Tricks of the trade at combine: speak slowly, don’t vomit.

Russian star Nail Yakupov says he has no interest in playing in the KHL.

Don’t be surprised by a question.

Don’t puke.

For 100 of the best 18-year-old hockey players at the NHL Scouting Combine, the goals are pretty straightforward.

The three-day-event kicked off Thursday at a Toronto airport hotel. The Leafs will bring the fifth overall selection to the entry draft in Pittsburgh, June 22-23.

For the players, the combine can be numbingly repetitive. They are introduced to team officials who pepper them with questions. It’s not unlike a job interview.

“Actually, the questions ...

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Kill or be killed: an essay on the Marlies power play.


When professional hockey was making its first steps into Britain in the 1980s, one local operator, strapped for the official parlance, began calling the penalty box “the bin of woe.”

Leave it to the English to grasp the concept so viscerally. No wonder they invented the language.

In real life, isolation is a consequence of a lapse in judgment.  A wayward colt is brutally excised from the herd by the boss mare. A disobedient child is put in the corner.

The incarceration model is alive and well in Canada’s national game. Hockey is ...

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Stirling-Rawdon Rewarded As Hockeyville Winner


This year’s Kraft Hockeyville winner was Stirling-Rawdon, Ontario and in addition to hosting a 2012-13 NHL preseason game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets on October 3, the community also receives the $100,000 prize for arena upgrades from Kraft. 

The Krafty Hockeyvill celebration will not only be a big day for the community but the week leading up will have plenty of events in the Stirling-Rawdon area. For all the latest check out Kraft Hockeyville on Facebook.

Celebrating Kraft Canada’s cheque presentation to the Stirling-Rawdon Kraft Hockeyville Committee in ...

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Ben Scrivens on red light, rationality and peanut butter

The back of Ben Scrivens' mask bears the symbol of Cornell University and the university's Quill and Dagger society.

Ben Scrivens is an answer waiting to happen.

The Marlies 25-year-old netminder regularly delights when asked a question he can answer which is, you know, all of them.

A Cornell alumni and a member of the school’s secret Quill and Dagger Society (members include two National Security Advisors, Two World Bank Presidents, Six Pulitzer Prize winners and former Leaf President Ken Dryden), Scrivens is the AHL’s leading playoff goaltender by virtue of his ...

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The NHL Draft is a month away…why we should care now.

In four weeks we'll get a much better idea who Randy Carlyle will be yelling at.

The countdown is on.

The NHL draft is four weeks from today.

The draft itself lacks drama. Marquee pick Nail Yakupov is at the top of a solid but somewhat charisma-free bunch. The Leafs pick fifth and would likely be tickled to come home with six-foot-two North American centreman Alex Galchenyuk.

No, it’s the horse trading that will pack them in and the Maple Leafs should be prime players in a weekend where the draft could well ...

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Down a man, the Marlies don’t seem to mind.

It’s hard, damnably hard to lose when you don’t give up any power play goals.

Really. You can do anything. A trip, a wayward shot that doesn’t hit Plexiglas, a hug misinterpreted by a suspicious official as a hold.

Right now it’s a bit like professional wrestling in Marlieworld. You can go heel and come out ahead.

The Marlies are a win away from the Calder Cup finals thanks to a tidy 3-0 win over the Oklahoma City Barons, Wednesday at Ricoh.

They now lead their third-round series three games to one and can ...

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McKegg, Knights Into Semi-Finals At Memorial Cup


The London Knights have guaranteed themselves at least a berth in the Memorial Cup semi-finals on Friday following a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings. Check out the highlights

Leafs prospect Greg McKegg finally scored his first goal in the win since April 11th against Saginaw. McKegg had been dealing with a shoulder injury that cost him the conference final against Kitchener.

“It’s been a long time, but I never got down,” McKegg told the Toronto Sun. “Sure, there were some missed chances and rehab on the shoulder was tough, but ...

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Kuli Wins Gold, Memorial Cup In Full Swing


The 2012 World Hockey Championships came to a close over the weekend with Russia winning the Gold medal over Slovakia 6-2. In the Bronze medal game, the Czech Republic defeated 3-2.

Nikolai Kulemin had one shot on net in the Gold Medal victory playing just over 12 minutes. He finished the tournament with four points in 10 games with a +4 rating while averaging 14:21 per game.

Prospect Leo Komarov had one goal in the tournament with a minus 1 rating as he saw over 13 minutes a game. Komarov earlier in ...

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Canada Bounced From Worlds


The quarter-finals at the 2012 World Hockey Championships began Thursday with Canada being eliminated after suffering a 4-3 loss to Slovakia. It was the third straight season that Canada has been bounced during the quarter-final.

Canada led 3-2 with just over seven minutes to play when Milan Bartovic tied the game at 13:25. As Canada was killing off a penalty to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Ryan Getzlaf was given a kneeing major with 17:28 gone in the period. It took Slovakia four seconds to score the winning goal.

Leafs defenceman Dion Phaneuf ended the tournament with a ...

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All things being equal: can the Barons stop Kadri, Frattin and D’Amigo?

If the OKC Barons can keep Nazem Kadri (shown here during a stint with the Leafs) under control they will enjoy a huge advantage in their third-round series with the Marlies.

So uncannily alike, the Toronto Marlies and Oklahoma City Barons must feel they are playing themselves as much as each other.

The Barons earned 99 points this season. The Marlies struck for 96.

The Marlies outscored the Bs by four goals, 217-214.

Toronto finished with 175 goals against, one piddly goal fewer than the Barons.

The Barons have won seven of nine playoff ...

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