Leafs sign Alexander Barabanov to a one-year, entry-level deal

Hey, look! Actual hockey news! According to the team’s official Twitter account, the Maple Leafs have signed KHL free agent Alexander Barabanov to a one-year, entry-level contract.

The Maple Leafs have signed forward Alexander Barabanov to a one-year entry level contract for the 2020-21 season.
Details: https://t.co/S9LVYQ8V1i#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/PlXYbDYiZP
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) April 7, 2020

Barabanov, who turns 26 years old in June, has spent his entire career in Russia with SKA St. Petersburg. He posted 11 goals and 20 points in 43 games in this year’s COVID-19-shortened season, which was a bit of a decline from the 17 goals and 46 he put up in 2018-19.
Last week, Earl Schwartz went into depth about why the Leafs should be interested in Barabanov and how his low point total might be misleading.
The European free agent market is a place that Kyle Dubas has been very active since taking over as general manager. Ahead of last season, he inked Ilya Mikheyev to a one-year entry-level deal, which worked out very nicely for the team. Before that, he also added Igor Ozhiganov out of the KHL and Par Lindholm out of Sweden.
Signing …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Hutch up, Kask down

I honestly wonder if an actual deck chair from the Titanic might be the best option as Freddie Andersen’s backup, but nevertheless, we’re seeing a bit of a shuffle today…

The @MapleLeafs have recalled goaltender Michael Hutchinson from the @TorontoMarlies (AHL).
Kasimir Kaskisuo has been loaned to the Marlies. pic.twitter.com/ULqSqYeXwM
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) November 25, 2019
The story on both of these goalies is very similar, absolutely atrocious numbers in the NHL, and both have been lights out in the AHL. Essentially the Leafs are doomed to repeat Garret Sparks over and over again.


So what are the Leafs hoping for with this move?
Well, looking at this from a GM’s point of view, Kyle Dubas made the decision to go with Michael Hutchinson as his backup. Through rigid usage in unfavourable situations, Michael Hutchinson was absolutely decimated by his competition, and not supported by his teammates, who weren’t exactly putting forth their best effort under Mike Babcock.
Hutchinson took his demotion and went to work with Sheldon Keefe & company, and did everything right at the AHL level. He picked up 3 wins …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Preseason Post-Game #5: 5 Takeaways from the Maple Leafs’ Shutout of the Habs

Look, the actual outcome of last night’s preseason action probably isn’t at the forefront of your mind right now. It’s not for me, either. Writing about a game in which the on-ice events weren’t the main focus of attention is, frankly, a pretty weird thing to do. But the Maple Leafs did their best to block out that noise on Monday night while taking on the Montreal Canadiens, ultimately capping the bottom half of their home-and-home set the same way they did the first: a 3-0 shutout win.
Many things happened. Let’s take a look at five that stood out.
1) Trevor Moore Scored
I just feel the need to mention this whenever it happens. Trevor Moore is a very good hockey player. Good enough to earn a promotion to the third line during the most wide-open training camps of the Leafs’ contention window, and good enough to make the most of that promotion by scoring grimy, strap-on-your-lunchpail goals.
If he sticks alongside Kerfoot and Mikheyev, I’m officially on the “Trevor Moore for 15 Goals” bandwagon. Like I ever wasn’t in the first place.
2) Frederik Gauthier is a New Man
I don’t know exactly …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation