A Fortnight On The Farm: Volume Four

This edition has a bit of bonus content since it’s the first day of the Florida Coast league (formerly the GCL) and the youngest of the baby Jays get into an official game for the first time.

I’ll take a moment and review the just-released roster and point out anyone you might be hearing more of in the future (insofar as I can offer a guess). As for the rest, since they have completed exactly four weeks of play since the last day of May, it’s only natural that we take a look at the best June performances across the system (yes, technically there are two more games in June but let’s just go with them, okay?).
To be frank, there are few names here that any but the most intensive MiLB follower will recognize, and many of them haven’t played in any official game at all due to last year’s events. About the only way we can identify players to watch at this point are bigger signing bonuses, and/or appearances on prospect ranking lists. Notably, TSN’s Scott Mitchell prepared a Top 50 list in the pre-season and this team features five players …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Page 6ix Wednesday, June 2nd: The Leafs lost, again, so let’s see what they have to say about it

 
Welcome to a grumpy special edition of Page 6ix: Locker room cleanout. For today’s column, your writer is feeling salty and therefore will just be dumping the Leafs locker room cleanout quotes in here and snarking about them. There are many tweets from many reporters about what the players said, so I collected some of them and shared my brief gut response.
 
I want to preface, though, with this:

As a Leafs fan I can withstand watching a lot of hard hockey things.
There is one thing I have no desire to ever watch and that is Jack Campbell crying in a post game presser after he was one of maybe four players who actually showed the fuck up for that series.
— Mer (@MerOutLoud) June 1, 2021

Alright, let’s do the thing.
First up is the captain John Tavares, and honestly there isn’t anything to snark on here because I’m just glad he’s doing better:

John Tavares: “Personally from the injury, I’m doing really well and continuing to progress. I feel very fortunate considering what I went through, the traumatic nature of the injury. I haven’t seen it myself, just seen a few images.”
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_ …

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Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: 70 years ago this week, Bill Barilko won the Leafs the Cup

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!

This week 70 years ago today (April 21, 1951), Bill Barilko played his final game with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The last goal Barilko ever scored won the Leafs the Cup that year. It was game the overtime winner in game five for the Leafs going up against the Montreal Canadiens.
He crashed the crease in that overtime period flipping a backhand shot over Habs goalie Gerry McNeil landing the Leafs their fourth cup in five years.
His story had a tragic end as that summer, Barilko disappeared on a fishing trip. 11 years later, he and his dentist he went on that trip with, Henry Hudson, were found 100 km north of Cochrane, Ontario.
Barilko’s forever been heroized in Ontario, largely in thanks due to the legendary song by The Tragically Hip, Fifty-Mission Cap.
He had joined the Leafs in Feb. 1947 when he was called up from the PCHL’s Hollywood Wolves debuting wearing number 21. He scored 10 points in 18 games that season, and stayed with the club until his death at only 24 years old. Barilko appeared in 252 games with the Leafs over his career scoring 62 points with another 12 points in 47 playoff games.
Zach Laing is …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: This week in 1995, Wendel Clark makes return to Toronto Maple Leafs

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

This week in 1996, the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Wendel Clark making his triumphant return to Toronto.
On March 13, the Leafs acquired Clark along with Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith, while Toronto gave up Sean Haggerty, Darby Hendrickson, Kenny Jonsson and a 1997 1st round pick (Roberto Luongo).
The Leafs also acquired a 1996 2nd round pick on that day, shipping Dave Andreychuk to the New Jersey Devils.
He scored a goal and an assist in his first game back two days later in a 3-0 win.
Clark’s return came after he spent parts of two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques and the New York Islanders, and saw him come back for parts of three seasons. Between 1995 and 1998, Clark scored 83 points in 125 games with the Leafs.
In ’98, Clark left via free agency to join the Tampa Bay Lightning, before ultimately returning for a final season in 1999-2000 before he retired.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: This week in 1993, Doug Gilmour sets Toronto Maple Leafs records for assists in a season

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!

This week in 1993 (Feb. 22), Doug Gilmour set the Maple Leafs single season for assists in a season with his 73rd of the campaign. He went on to stretch the record by the end of the season, as he piled a career high in assists with 95.
He protected it the following year, posting an impressive 84 assists. Since then only one player has come close to scratching that record and it was Mitch Marner.
In his third NHL season, the 2018-19 campaign, Marner posted a career high 68 assists, only one point away from the 69 total points he posted the year before.
Gilmour’s 95 assist season had broken the previous single-season record for the Leafs which had been held by Darryl Sittler who in 1977-78 notched 72 assists.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: Ten years ago today, Toronto Maple Leafs trade Tomas Kaberle

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

It was 10 years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Tomas Kaberle to the Boston Bruins ending the 8th round picks 12-year career with the team.
In return, the Leafs got Joe Colborne, a first-round pick in 2011 and a second in 2012. Both picks were later traded by the team.
He was drafted by Toronto in the 8th round of the 1996 NHL draft and joined the Leafs two years later. He had a strong rookie season scoring 22 points in 57 games and only got better as time went on.
While he never won the accolades, he was as solid of a top-four defenceman as you could ask for. Kaberle, however, was best known for his offensive upside. Over his career in Toronto, he scored 83 goals and 520 points in 878 games.
Colborne came into Toronto a promising prospect with a big frame, but he only ever played 16 games over three seasons scoring six points. He was traded to the Calgary Flames for a 2014 4th round pick.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.
 

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: This week in 2016, Toronto Maple Leafs trade Dion Phaneuf

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday!

This week in 2016 (Feb. 9), the Toronto Maple Leafs traded Dion Phaneuf and others to the Ottawa Senators in a massive nine-player trade.
The deal saw Phaneuf, Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey sent to the Sens in exchange for Jared Cowen, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg and a second-round pick in 2017.
It ended a seven-year stint for Phaneuf in Toronto and while there wasn’t really much talent coming back in the deal, moving his deal out was the true win.
Here’s some of what Jon Steitzer said about the deal on that day:
First off, the Leafs have managed to dump an incredibly long, and expensive cap hit in exchange for three bad contracts in Greening, Cowen, and Michalek that expire after next season. The Leafs have also managed to gain an extra SPC out of the deal by unloading long shot prospects Bailey, Rupert, and Donaghey, along with Matt Frattin. No salary was retained by the Leafs.
The true gains out this are Tobias Lindberg, and the 2017 2nd Round Pick.
At this point, Phaneuf is far and away the real only NHL talent in this …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: This week in 1993, Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Dave Andreychuk

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 
This week in 1993 (Feb. 2), the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired forward Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa and a first-round pick (Kenny Jonsson) from the Buffalo Sabres.
In exchange, the Leafs sent Grant Fuhr and a fifth-round pick back.
Andreychuk was only in Toronto for four years, but he was an absolute star for the blue and white. Down the stretch in his first season, he scored 25 goals and 38 points in 31 games for the Leafs.
By the time he left in a 1996 trade, Andreychuk had played 223 games for the Leafs scoring 120 goals and 219 points. By the end of his career, the hall of farmer played in 1639 games, good enough to have him ninth on the all-time list.
Puppa, meanwhile, only appeared in eight games for the Leafs down the stretch and was claimed by the Florida Panthers in the 1993 expansion draft. Jonsson, too, spent only a short time in Toronto playing 89 games.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: Two years ago today, Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Jake Muzzin

Throwback Thursday: Two years ago today, Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Jake Muzzin

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

It was two years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired defenceman Jake Muzzin from the LA Kings.
The move saw the Leafs jump ahead of plenty of other teams a month before the trade deadline in acquiring the rugged rearguard. In turn, the Leafs gave up Carl Grundstrom, the rights to defenceman Sean Durzi, and a 2019 first-round pick used to select defenceman Tobias Bjonfot.
Looking back, the deal has worked out well for the Leafs. Muzzin has been great for Toronto scoring 42 points in 91 games all while playing with an edge the defence has lacked. He’s consistently posted above-average underlying numbers (~53 xGF and CF% at 5×5) all the while posting a below-average PDO.
Grundstrom, meanwhile, has appeared in 33 games with the Kings and does appear to be progressing well. He’s tallied seven goals and 12 points in that time with LA. Durzi spent last season with the AHL’s Ontario Reign scoring two goals and 14 points, while Bjornfot appears to be a solid prospect. He spent last year with the Reign scoring 19 points in 44 games.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Throwback Thursday: This week in 1999, Toronto Maple Leafs trade Felix Potvin for Bryan Berard

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 
This week in 1999 (Jan. 9), the Toronto Maple Leafs traded long-time goaltender Felix Potvin to the New York Islanders for defenceman Bryan Berard.
It ended an eight-year run for Potvin with the franchisee who drafted him in the second round of the 1990 draft. Potvin broke onto the scene in 1992-93 with the Leafs playing in 48 games and posting a 25-15-7 record and a .910 save percentage. Named to the all-rookie team and placing fourth in Vezina voting, it was clear that the Leafs had their goalie of the future.
Over the next six seasons, Potvin would be just that. He played in 369 games for the Leafs posting a 160-149-49 record and a .908 save percentage.
But in 1998, the Leafs inked Curtis Joseph as a free agent and Potvin only played five games before going down with a knee injury. It made the latter expendable, and Toronto made the deal.
Potvin never was able to regain the success he had in the Six, and bounced between the Islanders, LA Kings, and Vancouver Canucks before retiring in 2004 with the Boston Bruins.
Berard, meanwhile, only played in parts of two seasons with the Leafs scoring 49 points …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation