NHL Canadian Corner – August 20, 2014

Leafs hire more hockey analytics staff amid rumors MLSE honcho Tim Leiweke could be leaving, Senators sign Clarke MacArthur, former Hab Alexei Kovalev criticizes P.K.. Subban, Andrew Ladd gets into Twitter trouble, plus the latest on the Oilers and Flames. 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president & CEO Tim Leiweke denied Friedman’s report claiming he would soon step down. Friedman claims Leiweke’s relationship with the MLSE board is strained.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski yesterday reported the Leafs hired Darryl Metcalf (creator of ExtraSkater.com) and blogger Cam Charron to work in their new hockey analytics department.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leiweke might not be stepping down now but various opinions on the matter suggest he probably won’t be in the position for long. As for the Leafs new hirings, many of us who followed ExtraSkater suspected Metcalf was probably hired by an NHL team or the league itself when his site went dark nearly two weeks ago. Our loss, however, is the Leafs gain. Metcalf and Charron are the latest among those who’ve covered hockey analytics to be hired by NHL teams this summer. 

Senators re-sign Clarke MacArthur to a five-year deal.

Senators re-sign Clarke MacArthur to a five-year deal.

OTTAWA CITIZEN: The Senators yesterday re-signed winger Clarke MacArthur to a five year, $23.25 million contract. MacArthur was eligible for UFA status next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good move by the Senators. MacArthur’s performance last season was among the few bright spots for the club, as he potted a career-high in goals (24) and netted 55 points. He’s been a consistent 20-plus scorers the past three seasons who doesn’t shy away from physical play. 

TSN.CA: Former Montreal Canadiens forward Alexei Kovalev was critical of P.K. Subban’s new contract and style of play, claiming he’s too risky and plays too much of an offensive style, comparing him to Brian Leetch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeah, that’s the type of criticism I’m sure Subban doesn’t deserve, being compared to a fellow Norris Trophy winner, who was also playoff MVP on a Stanley Cup champion and became a Hockey Hall of Famer. And since when did Kovalev become an expert on defensive hockey?

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes the settlement in Steve Moore’s lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi brings into questions the role of former Canucks head coach Marc Crawford into the matter.

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets captain Andrew Ladd claims he accidentally favorited a tweet to a link which was critical of the club’s offseason moves.

EDMONTON SUN: Oilers president Kevin Lowe expects nearly 100 percent of the club’s 1984 Stanley Cup championship roster to attend its 30-year reunion.

CALGARY HERALD: Flames have hired Jordan Sigalet as their new goaltending coach.


  1. And not to be forgotten is the new AGM Brandon Pirdham, who before yesterday Ive never really heard of but reading up on him sounds like (according to rival teams even) he good be a good guy to look after contracts and the cap….busy day in Leafland yesterday.

    Glad CMac got that contract, another guy who was wasted in Toronto…good player seems like a pretty decent contract. Id rather have him than Lupul or Clarkson playing a top 6 spot.

    • Agreed… Toronto keeps wasting good players but this is much bigger than the Leafs. Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment is embarrassing. Toronto can’t put a winning team for any sport.

      Anyhow, after 5 years of wasting players, maybe they’ll contend for 8th spot. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Sens out-do the Leafs this year.

      • the sens stink dude i’ll take that bet

        • The season hasn’t even started and we’ve already started the Blue team elimination watch. Time to get ready for another Laffs collapse, cause you know it’s coming!

          • I dont think as a team they are necessarily any better than last year (a team fighting for a playoff spot) a little deeper than its been in quite a few years which should help prevent major collapses but still believe that them and the Sens will be in close to the same position as last year. Dont really understand how that is an elimination watch or a collapse, even last year not sure how anyone thought that team was anymore than it proved to be, which was a team that would finnish with in a few spots of 8th.

        • The leafs are now looking like the old Senators. They have been choking… uhem… Game 7 against the Flyers. The difference between the Leafs and the Sens is the fact that Toronto has huge contracts given to regular players like Clarkson and Phaneuf. Not to mention Clarkson was hurt all season last year and Lupul is often injured. As for the Sens, they have the same if not better talent and even better prospects with a third of the salary budget. Leafs will choke again. especially under the current coaching staff… and I predict more player coach issues this year. So while the Sens stink, in your opinion… the Leafs STANK!

  2. Defense … isn’t that the thing that bailed Kovalev out when he wasn’t back-checking after a lazy failed entry into the offensive zone?

    • yeah he was rumored to join the russian diving team

  3. MLSE honcho Tim Leiweke could be leaving?…and he hired Shanny…and since then, Shanny has done this that and the other. Well…lets hope this small golden pond of forward thinking is allowed to remain in place

    • The board at mlse runs the show not Tim. He has to build consensus among them for major moves which leads to alot of the infighting and frustration which has come out in the news recently and could be some of the reason for his rumored departure in the first place. , If he does leave next year I doubt whoever replaces him would be allowed to (or that it would be a good idea to) dismantle how the front office has been rebuilt over the past few months. No one expects the Leafs to be “fixed” over the course of 12 or15 months with all these new hirings Shanny will get his time to correct some of the mistakes made in the past, no saying it works out and if it doesnt at that time maybe whoever yakes over for Tim will go in a new direction but for the time being its in Rogers and Bells best intrest to let this play out and hope for the Leafs success to sell their packages. Rogers in particular now with the rights to the NHL that they possibly overpaid for.