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Reading the Tea Leafs: Bates Battaglia

Following on the success of two other dormant series Chemmy and I have decided that in order to fill the gap in NHL news that we'll take a look at each of the current Leafs, possible Leafs on the Marlies, and prospects. We'll recap their performance last year, what we can expect from them, and how they can win our hearts (hint: signing the contract was a good first step...unless your name is Bryan McCabe). We have no idea how long of a series this will end up being or how consistent it will be but with two of us expect it to only be half as half-assed and twice as timely.

Here's Bates' biggest highlight from 2007-2008. Unfortunately, it came in the first week.

Contract Status (according to NHL Numbers)
$650K salary, $650K cap hit, UFA July 1, 2009

Age (as of October 1, 2008)
32 December 13, 1975

NHL Seasons

Run of the Mill Biographical Information

2007-2008 Stats and Team Ranking

(Scoring rates via Behind The Net)

Counting Stats Total/Rank Category 5-on-5 5-on-4 4-on-5
Games Played 13 - 25 TOI/60 4.47 - 27 0.07 - 28 0.19 - 18
Goals 0 - 25 Pts/60 0.00 - 26 0.00 - 17 0.00 - 7
Assists 0 - 26 GFON/60 0.00 - 27 0.00 -18 0.00 - 9
Points 0 - 26 GAON/60 6.19 - 1 0.00 - 18 0.00 - 18

Marital Status
A girlfriend but with a bit (yes, that was a pun) of a reputation as a player.

Former Leaf he'd have to play like in order to be christened a deity
Should that read what Marlie he'd have to play like?

Biggest Question Marks
Will he get a call up to the Leafs if there are enough injuries?

2007-2008 Summary

Bates' season peaked much earlier than he would have liked. He was always a favourite of Paul Maurice and needing a conditioning stint in December probably wasn't the best way to pay him back for his faith. As you can tell by the numbers Bates really was a non-factor for the Leafs but he did do a much needed job with the Marlies in providing veteran leadership.

Of course, last year they had that in abundance since the Leafs' lacked a lot of kids on the farm. He added 12 goals and 14 assists in 56 games before adding six crucial goals in the AHL playoffs to get the Leafs to the Conference Finals (or to failure if you are Damien Cox). Would that run have been better if Pogge was in net? Ummm, yes but at the very least it was playoff experience for the young skaters.

Projected 2008-2009 role/team

Looking at the players under contract and Cliff Fletcher's dedication to proper rebuilding there is no way that Bates will make the team out of training camp. In fact, if he so much as gets a call-up to the Leafs this year then you can only assume that a bitter sens fan has blown up the ACC.

Not that he won't have a big role to play in the future of the Leafs. While Bates can be a frustrating player (stupid flat stick, you are no Doug Gilmour) he is the kind of player that shows the kids that no matter how hard you work there will always be someone that is willing to work harder to take your spot on the team so bust your ass before you wash out. Actually, that's the lesson that Boyd Devereaux and Dominic Moore will deliver too...and with better results. And that's why he'll be with the Marlies all year.

For the poll option, the options are meant to solicit whether you think that at the end of this season you will feel that the player has improved, stayed the same, or fallen back from 2007-2008. It's not meant to be based entirely on points.