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SIMMONS: Dubas in sizzling seat to seek out reply to Leafs’ goaltending woes


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Kyle Dubas thought Garret Sparks may play purpose for the Maple Leafs. He was incorrect.

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He thought Michael Hutchinson may very well be an honest backup/third-string goalie for the Leafs. He was incorrect.

He thought Petr Mrazek was the goaltender to signal final summer time to convey stability and assurance to the Leafs. He was incorrect.

Dubas has juggled goaltender determinations in his time as basic supervisor of the Maple Leafs and dropped far too many balls whereas doing so. And now he has a goaltending disaster of types simply weeks earlier than free company begins within the Nationwide Hockey League — and he must be the final particular person, based mostly on his historical past of goaltending decision-making to be making the relatively vital name on who performs purpose for the Leafs subsequent season and past.

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The Leafs fired goaltending coach Steve Briere final week, ostensibly blaming him for an organizational failure. The firing got here, not based mostly on one yr of labor, however on a historical past of getting Briere’s goaltender of alternative outplayed in each playoff-clinching sport the Maple Leafs confronted.

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That’s truthful and unfair at precisely the identical time. It’s truthful that the Leafs goalies had been outplayed. It’s not truthful that the coach is essentially liable for who that goaltender occurs to be.

What the Leafs want now — and I’m instructed this isn’t a certainty of any form — is a few sort of administration construction that higher understands learn how to draft, commerce for, scout and develop goaltenders, one thing that simply hasn’t occurred within the Brendan Shanahan years operating the Leafs.

Letting Dubas choose the following Leafs goalie is akin to throwing darts blindfolded at a goal whereas anticipating a bullseye. There have been too many errors made already. The Leafs can’t afford any extra.

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THIS AND THAT

In equity, scouting goaltenders isn’t precisely science. Most groups don’t do it very properly and lots of groups want luck to seek out the best goalie. Ed Belfour went undrafted and so did Curtis Joseph. Patrick Roy wasn’t a excessive draft choose and neither was Dominik Hasek. Igor Shesterkin was a fourth-round choose of the New York Rangers and, earlier than him, Henrik Lundqvist was a seventh-round choice. Groups have been incorrect extra usually than proper in in search of goaltenders … It’s not not like drafting quarterbacks, which NFL groups miss on yr after yr. That’s how Tom Brady will get chosen after Tee Martin and Spergon Wynn are already chosen within the draft. Quarterbacks and goaltenders, crucial single positions in sports activities, are additionally probably the most difficult to correctly establish … The Leafs didn’t dislike Briere as a goaltending coach. They disliked the ultimate outcomes. He took the hit for lots of others who didn’t lose their jobs … John Tortorella has had first rate leads to the NHL when he has had first rate groups to educate. When he didn’t, his groups failed as most awful groups fail. Tortorella’s caustic persona often is the excellent slot in Philadelphia, however his downside is the crew. It’s simply not excellent or very deep in a really robust and really deep convention … What a beautiful time in historical past to be a sports activities fan: You’ll be able to watch Steph Curry and Connor McDavid and Andrei Vasilevskiy and Aaron Choose and Shohei Ohtani and Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen and Cale Makar and, in virtually each case, you might be seeing one thing that has by no means been completed earlier than — all of them inventing new and unique methods to play outdated video games … 4 million individuals tuned in to observe Sport 1 of the Stanley Cup Ultimate on ABC, which is a gigantic quantity for hockey within the U.S. However nonetheless nowhere close to the 16 million who tuned in for Sport 6 of the NBA Finals.

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HEAR AND THERE

The Blue Jays agreed to pay $80 million over 4 years of Hyun-jin Ryu. They bought one good season from it, which occurred to incorporate a horrible playoff begin. The second season was simply so-so. This being the third season, it went nowhere. Subsequent season is mainly gone due to Tommy John surgical procedure. These telling you the way vital a deal this was for the Jays are clearly consuming some flavour of Koolaid … The signing itself was vital. The worth — Ryu won’t win a playoff sport in Toronto — is one thing that Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins should clarify to company possession. No one in any enterprise likes to throw away $40 million, whether or not insurance coverage pays or not … The Jays introduced Saturday that Ryu had “successful surgery.” So we surprise: Has a crew ever introduced {that a} participant had unsuccessful surgical procedure? … One week just isn’t a profession however boy there’s quite a bit to love within the early days of Blue Jays’ teen, Gabriel Moreno … So we surprise: Are Nate Pearson and Julian Merryweather the identical particular person or the identical pitcher? … Why are the Florida Panthers screwing round with interim coach Andrew Brunette? If you happen to don’t need him, say you don’t him. If you’d like him to return, give him a contract. Leaving him dangling whereas the Panthers interview teaching candidates is a horrible option to deal with a person who bailed the franchise out from the Joel Quenneville mess and someway bought the Panthers to first total within the NHL … If you wish to keep in mind Shea Weber, his contract now traded to Vegas and who will seemingly by no means play once more the NHL, keep in mind the heart and dedication he performed with within the 2021 playoffs and the standard he dropped at the 2014 Canadian Olympic crew, the place he might need been the most effective event participant on that undefeated Mike Babcock crew … Did the Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship or did the Boston Celtics lose it? The NBA playoffs peaked as one thing to observe within the first spherical and after that, there have been approach too many one-sided video games. The common win within the Finals was by 13 factors.

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SCENE AND HEARD

For all their years sharing New York — as if anybody shares something with the Yankees — the Mets and the Yankees have solely completed first as soon as in the identical yr. That was 2006. It’s taking place once more proper now, with the Yanks operating away within the American League and the Mets with the most effective document within the Nationwide League … I heard this on sports activities radio whereas driving in my automotive on Friday. The playing professional instructed me the Jays must be favoured to beat the Yankees that night time as a result of they had been the warmer crew. The Yanks had gained 14 of their previous 15 video games. The Jays had simply been blasted by Baltimore. I instantly modified to the all-news channel for data … The NBA is nothing however an enormous commerce hearsay. Virtually each day there’s one thing about some Raptor being dealt someplace by some supply who can’t be recognized. OG Anonoby, who wouldn’t say spit if he had a mouth stuffed with it, is seemingly sad and needs out. The Lakers need Gary Trent Jr. and earlier than that needed Nick Nurse. This all makes for fascinating dialog even should you don’t consider a phrase of it … The narrative I hate after each championship is gained: No one gave us an opportunity of successful. You heard it from the Golden State Warriors virtually seconds after they knocked off the Boston Celtics. By no means thoughts they had been the fourth favorite to win the championship originally of the season with some sportsbooks … Subsequent yr, a participant ought to come out and say that no person, apart from just a few sportsbooks, gave us any probability of successful no matter championship it occurred to be … There’s an entire lot of revisionist historical past in regards to the mess that’s Pearson Airport and what COVID-19 has completed to make this airport worse. As somebody who used to journey 80 days a yr, I can let you know this with absolute certainty: Pearson has been horrible since at the least 2011. You actually discover that while you journey elsewhere … Rory McIlroy’s common drive on the Canadian Open was greater than 340 yards. I can drive 340 as properly — in a cart.

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AND ANOTHER THING

John Hufnagel was inducted together with many different deserving males into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Fame on Friday night time. And few individuals previously many years have been as liable for the expansion of soccer offence than Hufnagel. He was the primary CFL coach to make use of a five-pack of receivers, and the primary NFL offensive coordinator to do the identical. Once I suppose builder of sport and somebody who modified his sport in two leagues, I believe Hufnagel, who stays answerable for the Calgary Stampeders … What does it imply to be a builder within the CFL? Within the case of the late Leo Cahill, it means to be ignored. Cahill coached the Argos from 1967-72 in his first stint and he was an entertainer past examine. In these six years, the Argos led the CFL in tickets bought. He got here again for 2 extra years in 1977-78. The Argos had been second within the CFL in attendance. The previous 11 years, for instance, the Argos are final within the CFL in cumulative tickets bought. And for Corridor of Fame voters, it’s like these Cahill years by no means occurred … Indulge me for a second whereas I get private: For the previous 42 years, I’ve had the great alternative to work towards and alongside Edmonton columnist Terry Jones. By my unofficial rely, we’ve travelled to 12 nations collectively, labored in 48 completely different cities, doing every part from Olympic Video games to heavyweight fights to Gray Cups to Tremendous Bowls to Stanley Cups to World Sequence and consuming steak at approach too many Morton’s alongside the way in which. I used to be the weight loss plan Coke. He was the rum and weight loss plan Coke. On the age of 74, his newspaper profession got here to an finish after 54 years earlier this week. I’ll miss him terribly. My expense account won’t … One last item I needed to learn from Jones: How Edmonton bought screwed out of a spot as a Canadian entry within the World Cup of Soccer … Comfortable birthday to Paul McCartney (80), Kurt Browning (56), Martin St. Louis (47), Dirk Nowitzki (44), Bruce Smith (59), Jacob deGrom (34), Bob Rouse (58), Jordan Poole (23), Caleb Joseph (36), Antonio Gates (42), Mason Marchment (27) and Jim Corsi (68) … And hey, no matter turned of Glenallen Hill?

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WIGGINS’ TITLE WIN SHOWS CANADA’S HOOPS DEVELOPMENT

By my rely, Andrew Wiggins turned the eighth Canadian participant to win an NBA championship when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics on Thursday night time.

And never solely was he a part of the title-winning crew, however he was central to the Golden State victory. He was vital all through their playoff and regular-season success.

It hasn’t at all times been this fashion for Canadians successful rings. Centre Mike Smrek was a backup to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and was a part of two Los Angeles Lakers title-winning groups. Energy ahead Joel Anthony had an identical position with the Miami Warmth in 2012-13. And Chris Boucher turned a participant of some significance after successful rings in Golden State and Toronto, by which he had virtually nothing to do with their championships.

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Rick Fox, a pseudo-Canadian who was born right here and left early, was an honest NBA participant and a part of two titles in Los Angeles. Tristan Thompson, now extra well-known for off-court actions, was a part of the Cleveland win in 2016. And Invoice Wennington is actually lucky to have gained titles with the Chicago Bulls crew of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.

Former Raptor Cory Joseph turned a greater participant after successful a championship in San Antonio in 2014 and simply completed his eleventh NBA marketing campaign.

The perfect Canadian of all, Steve Nash, by no means gained an NBA crown. These enjoying presently and nonetheless looking for a title embrace R.J. Barrett, Jamal Murray, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dillon Brooks.

YZERMAN’S FINGERPRINTS REMAIN ON LIGHTNING ROSTER

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There should be part of Steve Yzerman, realizing how uber-competitive he’s, realizing the sort of delight he takes in his work, that he seems on the two-time Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and takes some non-public possession of their outstanding run of success.

Particularly at a time when his Detroit Pink Wings are transferring up, however battling to return to relevance within the NHL.

Yzerman was greater than lucky in Tampa Bay to start out as a brand new basic supervisor. He inherited the earlier first-round picks, Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman. The place do you join that?

However he adopted that up by drafting Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat in 2011, Andrei Vasilevskiy in 2012, Jonathan Drouin in 2013, who was traded for Mikhail Sergachev, and Brayden Level chosen in 2014. What a four-year haul that was for Yzerman and his scouting employees in Tampa Bay.

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One other discovery alongside the way in which was Jon Cooper, who is nearly in a category by himself amongst NHL coaches.

Bored with dwelling away from his household, Yzerman determined to go house and run the crew he performed for in Detroit earlier than the Lightning gained their first Cup. However his fingerprints are throughout this championship run, nonetheless, whilst basic supervisor Julien BriseBois has completed great ending work in protecting the Lightning sharp.

And whereas Yzerman inherited Stamkos and Hedman, BriseBois inherited these two all-stars plus Vasileskiy, Kucherov, Level, Palat, Alex Killorn, plus wage cap points that nearly each crew now faces. He has added properly this yr and two years in the past to finish the Lightning image, even when they don’t win their third straight title this yr.

What Yzerman did in Tampa Bay jogs my memory just a little of what Dale Tallon did with the Chicago Blackhawks. He put virtually all of the items collectively. And Tallon was let go earlier than the Blackhawks would win three Stanley Cups in Chicago.

These titles had been partially his, simply because the Lightning greater than partially belong to Yzerman.

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