Is trouble brewing in Toronto?
That’s the question many were asking today as Maple Leafs head coach Ron Wilson declined to address reporters following practice. That Wilson chose today to bail was rather curious, as the Leafs are going through their first bit of adversity this season. They’ve lost three of five and been outscored 12-1 in consecutive losses to the Bruins and Panthers with goalies Ben Scrivens (seven goals on 21 shots) and Jonas Gustavsson (five goals on 27 shots) struggling mightly.
The goaltending issues came to a head last night as Wilson not-so-subtly threw both under the bus in the postgame presser.
Wilson: “We’ve gotta support our goalies better. It’s a rough time for them. We have to play better defensively, but sometimes that’s hard to do when you don’t give up any chances and the pucks’ in the net…and it’s not a scoring chance.”
Wilson: “Their goalie [Jose Theodore] made a number of big saves and unfortunately we didn’t get a save, and that sunk us.”
Reporter: “How do you move ahead when both goaltenders are kind of fighting it?”
Wilson: “Well, they’ve gotta work hard in practice. That’s their responsibility to sit there with Frankie [goalie coach Francois Allaire] and go over the games. At least now we go on the road, maybe they can relax a little bit and not worry about what happens if they make a mistake. And hopefully they’ll bounce back.”
It was widely predicted the Leafs would struggle when starting goalie James Reimer was lost to injury, and those predictions have come true. (Doesn’t sound like Reimer’s close to returning, either.) So you can understand why Wilson is trying to keep the media at bay — he’s got nothing good to say about his current goaltending situation, so it’s probably best not to say anything.
Just not sure how long that’s going to work. It’s the Toronto media, after all.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won’t require arbitration with forward Peter Holland. They’ve signed the 25-year-old to a one-year deal worth a reported $1.3 million.
Holland had a hearing scheduled for today. Last week, the Leafs sent a message by putting him on waivers, which he cleared.
Holland had nine goals and 18 assists in 65 games last season. With him signed, the Leafs have only defensemen Frank Corrado and Martin Marincin as restricted free agents. Corrado has an arbitration hearing scheduled for tomorrow; Marincin’s is next Tuesday.
Related: Corrado and Leafs aren’t that far apart
This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn
Ben Scrivens is off to Belarus. The 29-year-old goalie has reportedly signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.
Scrivens made 14 starts for the Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16, failing to really take advantage of his opportunity with the Habs and finishing 5-8-0 with a .906 save percentage.
In total, Scrivens made 144 appearances (130 starts) in NHL games, his best season coming in 2013-14, which he split between Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Oilers gave up a third-round draft pick to get him. They eventually acquired Zack Kassian when they dealt him away.
Related: Maple Leafs reportedly close to signing Jhonas Enroth