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It’s Toronto Maple Leafs day on PHT

Aug 10, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

Welcome to our offseason initiative — 30 teams in 30 days.

From July 16 until Aug. 14, we’ll be dedicating each day to a new team by recapping the offseason and looking ahead to 2012-13.

There will also be a series of posts looking at key stories, player profiles and burning questions regarding each squad.

Today, that squad is the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For a good portion of the 2011-12 campaign, it looked like the Toronto Maple Leafs would be a serious contender for a playoff spot. However, a late-season collapse resulted in the firing of head coach Ron Wilson and sent Toronto all the way down to 13th place in the Eastern Conference.

By far their biggest move over the summer was the trade of Luke Schenn to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for James van Riemsdyk. There’s been some talk that van Riemsdyk might shift to center and serve on a line with Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.

The biggest question surrounding Toronto right now is their goaltending. As things stand, the Leafs are poised to go into the season with youngsters James Reimer and Ben Scrivens as their netminding duo. Both have promise, but Leafs GM Brian Burke might still attempt to hedge his bets by signing a veteran backup or even acquire starter Roberto Luongo.

There was also a report that the Leafs had interest in Jonathan Bernier, although he’s not exactly a safe bet either.

The Leafs haven’t made the playoffs since the lockout. Is this the year that changes?

Stay tuned for our extended coverage.

  1. polegojim - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Oh, how I’d like this to be a good day… but I think…MEH… best describes it.

    No big changes, nothing stands out as ‘greatly’ improved.

    Well… at least they’re not Calgary or Colorado… there is that!

    • withseidelinn - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Agree with you here, Toronto pretty much has the same lineup from last October. Only hope we have as of now if rookies like Frattin, Kadri and Colborne potentially contributing more than expected offensively and guys like Holzer or Fraser creating a more solid D. I’d hate to be a Calgary fan, they really have nothing going for them and their GM doesn’t seem to understand how to build a contender…. or draft in the first round properly.

      • polegojim - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:42 AM

        Exactly… I really enjoy it when Toronto is good…

        They just made little-to-no effort to get better… definition of insanity… again.

        Hope the Classic is a good game.

      • withseidelinn - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        Yeah all I’m really hoping for from the Winter Classic right now is a sick jersey…

    • tfaltin - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM

      I think anyone would rather be Colorado. Landeskog, Duchene, O’Reilly, Varlamov and Erik Johnson? At least they have building blocks in every position.

      • polegojim - Aug 11, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        T… but they’re the same building blocks they’ve misused for years already.

        Colorado is FAR too talented for the poor results Sacco is producing and the Avs front office seems oblivious. I’d prefer to be on a team moving forward, not stagnant and feeling hopeless.

  2. muir6 - Aug 10, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    Still in the league?

  3. 2dollarpbrs - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    What about Spencer Abbott???

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    No, they’re not making the playoffs until they address the goaltending issue. Reimer has the ability to be a #1 starter in this league but he’s not quite ready for the workload he’s going to be given (if healthy) this year.

    Last year both goalies lost confidence in themselves, the team lost confidence in their goalies and started playing tentatively in front of them which only made matters worse. Then things spiralled out of control.

    Fix the goalie issue and things will improve.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Agree that Reimer is capable to be a #1 guy, but right now he needs a safety net for when his play could take a dip. A veteran backup would be key to start 3-4 games every once in a while and act as a mentor will do him a lot of good.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        Exactly. I think not getting somebody like Vokoun, who at $4 million over 2 years would have been well worth it, was a big mistake.

      • pgpcbuild - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        Give me a break.
        Reimer sucks and you know it.
        He’s poised to become a backup in about 3 years.

        Brian Burke has lost his touch, Here is a simply truth; by simply signing Roberto Luongo, Leafs make the playoffs, no matter what.

        Is that not worth the money and trouble. I very much think it is.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

        Reimer sucks? Are you basing that on anything other than his numbers through what is basically one full season’s worth of games backstopping a team that gives him little help most nights?

        I’ve played the postion and trained with guys much better than myself. I can tell you Reimer has the ability and the skill set to be a starter. There are parts of his game that need work, but at 24 years old that is not a big deal. He also seems remarkably positive and mentally tough, which is as important as anything for an NHL goaltender in a high-pressure market.

        Getting Luongo would likely get the Leafs to the playoffs but any realist knows they wouldn’t be going very far once they get there. He’s not worth giving up significant young talent to acquire. I actually admire Burke for not going after Luongo at all costs, even though his refusal to do so may end up costing him his job. Selling off the farm for a quick fix is stupid. Look at the Rask-for-Raycroft deal. No Leafs fan wants to see that repeated.

  5. guitarmy204 - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Worst day ever

  6. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    “It’s Toronto Maple Leafs Day!”
    Is what Stuckless, Kruze and Roby used to tell young boys to get them into the Garden.

    Ballard/Burke eras….same results
    Leafs suck and will never will the Cup in my lifetime

    Why cups? You have a blind faith fanbase that makes excuses for everything the Leafs have done for the last 40 years. They still purchase their overpriced tickets and defend ownership and the GM regardless of the long list of failures the have on their resume.

    I mean you actually have Leaf fans that think Burke is great because he took a Brian Murray built team, showed up and acquired Pronger and they won a cup. Yup it takes a genious to recognise Pronger’s skills and go out and get him. “He has a cup” Yes he has a Cup as a GM of a team he didn’t build. Stan Bowman has a Cup too, but the world knows it’s was a Tallon built team. But Leaf fans don’t want to accept that, they also will defend him and claim his greatness because he burned a GM a decade ago in a trade to put the twins together.
    Utter failure with the Leafs
    Leafs are garbage

    Here is a story I want to read today

    “What are the Leafs going to do with Kessel and Phaneuf?” – Both are UFA’s after the 2013-2014 season.
    Think they are staying in T.O.? LMAO
    Good as gone, just like Burke

    Enjoy Leafs day
    (I hate the fracking Leafs)

  7. tfaltin - Aug 10, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    They’re pretty much a team that is spinning their wheels and hoping for some traction. I don’t see this year being different. Never bad enough to get the immediate game breaking talent from the draft like an RNH, but not good enough for the playoffs. They were embarassingly soft last year, even made the Sabres look gritty.

  8. mclovinhockey - Aug 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    LEAFS WILL WIN THE CUP……..………………… In the next 100 years

  9. muir6 - Aug 10, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Seriously Toronto still in the league?

  10. augsburg12 - Aug 10, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    The leafs have more problems than goaltending. Brian Burke pretty well will sign you only if your American or in the twilight of your career. Now a coach that will take away the speed of the young guys and turn them into.Well we saw what the last few weeks of last season. This will be an ugly team to watch this year. Let’s hope Riemsdyk can play center with Kessel and Lupul more than be on the walking wounded list. Luke Schenn will be missed and Colby Armstrong could come back and haunt us after signing with the Habs. At least the young guys Ashton, Kadri and Colborn will have a chance to breakout this year. Maybe not. Morgan Rielly is a good future player. So fire Burke. Fire Carlyle burn a Ottawa senator jersey. Get a deal done and lets play some hockey GOoo LEAFS GOoooo

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