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Sting centreman most often linked to Leafs

What kind of shadow will Alex Galchenyuk cast on the NHL entry draft, June 22?

The NHL entry draft is set for June 22-23 with the Maple Leafs, at this writing at least, holding the number five position. The Leafs haven’t enjoyed a higher position in the draft since they selected Scott Thornton third 23 years ago.

This is the first in a series of 10 player profiles, one a day, leading up to the draft weekend.

First off, the player most often associated with the Maple Leafs, Alex Galchenyuk.

Day One:

Alex Galchenyuk, […]

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June hockey bears unexpected treasures.


By June Tim Horton would have been back at Conn Smythe's quarry or maybe moonlighting at a little coffee shop he had started in Hamilton.

The furnace that is summer waits just over the horizon but your ice scraper might still be in the trunk or only recently banished to the garage.

June is the big payoff. It purges the memory of interminable winter. Each breath brings fresh possibilities.

Saturday, the city hosts its second June professional hockey game with the Norfolk Admirals seeking to oust the Toronto Marlies in Game 4.

Eight […]

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Marlies coaching precinct home to good cop/bad cop.

The Marlies' coaching staff has something in common with how the Montreal Canadiens harvested the Rocket's red glare.

In the early 1950s, a generation before the advent of the assistant coach, a rough-hewed winger named Bert Olmstead would sit on the Montreal Canadiens bench beside Maurice Richard.

His job was to light the Rocket’s fuse.

“I’d always know how to get to Rock. If Irvin (Habs coach Dick Irvin) nodded, I’d get on him. If he didn’t, I’d leave him alone,” Olmstead told me 15 years ago.

When the cue was given, Olmstead […]

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Prospect hails from town whose citizens feel no pain.

This is the main street of Petter Granberg's hometown. I think the picture was taken in April.

Petter Granberg, the latest Leafs signee, hails from Gallivare, Sweden. Take a look.

The Leafs signed Granberg to a three-year entry-level contract this week. He’s a nice kid, just 19 and his season included a trip to the final of the Swedish Elite League and a solid performance on the blueline as Sweden won this year’s World Juniors.

Gallivare is as the crow flies, about 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle. If you […]

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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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