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Rielly Impressive During Scrimmage

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You watch Morgan Rielly and you see what’s there: the stride, the intuitive passing, the blocky body that should allow him to hang in and fight through the congestion near his own crease.

It took Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle to note what wasn’t there.

“I had the conversation with Morgan about getting him to play more of his game,” Carlyle was saying after a spirited scrimmage, Wednesday.

“I asked him what his strengths were. He said his number one thing was skating. I said ‘I don’t know if we really saw you ...

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Leafs Scrimmage On Day Four Of Camp

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The Maple Leafs had a Blue and White  game Wednesday as the two teams were mixed with Leafs and Toronto Marlies. For those that want to know the score, Team Blue defeated Team White 5-1 as Nazem Kadri recorded a hat-trick in the first period.

For the second consecutive day, defenceman Jake Gardiner skated ahead of practice with strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza.  Gardiner was on the ice for about 18 minutes. You can see some of the drills he was put through in the below video.

While the Leafs received ...

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Gardiner Returns To The Ice

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Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner skated for 15 minutes ahead of practice with strength and conditioning coach Anthony Belza. It was the first time that Gardiner has skated since getting hit during the Toronto Marlies December 8th game against Rochester.

Here is the video of Gardiner skating Tuesday.

The news wasn’t as good for James van Riemsdyk and Colton Orr who both had to leave practice early. Van Riemsdyk took a shot off his right ankle but according to head coach Randy Carlyle, van Riemsdyk has a bruise while Orr has a ...

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Day Two: Fans & Rielly

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The second day of Maple Leafs training camp brought some new-look lines and a packed house as fans filled the MasterCard Centre for the first of two open practices this week. Fans can come to MCC Tuesday as the practice is open again from 10am-12pm.

“It was nice,” Phil Kessel said on the applause from the crowd at Monday’s practice. “Fans are happy that we are back and they’re excited just like we are to get the season going.”

During his lengthy gathering with the media on Monday head coach Randy Carlyle ...

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What if James Reimer actually is the real deal?

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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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Wrap Up From Day One Of Camp

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The Maple Leafs hit the ice Sunday on the first day of training camp with 31 players in camp but just 23 who can make the opening night roster in Montreal next Saturday.

Prior to the start of training camp, the Leafs announced that Keith Aucoin, Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, Nazem Kadri, Morgan Rielly, Mark Fraser, Leo Komarov, Ryan Hamilton, Jake Gardiner, Mike Kostka and Korbinian Holzer were added from the Toronto Marlies or junior in Rielly’s case.

The Leafs will also be signing restricted free-agent defenceman Cody Franson and free agent ...

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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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Leafs Continue To Skate Ahead Of Camp

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A full complement of Maple Leafs players skated at MasterCard Centre Friday as they continue to prepare for the start of camp. A few players hit the ice at 10 am for skill drills while the entire team joined them at 11 am.

Leafs TV was able to speak with three players following the informal skate. Check out the interviews with Carl Gunnarsson, James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul.

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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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