As the Season Nears, the Anxiety Rises

Leafs' Optimism Mingle With Sense of Urgency - James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail

A lot of what was said on Tuesday at the Leafs’ annual charity golf tournament sounded an awful lot like many of Burke’s speeches the past 2 1/2 years in the job.

What was intriguing is what’s different.

For one, head coach Ron Wilson goes into the season without any cushion, as he’s in the final year of his contract and almost certainly won’t be back should the Leafs miss the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season.

And Burke doesn’t apologize for putting him in that lame duck role.

"If anyone here doubts my loyalty to Ron Wilson, based on the number of times that guys in this group [of media] have screamed at me to fire him, I can safely say I’ve done the right thing by Ron Wilson," Burke said.

"I do think he’s the right coach for this group. If we have the start we want, we’ll address his contractual situation right away. But I didn’t feel I had to extend him to show my loyalty to him. I think I’ve shown that time and again."

Hopefully Burke doesn't do anything silly, like re-upping Wilson after only 4 games.

More links after the jump.

Burke: Leafs Lineup Essentially Set

Apparently you can dress six 4th liners for a hockey game.

Ovechkin the Pick to Lead Scoring in 2011-12

Nostradamus wannabe Scott Cullen predicts a point decline for nearly every Leafs.

Prospects to Watch Series; Swedes Overseas Part 2 of 3

LNO takes a look at Petter Granberg.

Pressure's On for Kadri, Bozak

I don't see Frattin or Caputi making any sort of real challenge for Kadri's spot though.

Catchable Teams

Jonathan Willis lets us know who the Leafs will need to catch to make the big dance.

Maple Leafs We Can Admire Now, and From the Past Six Decades

Mike from VLM brings you some Leafs worthy of praise.

Peter Zezel in Photo Form

This and more photo goodness at Vintage Leafs.

Why the NHL Must Keep Fighting in Hockey

 

 

Dirty Dangle tears apart an anti-fighting article.

Gary Bettman's Labor Day BBQ

How does DGB keep getting invited to these things?

Concussions and Depression: Yes, Virginia There Is a Connection

Puck That Hurts with the medical linkage between the two.

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