By signing goaltender Antti Niemi to a four-year contract, the San Jose Sharks have said to the rest of the NHL, “We’re serious this year.”

Antti Niemi

When the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, there will be no substitute for Antti Niemi's Cup-winning experience

Ya, ya, I know. They’ve said it before. Often. Last year, they won the Presidents’ Trophy. They were poised to make a deep playoff run. Some of us thought they would win their first Cup. But, in the 2010 Western Conference Final, Niemi’s Chicago Blackhawks put the four-straight boots to the Sharks. Mostly because San Jose’s goaltending was lousy. Exit Evgeni Nabokov. Enter Antti Niemi. (more…)

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In Toronto these days, despite a recent shootout win over the Bruins, NHL talk is as much about Leafs’ GM Brian Burke and head coach Ron Wilson as it is about the players.

Brian Burke

Leafs' GM Brian Burke has only been on the job for two years. It's only fair to give him at least three more.

Of course, when a team starts an NHL season with just nine wins in 25 games (which also includes just five in their last twenty-one), there’s bound to be lots of finger-pointing. And, as the rest of our glorious country knows, Toronto is the Canadian home of finger-pointing. But no fingers should be pointed Burke’s way. Not yet, anyway. That’s because every single NHL GM deserves five full years on the job before that happens. (more…)

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Ron Wilson’s days as the head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs should end – at least, in my opinion.

Ron Wilson

Current Leafs' head coach Ron Wilson was hired under GM Cliff Fletcher's watch but, not long after, Brian Burke took over as GM

We’re going to skip the argument about whether or not Wilson should be replaced. It’s going to happen sooner, rather than later, so let’s just move to the replacement possibilities. Here are five names that may come up, rightly or wrongly. (more…)

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