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From the Branches: What now?

The seasons is over. Where do we go from here?

Dave Sandford/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs 98th NHL season is over.  No playoffs again, for the 10th time in 11 seasons.'s it going?

There's lots to still talk about, the playoffs start Wednesday night, we have the Marlies to follow as they #ConquerCalder, and the draft lottery is 19 days away. Let's get going.

2015-2016 Season Wrap-Up: Black and Blue and White - Blue & White Brotherhood
This year though, it's different. Legitimately. Mike Babcock at the helm, youth in the lineup, a few veteran players with chips on their shoulder, it seemed authentic. In one way or another, everyone on the Leafs had their own reasons to be a defiant bunch of punks, who wouldn't take a poor season lying down.

Leafs from Rivers: RFAs, the Series - Episode 5: Frank Corrado
Corrado faltered slightly in the more traditional scoring stats, scoring only 6 points in 38 games. However, it still seems he has had a respectable season.

End of season report card for Maple Leafs' management - Shanaplan Debate
Today is report card day, and it’s time for the credit to be distributed amongst the Leafs’ management team. This report card will be from the 2015 NHL draft to the end of the 2015-16 season.

Toronto Maple Leafs Should Target Patrick Wiercioch - Editor in Leaf
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun wrote yesterday that the Senators aren’t likely to qualify Patrick Wiercioch. This should interest the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto Sports Media Sit Down With Ray Ferraro - Toronto Sports Media Blog
TSM: What bothers you the most, or what’s the one thing you would like changed about the game of hockey today?

RF: Probably the 3 feet around the rink near the boards, and the goal crease grey area. I think we should always aspire for greater safety without the dinosaur thought "back in the day". And the way the goalie interference and what is/isn’t a goal drives me crazy . I want more goals.

Processing Pavel Datsyuk Leaving - Winging It In Motown
The Wings have a monumental task immediately in front of them before we have to deal with the business side of the sport. Detroit's playoffs will open in Tampa Bay against the team that eliminated them last season. Detroit will go in as the weakest team in the weaker conference.

Who Deserves the Norris Trophy? –
The NHL award that seems to be generating the most interest and discussion this season is the Norris Trophy given to the best defenseman. In some circles Drew Doughty seems to be the favourite because he is having a great season in a great career on a team having a great year.

How safe are Dave Tippett and Don Maloney? - Five For Howling
The rebuild seems to be off to a good start, but one report suggests all is not necessarily well in Arizona's front office.

Sabres’ Evan Rodrigues scores first NHL goal; kids score NHL college scholarships - Colour of Hockey
The Sabres called Rodrigues up and the former Boston University standout responded by scoring his first NHL goal Saturday in his second game in the bigs.

Akil Thomas taken in first round by Niagara IceDogs in OHL draft - Colour of Hockey
What, how did this get in here?

Finally, on a sadder note, Philadelphia Flyers founder, owner, and lockout advocate Ed Snider passed away last night at the age of 83.

Ed Snider Passes Away At 83 " CBS Philly
Snider had been battling cancer, receiving treatment at his California home after a recurrence of cancer. The Flyers visited Snider at his home on New Year’s Eve and proceeded to go on an impressive run, which they are hoping will carry them into the postseason.