Leafs Nation was abuzz yesterday with something resembling hope after the Globe and Mail reported that Leafs' management has been given the green light to burn the city to the ground and rebuild through the draft system - but for realzies this time, they swear.
This - and other news - to chat about around the water cooler today:
Shanahan’s scorched-earth Leafs plan wins MLSE support - The Globe and Mail
We have heard it before, but Cathal Kelly seems to be a believer that Shanny will stick to a rebuild plan now that he has the apparent approval of the omnipotent MLSE board. The alleged centerpieces of this burn-and-turn scheme are Reilly, Gardiner, Bernier, Nylander, Kadri and JVR - although none of them are considered "untouchable". Notice the glaring omissions of Kessel, Phaneuf and Clarkson. I don't have it in my heart to cheer for them to tank, but if I could somehow find a Delorean, I would shake Shannahan's hand for having the stones to do what no man has done before.
Insider Trading: Green light for Leafs - Video - TSN
Duthie and the panel on the latest from the Leafs rumour mill, in light of the above.
Lee scores 2, Halak earns 30th win as Isles top Maple Leafs - Yahoo Sports
An article that includes a short debrief of last night's game - and this unlikely line: "the Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders, who have won three straight and four of five" #whatistheworldcomingto
Game Recap: Isles 3, Leafs 2 (Immoral Victories) - Pension Plan Puppets
A recap of last night's game in case you didn't see it and you really want to get a good taste of what defeat feels like.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kessel withers in face of adversity | National Post
The (starting-to-become-warranted) crucifixion of Kessel continues.
The Day the NHL Died: A Look Back at How Far (?) We've Come Since the 2005 Lockout
Remember that time that Gary Bettman was the worst Valentine of all time and cancelled hockey? It's been 10 years since the 2004-2005 lockout, and as DGB explores, the year off ended up affecting more change in the NHL than just a Maple Leafs playoff curse and general suckage.
Theo Fleury gives country music a try - NHL.com - NHL Insider
Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels. Not a joke. It sounds like he has more voice modulation than T-Pain.
Las Vegas NHL ticket drive gets 5,000 commitments in 36 hours
I sincerely hope there is an open competition for naming LV's inevitable hockey franchise.
Matt Martin poses with unsuspecting Islanders fan wearing his jersey (Photo) | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports
I think this is just awesome.
2015 NHL Draft prospect Hanifin a top defenseman - Prospects
Although I suspect the Leafs will lose just enough games to stay out of the playoffs and win just enough games to miss a decent draft pick, a terrible skid late in the year is always somewhat brightened by a look at what's on tap for the draft. Noah Hanifin - top defensive prospect.
Playing the percentages in the NHL Draft - Article - TSN
... and while we are talking about drafting, TSN gets into the finer details (read: math) behind draft picks.