Toronto Maple Leaf Sleepers...

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by TorontoGM, Feb 25, 2006.

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  1. TorontoGM

    TorontoGM Registered User

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    As the Leafs reach the middle of this hockey season tied with the
    Pens for last place in the eastern conference, fans in Toronto are
    starting to lay the blame. Like clock-work, every year Leaf fans
    start the season off with high hopes and open wallets, two quantities
    that the Leaf management will inevitably squander away as the year
    progresses. Fortune telling is a cheap business, more dependent on
    hope then statistics, and it's obvious that Toronto fans have been
    using the former rather then the later to fuel their conviction of a
    triumphant playoff run. Now, as the hour hand reaches the lowest
    point and the Leafs find themselves in the middle of the season with
    one of the worst records in the Eastern conference, fans begin to
    forget about the game of hockey and move thier attentions towards an
    even older game; the blame game.

    This reporter will not stoop so low as to lay the blame at the feet
    of imagined culprits. It's been plainly obvious to myself (and any
    Toronto fan who chooses to open his eyes) that the Leafs are not a
    play-off team. It is utter madness to expect Vokoun to play every
    night and face 28.7 shots/game, or expect a defence that has a depth
    which couldn't even rival the depth of Paris Hilton's personality to
    improve on that dismal SA/G average. It was a flukish luck that saw
    the Leafs reach an almost 0.500 record before christmas, and the
    current implosion in the teams performance should not come unexpected.

    It is with difficulty that I force upon myself better intentions, and
    choose to write hope rather then the ever popular blame. Let me be
    the first to foster hope in beleagured Torontonians and point out the
    almost un-noticable silver ligning in the gray cloud obscuring the
    horizon. Let me bring to light some diamonds in the rough, which are
    so often overlooked by star-dazzled cup-hungry fans.

    Tony Salmelainen:

    The 24 year old Finish native currently finds himself in Finland
    where he's tied for leading point getter in the FNL with 46 points in
    47 games. Salmelainen had some notiriaty in Finland in the first
    half of the season where he scored 5 goals in one game, a feat that
    has not been seen in the FNL for 15 years. After being drafted in
    1999 by the NHL oilers in the 2nd round, he played two more years in
    Finland before coming to North America where he played just 13 games
    for the Edmonton Oilers befor the lock-out, failing to earn a spot
    due to his small 5'9" frame. Despite his size Salmelainen makes up
    for it with his incredibly fast skating, and is probably one of the
    fastest skaters on the ice. His skating, coupled with a quick
    release and an offensive eye make him an ideal candidate for the new
    NHL. Look for Salmelainen to flourish at his new home in Chicago in
    2006/2007.

    Alexei Kaygorodov:

    Ottawa fans have been salivating over the possibilities that this
    young Russian center can bring to a Senators team already stacked
    with offense. There was much disapointment that Kaygorodov's
    contract obligations could not be cleared for the 2005/2006 season
    where he is currently playing in the RSL for Mettalurg and where he's
    accumalted 27 points in 44 games. Kaygorodov really impresed the
    hockey world last year, managing to come away with the RSL point
    leader title. That feat was all the more impressive considering he
    was playing with bonefide NHL stars such as Ilya Kovalchuk and
    Vincent Lacavalier, in a year where the NHL lock-out forced many
    NHLers to play in Russia. Currently he's playing second line to
    Malkin's first, so the reduction in point output is expected with the
    less ice-time. The loss in position to Malkin does not come
    unexpected due to rumours of Malkins extended contract with metallurg
    and his improvement in play. Canadian fans might remember Kaygorodov
    from the recent Spengler cup games, where he managed to put away a
    goal and two assists in Russia's win over Canada for the gold.
    Although Spezza's position is undoubtably secured, expect kaygorodov
    to secure a spot as a second line center.

    Martin St. Pierre

    An underdog story at it's finest, Martin st. pierre was ranked 3rd in
    points in the OHL in 2003/04 and was named OHL playoff MVP. However,
    due to his small 5'8" frame, he failed to get drafted by an NHL team
    and was looking doubtful to even land a pro contract. Martin was not
    disheartened, he managed to work his way onto the Edmonton
    Roadrunners from a training camp invitation. When that franchise
    disolved, he found himself in the AHL playing for the Norfolk
    Admirals where he is now second in points on the team, with 50 points
    in 51 games. Don't let Martin's small frame and great offensive
    potential fool you, he's one tough cookie, always looking at upending
    larger opponents and racking up 78 penalty minutes this year in the
    process. Probably the highest achievement to date for the AHL rookie
    was making the Canadian AHL all star team, the only Norfolk Admiral
    to be given the priveledge. During the all-star game he managed to
    rack up two goals as the Canadian AHL all-star team beat PlanetUSA 9-
    4.
     
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