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To Tim Connolly or Not to Tim Connolly?

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Tim Connolly Finally Set to Make Leafs Debut - James Mirtle at the Globe and Mail

For the first time this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs should have all of their key players together and healthy come Thursday night at the grand reopening of the reconfigured Madison Square Garden.

And that means general manager Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson will have a couple of tough calls to make.

Entering the lineup for the first time is expected to be oft-injured centre Tim Connolly, the team’s only notable free agent signing last summer and the designated Phil Kessel setup man, who has missed the season’s first eight games with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

But then you have;

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs Better Off Without Tim Connolly for Now? - Lukas Hardonk at The Hockey Writers

While we could sit here and go on and on about why Connolly makes sense for the Maple Leafs, is it sensible to put him in the lineup at this current time? There is doubt that it will happen, because what team would sit a player with 395 points in 627 regular season games who makes $4.75 million per season?

Let’s ignore his career numbers and current salary for a moment, though.

The Maple Leafs are currently 5-2-1 with 11 points, which puts them near the top of the Eastern Conference. While it is certainly too soon to tell if this Leafs squad is for real, it is easy to argue that there is no sense in changing around the lineup when your team is on an early-season tear.

You could argue If it isn't broke don't fix it, but this Leafs team is far from firing on all cylinders and could definitely use a good tune up. More links after the jump.

Leafs Links

Crowded House: Making Space for New Talent - Defence

Blue Chip Prospect sizes up the future of Leafs D.

Dougie Hamilton: The Forgotten Piece of the Kessel Trade

The 2011 1st rounder is putting on a show in the OHL.

Shutdown the Monster Experiment

Jon at Puckin 'Eh has seen enough of Gustavsson.

Other Links

The Pink Elephant in the Room

Andrew from Puck Buddy's writes an op-ed in the Globe and Mail regarding the bullying and subsequent suicide of a 15 year old figure skater.

The Greatest Trade a Sixth Grader Would Ever Make

1967ers talks about trading for the oldest card he could as a kid.

Luck vs Shot Quality in Shooting Percentage

Hawerchuk re-visits his least favorite topic.

Getting to Know the NHL's New Coaches

DGB with the cliff notes on the new bench bosses.

GMs Call for Mandatory Visors

Holmgren and Burke want this done.

The 19 Year Old Draft Sounds Good to Me

Mike from VLM likes it. I disagree.

Tim Hortons Lasagna

It's good.