Maple Leafs expect Petr Mrazek to be humbled by waivers experience and need a ‘full reset’ from his goaltender

Petr Mrazek knows things haven’t gone well for him this season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender’s rough first year with the club hit a new low Sunday when he was placed on waivers and perhaps further when the veteran went unclaimed the following day.
“Obviously different than being traded and stuff like that, so you never know what can happen, Mrazek said following practice on Tuesday. “The hockey career can change in a minute to go to different teams. I’m happy I’m here and I can show the rest of the year what I can do.”
On Monday, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas explained that he made the move to clear up some space under the salary cap. And while that is true, Mrazek’s underperformance this season allowed for that decision to become simple due to his poor performance.
“It’s a bit of a shock to a player, an established NHL player that goes on waivers. That, in itself, is a shock, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “And then he clears waivers it should be even more of a shock that you haven’t been nearly good enough.”
The 30-year-old signed a three-year contract worth $11.4 million last summer and was slated to work with incumbent starter Jack Campbell as a tandem …

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Author: David Alter / The Leafs Nation

Why Morgan Rielly would have been a great captain for the Maple Leafs

Morgan Rielly knows what harrowing pain and suffering feels like — just as any Maple Leafs fan would. Three years without a playoff berth and an NHL career without a series win. The 26-year-old is still in Toronto.
Seven years in the NHL with the same team, Rielly is the longest tenured Maple Leafs player. But as he approaches a possible second-last season with the team that drafted him, there’s still something missing. And no, it’s not the Stanley Cup (I mean it technically is, but there’s another void, at least for me).
The question I’ve always asked myself since the Maple Leafs named John Tavares captain was, “why not Rielly?” Let me just start by saying this is no knock on Tavares, who’s a great captain and someone who chose to come home, which we’re all grateful for. But the selflessness of Rielly is apparent all the time and I was shocked when he wasn’t named captain.
Even though it was likely going to be Auston Matthews before his disorderly conduct charge, it still would’ve been a miss. And if by some chance you still don’t believe AM34 was supposed to …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Art of the Swap

Who knows when we will be able to watch hockey again.
Until that time comes, hockey fans and sports fans in general have the team-building aspects of their leagues to get excited about. The NHL extended its transfer agreements recently, and the biggest news in weeks is the signing of a 6’6″ Czech.
Mercifully, drafts are interrupting the slow trickle of sports news. Whether you liked it or not, the NFL draft provided the entertainment that fans have been craving. For those who needed their hockey fix, the NWHL draft welcomed 30 incredible young hockey players. There was no shortage of news there either, as the first overall pick changed hands in a draft day pick swap.
The Toronto NWHL team traded the first overall, and second last pick in the 5 round draft for Boston’s 1st in 2020 (6th overall), and their 1st and 2nd in 2021. Looking back to a certain NHL trade between Boston and Toronto, hopefully Toronto is on the correct side of a top pick/Phil traded for two 1sts and a 2nd.
Swapping Picks
Trading up in the draft is no foreign concept to NHL teams, as they often trade multiple draft picks for …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

TSN has picked their All-Time Leafs Team. We have thoughts…

TSN damn well knows it’s an impossible task to get this kind of thing 100% right and that people are going to debate it heavily online. We thank them for that. That’s the kind of good natured sports discussion we should be shooting for. Before looking at the TSN lists, or our lists, I want to review the criteria they used. It’s important because it’s not as straight forward as just picking 18 great players and 2 goalies…
TSN All-Time Team Eligibility Criteria
□ Team: two goalies, six defencemen, 12 forwards and one foundational player
□ Members must have played at least 225 games with the Leafs
□ At least one member of the all-time team must be from the 2019-20 Leafs
□ Players are slotted in positions they played with the Leafs
□ One line must be comprised of defensive standouts, aka a checking line
□ One pair must be comprised of suffocating defenders, aka a shutdown pair
□ Lines and pairs are put together because they fit together, not because they are necessarily the first, second and third best at their positions
□ Foundational players are defined as players part of the fabric – the DNA – of a franchise
□ Last cuts …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TSN speculating that Toronto could be a hub city for summer hockey

Whether it happens, who knows. Whether it should happen is debatable. What it will look like, that remains to be seen, but what we do know is that if hockey happens there is a strong possibility it could be in Toronto.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli was looking at what some of the options could be for the NHL’s suggest four city approach where each division would play their games in one city. Seemingly Edmonton seems to be a front runner for the Pacific, but with Glendale also being considered. Winnipeg, Dallas, and Minneapolis have been suggest for the Central, and Pittsburgh and Raleigh for the Metro division. That just leaves the Atlantic, a division hope to a number of cities that have struggled to contain COVID-19.
The NHL’s suggested criteria for consideration is as follows:
– “The location could be anywhere besides a [COVID-19] hot spot.”
– “We need a lot of ice. There does need to be practice facilities.”
– “We need four NHL-calibre locker rooms. Because if you’re going to play three games in one day, you’ve got to be moving things around, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Flyers at Maple Leafs 11/09/19 – Odds and NHL Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Who knows how long the Toronto Maple Leafs will stay in a defensive mode, but what is enduring is their ability to close the deal in front end of back-to-back games.
The Maple Leafs are the -165 home favourite while the Philadelphia Flyers come back as a +145 away underdog with a 6.5-goal total on the NHL odds for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Toronto, which will jet out afterward to visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, is 12-4 in its last 16 games when it was also slated to play the next day. The total has also gone OVER at online sports betting sites in nine of the Maple Leafs’ last 12 home games as a -150 to -200 moneyline favourite. The Flyers are 4-12 in their last 16 away games as an underdog of +130 or more and the total has finished OVER 10 times.
Flyers at Maple Leafs | OddsShark Matchup Report
The Flyers, who are 8-5-2 so far this season, also play on Sunday (at home to the Boston Bruins) and they are 3-10 in their last 13 games when they also play the next day. Thanks to a balanced attack led by Sean Couturier and …

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Author: Nation World HQ / The Leafs Nation

Did the Raptors trade the wrong point guard?

Toronto knows Fred VanVleet is a gamer, but the things he’s supposed do be doing, he hasn’t done so far in the playoffs. Do his similarities to Kyle Lowry make him a liability? On February 8th, the Toronto Raptors made their final all-in move of the season. Trading Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. Miles, a 2024 second round pick, and Delon Wright to the Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol.
At the time, the biggest concern around the move was how big of an upgrade Gasol was on Valanciunas. But as the post-season has played on, the biggest question maybe should have been: did Masai Ujiri deal the wrong point guard?
Would the Toronto Raptors be a better playoff team with Wright and Gasol, instead of Fred VanVleet and the Spanish big man?
Now, caveats must be laid. I have no idea if VanVleet intrigued the Grizzlies, or if they just valued Wright more highly, or even if Fred’s larger contract made the trade math too difficult.
This also isn’t meant as a slight to VanVleet — a hard-nosed defender, a solid shooter, and an adept play-maker. (Remember, it wasn’t so long ago we were saying he was the …

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Author: ConorMcCreery / Raptors HQ