Recently the Maple Leafs played the Penguins in ‘Steel town’ for game one of their home-and-home match-up, losing 5-4 in a game-deciding shootout. For anyone who failed to watch the whole game, Tyler Bozak “scored” the icebreaker for the Leafs about 2 minutes into the first period, only to be waved off. As the replay was shown on TV, everyone agreed that the referee had blown the call and the goal should have been reviewed; something that is non-existent in today’s NHL rulebook.
Coaches should have the right to review a possible goal, or any ‘phantom’ call for that matter, as it is very important to any hockey game. Even at the beginning of the season, the points add up in the end and one blown call can be detrimental to a potential win and ultimately their playoff chances. In this specific scenario the Leafs might have gotten the extra point in the end, not to mention holding the Penguins off from getting a point whatsoever. However, the referee had mistakenly make a bad call and has now left the Buds with a little added pressure on their young shoulders worrying about making up that blown point in another game elsewhere.
I know it’s still February, but the points add up, and as we’ve seen in the past, the differential in points between the 8th and 9th place team is often by 1 or 2 points. These blown calls don’t only happen with the Leafs; they happen night in and night out league wide. The NHL should allow the coach to challenge a “bad” or “good” call made by the referee so teams are always awarded the right call, and possibly the 2 points. The element of strategy is another factor which would be implemented to this rule change, ultimately holding the coaches responsible for their fate if they fail to make a challenge. Between the excitement of challenged plays and the decreased percentage of blown calls, it is hard to disagree that it is time for the NHL to seriously take this into consideration.
Here’s the clip of the goal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRfHfPuXvqM
After a strong start to this month’s home stretch, the leafs fell back to earth and maybe even lower as they lost two very important games over the course of the weekend. Friday night the Leafs were in Buffalo and for the most part did play a fairly strong game but were unable to pick up the victory and ultimately lost by a score of 3-2. The following night at home on Saturday the Leafs played host to the Rangers. This game was not very fun to watch from a Leafs’ perspective as they were unable to get anything going for majority of the game and ended up getting shut out by a score of 3-0. A 4-2 record this month is not that bad, but because of the extremely tight standings, the two losses this weekend ultimately have pushed the leafs out of the playoffs and sitting in 9th place. This is not the end of the world, simply because a winning week this week will put us back into the top 8 as it is literally is that close, however it is an area of concern as the Leafs need a strong end to this month’s home stand.
Another area of concern has been the ‘cooling’ off of the leafs’ top snipers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. They have now gone 3 consecutive games without registering a point; their longest streak of the season. On the bright side, center Tyler Bozak is set to return to the lineup Tuesday night and return to the Leafs’ top line alongside Kessel and Lupul. Tim Connolly has simply not been able to connect with the 2 snipers, something Bozak has, therefore a shift in the lines have been implemented ahead of Tuesday night’s match-up with the Senators. The line-up is as follows:
On the defensive end, after briefly being sent down to the Marlies, rookie Jake Gardiner is back up with the big club. It is not yet known who will be sitting on the defensive end, but all eyes point to Gardiner getting back into the lineup. Finally in goal, James Reimer will see his first action in six games, as he tries to get back into the win column and win back his number 1 job.
This past week also saw the beginning of a long month ahead filled with crazy trade speculation and rumors. The spark to this period… Brian Burke’s comments on a radio show where he stated that the Leafs are closing in on a deal and although things can change, it is “very likely” the Leafs make a move shortly.
These comments were made last week, and we have yet to see a deal, so maybe it fell through? Or perhaps Burke is waiting for the right opportunity to make a splash. Regardless Burke knows we are one impact forward away from being a contender in the East, and personally I have a gut feeling it will be sooner rather than later that this forward lands in Toronto.
Time to cue the names rumored to be on the move… We have heard the likes of James Van Riemsdyk, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Eric Staal just to name a few. With Van Riemsdyk’s most recent concussion you can all but scratch him off the list as potential trade bait (unless it is very minor and he returns to action within the next few weeks).
Bobby Ryan is probably the most rumored to be on the move of the remaining three and perhaps the most acquirable asset for the right price. The rumored asking price for Ryan/Getzlaf from Anaheim’s perspective would be one of Joe Colborne or Nazem Kadri, a prospect, and a 1st rounder. Depending on who that prospect is and how high they are on the rankings can essentially make or break this trade.
Looking through GM Brian Burke’s eyes, I think it is safe to assume he expects he would have to let go of one of those young prospects although he might try to ship off a roster player instead of another prospect to minimize the damage done to the youth pool. Also, because the Leafs would be acquiring another top line asset, this makes a 2nd/3rd line guy expendable, for example Mikhail Grabovski or Clarke MacArthur (both of whom have been rumored to be on the move).
Finally defenseman Luke Schenn may also be used as heavy trade bait simply because our defensive depth has exceeded expectations this season and with John-Michael Liles set to return soon, the logjam on the back end is quite a waste. Yes I know, the more depth the better, but there comes a time when excess parts are converted into covetable assets, which in this case means trading a defender (and perhaps more), for an impact, top-six forward.
With all of that said, the rumors are expected to wheel in as we approach the end of January and into the beginning of February. Burke is known to make his ‘big’ moves well ahead of the deadline so it is safe to say the end of January is a possible time frame for one of these deals to go down (if they do). Until it happens, all of us fans will have to wait patiently and hope Burke can pull of some magic like we have seen him do in the past.
Aside from the rumors, these upcoming games are as big as ever, and the team needs to focus on winning some hockey games and picking up points, ensuring they are back in the top 8 for good.
The Toronto Maple Leafs made their final cuts today, and rookie defenceman Jake Gardiner has made the team. Gardiner made it very difficult for Ron Wilson to keep him off the opening night roster. Despite that, there is still a strong case to be made against him.
Gardiner played well. In six pre-season games, the 21-year old scored a goal and added three assists. His smooth skating and incredible poise with the puck saw his ice-time jump from 16:06 in the pre-season opener against Ottawa, to 26:26 against Buffalo.
Wilson claims that Gardiner has been, at times, his best defenceman. But one has to wonder if that’s simply because he’s playing so much. He’s been exposed to a lot of high-pressure situations, and passed mostly with flying colours.
As impressive as Gardiner has been, it’s probably better the Leafs take a cautious approach. It’s not uncommon for rookies—especially around these parts—to shine in pre-season, and stumble when the games start to count. One needs to look no further than two years ago. Nazem Kadri and Viktor Stalberg were both extremely impressive in camp. Stalberg led the NHL in scoring in exhibition play, and some thought he might be a viable candidate for the Calder award.
Kadri got sent back to junior, and Stalberg managed just 14 points in 40 games with the Leafs. He was traded to Chicago in the off-season. Last year he scored 24 points in 70 games with the Blackhawks. Kadri has still not lived up to the hype, or the skill he showed in that first training camp.
The same might be true for Gardiner. Sure, he’s looked phenomenal in a small sample, but what happens if he struggles through October? Does he get sent back to the AHL? What might that do for his confidence?
Gardiner’s inclusion on the team can be considered a bit of a surprise. GM Brian Burke usually likes to let his young players play in the AHL before making the jump.
When he was the GM in Anaheim, Burke had a trio of young forwards who made good first impressions, but were ultimately sent to the AHL for seasoning. Bobby Ryan, a highly-touted second overall draft pick, spent 48 games in the minors in his rookie season. He also saw time there in his second year.
Similarly, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry played 17 and 19 AHL games, respectively, before becoming a permanent fixture with the Ducks.
Burke is clearly not one to rush his youngsters.
The best comparable for Gardiner might be Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. The two have similar playing styles as offensive, puck-rushing defencemen. Subban played a grand total of two regular season games with the Habs in his first pro season, and they were as an injury replacement. He spent the year in the AHL, scoring 53 points in 77 games. He was then an important fixture of the Canadiens’ improbable post-season run that year.
Last year was his first full one in the NHL, and while there were ups and downs, he looks poised for a long, strong career. Nobody ever had their career ruined by spending too much time in the AHL.
Gardiner looks like he could be a fine player for the Maple Leafs for many years to come. The club must be wary of exposing him to too much too soon. He will not be playing 25 minutes a night as he has in pre-season. Is it really worth it to have him on the roster for the sake of being in the NHL, and only play 15 minutes a game? Wouldn’t it be far more beneficial for his development to play upwards of 25 minutes in the AHL?
The Leafs are not starved for bodies on the blueline, as they were when Luke Schenn was a rookie. There are arguably seven NHLers ahead of Gardiner on the depth chart. They should have been the ones to break camp with the Leafs. Gardiner should be called up when he has nothing left to prove at the AHL level.
According to Bob McKenzie on Twitter, Leafs forward Nazem Kadri could be out if the lineup for up to 4 weeks after injuring his knee Tuesday night against Ottawa. The Leafs are expected to release an official statement tomorrow morning. This could mean a roster spot for Matt Frattin to start the season, as he was jockeying with Kadri for a spot on the third line.
Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they had cut 14 more players from their training camp roster, assigning them to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. The most significant of the cuts was forward Joe Colborne, who was considered to be in contention for a roster spot.
The full list of cuts is as follows. All players were assigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL).
Assigned to Toronto (AHL) : Luca Caputi, Joe Colborne, Jerry D’Amigo, Ryan Hamilton, Marcel Mueller, Kenny Ryan, Greg Scott, Mike Zigomanis, Jesse Blacker, Jeff Finger, Simon Gysbers, Korbinian Holzer, Juraj Mikus, Mark Owuya, Jussi Rynnas.
The Leafs also announced that they had returned forward Greg McKegg to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Luca Caputi, Ryan Hamilton, Mike Zigomanis and Jeff Finger will all have to clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL.
While there are still more important cuts to be made, you can tell that the Leafs roster is beginning to take shape. The following players remain in camp:
I’ve predicted who I personally think will be cut once the season rolls around, based on keeping two defenders and one forward scratched.
- Matthew Lombardi either slots in the lineup as a center or winger, which effectively forces Matt Frattin and Nazem Kadri to the minors. If he’s injured to start the season, Darryl Boyce plays in his stead.
- The Leafs will opt to go with 8 defensemen. My guess is that Keith Aulie and Mike Komisarek will sit.
- Phillipe Dupuis will win fourth line center duties. He’s a fearless shot blocker, speedy and throws his weight around. He’ll be flanked by Mike Brown and Colton Orr. If Brownie is a no-go opening night, look for Boyce to play in that hole.
- The Leafs third line will eventually be Lombardi with Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong.
- If both Lombardi and Brown are both injured to start the season, the Leafs will keep Jay Rosehill around. He’ll patrol the ice with Orr until Brown is healthy. Boyce will play on the third line. Notice how Boyce is very versatile.
The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle is reporting that the Leafs have cut 23 players from their training camp roster. This list – which features hardly any surprises – can be found below.
Assigned to AHL: Will Acton, Tyler Brenner, Matt Caruana, Dave Cowan, Jamie Devane, Josh Engel, Brayden Irwin, Kyle Neuber, Denny Urban, Kelsey Wilson
Assigned to Junior: David Broll (Sault Ste. Marie), Sam Carrick (Brampton), Andrew Crescenzi (Kitchener), Josh Leivo (Sudbury), Josh Nicholls (Saskatoon), Sondre Olden (Erie), Stuart Percy (Mississauga), Brad Ross (Portland), Garret Sparks (Guelph)
Released from Try-out: Garrett Clarke, Mitchell Heard, Mike Schwindt, Matt Stanisz
My thoughts on the cuts:
- Mitchell Heard is the only name on the list I’m somewhat upset about. Although unspectacular, Heard had a good showing in the rookie tournament, not unlike Andrew Crescenzi‘s last year which landed him an ELC.
- Kenny Ryan remains. He’s likely AHL bound, but his strong game against Ottawa has shown the brass he might be ready for prime time.
Colby Armstrong 6’2 195 Forward
Darryl Boyce 6’0 200 Forward
Tyler Bozak 6’1 195 Forward
Mike Brown 5’11 205 Forward
Luca Caputi 6’3 200 Forward
Joe Colborne 6’5 213 Forward
Tim Connolly 6’1 190 Forward
Joey Crabb 6’1 190 Forward
Jerry D’Amigo 5’11 213 Forward
Philippe Dupuis 6’0 196 Forward
Matt Frattin 6’0 200 Forward
Mikhail Grabovski 5’11 183 Forward
Richard Greenop 6’4 246 Forward
Ryan Hamilton 6’2 230 Forward
Nazem Kadri 6’0 188 Forward
Phil Kessel 6’0 202 Forward
Nikolai Kulemin 6’1 225 Forward
Matthew Lombardi 5’11 195 Forward
Joffrey Lupul 6’1 206 Forward
Clarke MacArthur 6’0 191 Forward
Greg McKegg 6’0 195 Forward
Dale Mitchell 5’9 200 Forward
Marcel Mueller 6’3 232 Forward
Colton Orr 6’3 222 Forward
Jay Rosehill 6’3 215 Forward
Kenny Ryan 6’0 210 Forward
Greg Scott 6’0 193 Forward
Mike Zigomanis 6’0 200 Forward
Keith Aulie 6’5 217 Defence
Jesse Blacker 6’2 190 Defence
Jeff Finger 6’1 209 Defence
Cody Franson 6’5 213 Defence
Jake Gardiner 6’2 184 Defence
Carl Gunnarsson 6’2 196 Defence
Simon Gysbers 6’4 200 Defence
Korbinian Holzer 6’3 205 Defence
Mike Komisarek 6’4 243 Defence
Matt Lashoff 6’2 204 Defence
John-Michael Liles 5’10 185 Defence
Juraj Mikus 6’4 210 Defence
Dion Phaneuf 6’3 214 Defence
Luke Schenn 6’2 229 Defence
Jonas Gustavsson 6’3 192 Goaltender
Mark Owuya 6’2 198 Goaltender
James Reimer 6’2 212 Goaltender
Jussi Rynnas 6’5 212 Goaltender
Ben Scrivens 6’2 192 Goaltender
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star speculates that unsigned Coyotes forward Kyle Turris could be a trade option for the Maple Leafs, stating that very preliminary talks may have taken place between Brian Burke and Coyotes GM Don Maloney. He goes on to say that Tyler Bozak could be the asking price for the former third overall pick of the 2007 entry draft.
In my opinion, this could be a great deal; or it could blow up in our face. It’s not known for sure if it would just be Bozak for Turris straight up, but at this point in time it would be a hell of a hard decision to determine who has more value.
Turris has more offensive potential than Bozak, but currently is (and projects to be) a better all around player.
What are everyone else’s thoughts on this?
May 4th, 2004. That date can mean many different things to people; but for any die hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan like me, you’ll recognize that date as the last time the Leafs saw playoff action. It was game 6 in the conference semi-finals against the Flyers where they lost 3-2 off Jeremy Roenick’s GWG to put away the series. Since then I’m sure many suffering fans have developed distaste for the Flyers, I know I have. But that’s all in the past; it’s time to look ahead to the future which looks very promising.
This year’s free agency class hasn’t created much of a “frenzy” for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s safe to say that the Brad Richards situation put a damper on the Leafs’ hopes of acquiring a top line centre. Despite all this, the Maple Leafs and fans have a lot to look forward to this coming season. Arguably the biggest name the Leafs have signed this off-season is Tim Connolly. The 30-year-old had 13 goals and 29 assists in 68 games last season with the Buffalo Sabres. Connolly will add some jump to the top 6 forwards, and he has the potential to be a 70-point or more player, provided that he stays healthy. He will be contending with Tyler Bozak and Mikhail Grabovski to centre the top line of Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. Mathew Lombardi is also in the mix for the top centre position, if and only if he is healthy enough for action. Nazem Kadri will most likely be moved into a winger position, which will suit his style of play a lot better. Kadri has the skill, but the size factor is his biggest issue. If he wants to have an impact on this time, he’s going to have to train hard so he can provide more “truculence” along with his finesse.
Brian Burke also locked up three of their solid grinders Mike Zigomanis, Darryl Boyce, and Joey Crabb to one-year contracts. Along with the acquisition of Philippe Dupuis, the Maple Leafs will have all the force necessary from their forwards. And who can forget Colton Orr? Expect to see a lot of offense this season. The forwards are developing quite nicely within the organization. Joe Colborne and Tyler Biggs are just two names for fans to get excited about.
With the average height of 6’3, the Maple Leafs’ defense will hopefully live up to the expectations they’ve had on their shoulders for the past two seasons. Look for Luke Schenn to continue his strong and dominate play on the Leafs’ blue line from last season. With any luck, John-Michael Liles will do what he was brought here to do, which is fill in the hole of puck-moving defenceman Tomas Kaberle. Brett Lebda was the closest thing the Leafs had to Kaberle during the second half of the season; that isn’t a good thing. Miraculously Burke was able to pull a rabbit out of the hat and actually acquire something decent for him in Cody Franson and Matthew Lombardi. Many fans including myself have been less than impressed with the performance of Mike Komisarek, former all-star defenceman for the Montréal Canadiens. If his dreadful play continues, it is likely that Burke will pool him in a trade for another asset that he may have his eye on. And let’s not forget about Optimus Reim, the Maple Leafs’ number one goalie James Reimer. The 23-year-old from Morweena, MB, had a 20-10-5 record, with .921 SV% and a 2.60 GAA; not bad for a kid buried within the system. He is an outstanding athlete and human being, who this year will give the Leafs some much needed support in goal.
May 4th, 2004. Given some of the additions Brian Burke has made combined with the development of the young players in the system, that date will likely be changed to mid/ late April of 2012 when the playoffs begin. The Maple Leafs are a solid young team and should definitely make the post-season this year.
- Michael Cappabianca
Hockey’s most non-eventful month is nearing its end. In a time of year where the retirement of Dave Scatchard makes headlines, August is also when hockey pundits and restless fans make their predictions for the upcoming NHL season. After an offseason of draft choices and free agency signings, the projected rosters of the NHL’s thirty clubs are analyzed for signs of success and failure. Which team improved the most? Who spent the most money? Whose rosters are best suited for the Stanley Cup next spring?
Where do the Maple Leafs stand in all of this chatter? Well, The Hockey News slots the Leafs in at 10th in the East, missing out on the playoffs for the 8th straight year to the likes of the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers. This is certainly a fair prediction, if only because the Leafs’ roster on paper doesn’t appear poised to usurp either of these clubs as a playoff team.
Luckily, the NHL season does not play out “on paper”. Leaf fans have plenty of reasons to be excited for the upcoming campaign. However, this has become an offseason of “wait-and-see” for Leaf fans. For the time being, we have lost the ability as a fan base to effectively argue the legitimacy of our club’s strengths. After a couple years of optimism heading into the pre-season, nobody will listen anymore. The canned responses are already prepared – “That’s what you guys say every year”, “The Leafs have no number one centre”, “Is James Reimer a legitimate starting goaltender?”
Until the Leafs play their way out of the depths of their post-lockout failures, the arguments will persist. This is why Leaf fans should just sit back and wait for the play on the ice to dictate the level of respect given to their favorite club. In the end, the Leafs haven’t yet shown why they are deserving of anything more, aside from a few promising post All Star break stretches.
Leaf fans know the reasons why their club is vastly superior to the line-up that took the ice last October. And compared to the team Brian Burke inherited that saw the likes of John Mitchell lining up beside our prized (and at the time, only) goal-scoring threat Phil Kessel… well… there is no comparison.
This year’s club puts forward the realization that before Mr. Burke took the helm, Leaf fans have been treated with the opportunity to watch glorified AHL teams scratch and claw their way to 9th place finishes. Remember John Pohl? How about Andy Wozniewski? There are reasons why many of the players who suited up for the blue & white during these failed seasons haven’t come remotely close to the league since.
The JFJ era wasn’t all bad, however. Aside from a pair of truly horrifying trades for “starting goalies”, the regime made a few positive contributions. Fergie and the Maple Leaf scouts drafted well and contributed multiple successful draft picks to the current organization. Carl Gunnarsson, Nik Kulemin, James Reimer, and Matt Frattin are just a few in a long list of excellent draft choices.
Regardless, these have been some dark years in Leaf land since the departure of captain and franchise player Mats Sundin. To use a tired cliché, we are now seeing the light at the end of that tunnel. The Leafs are one of the youngest teams in the league and have the opportunity to develop together and build something special that will bring the magic back to Leafs nation. It’s been too long. Jeremy Roenick’s overtime winner stands in time as the last memory of the blue & white partaking in meaningful springtime hockey.
To this point, the Leafs have deserved the criticism and ridicule. However, no one who follows the Leafs with a fair an objective view can deny the changes in atmosphere throughout the entire organization. Burke has built an all star management team and has eliminated any sense of entitlement amongst the players. Burke’s philosophy is simple, if you don’t want to win as badly as he does, you don’t deserve to wear the Maple Leaf.
How will it feel when the Leafs play their way back to respectability? I for one will take delight in seeing the band wagon fill up again, with smiling faces cheering along for a team they once took such joy in belittling.
Regardless of whether or not the Leafs make the playoffs this year, the organization now has a purpose. They have emerged with a sense of identity, and a penchant for winning. After all, Burke has stated countless times that this club is not being built to merely sneak into the playoffs. This club is being built to win the Stanley Cup.
With the calender reaching August, the 2011-12 season is right around the corner. It seems Brian Burke is done signing free agents, due to the abundance of forwards and defense. Tons of questions still remain on the Toronto Maple Leafs. But here are a few thoughts and opinions on their upcoming season.
1.I feel that Komisarek and possibly Bozak will be dealt this season for a prospect or a mid round pick. Possibly packaged together, or separately in bigger deals.
2.Frattin will out play Kadri in preseason and will take his spot in the line-up. Kadri will start the season with the Toronto Marlies, and will build chemistry with Colborne. Is it a good thing? I say yes. Kadri should be top 6 or AHL bound this season. Putting him on the third line is going to hurt his development.
3.During pre-season, Ron Wilson should put Kulemin on a line with Phil Kessel and Tim Connolly, and put Lupul with Grabovski, and Macarthur. With Kulemin’s strong board play, and his great defensive play; him and Connolly would really help that line defensively and offensively.
4.Cody Franson won’t live up to the high expectations many Leaf fans are already putting on him. Unfortunately, many Leaf fans only see his size, offensive capabilities, and age, and think he will be a stud. Playing on a great defensive team, Franson wasn’t that good in his own end, and using a better choice of words than Bill Watters– Franson is “soft”.
5.If the rumours of Phil Kessel training with Gary Roberts are true; And with the addition of Tim Connolly–who is known to be a play making centre; Kessel will score 40 goals this season.
6.With the additions of Greg Cronin and Scott Gordon to the coaching staff, and a few new additions to the Leafs line-up; The Leafs power play will rank around 15th in the league.
7.Dion Phaneuf will return to his old self. With the additions of Connolly and John-Michael Liles, Dion Phaneuf will improve this season, and will get most of his points on the power play.
8.Mathew Lombardi won’t be healthy enough to start the season in October. He will play his first game as a Maple Leafs late November or Early December.
9.James Reimer won’t be as good as he was last season. But he is still going to be a steady goalie this season. His attitude will help him get out of funks, and won’t allow him to go into a sophomore slump.
10.If the Leafs aren’t over .500 in the first 3 games, the famous “Fire Ron Wilson” line will come back more than ever.
11.If Lombardi is indeed healthy, there will be no need to panic if Tim Connolly goes down with an injury. In the 09-10 season, Lombardi was able to put up 53 points in 78 games with the Phoenix Coyotes, registering 19 goals and 34 assists.
12.If he is still a Maple Leaf this season—Tyler Bozak will be an effective third line centre with Colby Armstrong. The 2 have shown chemistry in the past, and have been very effective on the penalty kill.
13.Luke Schenn will be re-signed in the next 2 weeks. Don Meehan—the agent of Luke Schenn; has publicly stated Schenn’s contract will be an “August issue”.
14.Brian Burke will get a first line centre sometime this season. Burke knows the Leafs desperately need a true number 1 centre, and he will work harder than ever to acquire one.
15.If the Leafs get out to a steady start, and don’t go on 5 game losing streaks like before, they will make the playoffs.
After 17 seasons in the NHL, Chris Osgood retired today at the age of 38 with 401 career wins. Chris spent most of his NHL career playing for the Detroit Red Wings (14/17 seasons), the other 3 seasons he played for the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. He also won 3 Stanley Cups (’97, ’98, ’08) and is a 2-time winner of the William M. Jennings Trophy. Chris is one of the few goalies who scored a goal legitimately. He scored against the Hartford Whalers on March 6, 1996 on an open net. Pretty impressive for a goalie to shoot a puck over 10 skaters and glide the puck into the net 200 feet down the ice. Chris was also named to the All-Star team 3 times (’96, ’97, ’08) but could not play in ’97 because of an injury.
Chris was a gifted and talented goalie, but it was inevitable that his tenure was coming to an end. After losing his starting job to Jimmy Howard the last few years, he simply could not play to the pace he once did. With that said, NHL fans, especially from Detroit recognize his contributions and will miss him dearly.