Thanks to James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail and The Fan 590 out of Toronto, we found out from Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson that he’s got his eyes on a captain for next year’s Maple Leaf squad and it’s none other than Sean Avery’s favorite zinger target, Dion Phaneuf.
“We wanted to let everything play out over time, let him get comfortable here, let him get to know everybody, everybody to get to know him, but right now I’d be perfectly comfortable with Dion as the captain of the team.”
That’s kind of a big deal for the still-rebuilding franchise as current captain Tomas Kaberle’s no-trade clause goes away now that Toronto has missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year. Kaberle, to his credit, is ready for anything.
“I’ll deal with whatever comes. I’ll do my best to be in my best shape. If it’s here, great, if not, I have to move on.”
Tough spot to be in for sure, but after rumors of being dealt for the last few seasons, perhaps Kaberle will be eager to get out of YYZ and off to another, more playoff ready location. After all, it’s not as if the Maple Leafs are lacking on defensemen with the likes of Phaneuf, Francois Beauchemin, Luke Schenn, Garnet Exelby, emerging youngster Carl Gunnarsson and the untradeable Jeff Finger. Dealing Kaberle for a top six forward should be a priority this summer for the Leafs.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being spanked in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”