Jumbo Joe is a Toronto Maple Leaf

Joe Thornton is a Toronto Maple Leaf, at least, according to the Leafs.

We’ve got a JUMBO announcement
Joe Thornton has signed a one-year contract! #LeafsForever
Details: https://t.co/ZfHrvgA7FB pic.twitter.com/GLKDyXfvNb
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 16, 2020

According to Chris Johnston, he has taken the Jason Spezza route and signed for league minimum.

Joe Thornton’s contract with the #leafs includes no 35-plus performance bonuses. He signed just for the league minimum salary: $700,000.
Big help for Toronto’s cap situation.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 16, 2020

Read More

Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

The Evan Rodrigues era in Toronto is over

As quickly as his legendary tenure as a Leaf began, Evan Rodrigues has decided to head back to his old team according to Pierre LeBrun of TSN:

Still not finalized, but hearing Evan Rodrigues headed back to Pittsburgh (traded from Pens to the Leafs in Kapanen deal, Toronto didn’t QO him)
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 9, 2020

The Leafs and Rodrigues reportedly had productive talks a few weeks ago but Toronto appeared unwilling to match his asking price and decide to let him walk to free agency.
His time as a Leaf began back in August when he was part of the return package that sent Kasperi Kapanen to the Pittsburgh Penguins. He must have really wanted to play with Kapanen so perhaps that’s why he decided to go back.
Some highlights of Rodrigues time in Toronto include the following:

Being traded to his hometown team
Not signing with his hometown team

If that doesn’t scream a Leafs legend, then I don’t know what does.
Regardless, trading for a player who immediately returns to the team he was traded from is about the Leafiest thing that could have happened.

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Denis Malgin this summer

Who? Is he a Leaf? Still?
Once I double checked, I learned that Denis Malgin played eight games for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. Neat.
Malgin’s time with the Leafs involved averaging just over 10 minutes a game, picking up zero points, and taking three shots. That’s not really a lot to make a case for Malgin doing much of anything with the Leafs in the playoffs. Malgin is an undersized winger on a team that has no shortage of undersized wingers, other than roster depth it’s hard to make a case for Malgin as a factor in the playoffs for the Leafs.
By the numbers

So yeah, not a whole lot that sticks out as Malgin being a replacement level player. There isn’t much offense. There isn’t much defense. Malgin joins the group of Aberg, Brooks, and Petan, who played a few games for the Leafs but failed to do anything too noticeable. And really the story of Malgin’s time with the Panthers wasn’t that different.
What we’ve seen so far
Again, he’s played eight games with the Leafs. What we& …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Auston Matthews this summer

Auston Matthews was the best Maple Leaf this season and it wasn’t particularly close. He’s been a star since the first time he stepped onto NHL ice but he took his game to another level this season, clearly establishing himself as the engine of this Leafs team.
He was a consistent scoring threat right from opening night, racking up 5 goals in the first 3 games and going more than 3 games without a goal just once all year. Even on the rare occasions that the puck wasn’t finding the net, it always felt like it was simply a matter of time – and it usually was.

remember when auston matthews scored a goal so nice it made ray ferraro moan on live television pic.twitter.com/skKQVrps7w
— rahef (@rahef_issa) April 29, 2020

Not only was Matthews leading the offensive charge all season but he was more engaged physically and in the defensive zone than we had seen in his first 3 campaigns, taking significant strides toward becoming a legitimate two-way star.
Simply put, Matthews was one of the most dominant players in the NHL this season and in his first year with the highest cap hit …

Read More

Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness Bracket Play-ins

Welcome to day one of our tournament to determine the greatest Leaf in the eyes of extremely online Leafs fans. Today we’re starting off with our long shots, the play-ins.

Your Grandpa’s Leafs Regional Play-in:
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 17, 2020
Frank Mahovlich is awaiting his first round rival, and he’ll be facing off against either Hap Day or Bobby Baun
Hap Day has pretty much filled every role you could possibly ask a player, coach, executive to fill and he’s won in each of those roles.
He goes up against the Stanley Cup legend that is Bobby Baun. Since I was a child I heard the tale of Baun recovering from an injury to return and score the game winning goal for the Leafs, and while it may now be considered reckless to put a once in a lifetime moment over addressing an injury, the story lives on in lore and this should be an interesting matchup.

False Hope Regional Play-in:
— The Leafs Nation (@TLNdc) March 17, 2020
Curtis Joseph in the three seed is awaiting his rival, and at this point I can assure you that it will …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews’ Pursuit of Maple Leafs Immortality

It’s been a long time since a Leaf scored 50 goals. It’s been an even longer time since a Leaf won the Hart Trophy.

This year, Auston Matthews is damn near sure to accomplish the first feat and he could also find himself in the conversation for the other. At this point, we should be talking about where Matthews’ season ranks among the best in Leafs history.
You have to go back to 1993-94 to find the last time a Leaf scored 50 goals. That was when Dave Andreychuk buried 53. It’s happened four other times. Rick Vaive did it three times, once in 1981-82 when he scored 51, again the following year in 1982-83 when he scored 54, which is the franchise’s all-time single-season record, and once more in 1983-84 when he scored 52. Gary Leeman also scored 51 goals in 1989-90.
So, yeah. It’s been a while since a Leafs hit the 50-goal plateau. John Tavares came close last year when he scored 47 in his first season with the club after famously joining the team in free agency, but Matthews, who has 45 goals through 66 games and another month to play, should finally get it …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

2019 Draft Central

It’s going to be a wild summer in Leaf Land. Discussions about how to dump Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev’s contracts in order to sign key RFAs like Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, and Andres Johnsson have taken the spotlight, but, before any of that goes down, we have the draft to worry about.

The Leafs don’t have their first-round pick this year, but Kyle Dubas and Co. will still surely be active this year in Vancouver. Keep your eye on this post over the next couple weeks as we update it with the best draft-related content from around the Nation Network.
CanucksArmy: Prospects ranked No. 100-96
Welcome to Canucks Army’s 2019 Draft Countdown. Over the next four weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Ethan Keppen, Samuel Fagemo, Arvid Costmar, Gianni Fairbrother, and Reece Newkirk.
CanucksArmy: Prospects ranked No. 95-91
Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Antti Saarela, Matej Blumel, John Farinacci, Eric Ciccolini, and Nikita Alexandrov. 
CanucksArmy: Prospects ranked No. 90-86
Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Roman Bychkov, Justin Bergeron, Martin Hugo …

Read More

Author: Nation World HQ / The Leafs Nation