Around The Nation: Toronto Wins The Cup* (*=Calder)

It’s Sunday morning and time for our newest tradition here at JN: Linking to everyone else’s work!

In all seriousness, the Nation boasts some pretty strong writing that is worth checking out, and it’s always good to catch up on other NHL teams, right?

Maple Leafs Nation

Toronto finally won the Cup.

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The Calder Cup. Amazingly Leafs fans have been kinda low key cool about it and not completely proclaiming that this is a harbinger of five Stanley Cup championships to come or anything like that, but an AHL championship does go a long way in helping fans feel good about a potential future where the lone accomplishment they get to enjoy is an AHL championship.

In other news, John Tavares has mentioned Toronto as a possible destination when July 1 hits and of course TLN is all for that.

Based on Staples comments, it seems like if Tavares could pick any team that he wanted to go to, it’d be the Kings or the Leafs. And Staples isn’t wrong about the Kings, they have less than $4 million in cap space, and they have four players on their roster they still need to re-sign. Unless Tavares wants a two-way contract to play for them, or the Kings make a deal to shed a lot of cap space, that isn’t happening.

Flyers Nation

Claude Girioux finally won an award… Well, more to the point his dogs did in the super important “Fan Choice Awards”.

Also Flyers fans are eyeing up Paul Stastny – as should everyone that can afford a center like him. Again it just goes to show that the Jets may have a lot of work in front of them if there is a real desire to keep him around for next season.

Of all the possible 3C options via free agency, Stastny would provide the most significant improvement. Realistically, he could assume the role of 2C for another franchise. However, in Philadelphia, that role belongs to Nolan Patrick. Still having the likes of Stastny, Patrick, and Sean Couturier centering the Flyers top three lines would provide the team with some much-needed depth that it has been missing.

Flames Nation

Some have suggested that when a team buys out a player’s contract, it’s admitting to a mistake made by the GM which in the Flames case has happened a few times over and they took a look at the Flames recent history of buyouts.

While we’ve talked a bit about how the Jets do not have a pick in the first round of the draft, the Flames also face a similar situation or having zero first round draft picks and a question on how they should get one if at all. The biggest difference is the Flames prospect pool is more shallow than the Jets have right now:

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Let’s assume the Flames are hellbent on getting back into the first round for just a second and are willing to pay the high price to do so. The whole concept seems counterintuitive to me knowing the moves made by general manager Brad Treliving over the last few years.

Wings Nation

It’s been a week of looking over potential draft targets like Ryan Merkley and Bode Wilde, but Wings Nation is also looking at other more established players to help the team return to playoff glory and one such target is former Atlanta Thrasher, Ilya Kovalchuk although to be honest, that seems a bit strange for a team that was talking about going with a big youth movement a short while ago:

Do you really want Kovalchuk taking up one of those roster spots and stunting the development of one or more of their prospects? Sticking veterans in the lineup over young prospects is how the Red Wings got into the situation they are in now. Granted, they were trading for veterans in order to make a playoff push, but now that the playoffs are a longshot, they need to embrace the rebuild, like the Toronto Maple Leafs did, and give the young prospects more playing time and responsibility.

Canucks Army

The top 100 draft prospects series wrapped up for CA this week by taking a look at talents such as Keith Tkachuk’s OTHER hockey playing kid, Brady as well as the future number one overall pick Rasmus Dhalen.

They also took a much closer look at Evan Bouchard and more to the point, his skating ability. Bouchard has been tabbed by most mock drafts to be available around that number seven pick that the Canucks hold.

Without the puck, expect Bouchard to improve his coverage and gap in the own zone as he learns to become more proactive with his feet. Neither area looks to be a strength for Bouchard moving forward, but I certainly expect him to show better in both those regards than he did in junior.

Blue Jays Nation

The Jays are selling dirt. No, seriously they are selling dirt from their infield which isn’t even really dirt as they found out when they cracked open a bottle of 30 buck dirt recently.

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Meanwhile, Cam Lewis penned a great read on Troy Tulowitzki and everything from his much hyped arrival as the Jays transformed into a team that was “going for it” to his latest injury woes.

It was absolutely mind-blowing. The Jays, in real life, just acquired the five-time All-Star and MVP-candidate, the one I cheated to get in video games, and they were going to add him to a lineup that already featured Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Russell Martin. The Jays sure as hell couldn’t pitch, but good lord, they were going to do whatever they could to outscore everybody.

Oilers Nation

At first we thought Dan did some Lord’s work in ranking the top 10 hockey moves of all time, but then we saw what movie nabbed #1 and were instantly disappointed.

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What also might be disappointing for Oiler fans (see what I did there?) is if the Oilers don’t get a good return for Milan Lucic:

Of all 31 NHL GMs, Chiarelli should know Lucic the best. Lucic has played 11 seasons in the league and Chiarelli has been his GM for ten of them. He knows his personality, his strengths and weaknesses and who he is on and off the ice. He should have the most informed opinion on what Lucic is capable of moving forward.