New goalie coach St. Croix preaches flexible approach

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He may have been tutored by the great Jacques Plante but the Leafs new goaltending coach found his first mentor when he was eight-years-old.

“I was playing in my hometown of Kenora, Ontario” said former NHLer Rick St. Croix. “A coach came into the room and said ‘who wants to play goal?’ I threw up my hands and said ‘I do, I do.’ My brother Vic was there. He’s 10 years older than me.  He had played a little bit of goal so he gave me equipment and helped me get ...

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Kadri says he is ready for prime time.

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The stars seem aligned for Nazem Kadri.

The Maple Leafs are freeze-dried until further notice. Barring a groundbreaking deal the Leafs will eventually need a skilled centreman on the first line, especially since coach Randy Carlyle has labeled the prospect of James van Riemsdyk in the middle an offhand remark gone viral.

Ah but to have a superbly-skilled young pivot with sparkly draft credentials. Maybe a player who has put up something close to a point a game in the American League; someone who delivered at that rate in the AHL playoffs. ...

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Gardiner, Scrivens and Kadri among Marlies in supercharged AHL season.

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The last time the NHL locked out its players (2004-2005) Jason Spezza, a player with 114 NHL games already under his belt ran away with the American Hockey scoring title. At 21, Spezza was skating for the Sens affiliate in Binghamton when he carded 32 goals and 117 points in 80 games.

Manchester winger Mike Cammalleri, a player with 59 NHL games with LA already to his credit ripped home 46 goals and finished second in the scoring race.

Leafs’ prospect Kyle Wellwood, in his second full season in the AHL finished ...

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Burke Has Plenty Of Praise For Rielly & Warriors

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The CHL season kicked off last weekend and I had a blog entry on Monday with a full wrap up of how Leafs prospects performed.

Brian Burke was in Moose Jaw Friday to watch 2012 first round draft pick Morgan Rielly and the Leafs GM was impressed with what he saw as he told Marc Smith of www.discovermoosejaw.com.

“This guy has the whole package. He can skate, he makes intelligent decisions, he makes safe decisions, he’s good offensively, he’s good defensively, and he plays in every situation, so I think it’s just going ...

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Prospects Wrap Up

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The first weekend in the CHL ended and we take a look at how the Leafs prospects performed.

Mississauga captain Stuart Percy recorded one goal over the weekend as the Steelheads split their first two games of the season. Percy scored in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Barrie as he was also a +2.

Tyler Biggs played his first two OHL games for the Oshawa Generals and the rugged forward dropped the gloves in his first game. He picked up his first OHL point (assist) in Friday’s 4-2 loss to Sudbury.

It was a good weekend for ...

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Kennedy, not Sundin or Gilmour was Leafs greatest centre.

Ted Kennedy wraps his arms around an old friend. Kennedy  won the Stanley Cup five times and was the last Maple Leaf to win the Hart Trophy as league MVP.

Ted Kennedy is the greatest-ever Maple Leafs centreman.

Not Doug Gilmour, not Mats Sundin nor even the marvelous Dave Keon.

Ted Kennedy. Teeder.

The key word here is great. Great is impossible to define. It can be quantified through statistics but greatness…greatness is an element that transcends numbers.

Ted Kennedy was great.

I was writing a book on captains of the Maple Leafs in 1995. ...

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Prospects To Begin Season

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The 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League season is set to begin tonight with Leafs prospect Tyler Biggs playing his first game in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals against Peterborough.

“I’m really excited to get everything going,” Biggs said in an interview with the Toronto Star. “I’ve been waiting all summer just to play hockey, to be part of something and I think we can do big things here.”

Biggs was the Leafs first round pick, 22nd overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. He played one season at Miami University in Ohio where he had ...

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On exclusivity, insiders and the need for agendas.

If you find this man surprising you haven’t been paying attention.

As Leaf fans await the expected announcement of the team’s new goaltending coach, here’s a thought to get you to the next news day. As an unexpected bonus I have a second thought.

First: I have no first-hand knowledge of whether Francois Allaire was a good or a bad goaltending coach, a valuable sounding board to his goalies or a tragic autocrat.

The only people who know, who really know, are players and other coaches and if you take  Burke’s word ...

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Burke Blasts Performance Of Francois Allaire

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Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke agrees there was interference with goaltending consultant Francois Allaire but said the pressure came in an attempt to spur a revamp of Allaire’s techniques.

“I regret that I have to deal with this matter publicly but I feel the need to respond. Was there interference from the staff as he said there was? Yes. But it was done reluctantly and it was done to change elements of our goaltending that was sub-par.”

Burke, who hired Allaire away from his former team in Anaheim three years ago, ...

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Finn Named Captain Of Guelph Storm

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The Ontario Hockey League is closing in on the opening of the 2012-13 season and it was announced Tuesday by the Guelph Storm that Leafs 2012 second round pick Matt Finn has been named captain for the junior club this season.

Finn took to Twitter after the announcement. Give him a follow @brotherfinner

https://twitter.com/brotherfinner/status/245728177647927297

The Toronto, Ontario native had a breakthrough season with the Storm last season recording 48 points (10 goals, 38 assists) in 61 games. He was named the Storm’s Most Valuable Player.

Finn was an alternate captain for the Storm in the 2011-12 season.

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