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GDT--PRE-SEASON--Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins--7:30 pm EST, Sep. 24/08

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09-25-2008, 03:27 PM
  #551
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Originally Posted by ACC1224 View Post
Too much is made out of the lines at this point. I don't recall ever seeing anyone identified as "bubble players". More someone trying to create drama that's not there, you'll get use to it.
True enough ACC. I think i'm getting too carried away in regards to what's posted on these boards. I'll have to have confidence in the coaching staff and Cliff to do what's right.

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09-25-2008, 03:32 PM
  #552
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I have high hopes for both of those players, and I think they could be good, (kulemin especially). At the end of training camp, if Mitchell doesnt get a spot and continues to out perform the other players, that would be disapointing. You yourself justified Fletch's many aquisitions that have created log jams at both forward and defence, because it creates competition and brings out the best in the players. What's the point of that excercise if players have already earned a spot based on potential and not meritt? Sounds pretty redundant to me.
Competition for spots is self motivating, as it inspires through fear of loss of job or ice time, for players to bring their A games and perform well to protect their spots of have them stolen away from players below you on the depth chart.

At the end of the day people have to understand that its not an open competition for all spots on the team and players are only auditioning for certain spots and roles. These positions fit their style, skillset and talent levels.

Johnny Mitchell is not being viewed as a Top 9 forward and many of those spots are already guaranteed ie Antropov, Steen, Stajan, Blake, Hagman etc. Grabovski, Kulemin and Tlusty are competing for spots on the top 3 lines when the season opens..If any of the trio fail then they might start the year as Marlies.

Mitchell is competing with the players at the bottom end of the roster trying to crack the 4th line through his play at camp.. He is competing with players like Mayers, Moore, Hollweg, Bell, Devo and some Marlies. In order to make even the 23 man squad he has to force a trade or have one of the above mentioned lose their place and be put on waivers to make room for Mitchell.

That is the question and decision it will come down to for Coach and GM when naming the final roster .. Is Johnny Mitchell >> Moore, Hollweg, Mayers, Bell, Devo, or (any other Marlie in a similar spot as him). Who are you cutting to make room for him?

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09-25-2008, 03:41 PM
  #553
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[QUOTE=Mess;15571498]Competition for spots is self motivating, as it inspires through fear of loss of job or ice time. for players to bring their A games and perform well to protect their spots of have them stolen away from players below you on the depth chart.

At the end of the day people have to understand that its not an open competition for all spots on the team and players are only auditioning for certain spots and roles. These positions fit their style, skillset and talent levels.

Johnny Mitchell is not being viewed as a Top 9 forward and many of those spots are already guaranteed ie Antropov, Steen, Stajan, Blake, Hagman etc. Grabovski, Kulemin and Tlusty are competing for spots on the top 3 lines when the season opens..If any of the trio fail then they might start the year as Marlies.

Mitchell is competing with the players at the bottom end of the roster trying to crack the 4th line through his play at camp.. He is competing with players like Mayers, Moore, Hollweg, Bell, Devo and some Marlies. In order to make even the 23 man squad he has to force a trade or have one of the above mentioned lose their place and be put on waivers to make room for Mitchell.

That is the question and decision it will come down to for Coach and GM when naming the final roster .. Is Johnny Mitchell >> Moore, Hollweg, Mayers, Bell, Devo, or (any other Marlie in a similar spot as him). Who are you cutting to make room for him?[/
QUOTE]


Corect me if i'm wrong, Tlusty, Kulemin, Stralman, Earl are the only waiver exempt players available. Mitchell, Kronwall, White, Grabovski, Willimas, Frogren and Hollweg all have to clear waivers in order to be sent to the Marlies? I can't imagine cutting down the roster being an easy decision for RW and co. If only either Moore or Deveraux weren't signed it may have been easier to squeeze a Mitchell in the roster, althouhg I think Moore and Deveraux are quite good in their roles.

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09-25-2008, 03:45 PM
  #554
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I'm pretty sure Earl has to clear waivers.

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09-25-2008, 03:49 PM
  #555
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True enough ACC. I think i'm getting too carried away in regards to what's posted on these boards. I'll have to have confidence in the coaching staff and Cliff to do what's right.
John Pohl and Chad Kilger were Leafs top scorers last preseason.

Did you see either of them crack the top offensive lines when the season started .. In fact John Pohl was a injury fill-in spare part all year long despite outplaying and outscoring all other in training camp?.

Heck John Pohl only got into 33 games last year and is now out of the NHL playing in the Swiss league and Kilger also is out of the NHL currently..

I'm not sure what fans are expecting here to suddenly happen based on training camp performance of depth players?

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09-25-2008, 03:51 PM
  #556
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You assured us, Mess, that the best players in training camp would make the team. That none of Fletch's moves for borderline players would prevent any of our current youngsters from making the team if they deserved it.

I hope you still feel that way.

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09-25-2008, 03:51 PM
  #557
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I dont know about any one else but i love the way that Jiri Tlusty has looked thus far. His 2 passes last night, one which blake fanned on and the other where Mayers got robbed were just incredible. I would love to see him play on the top two lines rather than on the third line with stajan and blake.

Antropov-Grabovski-Kulemin
Tlusty-Steen-Ponikarovsky
Hagman-Stajan-Blake
Mayers-Moore-Bell
Hollweg, Devereaux, Mitchell

Kaberle-Finger
Kubina-Colaiacovo
Frogren-Stralman
Van Ryn

Toskala

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09-25-2008, 03:53 PM
  #558
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I'm pretty sure Earl has to clear waivers.
He doesn't.

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09-25-2008, 03:54 PM
  #559
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John Pohl and Chad Kilger were Leafs top scorers last preseason.

Did you see either of them crack the top offensive lines when the season started .. In fact John Pohl was a injury fill-in spare part all year long despite outplaying and outscoring all other in training camp?.

Heck John Pohl only got into 33 games last year and is now out of the NHL playing in the Swiss league and Kilger also is out of the NHL currently..

I'm not sure what fans are expecting here to suddenly happen based on training camp performance of depth players?
You were expecting the better performing players to have spots this season and training camp to push everyone on the roster. You said so just before camp. Now it seems that the performance in camp is being weighed with previous performance, which is common, and it's all of a sudden a much different tune you are signing. Kulemin didn't outplay many last game, if any, but now he gets a shot on the first line. It's because of his talent level and past performance, not because of his camp. This is the way it really should be, but it's funny to see the pre-camp be dismissed so early.

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09-25-2008, 03:56 PM
  #560
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Originally Posted by ACC1224 View Post
Too much is made out of the lines at this point. I don't recall ever seeing anyone identified as "bubble players". More someone trying to create drama that's not there, you'll get use to it.
Wilso told reporters to "read a book and get a life" for overanalyzing his line combinations. There's a method to part of it but the rest is just putting guys together so that they can get ice time. He's a coach that doesn't dwell too much on fixed lines anyhow.

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09-25-2008, 03:58 PM
  #561
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You assured us, Mess, that the best players in training camp would make the team. That none of Fletch's moves for borderline players would prevent any of our current youngsters from making the team if they deserved it.

I hope you still feel that way.
I do hope the best players make the team, I am willing to bet though the Hollwegs, Grabovski's and Frogren's will make the team because Fletch aquired them. I hope i'm wrong, and it is based on pre season play.

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09-25-2008, 04:00 PM
  #562
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Well then you will be happy to know that Grabovski and Kulemin have both been promoted to the Top line in today's practice and will play as a unit in a future game as per RW.

Nik Antropov - Mikhail Grabovski - Nikolai Kulemin

Niklas Hagman - Alex Steen - Alexei Ponikarovsky

Jason Blake - Matt Stajan - Jiri Tlusty

Jamal Mayers - Dominic Moore - Ryan Hollweg

Boyd Devereaux - Mark Bell - John Mitchell

Mitchell is skating on the 5th line in practice with the bubble players still working hard and trying to crack the 23 man roster.
Grabovski is clearly the more skilled player over Mitchell.

I like that Wilson is playing Grabo with Kulemin.... he's giving Kulemin an opportunity to communicate and have fun on the ice. Although I think that Ponikarovsky would better suit the line, being that Poni is faster then Antro and also because he plays the LW.

Tlusty Steen Antropov
Ponikarovsky Grabovski Kulemin
Hagman Stajan Blake
Hollweg Moore Mayers

Putting Antropov/Tlusty on Steen's line, would be the long awaited moment that Steen/Tlusty are finally given reasonably talented linemates to work with. Hagman/Stajan/Blake form a great 3rd line, and only belong on the 3rd line.

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09-25-2008, 04:07 PM
  #563
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Originally Posted by TML4LIFE View Post
Corect me if i'm wrong, Tlusty, Kulemin, Stralman, Earl are the only waiver exempt players available. Mitchell, Kronwall, White, Grabovski, Williams, Frogren and Hollweg all have to clear waivers in order to be sent to the Marlies? I can't imagine cutting down the roster being an easy decision for RW and co. If only either Moore or Deveraux weren't signed it may have been easier to squeeze a Mitchell in the roster, althouhg I think Moore and Deveraux are quite good in their roles.
Grabovski was signed out of Europe and so he has another year of waiver ineligibility still, otherwise you have them right.

I think your missing the whole point of what is meant by competition for spots on the roster.!!!

What is the difference of having Moore and Devereaux signed and Mitchell competing with them for a spot and then cutting/sending them to the Marlies if he beats them out, verses not having them signed at all? .. At the end of the day they're not on the team and its the GM and coach concern who gets cut. If Mitchell proves worthy of a spot then that is what will happen.

You seem to want to give Mitchell and other youngsters White or Kronwall etc a free ride for a roster spot without earning it by simply removing all the competition factor BEFORE the battles for jobs even begin.

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09-25-2008, 04:16 PM
  #564
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Grabovski was signed out of Europe and so he has another year of waiver ineligibility still, otherwise you have them right.

I think your missing the whole point of what is meant by competition for spots on the roster.!!!

What is the difference of having Moore and Devereaux signed and Mitchell competing with them for a spot and then cutting/sending them to the Marlies if he beats them out, verses not having them signed at all? .. At the end of the day they're not on the team and its the GM and coach concern who gets cut..You seem to want to give Mitchell and other youngsters White or Kronwall etc a free ride for a roster spot without earning it by simply removing the competition factor BEFORE the battles for jobs even begin.
That is my point and has been all along. For example, Frogren gets brought in, White and Kronwall potentially get put on waivers and lost for virtually nothing. A loss of a young asset. If Frogren was not aquired, unless Fletch send him down, both Kronwall and White have the opportunity to make the club and won't be waived. Same can be said about Hollweg, Deveraux, and Moore. I like Moore and Deveraux, but essentially a young home grown player like Mitchell may not get the chance because his spot was already given, and on top of that we could loose a young asset to accomodate a vet. This is the exact the type of move you screamed about last year with JFJ, and how he didn't play the kids and brought in vets. Well now that things have changed, Fletch is essentially filling up spots, and not giving the kids a chance to prove themselves. I thought it was developing your young talent and seeing what they can do.

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09-25-2008, 04:16 PM
  #565
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
Grabovski was signed out of Europe and so he has another year of waiver ineligibility still, otherwise you have them right.

I think your missing the whole point of what is meant by competition for spots on the roster.!!!

What is the difference of having Moore and Devereaux signed and Mitchell competing with them for a spot and then cutting/sending them to the Marlies if he beats them out, verses not having them signed at all? .. At the end of the day they're not on the team and its the GM and coach concern who gets cut. If Mitchell proves worthy of a spot then that is what will happen.

You seem to want to give Mitchell and other youngsters White or Kronwall etc a free ride for a roster spot without earning it by simply removing all the competition factor BEFORE the battles for jobs even begin.
"Play the kids" was your position for a long time and the veterans were roster pluggers. Now they are there to create competition which was the right answer all along.

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09-25-2008, 04:20 PM
  #566
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Originally Posted by Mess View Post
John Pohl and Chad Kilger were Leafs top scorers last preseason.

Did you see either of them crack the top offensive lines when the season started .. In fact John Pohl was a injury fill-in spare part all year long despite outplaying and outscoring all other in training camp?.

Heck John Pohl only got into 33 games last year and is now out of the NHL playing in the Swiss league and Kilger also is out of the NHL currently..

I'm not sure what fans are expecting here to suddenly happen based on training camp performance of depth players?
John Pohl, Chad Kilger aside, they certainly didn't stand out in any preseason games last year. Certainly the performance of Mitchell, at his age, warrants one to get a tad more excited than that of a veteran like Kilger, or a 9th rounder from 98 in Pohl.

The preseason, and camp is no different than an interview in my opinion. This is the opportunity for guys to distance themselves from those vying for the same job. Providing an easy ride to guys based solely on their apparent skill levels sends an awful message to anyone who's worked their ***** off only to see their spot taken by someone based on "expectations". When they've clearly outplayed their competition.

I think it's very premature to out anything in stone, but if Grabs and Kulemin were given top line assignments in practice, well, i'm a little concerned is all.

Mind you we're only 2 games in, and alot can happen between now and opening night.

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09-25-2008, 04:26 PM
  #567
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You assured us, Mess, that the best players in training camp would make the team. That none of Fletch's moves for borderline players would prevent any of our current youngsters from making the team if they deserved it.

I hope you still feel that way.
Fletcher said that he expects to open the season with about $10 mil in free cap space .. They currently have around $7 mil.. That means that a $2+ mil player currently on the roster will not be there when camp ends and the season starts (barring injury), based on that comment.

That to me says Mark Bell $2.2 or Mike Van Ryn $2.9 mil are the most likely bubble vet players and most likely the ones related to Fletcher's self-fulfilling prophecy comment pre camp.

So Johnny Mitchell at $500k could take Bell's roster spot or White/Kronwall/Schenn can beat out Van Ryn in training camp. If they prove better, then Fletcher will move the vet out and have his $10 mil free cap.

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09-25-2008, 05:17 PM
  #568
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"Play the kids" was your position for a long time and the veterans were roster pluggers. Now they are there to create competition which was the right answer all along.
I'm all for "play the kids", always have been and always will.

My roster wish list in the other thread had both Mitchell and Williams on my 4th line if I had my way. I had the youngest wish list roster as anyone including Tlusty, Grabs and Kulemin up front and Stralman, Carlo and Schenn on D.

I had Blake and Bell tossed on waivers to dispose of them to make room, and other vets traded, but you cried and complained that I can't have that and they need to stay. You have to make up your mind if your accusing me on not wanting to play the kids now as my position has never changed.

TSN panel discussed this yesterday during the game that Fletcher didn't cut it to the bone deep enough, and left too many vets standing for a team looking for a Top pick in 2009. I agree with them but then again realize some of the players staying is simply a case of no market rather than no desire to move them out.

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09-25-2008, 05:25 PM
  #569
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I'm all for "play the kids", always have been and always will.

My roster wish list in the other thread had both Mitchell and Williams on my 4th line if I had my way. I had the youngest wish list roster as anyone including Tlusty, Grabs and Kulemin up front and Stralman, Carlo and Schenn on D.

I had Blake and Bell tossed on waivers to dispose of them to make room, and other vets traded, but you cried and complained that I can't have that and they need to stay. You have to make up your mind if your accusing me on not wanting to play the kids now as my position has never changed.

TSN panel discussed this yesterday during the game that Fletcher didn't cut it to the bone deep enough, and left too many vets standing for a team looking for a Top pick in 2009. I agree with them but then again realize some of the players staying is simply a case of no market rather than no desire to move them out.
I agree.

I think "playing the kids" is always a good thing - to an extent. I have no problem with certain depth players sticking around to give some competition. But when a GM goes out, grabs a 34 year old "40 goal" guy over a 5 year term that shuts the door on the kids way more then bringing in a bottom line player for 500k. The 500k guy is easily more disposable then the 5yr 20m dollar man. The 500k guys are easier to hide in the minors (ie. Bates Battaglia).

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09-25-2008, 05:26 PM
  #570
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TSN panel discussed this yesterday during the game that Fletcher didn't cut it to the bone deep enough, and left too many vets standing for a team looking for a Top pick in 2009. I agree with them
You agree with them!?!?!?!?

You've been fighting tooth and nail against anyone who's suggested that all summer long.

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09-25-2008, 05:46 PM
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09-25-2008, 07:03 PM
  #572
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I'm all for "play the kids", always have been and always will.

My roster wish list in the other thread had both Mitchell and Williams on my 4th line if I had my way. I had the youngest wish list roster as anyone including Tlusty, Grabs and Kulemin up front and Stralman, Carlo and Schenn on D.

I had Blake and Bell tossed on waivers to dispose of them to make room, and other vets traded, but you cried and complained that I can't have that and they need to stay. You have to make up your mind if your accusing me on not wanting to play the kids now as my position has never changed.

TSN panel discussed this yesterday during the game that Fletcher didn't cut it to the bone deep enough, and left too many vets standing for a team looking for a Top pick in 2009. I agree with them but then again realize some of the players staying is simply a case of no market rather than no desire to move them out.
So you are back to wanting young players to be given spots, a return to normal as it were.

Putting players who have value on waivers to give them away for nothing is kind of dumb, don't you think? There was a market for Kubina less than 7 months ago so why not now? Toskala, surely some team would want him.

Since you were watching TSN did you happen to see Tortorella say that the last thing that Wilson is going to do is coach for a high draft pick?

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09-25-2008, 10:50 PM
  #573
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09-26-2008, 08:38 AM
  #574
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I'm all for "play the kids", always have been and always will.

My roster wish list in the other thread had both Mitchell and Williams on my 4th line if I had my way. I had the youngest wish list roster as anyone including Tlusty, Grabs and Kulemin up front and Stralman, Carlo and Schenn on D.

I had Blake and Bell tossed on waivers to dispose of them to make room, and other vets traded, but you cried and complained that I can't have that and they need to stay. You have to make up your mind if your accusing me on not wanting to play the kids now as my position has never changed.

TSN panel discussed this yesterday during the game that Fletcher didn't cut it to the bone deep enough, and left too many vets standing for a team looking for a Top pick in 2009. I agree with them but then again realize some of the players staying is simply a case of no market rather than no desire to move them out.
This is a different song your singing as apposed to what you have been saying for quite some time. Why waive Bell and Blake (who may have tradeable value) when the Leafs could have avoided signing and trading for players like,

Hollweg
Frogren
Deveraux
Moore
Trading Kubina for picks and prospects, which the Leafs could certainly use in a rebuild.

Rather than toss away players on waivers (there is no market, hope i'm wrong though) because Fletch got a little excited with his pen. I would like to see a young player be given the chance to prove themselves rather than be waived to accomodate a signed or traded for 4th line NHLer at a higher cost. That's essentially what Fletcher has done at this point. There will be plenty of marginal NHLers to be had on waivers, but the Leafs don;t exactly have lots of young talent on the NHL door step which deserve an opportunity. The moves Fletch has made (and in some cases didn't make) have taken that chance away from the younger players. You of all people should see that.

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