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Topics - Nik

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All Sports But Hockey / Canada Joins Diplomatic Boycott of Winter Olympics
« on: December 08, 2021, 01:12:38 PM »

Have to be honest, I think this is pretty gutless. Nobody cares about a diplomatic presence at the Olympics. By sending the Athletes you're effectively endorsing the games.

All Sports But Hockey / 2021-2022 Official Toronto Raptors Thread
« on: October 20, 2021, 09:14:21 PM »

Well, they're back and, uh, they might not be great. Either way, this is the place to talk about this year's Raptors and, by mid-year, post Chet Holmgren highlight videos.

General NHL News & Views / 2021-2022 NHL Thread
« on: August 13, 2021, 09:07:37 PM »

Former Leafs: Ex-Files / RIP Miroslav Frycer
« on: April 27, 2021, 10:29:43 AM »

Sad to hear. He was pretty good for some of those terrible 80's teams.


So this sort of seems to be the big story in the sports world. I'm not the biggest soccer fan, or even one at all to be honest, but the way I understand it is that 12 of the biggest teams in Europe who play in their domestic leagues but also play in a Europe-wide Champions league that they have to earn their way into based on merit have decided instead to replace the Champions league with a league they've created themselves where they'll have permanent spots in and only a few spots will be available for teams from smaller leagues to earn a place.

Basically, it looks like the Americanization of European soccer where a handful of teams are "Major League" and earn the most money and the rest are minor leagues. It's lead to all sorts of outrage from Soccer's governing bodies, including threats that the players on these teams(which comprise some of the best players in the world) could be banned from international competitions. That has led to threats of lawsuits from the 12 clubs.

Anyways, it seems like a real mess.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Top 6 Winger
« on: March 05, 2021, 05:26:21 PM »

So as mentioned in yesterday's gameday thread the buzz seems to be that the big addition that the Leafs are looking to make is to add someone to play in the top 6. Personally, I think that makes a fair amount of sense as Kerfoot is probably the guy in the lineup right now who looks the least suited to what's being asked of him and the Tavares-Nylander pairing could do with a bit of juicing(and with the MEH line looking as good as it does, breaking that up to help the 2nd line seems like a waste)

So with that in mind who are candidates people like? How much cap room do they have to work with? I mentioned Rickard Rakell the other night but could Taylor Hall be viable considering his re-signing in Buffalo seems...unlikely at this point? Is that even the position the Leafs should be addressing?

General NHL News & Views / 2022 Team Canada Thread
« on: February 03, 2021, 10:14:44 AM »

Admittedly it's still a long way off but some concrete news:

Seems like an alright choice.

General NHL News & Views / Gretzky at 60
« on: January 27, 2021, 08:58:04 AM »

So with Wayne Gretzky turning 60 I was thinking it was kind of ridiculous that the League hasn't chosen some form of lasting honour in Gretzky's name. While Gretzky isn't my choice for best player ever in terms of peak performance, it's hard to argue with his career as the best ever. So given that we've already got the Richard and Lindsay, I feel like it's probably time to start thinking about the right way to honour Gretzky with an award. Some ideas:

1. Rename the Art Ross. In general I don't think awards should be renamed because it maybe suggests the honour is temporary but this seems like the best fit.

2. Rename the Conn Smythe. Same as above. I like this less because the fit seems less appropriate and the Conn Smythe trophy itself is so cool.

3. All Star Game MVP. Kind of a minor award that nobody pays a lot of attention to but it's unnamed right now at least.

4. Come up with some sort of equivalent to the Hank Aaron award. Either a Best Forward award or maybe a Best Overall Player thing.

Anyways, just spitballing on a snowy morning. Thoughts?

Ok Blue Jays Talk / 2021 Blue Jays General Discussion Thread
« on: January 19, 2021, 05:54:54 PM »

Some interesting roster news. The Jays have apparently signed Kirby Yates. Yates was hurt and ineffective last year but the year before led the NL in saves and struck out 101 batters in 60.2 innings.

All Sports But Hockey / Lou Marsh Award
« on: December 08, 2020, 04:24:28 PM »

The Lou Marsh Award was announced today and it was won by both Alphonso Davies of Bayern Munich and Laurence Duvernay-Tardif of the KC Chiefs.

Seems like a nice outcome but some Soccer fans are hilariously upset about it.

Former Leafs: Ex-Files / Howie Meeker passes away
« on: November 08, 2020, 02:49:57 PM »

4 time cup winner with the Leafs, legendary broadcaster and one time Federal Member of Parliament Howie Meeker has passed away at 97. What a career.

General NHL News & Views / The Trouble With Tampa
« on: September 29, 2020, 01:33:22 PM »

So I brought this up on another site but I thought it might be worth discussing here.

Basically, when a team wins a championship it's instructive to look at how they did it and how a team might try to recreate their success. Now, in Tampa's case, there are a lot of examples of them being a smart and well managed team that seem to fit that. There's finding Kucherov in the 2nd round, there's the Drouin-Sergachev trade, there's investing a high draft pick in the right goalie, finding good undrafted players...

But let's be real, if you were trying to put together an approximation of Tampa's roster, really your first step would have to be "Find several world class players and convince them all to take drastically below market deals" and...ok, how? How is that repeatable?

But beyond that, I think you have to notice a trend here. When you look at most of the recent cup winners, you're going to find that a huge chunk of their performance can, at least in part, be chalked up to world class players on contracts that they're outplaying by a great deal. Whether that's young guys on cheap 2nd contracts(Chicago with Toews/Kane, LA) or it's players on contracts that are no longer legal(Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago with Hossa/Keith).

So where does that leave teams now that it looks like those cheap 2nd deals are a thing of the past and backdiving deals can't be signed? Are the champion teams of tomorrow going to be teams that have the sort of inherent advantages Tampa has? Or is it just going to be teams who have the good fortune to have their players not be the type to maximize their deals(or, in Colorado's case, a weird Mackinnon like development pattern?)

Because I really don't think it's good for the league if a chief lesson to take away right now is that it's very hard to build a championship team around star players paid appropriately.

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Manny Malhotra to join Leafs as assistant coach
« on: September 17, 2020, 12:07:10 PM »

Former Leafs: Ex-Files / Eddie Shack 1937-2020
« on: July 26, 2020, 10:49:39 AM »

Before my time but I met him as a kid in the parking lot of the St. Lawrence Market and he couldn't have been a nicer guy.

General NHL News & Views / 2020 HHOF Induction Thread
« on: June 23, 2020, 04:57:43 PM »

Just because I'm bored...

Tomorrow they'll announce this year's inductees into the HHOF. Jarome Iginla, in his first year on the ballot, seems like the only sure thing. Marian Hossa, despite still technically being under contract, is also on the ballot and it seems crazy to me that he wouldn't also be put in on the first go. The other first year guys of any note being eligible are Brian Campbell(nice player, no chance) and Shane Doan(lol)

Beyond that it's the typical backlog of semi-qualified guys who almost certainly would be in if they played in the inflated scoring years of the 70's and 80's but who struggle to stand out from the crowd. I think Mogilny has the best case of those guys with Fleury, Cujo and Lecavalier being three guys I'd also largely be in favour of.

My guess is that the HHOF screws it up again and they skip Hossa, induct Iginla and probably put in Alfredsson as well.

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