A few across-the-board thoughts on current happenings with the Marlies, Leafs and around the NHL…
(I won’t be able to post or respond to your comments until later than usual on Wednesday. I’ll respond as soon as possible!)
- I wonder if Kadri’s injury concerns mean the Leafs will not be able to include him in a summertime trade?
- Does Scrivens' fine work this spring establish him as a) a back-up in Toronto, b) a contender to vye for the top job with the Leafs, c) make him a likely candidate to be traded— or d) spend another season playing at the Ricoh?
- Other than the “already-Leafs” (Frattin, Gardiner) which Marlies do you believe are certain to crack the opening-night Leaf roster next October, based on what you’ve seen the last few weeks?
- Frattin and Gardiner aside, which Marlies have impressed you the most this spring—and why?
- Can the Marlies come back against the Admirals?
- After writing glowingly about the Devils (and Kovalchuk) here a week or so ago, they have struggled mightily in the finals. Have the Devils hit their wall, or are the Kings on a roll that just can’t be stopped?
- As for Kovalchuk, he has been largely invisible. Is he just frustrated—or playing hurt?
- Do you think Sutter will win the Cup in LA and then go back home and retire?
- Who do you think deserves the Conn Smythe?
- Do you agree with Gretzky that they should re-name the Conn Smythe after Jean Beliveau?
- Were you surprised to see the Pens step up and grab Vokoun for nothing—and then sign him to a low-cost two year-deal to back up Fleury?
- Will Tim Thomas really stay away from hockey in 2012-'13, or is he trying to force a trade now?
- Do you wish the Leafs had signed Eakins instead of Carlyle?
- Are you surprised the Habs choose Therrien as their coach? Good move—or not?
- We’ve discussed the “Luongo option” here. Where do you stand now?
Bonus question: Do you think Burke will move up from the number five-draft slot?
While the Smythe trophy only originated in 1965 (can you name the first ever winner?), the name Smythe means hockey for me. As a lifelong hockey and Leaf observer, it is vital that we pay homage to our traditions. Smythe was behind the building of Maple Leaf Gardens and the Maple Leaf franchise as we know it. He presided over the only Stanley Cups this franchise has ever won, albeit in a less prominent role in the 1960s.
Beyond that, he is one of the true pioneers and builders of this great sport. His name has to stay on a trophy.
Again, I’d rather incorporate a new award than change the name of an existing one. (I realize that the Lester Pearson trophy is now named after the all-time Red Wing winger Ted Lindsay, but I accept that as a bit different. It’s an award sponsored by the players. Pearson was a respected Canadian politician and diplomat who loved hockey, but was not one of the great builders of the sport…) But if an award were to see a name change, I could accept changing the Lady Byng Trophy, if necessary.
And for that, Beliveau—as one of the finest gentlemen in the history of our great sport, on and off the ice—would indeed be the perfect choice.
Again, send your comments along, and I will aim to respond later in the day on Wednesday.