NHL “postpones” the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend, but still targets January as the start for the season

The NHL released a statement earlier today addressing the fact that the 2021 season would not feature two of it’s signature events…
NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2020) — The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Panthers were to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., originally scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2021. Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus. The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs should not consider circling back to Cody Ceci

Earlier today, I wrote about how it was reported that Cody Ceci was expected to enter the free-agent market on October 9th. Barely two hours after that post came out, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic doubled down on the report and also dropped this terrifying tidbit of information:

Cody Ceci is headed to market. The pending UFA D could also circle back to the Leafs and vice versa after the market opens.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 30, 2020

As you can tell by the title of this article, this scenario should not and cannot play out in real life. The fact that there remains a distinct possibility of Ceci re-signing with Toronto is something I’m sure a lot of Leafs fans are not too happy about. Even if the two parties agreed to a cheap contract, the Leafs would be far better off without Ceci than with him on the roster.
This past season saw Ceci post one goal, seven assists, and eight points during an injury-riddled year that limited him to 56 games. He was healthy for the playoffs where he only scored one goal during the five-game series against Columbus. If you take a look at his underlying metrics at 5 …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Bruce Boudreau claims his father cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs

During an interview on Leafs Lunch earlier today, Bruce Boudreau confirmed that his father once cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs to never win another Stanley Cup. After being drafted by the Leafs in 1975, Bruce Boudreau bounced between the NHL franchise and its affiliates for the better part of a decade before being let go from the team.
Despite putting up over a point per game in the AHL, and scoring a respectable 69 points in 134 games over six seasons for the Maple Leafs, the young centre was never able to hold onto a regular roster spot and eventually left to play in Europe. Feeling his family was disrespected, Bruce’s father cursed the team to never win a Stanley Cup until he comes back to them. With rumours surfacing that Bruce Boudreau could be joining the team as an assistant coach this season, one has to wonder if his return could reverse the team’s fortunes and lift the supposed curse.

“He said they’ll never win a Stanley Cup until I come back”
Longtime head coach Bruce Boudreau gets to the bottom of why the #MapleLeafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967 on #LeafsLunch with @AndiPetrillo and @CraigJButton: His …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

NHL History: Toronto Maple Leafs sign Eric Lindros 15 years ago today

It was 15 years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Eric Lindros.

The deal was a one-year, $1.55-million contract and it marked the only year he spent in the big city.
It was a short year, however, as Lindros’ year was cut short due to injury much like his whole career. Playing in 33 games, Lindros scored 11 goals and as many assists.
All those games came at the start of the year and on Dec. 10, 2005 he suffered a tear of a ligament in his left wrist. Lindros recovered and returned after 27 games on Feb. 28, 2006, but reinjured his wrist a week later ending his season.
The Hall of Famer only spent one more year in the NHL, a 49-game season in 2006-07 with the Dallas Stars where he scored 26 points.
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Take a Knee: The NHL and Fan Response to Black Lives Matter

Hockey is back. As of today, all 24 teams participating in the qualifier and round robin games have played an official, yes it counts, hockey game. During the week leading up to the official restart of NHL hockey, teams participated in “exhibition” style games. Many fans wondered how, if at all, the league and the players would acknowledge the Black Lives Matter movement. After watching players walk into training camp practices in Black Lives Matter t-shirts, there was some hope for more robust support for the movement once the games were underway. Specifically, fans were hopeful that some players would take a knee or raise a fist during the anthems, as this is the most universally recognized physical demonstration of support for BLM.
Unsurprisingly, those fans were disappointed, as the only acknowledgement most teams gave at all was to stand “together” on the blue line, or in a circle. 

Stronger Together. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/JU199kGChr
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 29, 2020

The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the few teams to use the words Black Lives Matter in their tweet, but the actual “demonstration” was the same across the league: the …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Mitch Marner this summer

Editor’s note: Today we are kicking off our new series taking a look at the current state of the Leafs roster and each player’s season so far. Based on what we’ve seen we’re trying to put together or best guess at how they’ll fare in the play-in against Columbus and if we’re lucky, the playoffs beyond that. We’re kicking off this morning with the always interesting Mitch Marner.
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost a year removed from the Mitch Marner contract debacle. Something that I’m most of us would happily never wish to go through again, and with a few years of having Marner, Matthews, Nylander, and Tavares locked into their deals, we can relax. Except there still might be some lingering buyers remorse on $40M worth of contracts for four players in a salary cap world that won’t see those numbers budge for the next few season. At least they are all good players.
Mitch’s regular season ride was a wild one. His 1.13 point per game pace was nearly identical to his 1.14 point …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL History: Toronto Maple Leafs acquire Cody Franson nine years ago today

It was nine years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Cody Franson.

The deal saw the Leaf give up Brett Lebda, Robert Slaney and a condition fourth-round pick in 2013 to the Nashville Predators for Franson and Matthew Lombardi.
While Lombardi only lasted one season in Toronto scoring 18 points in 62 games, Franson played the best years of his career with the Leafs.
Over parts of four seasons, Franson scored 20 goals and 115 points in 236 games. He was a tough defender for the Leafs standing at 6’5, 225 lbs., but was still able to provide lots of offence for the team over his three-and-a-bit year stint.
He posted a career-high in points in the season he was traded back to the Predators with 36 total — 32 of which came in 55 games with the Leafs.
On Feb. 15, 2015, the Leafs traded him back to Nashville along with Mike Santorelli for Olli Jokinen, Brendan Leipsic and a first-round pick in the 2015 draft. Toronto later traded that pick, 24th overall, to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 2015 1st, 29th overall, and a 2015 2nd, 61st overall.
The Flyers used their pick on Travis Konecny, while Toronto traded down from the 29th spot for a package that included 34th overall …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Vince Carter Announces Retirement

Vince Carter was THE player to put the Toronto Raptors on the NBA map, and today is a very special day for him. Earlier today basketball fans got the news that NBA veteran and Toronto Raptors legend Vince Carter has finally announced his retirement and calls it a career on the court. Vince was currently on […]
Toronto Raptors: Vince Carter Announces Retirement – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Joseph Zita / Raptors HQ

The Hall of Fame cases for a few former Leafs

Later today the Hockey Hall of Fame will announce their inductees. We should all assume that Jarome Iginla will be a part of that 2020 class, and there’s a strong possibility that Marian Hossa will join him. The rest of the class seems to be a pretty wide open field, and one that includes a few former Leafs. We’ll take a look at some of those contenders now…
Most Likely
Alexander Mogilny probably has the best chance of any of the former Leafs on getting the call from the Hall of Fame selection committee today. He meets a lot of the key criteria for entry as he’s been an award winner, picking up the Lady Byng, and 2 2nd Team All-Star selections. He was a cup winner in New Jersey. He was a key member of a lot of strong Russian national teams, and he’s an over a point per game player throughout his career. Most impressively, Mogilny scored 76 goals in 77 games in the 92-93 season, a feat that we are unlikely to see again for a while (or until Matthews gets a shot playing 77 games.)

The HHOF case for Alexander Mogilny:
Highest …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

NHL History: Toronto Maple Leafs draft Timothy Liljegren

It was three years ago today that the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted defenceman Timothy Liljegren.

Taken in the 1st round, he came to North America right away and has seen most of his time spent with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.
And there, his game has begun to blossom. In 127 games he’s scored nine goals and 62 points. This past season, he got his first stint in the NHL playing 11 games scoring one assist.
The 2019-20 campaign was truly the breakout season. In 40 games, he notched 25 assists and 30 points in only 40 games and it’s a great sign of what’s to come for Toronto.
And come whenever the 2020-21 season gets underway, Liljegren will be given every chance to make it in the NHL.
Marlies GM Laurence Gilman gave him a glowing review in May:
“I believe Timothy Liljegren is ready to become an NHL player, whatever level that’s going to be. I will be surprised if he doesn’t play in the top seven or eight with the Toronto Maple Leafs next year — but he’s gotta hold up his end of the bargain.
“I’m …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation