Previewing the East: Toronto
Changes coming for the Maple Leafs, who are trying to build a winning culture
Sure you are.
The Red Wings don’t open training camp until Sept. 19 in Traverse City, but over the next eight weeks DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose will preview the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, including the Red Wings’ Atlantic Division rivals in Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Buffalo. This week it's the Toronto Maple Leafs:
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Coach: Randy Carlyle
Last Year: 38-36-8, 84 points (12th in Eastern Conference)
Detroit vs. Maple Leafs: 3-0-1
5-on-5 Goals: 153 (sixth in Eastern Conference)
Power Play Efficiency: 50-for-252, 19.8 percent (fourth in Eastern Conference)
|2013-14 Stats||Vs. Red Wings|
|James Van Riemsdyk||LW||25||39||80||30||31||61||4||2||1||3|
|IN THE CREASE|
|vs. Red Wings|
Regular-Season Games vs. Red Wings: Oct. 17 (at TOR); Oct. 18 (at DET); Nov. 22 (at TOR); Dec. 10 (at DET); Dec. 13 (at TOR).
ARRIVALS: Forwards David Booth, Mike Santorelli, Matt Frattin, Leo Komarov, Petri Kontiola; and defensemen Roman Polak and Stephane Robidas.
DEPARTURES:Forwards Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Mason Raymond and Jay McClement; defensemen T.J. Brennan, Carl Gunnarsson, Tim Gleason and Paul Ranger; and goalie Drew MacIntyre.
SEASON SCOPE: New Toronto president Brendan Shanahan has made it crystal clear that the team is looking to find “competitive people” to add to the Leafs’ roster. Problem is he ran up against competition from more appealing destinations in the off-season, and didn’t land any of the big fish he had hoped to reel in, namely, defenseman Josh Gorges (who went to Buffalo), center Jason Spezza (to Dallas) and UFA Dan Boyle (to the New York Rangers). All three snubbed the Leafs, winding up in different locales. The Leafs couldn’t even convince hometown boy Dave Bolland to stick around, and backup goalie James Reimer, who believes he’s still a contender for a No. 1 job, has asked to be traded, though that’s unlikely to happen.
Following their spring collapse when critics placed blame on coach randy Carlyle and the lack of leadership from captain Dion Phaneuf, Leafs management fired three assistant coaches in May. The organization hired former Florida head coach Peter Horachek and Marlies coach Steve Spott to assist Carlyle behind the bench. Spott was credited for making a positive impact with Toronto’s AHL club, and he has a working relationship with Leafs forwards David Clarkston and Nazem Kadri.
|2014-15 EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS|
|Atlantic Division||Metropolitan Division|
|Buffalo (July 24)||Carolina (Aug. 7)|
|Boston (sep. 11)||Columbus (Aug. 21)|
|Florida (July 29)||New Jersey (Aug. 14)|
|Montreal (Sep. 2)||NY Islanders (July 31)|
|Ottawa (Aug. 12)||NY Rangers (Aug. 28)|
|Tampa Bay (Sep. 4)||Philadelphia (Aug. 26)|
|Toronto (Aug. 5)||Pittsburgh (sep. 9)|
|Washington (Aug. 19)|