The Maple Leafs have pushed their chips in on Nick Foligno. What Does that Mean for the Club?

With the NHL Trade Deadline less than 24 Hours away, Kyle Dubas has made the biggest splash of “silly season” to this point with his acquisition of Nick Foligno from the Columbus Blue Jackets (alongside Stefan Noesen from the San Jose Sharks). In exchange, the Maple Leafs will send a first-round pick and a fourth-round pick to Columbus, while also sending a fourth-round pick to San Jose to retain some of Foligno’s salary. As such, with both Columbus and San Jose retain 50% on Nick Foligno’s deal, the Maple Leafs will only be responsible for paying 25% of the salary remaining on the upcoming unrestricted free agent.

TOR trades a first and two 4ths for Nick Foligno and Stefan Noesen. Though SJ
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 11, 2021

Immediate reactions were divisive at best and combative at worst, as paying a first-rounder for Nick Foligno in 2021 appears expensive at a glance. While averaging over 18 minutes a night with the sputtering Columbus Blue Jackets, Foligno has a paltry 16 points, 7 goals and 9 assists, in 42 games played. There’s a lot more to this move than just the boxcar stats, however, and it’s worth trying to understand what the Maple Leafs not only see in …

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Author: Jori Negin-Shecter / The Leafs Nation

Expectations for the Leafs at the trade deadline

Expectations for the Leafs at the trade deadline

At the time of posting this we are 33 hours away from the trade deadline, and as fun as the Riley Nash trade was, it would certainly be nice to see the Leafs make another move. That’s the low bar of what I want out of the trade deadline, but I put the question out to the TLN crew, “what do you want out of the trade deadline for the Leafs?”
Michael Mazzei:
This season represents the Leafs’ best shot at making a deep playoff run for the first time in nearly two decades. So they should be looking at any possible method to improve the team because despite their solid record to this point, they could surely be even better That’s what their focus should be at the deadline, add another piece to make the existing team even better.
Mark Norman:
Taylor Hall.
I don’t think the Leafs need to do anything with their defence, but adding a gamebreaking top-6 forward at a discount into the mix to compliment Matthews-Marner or Tavares-Nylander is the stuff dreams are made of. Acquiring Hall has a dual purpose: acquiring him for our own needs AND keeping him from going to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

William Nylander isolating after possible exposure to positive COVID case

Just hours before the Leafs were set to take on the Canadiens Wednesday night, the team announced that William Nylander would be held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons after being exposed to a possible positive COVID case with a close contact outside the team.

For precautionary reasons, William Nylander will not play tonight vs Montreal as he has had exposure to a possible positive case with a close contact outside the team. Nylander is isolating and the situation will be re-evaluated tomorrow pending the results of further testing.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) April 7, 2021

It is important to note that as of now, there has been no positive test reported in the case of Nylander himself and he is isolating away from the team pending the results of further testing. The hope of course is that it is a false alarm and Nylander will be fine but preventing this from becoming a full blown outbreak like we have seen in Vancouver over the last few weeks has to be the top priority.
After consulting with the league, it has been determined that Wednesday’s contest with the Canadiens will go ahead as planned so hopefully that means the league is …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs look to put out the Flames and get back on the scoreboard

A mere 48 hours after getting shutout by the Flames on Monday night, the Leafs head into the rematch with some much-needed reinforcements.

Sheldon Keefe on #Leafs injured parties:
Zach Hyman WILL play tonight. Nic Petan out.
Everyone else is still out.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) February 24, 2021

The Leafs surely missed Zach Hyman two nights ago as the Leafs loaded top line failed to find the back of the net while also hurting the overall depth. Hyman should help restore some balance and provide Toronto with some much-needed offensive reinforcement.
Sheldon Keefe told the media that Frederik Andersen is “progressing well” but did not provide an update as to when we can expect him to be reinstated into the lineup. Along with Jack Campbell still not cleared to return, that means we can expect Michael Hutchinson to make his second straight start (more on him in a bit).
Kristen Shilton reported that the Leafs might be going with their Reverse Retros for tonight’s tilt as the Leafs tweeted out a picture of John Tavares wearing the jersey for the Game Day post. Going into the game, the Leafs have a record of 1-0-1 when they don the Reverse Retros …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Welcoming the distraction of Leafs hockey and looking at the roster by the numbers

Here we are, hours from the start of the new, shortened, and definitely weird NHL season. It’s kicking off with empty arenas, new divisional alignments, and already one team in the midst of a COVID outbreak that has sidelined 17 of their players, and led to an immediate postponement of games. Still, it’s hard to be anything other than excited about hockey right now, even if it is a selfish feeling, I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that a nightly distraction of Auston Matthews chasing the Rocket Richard Award, seeing a legend like Joe Thornton in a Leafs uniform, or having Wayne Simmonds punch in the mouth is something that we need.
Of course sports are more than just a distraction, but it’s not unfair to say we missed the distracting part. Knowing that I’ll be able to sit on the phone with my father for three hours, trying to watch a game together, but largely just listening to him talk about how players get too cute with the puck, is comforting. Having this site fill up with pre and post game articles instead of offseason profiles and trade speculation will be nice too.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Tomoyuki Sugano will return to Japan for the 2021 season

When it rains, it pours.

Just a few hours after learning that Francisco Lindor was traded to the New York Mets, we also learned that Tomoyuki Sugano, a Blue Jays’ free-agent starting pitching target, won’t be signing with the team.
According to Jeff Passan, Sugano is going to return to Japan and give big-league free agency another try next winter…

Japanese star Tomoyuki Sugano did not come to an agreement on a contract with a major league team before his posting window expired and will return to Nippon Professional Baseball for 2021, sources tell ESPN. He will be eligible to come to MLB as a free agent before 2022 season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 7, 2021

To be honest, this is a little surprising. Sugano is 31 years old and he’s coming off of the best season of his career, posting a 1.97 ERA over the course of 20 starts, a showing that was good enough to earn Central League Most Valuable Player.
Obviously the hope for Sugano is that there’s a better financial landscape in a year and that there more teams are in the mix next off-season because of it, but he’s also taking a decent risk not cashing in on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs have re-signed Ilya Mikheyev to a two-year, $3.29 million deal

Less than 24 hours removed from their scheduled arbitration hearing, Ilya Mikheyev and the Leafs agreed to an extension.

Soup’s back on the menu for two more years!
Ilya Mikheyev has signed a two-year contract extension. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/awTa3TDZff pic.twitter.com/0QhV48B46p
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 20, 2020

His agent, Dan Milstein, first broke the news on Twitter with a photo of a young Mikheyev.
The terms of the deal were reflective of the arbitration rules, given that players heading for a hearing usually get no more than two-year contracts. It’s at a cap hit they are happy with and, most importantly, he will be exempt from the Seattle Kraken expansion draft next year.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Aaron Dell makes things interesting in net for the Leafs

It can’t be a coincidence that not 10 hours have gone by since The Leafs Nation posted an article on third string goalies and highlighting Aaron Dell as the superior option that the Leafs went out and signed Aaron Dell to a one year $800k contract.
Wait, I’m being told it can absolutely be considered a coincidence, or at the very least us stating the obvious doesn’t count as some brilliant insight that Kyle Dubas couldn’t do without.
Anyways, Aaron Dell was far and away the best free agent goaltender available. You could make a case that he was a better option than guys like Braden Holtby or Henrik Lundqvist (at this stage of their careers) and stating that he is better than Mike Smith again feels like stating the obvious, but nevertheless it’s enjoyable that the Leafs third string goaltender is better than the first string guy on the Oilers.
At a quick glance, this was excellent business by Kyle Dubas, and after years of having nowhere to look after Andersen, the Leafs find themselves three deep with quality NHL netminders. Dell is probably a cut above being a third string guy, and there in …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs sign Zach Bogosian to a 1-year, $1 million contract

Hours after Kyle Dubas said he was looking to add physicality on the blueline, he did just that by signing a recent Stanley Cup champion.

Welcome to Leafs Nation, Zach!
We’ve signed Zach Bogosian to a one-year contract. #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/DMGoBfo66E pic.twitter.com/5k5WCoSlV5
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 11, 2020

According to the Leafs, the deal has an average annual value of $1 million for the 2020-21 season.
More to come.

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Travis Dermott and Ilya Mikheyev have received qualifying offers from the Leafs

Less than 24 hours after the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft ended, the Leafs made the expected move of retaining two key players that were RFAs.

Ilya Mikheyev and Travis Dermott have received qualifying offers from the #leafs ahead of today’s 5 p.m. ET deadline, as expected.
Mikheyev’s camp expects to resume contract talks after the draft.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 7, 2020

This is a decision that I’m sure a lot of you expected to see but it is still relieving nonetheless. Mikheyev’s party has confirmed they will resume negotiations after the draft is finished and while Dermott’s camp hasn’t mentioned their plans, my best guess is that they will likely do the same thing.
Prior to a wrist injury that kept him out of the lineup for months, Mikheyev scored eight goals, 15 assists, and 23 points in 39 games. Dermott missed the first part of the season and managed to produce four goals, seven assists, and 11 points in 56 games played.
The number of Leafs RFAs the team has to deal with was shortened following today’s announcement. Denis Malgin was given a one-year extension less than a week ago and Kyle Dubas revealed yesterday that the team has …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation