’t offering excuses. He would, however, like to work for a team that isn’t sold. Both times that happened, in Vancouver and in Toronto,  he lost his job soon after.

“The people that hired me hired Brian Burke,” he said. “Maybe the new guys don’t like that brand. Maybe they want someone who is a ...

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A day Leaf fans might want to keep open…

Joffrey Lupul is the only significant Leaf players whose contract is up this season.

July 5, 2013. That’s less than six months from now.

You can make a reasoned argument that anything that happens this season won’t influence the long term future of the franchise as much as what happens in early July.

Here’s why.

Everyone needs to add new players. The salary cap for 2013-2014 is $64.3 million.  Most teams will need deep cuts to comply.

Joffrey Lupul is the only significant Leaf players whose contract is up this season.

Each team has two potential buyouts. They must be used this summer or next.

Sour faces will abound ...

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Burke’s surprising dismissal is all about style.

Brian Burke has given way to Dave Nonis as the GM of the Maple Leafs.

Brian Burke has given way to Dave Nonis as the GM of the Maple Leafs.

 

About the only thing that came out of Tuesday’s press conference on Brian Burke’s firing was the consistent reference to style.

“It was more about leadership style and fit, without getting into specifics,” said MLSE Chief Operating Officer Tom Anselmi.

“Did the four years of missing the playoffs factor into the conversation with the shareholders? For sure it did. At the end of the day we were really looking to a different voice, a different leadership approach.”

Clearly, ...

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What The Leafs Lineup Could Look Like

ulmerdepthchart488

Here’s a look at the potential lines and defensive pairings. They were determined through a rigorous process that included looking for names in my Alpha Bits.

Until further notice, Tyler Bozak is the Leafs number one centre. Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul are the only combination coach Randy Carlyle has committed to. Bozak has been mentioned frequently in trade talks but with James van Riemsdyk scheduled to start the season at left wing on the second line the job is Bozak’s to lose.

MacArthur and Grabovski have longstanding chemistry and van Riemsdyk ...

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Carlyle promises more accountability, defence and fitness.

Coach Randy Carlyle said his 18 games behind the bench will be instrumental in his decision-making.

Coach Randy Carlyle said his 18 games behind the bench will be instrumental in his decision-making.

Get ready.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle delivered that message before a packed house of quote-starved  journos outside the team’s dressing room, Monday.

This edition of the team will be fitter and more defensively astute. Player roles will be more defined.

“There’s not going to be a lot of changes to the system,” Carlyle said. “Our expectations were we would play to a higher level through better conditioning (and) have a better and more responsible defensive attitude. Accountability ...

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What Lies Ahead For Carlyle & The Leafs

carlyle400dec5

The NHL lockout is over.

Now comes the hard part.

The clock has been restarted with a new CBA and the Leafs, with familiar question marks in goal and in the middle of the number one line have been handed another start.

So what are their chances?

Absolutely no idea.

Anyone who says they know is lying. The new landscape ushered in with a fresh CBA has yet to be surveyed, let alone understood.  The roster could be reshaped overnight.

So let’s go over the first 10 things we know and the first 10 things we ...

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In the E for the Holidays: Tyler Brenner

tbrenner3

 

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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