Every Game Is A Try-Out?

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 25: General manager Brian Burke of the Toronto Maple Leafs answers questions after day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 25, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sure, Michael Langlois can accept the practical reasons for which the Leafs' roster is more or less set before camp even begins, but he's not happy about it. For one thing, knowing exactly who makes the team beforehand is less fun than being surprised, but for another, he doesn't think that this team is good enough to guarantee many players' jobs yet:

A team needs confidence, maybe even that swagger people talk about.  And players need to have a certain degree of security that they are core guys and will be around for the duration.  But here’s hoping this squad doesn’t rest on its rather narrow laurels.

They haven't proven a thing, yet.  It's one thing to look good in training camp.  or to start a season well.  Or even to make the playoffs, which seems to be the very modest objective now viewed as progress in Leafworld.

But we all know that once you make the playoffs, that's often when your real weaknesses are exposed.  And that's when you find out how much better you really need to get.

And the Leafs have not even got near that stage yet.  And we're talking like we have an established roster.

Lots more to chat about after the jump. Hope you're having a good morning!

Leafs Links:

A GM's Carol: Prologue
PPP sets the scene for some fun at the Flames' expense. Well, really, it's also at the JFJ-era Leafs' collective expense, as well. From The Leafs Nation.

A GM's Carol: The Ghost of Aging Veterans
I've written the first chapter in this tale, and it's drawn the ire of more than a few. It's never good to be compared to the Leafs' of early post-lockout vintage.

Other Hockey Links:

No timetable for Crosby’s NHL return
Pittsburgh Penguins star feeling better, says he never considered retirement. He also sats that he wants head shots out of the game: "I read a stat that there’s 50,000 hits in a year, and we’re talking about 50, maybe. You know, 50 head shots. And to take those out, the game’s not going to change," he told a news conference in Pittsburgh. (Personally, I can tell you that last year, there were in fact over 55,000 hits, FYI.)

Sidney Crosby Update: There is No Update
FrankD over at Pensburgh wrote this piece in a somewhat frustrated tone, and I can understand why.

Quebec City’s dream of an arena a step closer
The latest development: the municipal and regional councils have approved the arena management contract and leases inked last week after secret last-minute haggling between Mr. Labeaume, city hall lawyers and the Quebecor media conglomerate. From Sean Gordon at the Globe.

The NHL's Most Interesting Name: 1920s & 30s Part III
The third installment from the name carnival that was the 1920s and 30s. A couple of names here could win it all. From Bettman's Nightmare at AIH.

Saint John Sea Dogs atop Canadian Hockey League power rankings
There was some chatter in yesterday's FTB about watching more of the Sarnia Sting this coming season, and they're ranked in the top 10. From the CP at the Globe.

Remembering the NHL stars of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
The '67 Sound made an excellent point on Twitter yesterday that we should mourn equally the loss of the Lokomotiv players that did not play in the NHL as well as the ex-NHL vets. That said, the reality of the situation is that fans here in North America have stronger ties to the former NHLers, and coverage is given to their losses accordingly. From Greg Wyshynski.

Hockey Is Destroying Western Civilization
This, and more tongue-in-cheek hyperbole from Jonathan Willis at The Leafs Nation.

Do young forwards shoot more as they mature?
Eric T. over at Broad Street Hockey looks at last four years' numbers and figures that they peak around the same age as point production - 26.


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