Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: June 7, 2014


We heard the Florida Panthers were looking for a veteran NHL coach to lead their team. That led to plenty of speculation that if Randy Carlyle was fired, he would be a prime candidate, but with Carlyle signed to a two-year extension, the Panthers reportedly have their eyes set on another head coach with ties to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Panthers interviewed Ron Wilson as a candidate to fill their vacant head coaching position. They’ve also interviewed Tom Renney, Marc Crawford and Gerard Gallant. Wilson never saw the playoffs in his three years behind the Leafs’ bench, but I have a feeling that had more to do with the two-headed goaltending monster of Vesa Toskala and Jonas Gustavsson.

From 2008-2011, Wilson’s Leafs teams had 49 per cent of the five-on-five unblocked shot attempts when the score was close (per Behind The Net). Compare that to the last two years under Carlyle, when they’ve only mustered 42.6 per cent (per Extra Skater). Yeah, I don’t think Wilson was the problem. TSN.ca has the story.

With all this talk about who is and isn’t “untouchable”, which players should the Leafs seriously consider moving from an asset management standpoint? J.P. Nikota of Pension Plan Puppets splits Leafs who could be dealt into four groups depending on how much a trade would make sense.

Jeff Veillette of The LeafsNation makes the case Tyler Bozak shouldn’t be shopped because then it diminishes his trade value. Instead, general manager Dave Nonis should keep his value high by calling him an untouchable and waiting for teams to come to him. I would almost think this is a plausible strategy if Dave Nonis wasn’t the GM.

Is Seattle still a viable candidate for NHL expansion? The biggest hurdle in their way seems to be a lack of an arena. Still, there remains great interest from a host of different parties to bring the best hockey league in the world to the Pacific Northwest. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo Sports examines the issue.

The Pittsburgh Penguins made some significant changes to their front office and coaching staffs yesterday. Jim Rutherford was hired as general manager, head coach Dan Bylsma was fired, Jason Botterill was promoted to associate GM and Bill Guerin and Tom Fitzgerald were named assistant GMs. The Pens have received a lot of criticism for their handling of the Bylsma situation, and while I agree to some extent, he won’t be out of work for long. Matt Gajtka of City of Champions writes the Penguins have set themselves up well for the long run with how they’ve structured their management group.

Tags: Dave Nonis Jim Rutherford Popular Ron Wilson Toronto Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak