James Onusko of Bleacher Report asks if the Toronto Maple Leafs should pursue defenseman Dan Boyle in free agency. He would definitely help lighten the defensive load on captain Dion Phaneuf, and he can still clearly play very effective hockey even at almost 38 years old. The cap hit on a new deal and the level of interest from contending teams would be the final couple of hurdles before this signing can become a reality.
With the NHL season over and the Los Angeles Kings crowned Stanley Cup champions, finally we can set our sights to next season. As Dave Langford of Metro News reports, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookie tournament will return to London, Ontario this September. Only three months away!
Several Toronto Maple Leafs prospects turned heads in their respective league playoffs’. Ed Dermit of Hockey’s Future has a rundown of those players and how they continue to develop as prospects. Probably the most surprising player on the list is Sam Carrick, who really impressed me with his gritty, physical game and also showed flashes of offensive potential in the Toronto Marlies’ playoff run. As we saw from Josh Weissbock’s data, he was also one of the Marlies’ leaders in puck possession.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s never too early to look ahead to next season. Bovada Sportsbook released their 2015 Stanley Cup odds today with the Chicago Blackhawks as 7-to-1 favourites. The Toronto Maple Leafs are tied with the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals with 33-to-1 odds.
J.P. Nikota of Pension Plan Puppets looked at the correlation between shot-attempt differential and blocked and missed shots to see if Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau is correct in saying his team is better at possession than the metrics show because they block a lot of shots and force a lot of missed shots. Turns out, the opposite is actually true. If you’re blocking and forcing a lot of missed shots, you’re likely giving up a ton of shot attempts anyway.