Leafs return William Villeneuve to the QMJHL

The one thing that has been missing from the Leafs preseason are player cuts and with the stretch between last night’s game and the next preseason game on Monday, it stood to reason that we’d start seeing some cuts and William Villeneuve gets the distinction of being the first.

Defenceman William Villeneuve has been loaned to Saint John (QMJHL)
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 30, 2021

With CHL seasons starting up it makes sense to get Villeneuve back competing as quickly as possible now that he’s had a chance to get a feel for the style and pace of a NHL camp. I’m sure he’s been sent off with a very specific development plan for him, but with a Leafs organization eager to see how he does in competitive situations.
Over the course of September Villeneuve also signed his entry level deal with the Leafs, so there’s no doubt the organization wants to see more of him, and more from him, and developing his skating will likely be a big part of that. The Saint John Sea Dogs season starts tomorrow, and I’m sure they’ll have William in their lineup.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Franchise Hockey Manager 7 predicts the rest of Morgan Rielly’s career

One thing that I both love and hate about the NHL is the ongoing saga of a player in the midst of his contract year. It either gets done rather quickly, drags on for way too long before a deal is reached at the 11th hour, or you get teased of the possibility of an extension only for the player to either be traded or let go at season’s end. It’s stressful, exhausting, and is bound to take up endless hours of debate regarding whether or not said player is worth keeping and what constitutes a fair deal.
This year will once again bring up that never-ending tradition with Morgan Rielly being the main player on the Leafs’ roster whose contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign. It would be foolish to suggest that he won’t be getting paid handsomely since he’s blossomed into a legitimate top-pairing defenceman in the half-decade since he signed the six-year deal. Regardless of whether his future remains in Toronto or he moves elsewhere, there’s no denying that he will be highly valued on the open market with many teams vying for his talents.
But …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Dougie Hamilton being shopped as a sign and trade, and how interest should the Leafs be?

Rumours: Dougie Hamilton being shopped as a sign and trade, and how interest should the Leafs be?

The other thing this does: allows Hamilton to see if the Hurricanes do make the best offer for him…potentially allowing for a return if he doesn’t like what he sees out there. Very interesting manoeuvre by team and player
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 14, 2021

Following up on @FriedgeHNIC report on the Dougie Hamilton situation with Carolina. Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry was granted permission yesterday to speak to clubs which could encourage a sign and trade and option of an 8th year on term. Neither side is any rush at this point.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 14, 2021

So this might be less of a rumour and more of a factual statement based on what Elliotte Friedman is reporting, and what Darren Dreger is confirming. It might also not involve the Leafs in anyway, but given the lack of other rumours out there and the fact that Toronto fans have speculated on Hamilton joining the Leafs since pretty much the day Toronto’s pick was used by Boston to draft him, we might as well join in and talk about Dougie Hamilton this week.
First off, I want to remind you that your museum joke isn’t particularly clever. So …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

TLN Three Stars: Game lost, Captain lost, and optimism lost

TLN Three Stars: Game lost, Captain lost, and optimism lost

Let’s start with the most important thing on our minds following that loss to the Canadiens, that is the injury to John Tavares. You can find a summary of the incident here, and aside from Chris Johnston’s update that Tavares was taken to the hospital, we are still left wondering how he’s doing.
Now as for the game itself, the Leafs were victim to Carey Price playing like the Carey Price that used to be talked about as one of the greatest goaltenders in the world. His robbing of Marner on his one-timer attempt during a 2 on 1 with Nylander was the additional bad omen the Leafs didn’t need tonight. The Habs scored shortly after the Tavares injury, and the Leafs were able to hold on for the rest of the period, and actually rally as best they could in the second with a goal from Nylander, but Price was vintage Price, and that’s all they got before the predestined short handed goal by Paul Byron in the third that put emphasis on how toxic the Leafs powerplay has been this year. Arguably Jack Campbell should want that one back, but he’s probably the third …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs Nation Playoff Prediction Poll

It’s a beautiful thing to think that by next week we’ll be watching playoff hockey. We just need to get through the last two nothing games without injury. There’s no 40 goal target on the line anymore, there’s no first in the division that needs to be clinched anymore, hopefully we just see the Leafs players get a bit of rest, and even if they aren’t sitting there is the benefit of only having two games this week, so that’s something.
Heading into the playoffs I thought I’d put out a survey to the TLN team get their predictions for how the playoffs will go. You’ll find the link the same poll at the bottom as it would be great to get some reader responses heading into the playoffs as well. For now, here are the questions and the responses.

It should be noted that the writers did have the option to select first or second round exits, but there was enough optimism in our group that sees the Leafs walk through the North Division. While I can’t count myself amongst the true optimists that see this as a cup winning year, …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Save percentage and the Leafs success

Here’s the thing, we all know what happened last night, and no one is going to be more familiar with what happened than the Leafs goaltenders. Quite simply, David Rittich shit the bed. He’s not the first Leafs goaltender to do it this season, and there’s a lot of evidence showing that he won’t be the last one either.
Unfortunately the truth is the Leafs desperately need goaltending to stay afloat in the playoffs. I’m not sure you need to make a case for stellar, lights out goaltending, but a salvageable effort that keeps the Leafs in the game. To put it plainly, when the Leafs have received a .900 save percentage from their goaltending, they’ve only lost twice this year. Once in a 2-1 loss to Montreal, and once getting shutout 3-0 by the previously mentioned David Rittich when he was still a member of the Calgary Flames.

It is painfully obvious that Leafs worst hockey of the year has coincided with the worst goaltending stretches of the year, and the Leafs best hockey has come at times when they’ve been receiving consistent goaltending. The six recent games, as seen in the ugly …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A Matthews-less lineup for the Leafs as they try to turn things around against the Jets

Well, it’s a probably a good thing it’s not a regular year because right now would be playoff time and something like this would sting a lot more…

Auston Matthews is OUT tonight against the Jets, head coach Sheldon Keefe confirms
Day-to-day issue, not something that is expected to keep him out long
Missing his fourth game of the season … Leafs won previous three, all against the Oilers @TSN_Edge
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) April 15, 2021

No Matthews isn’t a good thing, even if the results so far have been encouraging, but it should be noted that there is a very big difference between Connor Hellebucyk, and the Oilers nonsensical tandem of Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. The Leafs could probably use the best goal scorer of this generation against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, but all the wishing in the world doesn’t change the fact that we’re getting Adam Brooks instead.
In addition to the absence of Matthews, we are still waiting on the return of William Nylander, and the arrival of Nick Foligno. The update on Nylander would put him on track for this weekend, but that doesn’t really help the Leafs situation tonight.



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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Jack Campbell wins 10th-straight and sets Leafs franchise record

Holy cow. Jack Campbell did the thing. 10 wins in a row to start a season. The first Leafs player to ever do it.
I don’t have many words other than “wow.” Campbell deserves everything that is coming his way after hearing about his journey to the NHL and all the battles he had to face. He’s an incredible person, the team rallies around him and again, he’s such an important person to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
After the game, I thought about how I was going to open up my video, and well, I think I did a pretty good job. I hope you enjoy the video!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

The Arizona Coyotes seem like ideal sellers for the buyer Leafs

If there seems to be one consistent thing about the Arizona Coyotes, they always seem to have an interesting collection of pieces, but none of them ever seem to fit together. Or they are broken. No one does injuries quite like the Coyotes do, and that’s probably their greatest undoing, besides ownership, management, coaching, etc, but health definitely seems like it’s in the top four. While this continues to be bad for Arizona hockey fans (is it plural? I never know), it has the potential to be good for the Leafs, who should be interested in a few of the players on the Coyotes.
Here are five options worth considering from the Coyotes:
1. Conor Garland
The fact that Garland is available, or at least teams are asking about him is interesting. He’s certainly priced right for Arizona at the moment, but all that changes in a few months when he’s an arbitration eligible restricted free agent. He’s certainly been performing for Arizona, his 25 points in 30 games is good enough to lead the team, and his 9 goals put him behind only Clayton Keller’s 10 for the team lead there too.
So that’s why this tidbit …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5

Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5

It is always a good thing when making a list of the best players in franchise history is this difficult to formulate. For the Toronto Raptors, it is becoming an increasingly onerous task. The past few decades especially has given us some amazing talent and great moments. For the purposes of this list we will […]
Toronto Raptors: All-time Starting 5 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jack Long / Raptors HQ