Hello Toronto Maple Leafs fans and welcome to this week's edition of Bleeding Blue and White.
The Leafs have made some small moves over the past few days to add depth to their lineup. Clarke MacArthur and Matt Lashoff are two very solid additions. MacArthur provides some depth scoring and grit while Lashoff could be a surprise candidate to make the Leafs blueline.
Why Lashoff? He has four years of pro hockey at both the NHL and AHL level at only 23 years old. He has put up similar numbers as departed Ian White in his time in the AHL while putting up 15 points in 63 NHL games spread over four years. Lashoff is a young player who could perform at the NHL level if given the opportunity.
Meanwhile in Leafs Nation, Nazem Kadri has essentially been given the reigns to the second-line centre position by bulking up to 188 pounds this offseason.
My question is: If Kadri deserves second line duties, does Jerry D’Amigo?
Kadri was selected much higher than D’Amigo in the 2009 NHL entry draft, but D’Amigo is coming off a great season. In the only meeting of the two, in a very high-pressure situation, D’Amigo clearly outperformed Kadri. D’Amigo is bigger and stronger than Kadri, should he get a shot on Kadri’s wing?
Jean-Sebastien Giguere is going into the last year of his $6 million-a-year contract. After coming to Toronto, Giguere put up a 2.49 goals against average and a .916 save percentage. That would have put him at No. 12 and 13 in the league, respectively. A revitalised season, followed with a calming presence in the crease, allowed the rest of the team (including Jonas Gustavsson) to flourish.
A source close to the Giguere family told me that Giguere is so committed to his career that, when he was planning on taking a family vacation camping/in cottages for only a short while, he needed to ensure that a gym was nearby so he could spend hours a day maintaining his form. Look for Giguere to have a return to form this season. A one-two tandem of Giggy and the Monster wouldn’t be too bad for another year or two.
Finally the last topic of this week’s Bleeding Blue and White, the San Jose Sharks.
With only two legitimate top four defenceman on the squad, the Sharks are looking to add another to the mix. The signing of Antti Niemi only makes this harder by leaving the Sharks with less cap space to work with. A defensive swap with the Toronto Maple Leafs for Ryan Clowe, or Devin Setoguchi could solve the Sharks problems on the back end and maybe even save them some cash as well. Maybe a defenceman with cup ring perhaps?
All in all, the Leafs look like they most likely will be going into training camp with their current roster. While there are still lots of unanswered questions surrounding the team, Brian Burke and company feel confident in their players going forward.
Hopefully, that is confidence well placed.