July 4: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike is joined by Mark Masters to discuss Genie Bouchard’s berth in the Wimbledon Final and tee up Milos Raonic’s semi-final matchup with Roger Federer, and Darren Dreger checks in to break down the Leafs’ signings of Mike Santorelli, Petri Kontiola.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Genie Bouchard makes history, Jays fall to the A's, & plenty of World Cup talk. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Mark Masters discusses Genie Bouchard's historic run, & NHL insider Darren Dreger stops by for another edition of Leafs Breakfast. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Jeremy Taggart from Our Lady Peace joins. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Mark Masters – TSN Reporter Covering Wimbledon

This tournament has generated quite a lot of international buzz thanks to the spirited play of Eugenie Bouchard & Milos Raonic. Bouchard continues to defy logic & has become a superstar in a relatively short amount of time. Bouchard’s “calm cool demeanor” has also been a major driving force behind her meteoric rise to fame. At this point “the sky is the limit” & Bouchard might the most marketable athlete that Canada has produced.

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

The Maple Leafs decision to sign UFA Mike Santorelli should help bring some balance to Toronto’s lineup next season. Santorelli had a challenging season with Vancouver last year (who didn’t) & unfortunately wasn’t able to fit into the Canucks long-term plans. Santorelli is a versatile player (can play winger/centre) & was signed because the team was unable to secure the services of David Legwand. Petri Kontiola is expected to battle for a spot in the top nine (like Santorell) & is a slightly older player (30) who spent last season in the KHL. Ideally he would fit into a 3rd/4th line role with the Maple Leafs next season & became quite infamous after a controversial interview during the 2014 World Championships. Keep in mind Kontiola signed a one year 1.2 million dollar deal with Toronto therefore he is a relatively low risk signing. The Leafs decision to re-sign Troy Bodie shows that management rewarded his hard work however this is definitely more of a “depth signing.” The James Reimer saga remains ongoing & at this point seems destined for arbitration. Toronto will find themselves with three difficult arbitration hearings heading into this off-season (Franson, Gardiner, Reimer) although Gardiner’s case likely won’t reach arbitration.





July 3: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike is joined by Darren Dreger to discuss the market for James Reimer, and Jack Armstrong checks in to break down Kyle Lowry re-signing with the Raptors.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike discusses the Raptors decision to re-sign Kyle Lowry, Bouchard/Raonic advance to the semi-finals & another edition of "Bastl's Bytes." Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Scott Ferguson talks Blue Jays & NHL insider Darren Dreger chats Free Agent Frenzy. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Bob Weeks chats golf, "Cigar Dave" discusses the finer things in life, & Jack Armstrong breaks down the Raptors decision to re-sign Kyle Lowry. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:30 Scott Ferguson – TSN MLB Analyst

The Blue Jays have a difficult/lengthy upcoming road trip which could determine if this team makes the playoffs come September. Hutchison/Stroman have been good so far this year, but you have to wonder “how long they will be able to maintain this pace?” At this point Hutchison would appear to have a slight edge over Stroman in terms of “most surprising.” The biggest question surrounding the Jays is whether or not the starting pitching will be able to propel them into the playoffs. The MVP race looks like a two man battle between Nelson Cruz & Edwin Encarnacion. The winner of this award will probably go to the player whose team ends up winning the division. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been a revelation in Chicago this season & is running away with the rookie of the year award.

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

Winger Nikolai Kulemin is a very good hockey player & definitely still has some value, but is he a 4 million dollar player? Centre Mikhail Grabovski is another useful player & there is no question that both of these men with make the Islanders a better team next season. The biggest question mark for New York next season is which version of Jaroslav Halak will show up next season? Many people felt that free agent Matt Moulson would return to Long Islander however he ultimately felt far more comfortable returning to Buffalo. Another interesting transaction was the Vancouver Canucks signing winger Radim Vrbata to a 2 year 10 million dollar deal. The Maple Leafs have expressed an interest in UFA David Legwand but this signing will depend on if both sides can come to an agreement on term/money. Further complicating matters is the fact that the Senators have expressed a keen interest in Legwand’s services. Claude Giroux obviously made a mistake yesterday however it seems that alcohol was at the root of the problem & the charges have reportedly been dropped. You have to wonder how much chirping Giroux will receive next season? The James Reimer situation remains “up in the air” because the goalie market has pretty much dried up (see Martin Brodeur).

8:15 Bob Weeks – Host Score Golf

Bob Weeks joined Mike Richards to discuss the web.com tour in Nova Scotia. Weeks also touched on some of the best “bang for your buck” golf courses. There’s plenty of up & coming Canadians in this field including Adam Hadwin, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor, & a slew of other players that are still trying to carve their niche in this wonderful sport.


8:45 Jack Armstrong – NBA on TSN Analyst

The Raptors decision to re-sign Kyle Lowry is a “win-win for all parties involved.” Much of the credit for this signing should go to Masai Ujiri, Dwane Casey, & Tim Leiweke for cultivating a winning environment where everyone is on the same page. It was quite obvious the Lowry wanted to return to Toronto at the end of the season because this is essentially “his team.” Lowry felt that this team was heading in the right direction & will not be the “lead guard for the next four years.” Now the focus is getting Vasquez/Patterson signed over the course of the offseason.





July 2: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl are joined by Darren Dreger to recap the Leafs moves on July 1, which included bringing back Leo Komarov and Matt Frattin, and Jim Barker checks in to chat about what the Argos have to do to bounce back from their season opening loss.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike/David recap all the action from World Cup, & we take a look back at Free Agent Frenzy. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Jim Barker discusses Saturday's game vs. the Roughriders, & Darren Dreger recaps a busy first day of Free Agent Frenzy. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

John Kryk discusses the latest on the Buffalo Bills, & Jason de Vos talks World Cup. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:30 Jim Barker – Toronto Argonauts General Manager

The Argos will face a tough test on when the Saskatchewan Roughriders come to town on Saturday afternoon. For the Argos it’s all about rebounding after a tough 41-25 week one loss vs. the Blue Bombers. Hopefully Toronto learns from their mistakes otherwise “what’s the point?” The running back position will be another area of focus thanks to an influx of new players at this key position however this area remains a “constant work in progress.” Logan Harrell, Thaddeus Gibson, Shane Horton, & Matt Ware are all players worth keeping an eye on because “they bring so much energy to the table.”

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

Stephane Robidas should be a welcome addition to the Maple Leafs blue line & is a lot grittier than Dan Boyle. The Maple Leafs had to give Robidas an extra third year on the contract in order to secure his services. Robidas also touched on his injury status & is expected to be 100% at the start of training camp. Other notable signings included the return of Leo Komarov who seems to have honed his game & wanted to return to Toronto. Maple Leafs management really seemed to like the character they had in the lineup with Frattin/Komarov two seasons ago. Some people also feel that Frattin didn’t really get a fair shake first time around. Free agency always causes teams to “swing & miss” for example Brian Boyle was offered more money from Toronto but elected to sign with the Lightning. Other notable signings included David Bolland who clearly decided to chase the money by moving onto Florida. The Maple Leafs have indicated that they still want to add another depth forward which would likely occur via trade. Defenseman Cody Franson was dangled in an effort to get Josh Gorges to come to Toronto, however it’s more shocking that Gorges would waive his no trade clause to go to Buffalo (which wasn’t even on his original list of teams he would accept a trade to) Unfortunately the Leafs lost some great players in Mason Raymond, TJ Brennan, Drew MacIntyre but that is the nature of the business.

8:15 John Kryk – NFL Columnist Sun Media & The Toronto Sun

The Buffalo Bills aren’t saying anything because there is a non-disclosure as part of the sale process. Bon Jovi has never clearly indicated “if he would indeed move the team from Buffalo if he was to purchase the team.” Ron Jaworski is very close with Bon Jovi & told radio stations that “Mr. Jovi would keep the team in Buffalo if the sale was to be completed.” The bottom line is that according to the lease, the team cannot discuss the idea of building an alternative stadium until at least 2020. Buffalo will always be a money making franchise because of revenue sharing & lucrative TV deals. It’s also worth mentioning that 24/31 owners would have to approve the sale of the team in order to move them out of Buffalo.

8:30 Jason de Vos – TSN Soccer Analyst

The big guns have come to play in the knockout stage therefore the results have been pretty much as expected. Brazil, Germany, Argentina, & the Netherlands are all advancing to the quarterfinals because “they were all expected to be there.” Colombia has been very impressive throughout this tournament & should be a very formidable opponent vs. Brazil. James Rodriguez has been absolutely stellar so far & this match definitely has a “David vs. Goliath” type of feel to it. Costa Rica probably doesn’t have the horses to slay the Netherlands because the Dutch simply have too much firepower for Costa Rica to overcome. France vs. Germany on Friday should be another very close contest & we should give a round of applause for France because this club was in disarray in 2010. The bottom line is that Team Germany still hasn’t hit that “next level” many felt they were capable of.





June 30: Show In Review

The Canadian Press

Mike and Dave Bastl analyze the Leafs selection of William Nylander with Pierre McGuire and Darren Dreger, and Greivis Vasquez checks in to chat about his off-season and returning to the Raptors.

Audio:

Hour 1:

Mike/David recap all the action from World Cup, Jays get shutout by the White Sox, & Maple Leafs draft William Nylander. Hour 1 Audio

Hour 2:

Pierre McGuire & Darren Dreger recap all the happenings from the NHL draft over the weekend. Hour 2 Audio

Hour 3:

Dirk Hayhurst chats Blue Jays, Greivis Vasquez discusses his offseason, & Chris Kerber breaks down the Polak/Gunnarsson trade. Hour 3 Audio


Recap:

7:15 Pierre McGuire – NHL on NBC Analyst

William Nylander’s ability to dominate the puck & create offense was a big reason why the Maple Leafs chose to draft him over Nick Ritchie. The bottom line is that the 2014 draft wasn’t considered to be that deep because a “lot of these prospects are a ways away” (in terms of playing next season). The Tampa Bay Lightning’s decision to trade away Teddy Purcell & Nate Thompson indicates that this team might want to add one-two high caliber forwards as we delve into free agency. The Buffalo Sabres decision to buy out defenseman Christian Ehrhoff was interesting because he is a defenseman that can skate well/handle the puck. The Buffalo Sabres wild spending during the 2011 off-season caused a lot of damage & now GM Tim Murray is faced with the daunting task of cleaning up the mess from the previous regime. It was actually quite surprising to see an actual lack of hockey trades at the draft however we could see some more deals that occur over the next few days. The Sam Gagner trade to the Arizona Coyotes was basically an effort to “grow the brand & keep up with the other professional teams that exist in the area.”

7:45 Leafs Breakfast: Darren Dreger – NHL Insider

The Maple Leafs management had prospect William Nylander pegged as a shifty forward with enormous offensive potential. Most scouts thought people Nick Richie would be selected if he was still available at the number eight spot. The Roman Polak for Carl Gunnarsson trade for the Maple Leafs is an interesting transaction. Now the question becomes “which defenseman will Phaneuf play with next season?” Gardiner/Reilly would be logical choices however this might put too much pressure on these young players. GM Dave Nonis has indicated that the Leafs aren't done, could we see the acquisition of Dan Boyle in the off-season? Boyle returning to Tampa Bay would make a lot of sense because he has an emotional connection with that city. At this point the Pittsburgh Penguins have expressed enormous interest in free agent winger Nikolai Kulemin. Kulemin is a serviceable forward & could command 3-3.5 million per season therefore he should expect to have plenty of suitors next season. At this point James Reimer’s demand for a trade would appear to be speculation however this could obviously change very quickly as we progress throughout the off-season.

8:15 Dirk Hayhurst – TSN MLB Analyst

This is the time for Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos to consider some “all in moves” because this team almost got swept by one of the worst teams in baseball. Now the Jays face (Milwaukee, Oakland, & Los Angeles Angles) while still trying to overcome key injuries to Bautista/Lawrie/Morrow. The good news for Toronto is that the rest of the division hasn't been able to make up too much ground. It’s becoming more obvious that Toronto needs to acquire a starting pitcher, but will they be willing to pay the premium price that is required?

8:30 Greivis Vasquez – Toronto Raptors Point Guard

Mr. Vasquez joined Mike Richards & David Bastl to reflect on his experience with the Toronto Raptors this season. Vasquez was thrilled to receive an offer sheet & really feels that his heart is in Toronto (despite the fact he can receive offers from other teams) It will also be lots of fun working with the Pan Am Games next year in Toronto.


8:45 Chris Kerber – St.Louis Blues Radio PxP

The Toronto Maple Leafs should be thrilled about the acquisition of defenseman Roman Polak from the St. Louis Blues. Polak isn't exactly “lightning quick” however is a great teammate & extremely powerful skater. This trade was basically an effort to retool an elite team that hasn't been able to “get it done” during the playoffs. Polak also really seemed to struggle in the first round vs. the Blackhawks & the Blues needed another left-handed defenseman. St. Louis wanted a different look on their defense & wasn't going to trade Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, or Kevin Shattenkirk. The bottom line is that Polak should fit in very well with the Leafs because he’s a “Randy Carlyle’ type of player. This team appears to be ready to usher in the “Jake Allen era” however expect Brian Elliot to get a chance to compete for the number one position.



Mike Richards In The Morning, June 24-27



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