Man, oh man, I have a veritable buffet of links in store for you this morning. This FTB took double the amount of time it normally takes to complete, but I promise you that it won't disappoint. Every kind of drama you can imagine can be found here: suspensions, suspensions, and more suspensions (and more to come), childish name-calling, a 24/7 and Winter Classic announcement, a Cup guarantee by Glen Sather, and of course, lots of news and discussion on the Leafs' training camp.
Naturally, we turn first to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail for coverage and commentary of the remaining battles for Leafs roster space:
"It's very competitive right now," Wilson said. "Last year, at the end, we weren't very deep on the back end and he was able to get in there and play well. Now we have to see can he play well when there's a little bit of competition and pressure from other people. He's in a fight."
So there are two likely cuts: Scrivens and one of Gardiner or Aulie.
More to come from Mirtle and all the other usual suspects after the jump, but first, I feel it would be responsible to clear up this little rumor:
BrianHuddle Brian Huddle
@RaihanSays Dregs mentioned BB kicking tires on a package including (possibly) Bozak and Gunnar
DarrenDreger Darren Dreger
@mirtle. The only way either would be in play would be for a big forward. Can't see it happening anytime soon.
NHL’s concussion victims ready to face future
Lombardi, Crosby, Perron making progress toward NHL return. Again, from Mirtle.
Leaf Lombardi passes ‘big test’
i don't usually link to The Star (at least, not their Sports section), but no one else is proclaiming quite so boldly as Bob Mitchell is here, that Lombardi is feeling more and more confident about a return, just perhaps, in the pre-season.
Can Gardiner follow in Kaberle's Foot-Steps?
Over at The Leafs Nation, Danny Gray wonders if Gardiner can surprise everyone by cracking the big roster the same way that Kaberle did back in 1998.
What Should the Leafs Do With Jake Gardiner?
Jonathan Willis agrees that it would be best to send him to the Marlies and use Komisarek as benchweight.
Marlies Sign Irwin to AHL Contract
Yes, most of you will already have seen this, and no, it's not big news, but here it is anyway, just in case. From Garrett Bauman at MLHS.
Inside The Blue And White Bubble: Monster Sharp in Road Loss vs Sabres
A bit late for a game recap, but Owen Durkin figures that Jonas Gustavsson was the Leafs' best player in the most recent loss to the Sabres.
TML Fan Fury: Training camp battles...Kadri vs Frattin, Gustavsson vs Scrivens, Gardiner vs Aulie
The folks (or perhaps more accurately, the one lone folk) over at TML Fan Fury break down the remaining training camp battles that Mirtle touched on in his article.
Predicting the Eastern Conference – Version 2.0
I think that David Johnson's prediction of 7th in the East for the Leafs is quite optimistic, but he's happy to share his rationale.
The Tragic Flaw in Brian Burke's Plan
Curt S at Blue Chip Prospects thinks Brian Burke overlooked the effects of a rising Canadian Dollar. Hard to predict such a thing, if you ask me.
Other Hockey Links:
James Wisniewski suspended Video
Here is the Shannaban video explaining Wis' suspension from the NHL's website.
Brad Staubitz suspended Video
Brad Boyes Suspension Explanation
You've probably already seen this one, but it involves a Leafs player, so I've included it anyway. In that sense, it's somewhat of a Leafs link, but I've grouped it here with the other Shanahammer videos.
James Wisniewski, Brad Staubitz given multiple-game bans for hits
If you haven't been following the Shannaban Banithon, you're missing out. Wis gets the rest of the pre-season, and 8 reg. season games, while Staubitz gets the remainder of the pre-season, plus another 3 reg. season matches. This link is mostly included for those of you unable to watch video at work. From Reuters at the Globe.
Rossy’s OHL Rundown
Brendan Ross at the Hockey Writers with previews, updates, and an interview with Max Domi.
Underdog deals may help shape East
Trades that brought Troy Brouwer to the Capitals and Robyn Regehr to the Sabres may not be highlights of the NHL offseason, but they'll impact the playoff picture. Jeff Blay elaborates at The Good Point.
Was Alain Vigneault right to play the Nathan Horton card?
An interesting comparison, actually. I'd say that both hits were were borderline late, but that Murray's hit was more North-South than Aaron Rome's hit on Horton this past summer. This time from Harrison Mooney at PD.
Sean Avery: Wayne Simmonds used homophobic slur against me
Well, isn't this just the pot calling the kettle... uh, let's drop the metaphor, here. AHEM. In other news yesterday, the human torch was denied a bank loan. From Wyshynski at PD.
Everyone’s got an angle
Among other things, Tyler Dellow comments on the effects of a strong Canadian Dollar.
Flyers, Rangers officially set for Winter Classic, Sather Forgets His Meds
Yesterday, the league made official what we all already knew, and announced the Winter Classic. Of course, the bums also quietly cancelled the Heritage Classic a while ago to make the WC just that much more "special". Oh, and they announced that there will be another series of 24/7, focusing on the Flyers and Rags, and Glen Sather promised to win the Stanley Cup this year.
Tom Sestito faces likely suspension, further blurring camp roster battles
Suspensions that complicate roster battles is something that the Leafs have not had to deal with, yet - knock on wood. This is a really dirty hit by Sestito, and deserves a pretty serious suspension. Here's hoping Shannaban keeps 'em comin'.