Examining the Maple Leafs post-lockout readiness, plus the latest on Jordan Eberle and Mason Raymond.
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox examines the Maple Leafs readiness if a season-saving CBA is implemented this month. He noted they have only four Leafs (Clarke MacArthur, Mikhail Grabovski, Nik Kulemin and former Marlie farmhand Leo Komarov) are currently playing anywhere. If the salary cap for 2013-14 declines to $60 million, the Leafs currently have $41.5 million invested in 13 players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If, as many observers hope, the puck drops on this season by January 19th, there will be considerable focus upon the Leafs in the rumor mill, as they’ve been frequently linked to Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo. Would they make a move for him right away? Or wait and see how their young tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens perform? If they wait too long, they risk another club jumping in and making a better offer.
THE AHL.COM: Edmonton Oilers forward Jordan Eberle ended 2012 with a natural hat trick leading the Oklahoma City Barons to a 5-2 win over the Texas Stars on December 31. Eberle is currently the AHL’s leading scorer, picking up another two points on New Year’s Day in a 4-2 Barons loss to the Houston Aeros.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If there is NHL hockey this season, the Oilers could be in good shape. Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have played well in the AHL this season, as has promising defenseman Justin Schultz. This foursome could help lead the Oilers to their first playoff berth since 2006.
CALGARY SUN: Vancouver Canucks winger Mason Raymond planned to head to Sweden on New Year’s Day to begin playing for Orebro HK, but wouldn’t mind if it’s a short trip should there be a new NHL CBA in place soon.