Morning Hits: Leafs, the “No Sense” Part of Expansion and Burns

Kessel and van Riemsdyk_7508318
  • Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun: The Maple Leafs are considering splitting up Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk as they are concerned that there is too much fire power on their first line and not enough on their second line.

    Things that make no sense with regards to NHL expansion:

    1. Seattle has a willing owner, a promise from the NHL, but no building to play in and no real fan base.
    2. Las Vegas has a building to play in but no owner.
    3. The NHL would be foolish to lump Toronto in with other expansion bids. A Toronto expansion team could sell for almost twice the price of teams in Seattle or Vegas.
    4. Quebec is the most NHL-ready market, with owner and building. The NHL needs as a fallback position for a franchise in need of a move such as Florida or Arizona.
    5. Having 34 NHL teams doesn’t make sense, 32 does

  • Eric Gilmore of Sharks GM Doug Wilson on the Sharks moving Brent Burns back to the blueline.

    “We acquired him in a trade to be a stud defenseman,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “To find a guy at that size who can shoot and skate that’s played in this League and been an All-Star as a defenseman, we don’t think there’s going to be any issue there, and especially if you’re working with [associate coach] Larry Robinson and [assistant coach] Jim Johnson.

    “It’s also something that Brent really wants to do. In my conversation with him, he views himself as a defenseman. Having that big body back there that can be creative and also shoot the puck like he does, we think will be a great asset to our team.”


  1. Fog Horn

    August 31, 2014 at 10:45 am

    The Kessel / JVR thing is just pure speculation by Simmonds. All that will be decided in camp, not in August. When there is nothing to report people make stuff up.

  2. ross

    August 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    funny, I like JVR but to say “Too much fire power” and be talking about a guy who only had 61 points which was also a career high is a bit of a stretch.

  3. ChrisB

    August 31, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    To be fair, speculation pretty much what Simmons does. He’s been around awhile, so I’m sure he has some inside sources, but sure doesn’t use them. He’s more of an opinionist than insider. That’s always been his niche, and he does it well.

  4. tim bell

    September 1, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Here’s a wild idea. Why not get a player who can play on the second line and have two good lines. LA has four .

    • Leafs

      September 1, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Yeah, just stick their hand into the bucket of good 2nd liner free agents and pick one already!!

  5. Ty

    September 1, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Correction; 34 teams doesn’t make sense, neither does 32. 30 Sounds just about right; how about moving some teams to better markets? Then develop some creativity to market hockey to otherwise non-hockey markets. This could range from allowing multiple TV networks to cover the same games, as apposed to forcing everyone unto a crappy network. And maybe not trying to change the game every fricken year. More teams, doesn’t also equal more money. The more you have, the more there are in the bottom of the barrel. And they’re ticket sales will go down. When your CBA requires the more wealthier teams to share the wealth, your doing it wrong.

    • Cole

      September 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      The reason people say 32 makes sense is to balance out the conferences. The reason for all the expansion speculation is that with 8 teams in each division, there won’t be any team given an advantage solely by which division they play in. In fact, if it weren’t that and the buzzworthy aspect, nobody would even say Las Vegas. I think Seattle or Portland should get a team, and either Kansas City, OKC, Houston, Indianapolis, Saskatoon, or Salt Lake City should get a Central team. They’d need to build a loyal fanbase quickly, but those are sizeable markets (excepting Saskatoon), and Kansas City, Houston, and Saskatoon all have venues and ribalry potential (St. Louis, Dallas, Winnipeg, respectively).