If you read yesterday’s GDT, you might’ve noticed that I linked to an article from Dan Saraceni entitled The Complete Encyclopedia of John Tavares telling the Toronto Maple Leafs to get lost [Updated 2/5/17]. Well, it’s due for an update, because the Leafs just visited the Islanders, and things were inevitably said.

Da Leafs

Recap: Leafs blow leads, lose to Islanders in OT, 6-5 | PPP
“Well. That was...not unexpected. Both sides had some great chances to start the OT but the Islanders scored halfway through. Nylander was caught way behind the play, but made an effort to get back. JVR just gave up. Nelson scored. So it goes.”

Tavares praises Maple Leafs' Matthews, deflects UFA questions | Toronto Sun
"Tavares has seen a fellow NHL superstar and Toronto-area product go through the same song and dance. For most of last season, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos went through the same speculation until he re-signed with the Bolts this past summer. 'I think the same thing for him; he just tried to worry about playing and just made sure not to like any tweets,' Tavares said, referring to an incident where Stamkos accidentally 'liked' a Twitter posting speculating he would go to Toronto."

William Nylander a core part of Maple Leafs’ future, shouldn’t be traded | Fan Rag Sporps
"One of the most valuable assets in a salary cap league is young, cost-controlled talent that is still on an entry-level deal. Toronto doesn’t have to give Nylander a raise until the 2018-19 season. That dirt-cheap contract, combined with his potential, makes him an enormously valuable player — especially if they think they can be a contender in the Eastern Conference next season. And given their progress this season and the talent that is being assembled, that might be a very realistic goal."

Maple Leafs Should Target Alzner | THW
"Alzner is a Canadian defenseman who was selected in the first round, fifth overall by the Washington Capitals in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Alzner is a rugged, shutdown defenseman. He’s an excellent skater who also has phenomenal positional awareness, which allows him to be in the right place to make the play while conserving his energy."

Da Bears

Offense, goaltending help Solar Bears sweep Swamp Rabbits | Don Money
"For a good portion of the past month, the Orlando Solar Bears have been having to depend on its defense and goaltending to pick up wins and much needed points. Saturday night, the offense kicked in and Ryan Massa did the rest."

Other Hockey Stuffs

A Letter To The Joe | Zach Werenski
"Dear Joe Louis Arena, It's hard to believe that this will be the last game I ever play on your ice surface. I'm only 19 years old now, and it feels so weird to be saying goodbye to you."

Panthers goalie James Reimer rare commodity in today's NHL | CBC
"James Reimer is something of a rarity in the NHL this season. The 28-year-old is among the few backup goaltenders that can play regularly at around the same level as the starter. In fact, in his first season with Florida, Reimer has almost identical numbers to Panthers No. 1 Roberto Luongo."

NHL stagnant salary cap drama expected in 2017-18 | Puck Daddy
"What’s interesting, and nearly sinister, about this cap stagnation is that it proves so advantageous to the NHL. It creates more forced parity, which by now should be as synonymous with the League as ice. But a stagnant cap could also present a path to the players through which they can get what they ultimately want: The end, or a significant lowering, of escrow."

Tampa Bay Lightning Review: Don’t Count The Bolts Out Just Yet | Bolts by the Bay
"The purpose of this article isn’t to dissect why this is, but instead to present an unpopular and admittedly improbable viewpoint…the Tampa Bay Lightning will make the playoffs again this year." <-- I completely disagree with this article.

Joe Watson: Russian president Vladimir Putin wants to play | ESPN
What, even. "Joe Watson, a Flyers defenseman from the 1970s who has helped organize the event, told the Camden (New Jersey) Courier-Post that the Russian president wants to play."

Which leads to:

Flyers alumni most likely to kick Vladimir Putin’s ass, ranked | BSH
"Below, in order of least-likely to beat up Vladimir Putin to most-likely, is the roster of Flyers heading to Russia together. (It’s expected that several former Flyers who live in Russia will also join the roster, and it’s safe to say none of them will be beating up Putin.) Please tell my family I love them."

Being Gay & Playing Hockey | Anaheim Calling
"The Ducks used rainbow tape in their game against Florida this week - a further nod toward LGBTQ inclusion and acceptance. To most fans - this probably seemed kind of “aww thats cute, good on them” but to me this really meant a lot. To see my favorite team, one I have supported since its inception and for which I have always stood up for during those very down and depressing years, to see that they now had my back, that gesture was beyond symbolic to me."