It’s New Years Day, which I assume will mean that not many people will read this FTB. Normally I don’t bother with resolutions, partially because I know I won’t keep them, and partially because I believe you shouldn’t need an arbitrary date to resolve to do something that betters your life.

I’ve already made some mental commitment to exercising more (I ordered a rowing machine), eating better, spending more quality time with my wife (surprisingly something that we had trouble with for a while during the pandemic when we’re shut in the same house together), and so on.

But my PPP new years resolution is to stick with my newfound interest in prospects and scouting. I doubt I’ll ever get to the point of being anywhere near the level of a Kevin Papetti, Scott Wheeler, Lauren Kelly, and so on. But I can at least get better at knowing about our Leafs prospects, and some guys that I find interesting for various reasons.

And true to what I’ve said above, I’ve technically already started this. I’ve learned how to watch games for our prospects in the NCAA and MHL (and I want a word with the shitty camerawork in Siberskie), and I’ve tried a couple of QMJHL games as well. During this WJC, I’ve seen every Finland and Russia game, and specifically focused on our prospects. Watching their various skills and techniques, to the point that I can now spot Topi Niemela without seeing his jersey number just from watching him skate — it is distinctive to me now.

It’s something I hope will lead to some semi-frequent articles here, though I’m not sure how frequent. At the very least I hope it will help me be more knowledgeable about our young adult sons!

How Maple Leafs can use taxi squad to manage salary cap crunch | by Chris Johnston at Sportsnet

NHL taxi squads: How they will allow salary cap-strapped teams to save cash | James Mirtle with a look at the same topic, with a focus on the Leafs.

(PAYWALLED) The Finnish first line of Roni Hirvonen, Anton Lundell, and Kasper Simontaival is the World Junior’s best | by Lassi Alanen, Finnish Scout at Elite Prospects. This was before Canada completely dominated Finland in last night’s game, mind you.


Stories of the Year: COVID-19 and the NHL | by Jon Steitzer at TLN

Barzal remains unsigned by Islanders; three players agree to terms | by

Speaking of RFA centers... In one day, we went from hearing how Pierre-Luc Dubois and the Columbus Blue Jackets weren’t talking and rumours starting about how he wanted to be traded, to this:

It’s sometimes fun to see former Leafs filling up another team’s lineup...

The Flyers are getting, uh, creative with how they’re handling their glut of defense: