Category: Hockey

2013, 2018, Hockey, Personal, Sports

The Day My Leafs Fandom Died

As you know, the Toronto Maple Leafs have signed John Tavares and have the strongest group of young forwards they’ve had in a very long time. If you put aside age, it’s probably safe to say it’s been 25 years or so since the last time the Leafs had this much talent in their Top …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

50 Years of Misawarding the Conn Smythe

The awarding of the Conn Smythe in 2015 to Duncan Keith felt like a dose of sanity, he was well deserving of it. Unfortunately, since the award’s introduction in the mid ’60s, it hasn’t always been so obvious and oftentimes the writers responsible for voting for the award have picked odd, sometimes even terrible winners. …

2018, Hockey, Philosophy, Society, Sports

The Nihilist Hockey League

I have been a fan of the hockey comedian/commentator Down Goes Brown for some time. I don’t remember when I became aware of him, but it was before he started writing for Grantland. I have appreciated both his comedic takes on what is a very silly league and also his perspective, which often seems to …

Hockey, Sports

Memorial May Madness

My fellow Canadians regularly ask me why I watch March Madness. Usually, I tell them, “It’s the greatest sports tournament in the world” and then I spend a while qualifying that by telling them what I think of the NCAA. (I regret to say, by watching this year’s March Madness on cable, I am indirectly …

2017, Hockey, Movies, Sports

The NHL: 100 Years (2017)

This, the official documentary history of the NHL, is an adequate history of the NHL if you don’t watch hockey and didn’t grow up watching hockey OR you like having the old hockey myths repeated to you by different people than the people who usually told you these myths. As an actual history of the …

2016, Hockey, Personal, Sports

Am I Still a Leafs Fan?

As I find myself wrapped up in the success of The Blue Jays so far this playoff, and eagerly awaiting the NBA season, I wonder to myself if I still care about the Maple Leafs, this at a time when there is more legitimate optimism around the team than perhaps there ever has been before …

Hockey, Sports

Top 33 Maple Leafs Draft Picks of All Time

More than a little while ago now (this past summer), Scott Wheeler (of PPP, etc.) claimed that Mitch Marner might be the most talented hockey player ever drafted by the Maple Leafs. And now that the Leafs have the #1 overall pick for the first time in over 30 years, Marner might be only the …

2016, Hockey, Sports

Does Brenden Morrow Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

The answer is ‘no,’ obviously, but I like to spend a little time celebrating players I either liked or had a few stellar moments in their careers, even if their careers were not great.   Career 265G, 310A for 575P, +107 in 991 games Drafted 25th overall in 1997; 5th in Goals and Points, 7th …

2015, Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Bow Down Before Alexander the Gr8

Ovechkin is now the 5th fastest to score 500 goals in NHL history. Of the others, Gretzky did it in the ’80s, Bossy mostly did it in the ’80s (and the rest of his goals were scored in the nearly equally high-flying late ’70s) and Hull and Lemieux scored most of their first 500 goals …

2015, Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Does Simon Gagne Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

I missed that Gagne retired on the 15th. So here is my belated post. No, he doesn’t qualify for the Hall on points. Still writing this anyway.   Career: 14 seasons, 10 quality 291G, 310A for 601P, +129 in 822 games 82-game average: 29G, 31A for 60P, +13 3-year peak (’05-’08): 40G, 34A for 74P, …

2015, Hockey, Sports

Does Daniel Briere Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Daniel Briere, perhaps one of the antecedents of the ‘skill over size’ era that has started recently, just retired [a while ago now]. Let’s have a look at his career (ignoring that he doesn’t meet the threshold for HOF inclusion).

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

The Annual Hockey Hall of Fame Complaint for 2015

First of all, congratulations to the deserving inductees. The problem is, as always, that the Hall of Fame inducted players who both deserve to be in it, and players who do not (or, in this case, not yet). So congratulations to Nicklas Lidstrom, a player who, I have argued elsewhere, might be the 2nd best …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Does Shawn Marion Belong in the Basketball Hall of Fame?

Shawn Marion is retiring apparently. So, does he belong in the Hall of Fame? As usual, all data from Basketball Reference. Career: 16 seasons, 13 quality 34.5MPG 17,700 points, 10,101 boards (24th all time in defensive rebounds), 2,198 assists, 1,759 steals (19th all-time), 1,233 blocks 40,097 minutes over 1,163 games Per 36 minutes: 15.9P, 9.1R, …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Does Kimmo Timonen Belong in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Based on the assumption that Timonen is retiring after his Cup win, I’m asking my usual question. In this case the answer is pretty obvious, but I enjoy asking the question anyway. Career: 16 seasons, 15 quality 117G, 454A for 571P, +35 in 1108 games (6th Finn), 101.4 PS (4th Finn) 82-game average: 9G, 34A …

2015, Hockey, Sports

Your 2014-15 Toronto Maple Leafs

[So I accidentally published this before I was done. Um, oops. This is now the complete version.] I watched as little of the Leafs this year as I have since I was 16, more than half my life ago. I did this becuse Burke and then Nonis killed my passion for the team after JFJ …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Is Alex Ovechkin the Greatest Pure Goal Scorer of All Time?

A few weeks ago, Alex Ovechkin joined some elite company, he became only the fifth player in NHL history to score 30 goals per season in his first 10 seasons. More recently, he joined even more elite company, he became only the sixth player in NHL history to score 50 goals six times. Now while …

Hall of Fame, Hockey, Sports

Is Jaromir Jagr the Greatest Right Winger in Hockey History?

Usually, I try to assess the legacy of an NHL player when he retires (or some time after) but I am kind of in awe at what Jagr has accomplished (and could have accomplished) and so I cannot help myself. I want to re-ask a question I asked a few years ago, and answered with …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis is Over!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Here is an assessment I pretty much completely agree with. I am not writing my own at this time because I am currently working on two other hockey posts I hope to have published very soon.

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Casey Bailey

The Leafs are continuing to sign amateur / international pro prospects to dry and find a diamond in the rough. Maple Leafs get: Casey Bailey, 23, RW: Entry level contract, which will last two years past this season because he is going to play now; 45G, 35A for 80P in 96 NCAA games; Led Penn …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Nikita Soshnikov

The Leafs have signed 21-year-old Russian forward Nikita Soshnikov to a three-year entry level contract. This is reminiscent of the March signings of US college free agents that Burke helped pioneer a number of years ago (and that left the Leafs with Tyler Bozak) only Soshnikov is playing in the pros. Leafs get: Nikita Soshnikov, …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Trade Deadline 2015

The Leafs didn’t make any major moves today – I for one am disappointed to see Bozak and Lupul still on this team – but they did make a couple. Blues get: Olli Jokinen, 36, C: UFA; 0G, 1A for 1P, +1; 14:18 ATOI in 6 games for the Leafs;  3G, 3A for 6P, +2; 13:31 …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Clarkson Trade

YaaaaaaaaaaaHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Blue Jackets get: David Clarkson, 30, RW: $5.75 mil per season until 2020 15G, 11A for 26P, -25; 14:29 ATOI in 118 games for the Leafs 82-game average: 17G, 12A for 30P, -9; 14:12 ATOI Leafs get: Nathan Horton, 29, RW: $5.3 mil per season until 2020 5G, 14A for 19P, -3; 15:27 ATOI …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Winnik Trade

Penguins get: Daniel Winnik, 29, LW/C: UFA 7G, 18A for 25P, +15; 16:50 ATOI in 58 games with the Leafs 82-game average: 8G, 18A for 26P, +3; 15:20 ATOI Leafs get: Zach Sill, 26, C: UFA 1G, 2A for 3P, -7; 8:18 ATOI in 42 games with the Pens 33, 40 277 82-game AHL average: …

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Second Franson Trade

After not having any idea what to do with him for most of his tenure, the Maple Leafs have moved Cody Franson back to his original team. Let’s look at the trade.

Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

The Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: Ashton and Broll

It has been literally ages since I wrote one of these posts, in part because it’s so hard to fucking care any more and in part because, frankly, nothing has been done in some time. I mean, with the exception of firing Carlyle – the benefits of which have been documented well elsewhere – Nonis …