Leafs Add Staff
The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that they have added three new members to their office staff.
Former NHL goaltender Corey Hirsch has been brought in to become the Maple Leafs' new goaltending coach. Hirsch will spend the majority of his time working with top prospect Justin Pogge.
Also announced today were the signings of Tom Watt and Dennis Bonvie, who will serve as scouts for the club.
Graeme Townshend will also join the organization as the skating coach.
A lot of real good guys here, particularly Tom Watt, who has an eye for talent and has been around the game for a long time.
Mats Sundin Talk
While it is slowing down, the Mats Sundin talk is still out there, and apparently Tampa Bay is also in the mix for the big Swede.
Earlier this week while in Toronto, Sundin met with both Cliff Fletcher and Joe Nieuwendyk. The meeting lasted about two hours and was apparently very casual and laid back.
While both parties continue to leave the door open for a return, I personally see this as a cosmetic move on both parts. It seems obvious to me that Sundin and the Maple Leafs are both ready to move in different directions. They just aren't willing to admit it out loud.
Patrick O'Sullivan Rumours
According to Eklund, everyone's favourite hockey blogger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in Patrick O'Sullivan from the L.A. Kings.
Despite being poised for top six minutes with the Kings this year, O'Sullivan has been the subject of rumours all summer.
Van Ryn, Mark Bell, and two mid-level picks would go to L.A. in exchange for the talented winger.
Personally I just don't see L.A. trading O'Sullivan, and I also don't see the Leafs flipping Van Ryn after he just arrived in Toronto. Take it for what it's worth, but I personally don't see this adding up.
Kubina Gets a New Number
For the third time in his short Maple Leafs career, Pavel Kubina will wear a new number this upcoming NHL season.
Kubina wore 13 when he was signed with the Maple Leafs. With the number belonging to Mats Sundin, Kubina decided on 73.
Midway through that season, he swapped 73 for 31. (He even agreed to pay for everyone who bought his jersey to get the new digits stitched on.)
Now, it appears Kubina will wear 77 this season with the Maple Leafs. As of today there is no explanation from Pavel on the change.
As far as other numbers go, Nikolai Kulemin will take his turn with 41. Young guns Matt Stajan and Jiri Tlusty have all broken into the league with the Maple Leafs donning the 41, before going onto their regular numbers.
In an interesting twist, Mark Bell will switch back to his old digits, and break out the 28, made famous in Toronto by Tie Domi.
Jeremy Williams is also switching, going to a lower number: 18. Could this be a sign he is destined for full-time duty in 2008 with the Maple Leafs?
Here is the list of jersey numbers heading into training camp:
31. Curtis Joseph, G.
35. Vesa Toskala, G.
4. Jeff Finger, D.
7. Ian White, D.
8. Carlo Colaiacovo, D.
10. Alex Steen, F.
11. Jiri Tlusty, F.
14. Matt Stajan, F.
15. Tomas Kaberle, D.
16. Niklas Hagman, F.
18. Jeremy Williams, F.
19. Dominic Moore, F.
21. Jamal Mayers, F.
22. Boyd Devereaux, F.
23. Alexei Ponikarovsky, F.
24. Jonas Frogren, D.
26. Mike Van Ryn, D.
28. Mark Bell, F.
36. Anton Stralman, D.
41. Nikolai Kulemin, F.
44. Ryan Hollweg, F.
55. Jason Blake, F.
77. Pavel Kubina, D.
80. Nik Antropov, F.
84. Mikhail Grabovski, F.
Marlies Sign Three Defenseman, Three Forwards
The Toronto Marlies announced today that they have signed six players to help fill out their roster.
Defensemen Todd Perry, Andy Schneider, and Juha Uotila all agreed to contracts, while forwards Joe Cooper, Dan Rudisuela, and Tyler Doig have also been brought in to help the Maple Leafs AHL affiliate.