Leafs and Jets meet for the first time this season

Tonight is the opening match for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets in a season where the two teams will battle more times than ever before. The Jets had a fairly quiet off-season, not making many moves. But the move they did make was a big one, acquiring Paul Stastny from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Carl Dahlstrom and a 2022 fourth-round selection.
More recently, the Jets have made some internal moves between their taxi squad and their roster, as well as claiming Anton Forsberg off waivers last week to strengthen their goalie depth.
But the big story with the Jets has been the team’s apparent COVID exposure, as first Nikolaj Ehlers missed practice due to COVID protocol, and then the team canceled practice entirely on Saturday “out of an abundance of caution” following COVID exposure. The canceled practice thankfully was an isolated incident, and the Jets headed east yesterday to make it to tonight’s match-up.
However, it now seems the Jets have been bitten by the injury bug, as well, as after leaving morning skate early it was announced that Patrik Laine will be out tonight with an upper-body injury.

Patrik Laine is out tonight …

Read More

Author: Mer / The Leafs Nation

Should the Leafs Ditch Marner?

It felt like a match made in heaven.
The Leafs then-Assistant GM Mark Hunter walked up to the podium at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and clumsily said “I’m proud to announce, from the London Knights, Mitch Marner.”
To many the pick was no surprise, both due to Hunter’s familiarity with Marner from his time with the Knights, and also due to Marner being a kid from the Toronto area who grew up a Leafs fan. Marner had just finished toying with the Ontario Hockey League to the tune of 126 points in 63 games in the regular season, followed up by 16 points in 7 games in the playoffs. Those who watched the highlights from Marner’s draft and draft+1 year in the OHL saw a player with hockey IQ pouring out of his ears, who was clearly playing at a level far ahead of anyone else at his age.
Marner made the NHL as a 19-year-old, the same year 18-year-old Auston Matthews and 20-year-old William Nylander became full-time Leafs. That first year was magical: powered in huge part by their young stars, the Leafs went from last place overall the prior season to making the playoffs …

Read More

Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Who’s Left and Who’s Leaving: The Leafs First Round of Cuts are Complete

Few things match the excitement of cut day, and bucking the trend of previous Leafs front office regimes, Dubas and Babcock got right down to business and got rid of a number of junior and AHL/ECHL bound players.
From MapleLeafs.com:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Sunday that the hockey club has trimmed their training camp roster. The Maple Leafs now have 54 players (31 forwards, 17 defencemen and six goaltenders) remaining in camp.

The following seven players have been reassigned to their CHL teams: Mikhail Abramov (Victoriaville), Semyon Der-Arguchintsev (Peterborough), Filip Kral (Spokane), Kalle Loponen (Sudbury), Marc-Antoine Pepin (Shawinigan), Nicholas Robertson (Peterborough) and Riley Stotts (Calgary).
The following 15 players have been reassigned to the Toronto Marlies (AHL) and will skate with the Maple Leafs Player Development Staff ahead of the Marlies’ 2019 training camp, which will open on September 24: Matthew Bradley, Justin Brazeau, Giorgio Estephan, Brady Ferguson, Alex Gudbranson, Ryan Johnston, Michael Kapla, Aaron Luchuk, Tanner MacMaster, Zach O’Brien, Scott Pooley, Marcus Power, Sergei Sapego, Ian Scott and Maksim Zhukov.
So at first glance there’s not a whole lot of surprises there. You’d wonder about high draft pick like Nick Robertson getting a chance to show his chops in …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation