What more can the Leafs’ core give to move the team forward?

Happy September 1st. We are officially in the month when training camps open, rookie tournaments occur, and the preseason starts. It’s the dry humping stage of the hockey season. It’s also the part of the year when we aggressively start previewing the season and asking some burning questions about the Leafs. We’ll have a number of these previews throughout the month, and this is the first. The question I’m asking myself, you, and the Leafs is whether more can realistically be expected of the core players on the Leafs?
The first thing that immediately needs to be clarified here is the definition of the Leafs core. Given that outside five clear cut guys it starts becoming debatable, we’ll go with those five guys or as they are sometimes called, the first powerplay unit. Matthews, Marner, Nylander, Tavares, and Morgan Rielly should be undebatable as the Leafs core. If you wanted to throw TJ Brodie in there I wouldn’t blame you, if you feel like a goaltender should be part of the core, I hear you, but for now the core are the guys who have been through the continuous stretch of playoff heartbreak and have seen their supporting cast change around them.
Next, it’ …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Free Agency Live Blog: Reacting to moves all around the NHL

Happy free agency day, everyone!
It is shaping up to be a massive day in the NHL as per usual, with major names set to become unrestricted free agents at 12 pm EST. The Toronto Maple Leafs are also set for a big day with important moves to come to address the backup goaltending position and forward depth.
The newest updates will come at the top of the page!
11:15 am EST
Josh Manson re-signs in Colorado
Manson transitioned seamlessly into the Avalanche system and provides them with a bit of a different look to balance their defence group. Four years at $4.5M is a reasonable number and he’ll be a great match with any of their left-side defencemen over that term. Nice piece of business for Chris McFarland and Joe Sakic.
Pavel Zacha traded to Boston for Erik Haula
Zacha wanted out in New Jersey and the Bruins needed some more forward options, especially with Brad Marchand out to start the season. Zacha can play either centre or the left wing and should slot into Boston’s third line. Zacha is an RFA.
Erik Haula will likely slide into New Jersey’s 3C role. He has one year remaining at just $2.375M, coming off of a 44 point season that’s a really solid pickup for the Devils.
For New Jersey, after buying out Janne Kuokkanen and now trading Zacha, …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation