Leafs expansion draft protection list raises a lot of questions

A few days ago it seemed incredibly likely the Leafs would go with a 4F-4D-1G approach to their protection list in the expansion draft. We were all prepared for that. Then Jared McCann was acquired, and 7F-3D-1G seemed incredibly likely. Now here we are…

So we can project that the #Leafs went 4-4-1 on their protected list:
– Matthews– Marner– Tavares (NMC)– Nylander
– Rielly– Brodie– Muzzin– Holl
– Campbell
That would leave Kerfoot and McCann unprotected up front, Dermott unprotected on the backend https://t.co/2Q9d89UWba
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) July 18, 2021

Yep, that’s basically the predicted list for earlier this week, last month, whenever.
There were plenty of people making reasonable arguments that protecting the cheaper and younger Travis Dermott over Justin Holl made sense, but it’s now becoming apparent the organization either has tremendous faith in Holl’s abilities or they think they can get something more substantial for him in the trade market and he’s worth protecting.
The Jared McCann situation is an absolute mystery. The Leafs seemingly went out of their way yesterday to acquire a good player, a player who would be an upgrade for the Leafs …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors should hire Terry Stotts as an assistant after Portland exit

Toronto Raptors should hire Terry Stotts as an assistant after Portland exit

The Toronto Raptors and their fans seemed to adopt the Portland Trail Blazers as their playoff team of choice following the Norman Powell trade, but even the backing of Canada was not enough to push Damian Lillard and Terry Stotts to the next round of the playoffs. An injured Denver Nuggets squad took the series […]
Toronto Raptors should hire Terry Stotts as an assistant after Portland exit – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

TLN Three Stars: Leafs clinch division title in comeback win over Habs

Early on, it seemed like a game that the Leafs would sleep through with pretty much everything locked up, even though they hadn’t clinched the division. The Habs were dominating play, got a goal in the first and an early goal in the second, and the Leafs found themselves down 2-0.
That all changed with a Pierre Engvall wrist shot from beyond the faceoff circles that found it’s way past Jake Allen. The Leafs were back within the game, and from that point on, it was theirs. They were playing better, and a game tying goal from William Nylander, and the game winner from Mitch Marner later in the second secured that victory. Against a team that they’re likely going to face in the playoffs, it’s a big win, and an important one for a team that wants to show some perseverance in the playoffs and win their first playoff series in 17 years.
Three Stars
3rd Star: Mitch Marner
Mitch gets the third star for that shot to score the go-ahead goal alone (seriously, where has that been his whole career), but he did much more than that in this game. Him and Matthews were dominant …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs without Matthews tonight, and Thornton to miss a month

Yesterday it seemed like it was just going to be a maintenance day for Auston Matthews. He was a little sore when he took the ice for practice, left early, and rather than reshuffling the lines, Adam Brooks took his place between Jimmy Vesey and Mitch Marner. The fact that Marner hadn’t been shuffled onto either the Tavares or Kerfoot line kept me calm for the past twenty four hours. This morning it’s hitting a bit different…

Sheldon Keefe confirms Auston Matthews it OUT tonight for #Leafs vs. Oilers. Upper body soreness. Day-to-day.
Joe Thornton has a rib fracture, will miss at least a month.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) January 22, 2021

Now in a 56 game season there will be injuries, and rather than Matthews playing and aggravating what’s causing the soreness, taking a game or two to recover doesn’t seem like the end of the world. It would be nice to see an honest matchup between McDavid and Matthews after the boring outing on Wednesday night, but luckily we’ll get seven more opportunities this year.
It will be interesting to see what the Leafs new lines look like tonight, but my guess is we see Marner …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The complicated reality of Zach Bogosian as a Leaf

It seemed like Zach Bogosian was brought in to be hated by the fanbase of the team he would be playing for. Given Toronto’s recent history with Cody Ceci, Roman Polak, and to some extent also Matt Hunwick, Ron Hainsey, and Ryan O’Byrne, there is no shortage of defensive defensemen that this fanbase has done a dance of joy for their departures. If we want to head in the way back machine, we can probably lump Luke Schenn and Keith Aulie into that group as well, and while Bogosian might not have the price tag of Zaitsev, Ceci, or Phaneuf, or been a wasted lottery pick like Schenn, or even had an asset given up for him like O’Byrne, the universal truth remains, that Leafs fans hate defensive defensemen and Bogosian was going to be hated the moment he decided to sign here.
Neither Dubas or Bogosian did themselves any favours this week with their actions, but it was those actions that should probably have us jump past all of our usual nonsense and go straight to angry acceptance. Dubas choosing not to waive Bogosian and instead waiving both Spezza and Dell to make Mikko Lehtonen, is …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The OHL season and how it affects the Leafs

The OHL season and how it affects the Leafs

The Leafs seemed to have a sixth sense about the uncertainty of Canadian junior hockey over the past couple of drafts. And while fans who demand that players be from the same area code as the team they cheer for may be upset, the Leafs have positioned themselves nice to not be carrying a number of OHL or WHL players.

– 1 or 2 exhibition games Jan 29 – 31 then right into the season.– There was no talk about what happens with U.S teams.– No details about how how games/schedule will be determined but it is believed teams may only play against 4 or 5 other squads.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) October 28, 2020

– No discussion about fans during the meeting but that’s not a surprise at this point.– OHL season would conclude May 16th and a reminder the Memorial Cup has already been pushed back and will run June 17-27.
— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) October 28, 2020

So that puts the OHL in a situation to be starting incredibly late, especially compared to the QMJHL. It will be a much shorter season, and an abbreviated playoffs. There’s also the small matter of this still might not be able to happen, and the very difficult to manage situation of the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

REPORT: Leafs asked Wild for permission to speak with Bruce Boudreau

The “Get Bruce Boudreau to Toronto” train seemed to generate more steam last night after a report came out on Wednesday night.
According to James Mirtle of The Athletic, the Leafs asked the Wild for permission to talk to Bruce Boudreau at some point during the last few months. While a meeting did not take place, he was aware of it and those in his inner circle say he is “intrigued” by the possibility of coaching for his hometown team.
Following the departures of Paul McFarland and Andrew Brewer last week, the Leafs are in the market for a guy with experience as an NHL coach to be added to the coaching staff. Sheldon Keefe has been highly involved in the interview process thus far as he looks to bring on a mentor to join him behind the bench.
Should Boudreau fail to land a coaching gig elsewhere, he reportedly would like to join the Leafs for a few personal reasons. One of them to be close to his mother who lives in the city and the other to help Toronto win the Stanley Cup.
While there has been no formal meeting between the parties and …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maybe hold off on buying a Johnsson, Kapanen, or Kerfoot jersey for another six weeks

If there was one thing that seemed to largely survive the transition from Lou Lamoriello to Kyle Dubas, it’s the decision to keep trade talks relatively quiet. Dots can still be connected, but it’s not so much the open book of the Burke and Nonis eras. It will surprise no one that the Leafs are looking for defensemen, and that they are looking for a backup goaltender. Those dots have been pretty well established, the same can also be said for the names of the Leafs players that teams are seeking out, and the most likely Leafs to be offered up to the trade gods.
From TSN Insider Trading:
Dreger: And the Battle of Alberta may drift off the ice as well because the Edmonton Oilers are also looking for a top-six forward. Not sure about the Flames but I believe the Edmonton Oilers are going to pay close attention to what happens with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Again, speculation around the likes of Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, maybe Alex Kerfoot. And another team to watch? The Minnesota Wild. I’m told that Bill Guerin is open for business and part of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Kerfoot suspended for 2 games

Well, pretty much as soon as the hit happened it seemed like this was inevitable, but now it’s official:

Toronto’s Alexander Kerfoot has been suspended for two games for Boarding Colorado’s Erik Johnson. https://t.co/Q1i23tNvVr
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) November 25, 2019
It’s not too hard to see why that’s a suspension, and any arguments against it being a suspension are just through looking at the countless similar hits that regularly slip through the cracks. Sometimes players get away with things they should, that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a justifiable suspension on Kerfoot, it absolutely is.

Bad hit from Alexander Kerfoot. Looked concerned for Erik Johnson afterwards #Leafs x #LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/MjXPeoPm6P
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) November 24, 2019
See? Not ideal, and two games keeps Kerfoot out of Wednesday (@DET) & Friday’s (@BUF) games, returning on Saturday night when the Leafs return home to play against Buffalo.
As for how the Leafs backfill Kerfoot, well, they already have the bodies on the team to do so, and it likely means that Timashov or Shore play in on the 4th line with either Petan or Engvall moving up in the lineup, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Doerrie: The Pressure to Perform Has Officially Arrived For the Leafs

After what seemed like an eternity, even though it was only ~16 months, each of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ young stars is signed until the end of the 2024 season. So, please, for the sake of your own sanity (and mine), do not start hollering about Morgan Rielly yet.
For the first time in over a decade, this should be a season in which Leafs fans can comfortably sit back and say, “My team has young stars who are fun to watch, with no looming negotiations.” I guarantee a portion of this fan base will still find something to complain about, but I strongly recommend you avoid that portion, whether on Twitter, or in some underground bar.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, full disclosure: I was preparing to write a “Is it time to discuss whether Ferris is negotiating in bad faith,” article. There were a litany of signs and leaks that this was the case, but holy hallelujah, we have a contract! So, let’s discuss it.
Dom Luszczyszyn and Justin Bourne of the Athletic both had great pieces on the Marner contract, and I highly recommend you read those. Do I think this is a …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation