Maple Leafs announce 2021 development camp roster

Hockey is back, kind of.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced the 2021 development camp roster, which begins on September 9th.

The 2021 Development Camp roster has been announced.
Details » https://t.co/b9i3Idsbpc#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/H23Hy5qSKq
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 7, 2021

Invited to the camp are some names we already know such as Nick Robertson, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, Pavel Gogolev, Jeremy McKenna, Joseph Duszak, and even Ian Scott. Others who’ve seen games within the Maple Leafs organization are Filip Kral, William Villeneuve, Noel Hoefenmayer and Riley McCourt.
With the start of camp being on September 9th, players will arrive and begin with both medicals and on-ice testing. On Friday, September 10th, the players will have their first on-ice session as a team and will meet with the media.
From the media release, this is the schedule for their development camp:
Friday, September 10
On-Ice Development: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 11
On-Ice Development/ Morning Skate: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Scrimmage: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 12
On-Ice Development: 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Monday, September 13
Scrimmage: 10:00 a.m.
The Leafs Senior Director of Player Development, Hayley Wickenheiser, will run the the camp along with her staff. Others who will …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

5 Potential Bargain Forwards the Leafs Could Pursue in Free Agency

Free agency is always a wild time in the hockey world, especially in recent years considering we’ve actually had a few big names make it, like John Tavares, Artemi Panarin, Alex Pietrangelo, and potentially Dougie Hamilton (technically Alex Ovechkin as well but I think everyone knows he’s going to stay in Washington).
It’s also a time for when teams can gain or lose a ton of value by bringing in players depending on the contract you sign them too. The latter happens more often, and we’re already lined up for a ton of those with the Barclay Goodrow contract, and the rumours surrounding Zach Hyman and Blake Coleman. Teams are overvaluing size again, and they’re going to hand out a lot of bad contracts to get what they want.
Because of that, it creates some smart opportunities for the former in bringing in good players on bargain deals, something that Kyle Dubas has done a pretty good job of in his tenure with the Leafs. Tyler Ennis was an effective player on the fourth line, Spezza has been great on his league minimum deals, and even Travis Boyd was pretty good in his brief time …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: Drama in St. John’s

While the entire hockey world locks its eyes on the looming Seattle Kraken expansion draft, a situation is brewing in St. John’s, Newfoundland that could have serious repercussions on the Toronto Maple Leafs minor league development system if it boils over.
But first, since is the first Report from the Rock in several weeks, we have some news and notes to cover before we get into a deep dive on the ongoing dispute between the Newfoundland Growlers ownership group and St. John’s City Council.
First up, a quick mention here that the Leafs recently hired Ryan Hardy as Senior Director of Minor League Operations.

We’ve hired Ryan Hardy as Senior Director of Minor League Operations. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) June 25, 2021

In essence, Hardy will be the GM of the Growlers, more on him and what this means for the Leafs organization as a whole here.
Another minor piece of news, but a cool one to see nonetheless, after three years of existence, the Growlers Twitter account was verified.

Round of applause for our new checkmark
#Verified pic.twitter.com/Y19m7Btsiy
— Newfoundland Growlers (@NLGrowlers) July 13, 2021

Now that they’re certified as a real and legitimate …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs target Zach Parise and Ryan Suter?

If you’re a hockey fan, it’s the most wonderful time of the year right now, or at least one of them given that is it officially the NHL off-season and things are going to get very interesting in the coming weeks and months leading up to the next NHL season. This off-season is only days in and we have already seen some trades, some hirings, some retirements, some big rumours and even some buyouts.
It’s no secret that this off-season was going to be a crazy one due to a bunch of circumstances. For starters, the COVID pandemic is still affecting the league which is affecting the salary cap which is ultimately affecting teams to keep certain players on their team. Secondly, there’s an expansion draft just around the corner and with a new team coming into the league, teams are bound to lose potentially an important player on their team.
With that said, within days we’ve seen a bunch of different things happen in the NHL and more specifically we saw the Minnesota Wild buyout, not one, but two of the massive contracts that they signed back in 2012. The Zach Parise and Ryan Suter …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Around the NHL: Trading Jack Eichel this year would be a mistake for Buffalo

We live in what could be a unique time for hockey. You’d be hard pressed to find a time where an elite center who’s prime is just starting on the trading block, but when hasn’t Buffalo done something out of the ordinary these last few years. Not since maybe Joe Thornton have we seen a player who’s regarded as one of the best players in the league close to being traded, but even then Thornton was on the back half of his truly elite years.
But there’s a reason why it doesn’t happen often. It rarely works out well for the team dealing the player in a normal year, and doing it right now would be a brutal mistake. The Sabres have made plenty these days, but this would be franchise altering, and not in a good way.
So, let’s go over a few reasons why the Sabres should not trade Jack Eichel, or at least not this season.
The return for star players is more often than not underwhelming
Let’s knock the obvious one out of the way first. Very rarely do you win a trade by dealing the best player …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs re-sign Spezza to a one year extension

The worst kept secret in hockey is finally revealed, as the Leafs extend Jason Spezza to another one year contract.

Spezza’s staying home!  Jason Spezza has signed a one-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) June 16, 2021

According to Chris Johnston, the deal is once again a league minimum contract, as he’ll be set to make $750,000 next year.
To anyone who follows the Leafs beyond just watching the games, this shouldn’t be a surprise. He’s made it very clear that at this point in his career, he wants to play with his hometown team and try and win a Cup, something that was very obvious when he said he’d retire if another team claimed him on waivers this season. He doesn’t care about the money, he doesn’t care about his role, he just wants to be a part of it.
And the Leafs have definitely found a way to make it work, planting him in a fourth line role for the last two years where he has excelled tremendously. In 112 games with the Leafs, he has 19 goals and 55 points, including a 10 goal, 30 point season this year, which would have been 45 points in a …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

It’s official: the Leafs will face the Canadiens in the first round

It’s official: the Leafs will face the Canadiens in the first round

And after 42 years, the playoff matchup many hockey fans have been longing for is once again making a return!

For the first time in 42 years, it will be Toronto vs. Montreal in the #StanleyCup Playoffs. #NHLStats
2021 First Round: @MapleLeafs vs. @CanadiensMTL pic.twitter.com/0aeLZweMki
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 12, 2021

With the Jets defeating the Canucks 5-0 on Tuesday night, it secured their position for third place in the North Division. Meaning the Canadiens can not place any higher than fourth and will be the Leafs’ opponent in the first round of the 2021 postseason.
The last time these two teams met was in 1979 where Montreal swept Toronto in four games on route to capturing their 22nd Stanley Cup in franchise history. The all-time record in the postseason between the historic rivals is 8-7 with the Canadiens holding the advantage up to this point.
In the 10 game season series, the Leafs won with a 7-2-1 record over the Habs, with their most recent matchup securing Toronto’s first division title in 21 years.
We will have a larger breakdown of the Leafs’ opponent in the coming days, but there are two more games to be played before it is time …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

MAILCALL! Ranking defensemen, bottom six lines, and the future of the Leafs’ net

As we continue to inch our way towards the playoffs and meaningful hockey, I thought it would be a good idea to get some questions from you, our valued readers for our TLN crew to respond to. You’ve come at us with three very loaded questions, and we thank you for it.
Let’s get started…

With all the Defensive parity creating a log jam at the back end, (Imagine that, the Leafs having defensive depth) where do you rank each defenseman on the Leafs main roster?
— y – Fris (@Frlsbob) May 10, 2021

Michael Mazzei:
Oh man, that’s a tough one. Despite all of his flaws, I still think Rielly is the Leafs top defenceman but Brodie is right there at number two. The gap between the two is pretty small and both are integral to the team’s success. Muzzin and Holl go next and you can rearrange it however you want. The rest go Bogosian, Sandin, Dermott, Liljegren, Hutton, and Marincin.
Mark Norman:

Brodie – Absolute stud on the back-end, making under-the radar plays all season that tend to be under-appreciated. His ability to defend 2-on-1’s has been critically important as Morgan Rielly’s partner.
Muzzin – Hard as …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leaflets: Some Leafs thoughts as we run out the final days of the regular season

I think the only hockey I dislike more than preseason hockey is the hockey played between the time that the Leafs clinch a playoff spot and the actual start of the playoffs. Other than Matthews hitting the 40 goal mark, there isn’t a storyline left, and we’re left collectively holding our breath whenever we see something like the Nick Foligno injury last night. At least with the preseason we’ve been deprived of hockey so long that we’ll take what we can get, but here we are 52 games down, and nothing left to do but clinch first in the North, which should happen soon. Anyways, here are some stray thoughts in the dog days of May.
Nick Foligno needs to sit
I don’t know the extent of his injury, whether he was held out precautionary, or whatever, but the time is now to get Foligno as close to 100% as possible before the playoffs. Shutting him down now would give him close to weeks to rest up for the playoffs, and even if he requires a game or two to start the playoffs off, I think you give it to him. There are plenty of players like Engvall …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Campbell vs. Andersen is not really much of a goaltender controversy

The are few story-lines lazier in hockey than the goaltender controversy. It’s essentially just the guy who wasn’t the opening night starter isn’t the best goaltender on the team anymore. That’s the situation for the Leafs as they have Jack Campbell now sitting at an incredible 15-2-1 record with a .927 save percentage, while Frederik Andersen has struggled with injuries and before that, consistency. Potentially the Leafs have two good goaltenders, and that’s called depth or options, not a controversy.
In the spirit of creating a goaltending controversy we asked the TLN contributors who would be their opening night starter. The answers are somewhat expected, but perhaps the expanded answers give a bit more context to how much we’d stick with our choice, or how we feel about Plan B, C, and D.
So here is who should start game one of the playoffs…
Michael Mazzei:
Jack Campbell. He is the more game-ready goalie and the guy that has played the best out of all the options up to this point. How long he keeps the crease in the playoffs depends on his performance because I imagine they would like to get Frederik Andersen …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation