Which Leafs will play in the 2022 Olympics?

According to Pierre LeBrun, the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement features NHL participation in the 2022 and 2026 Olympics, barring negotiations with the International Olympic Committee.

Of course, the NHL and the IOC have a tricky relationship, so the league stating an intent to play in the Olympics doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a guarantee, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
If NHL players do go to Beijing in 2022, the Leafs will certainly be well represented. It’ll be our first chance to see Toronto’s young core participate in international hockey’s largest stage, which is something incredibly exciting to look forward to.
Team USA
Auston Matthews will have his first chance to represent the United States at the Olympics in 2022. It’ll be an interesting group for the USA, as a new generation of American star players like Jack Eichel, Zach Werenski, Matt Tkachuk, and Quinn Hughes will be forming the team’s core.
I can’t see any other Leafs other than Matthews representing the United States come 2022. Justin Holl isn’t going to crack the blueline and Jack Campbell could feasibly be in the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Takeaways from the Dubas Interview

Earlier today, Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic interviewed Leafs GM Kyle Dubas at the GM meetings down in Florida. I’m not going to go over the entire thing because it’s a very well done interview by LeBrun, so feel free to check it out here. However, I’ll take a quick look at some of biggest points and takeaways on Dubas and the Leafs.
It isn’t just about analytics for Dubas
It’s been talked about before, but while Dubas has gotten the reputation of being a numbers guy, that could be far from the truth. Now, he certainly uses them a lot more than most, because it is important to look at all the data, and not outright ignore it like some poorly-run teams do. But, he doesn’t rely on just the numbers, he looks at it as a piece of the puzzle.
But in the end, as leaders of the organization, Shanny, myself and Sheldon, we’re trying to inspire these people to be at their best every day. And there’s no algorithm and there’s no computer program that can make you build …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Apparently the Leafs are actively looking for a defenceman. Who might that be?

Earlier today, Pierre LeBrun started to stir the pot in Toronto by saying that the Maple Leafs “could strike early” in order to give the team a spark heading into the stretch drive. Shortly after, Bob McKenzie doubled down, saying that he believes that the Leafs are “actively” looking for a non-rental defenceman.

Bob McKenzie on TSN1050: I believe the Leafs are actively looking for a RD/LD who can play right with multiple years of term left. At least one+ year, but would prefer 2+ years remaining. No guarantee it gets done but they’re looking. Kapanen, Johnsson, Kerfoot are who teams want
— J (@Account4hockey) January 24, 2020

Okay, so none of this is really new information, per se, but it kind of narrows down what’s going on here. Dubas wants to upgrade the blueline, he wants a guy under control beyond just this year, and other teams are looking at Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, or Alex Kerfoot in return. One of those three was always going to be going out if a defenceman was coming back in order for the salary cap hits to work out, so that makes sense.
Who might …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Despite interest from the Maple Leafs and Bruins, Justin Williams returns to Carolina

On Tuesday afternoon, Pierre LeBrun reported that both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins made a pitch to free-agent forward Justin Williams while his former club, the Carolina Hurricanes, tried to figure out a contract for the veteran.

While the Hurricanes continue to work on a contract for Justin Williams, complicated by the 35 and over rules and bonuses and their cap situation, word is the Maple Leafs also made a pitch to Williams this week. Also heard that the Bruins inquired.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 7, 2020

Despite the interest from Toronto and Boston, Williams in unsurprisingly headed back to Carolina. Williams spent his last two seasons with the Hurricanes and captained the team in 2018-19 to a breakout season. After getting eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, Williams chose to take the first part of the 2019-20 season off to determine his future. It always seemed he would go back to Carolina, but it wasn’t automatic given their salary cap situation.
Williams became known as Mr. Game 7 throughout his career as a result of his clutch play in series-clinching playoff games. He’s tied with Glenn Anderson for the NHL’s all-time record …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation