Marlies News and Notes: Sabourin signs, Bracco departs

You know it’s a slow news day when we’re putting together Marlies roundups, but here we are. This is life a week after free agency, and hopefully this isn’t how we roll for the foreseeable future. I guess beggars can’t be choosers and Marlies news is better than nothing, so here we go.
First up…

News: We’ve signed forward Scott Sabourin to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
Details >> https://t.co/zGf1tnKBaA pic.twitter.com/65WAD4tHVE
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 16, 2020

Does that name sound familiar? Here’s why…

Yes, the Marlies brought in the guy that Auston Matthews mocked at the beginning of last season. That should make for an interesting training camp meetup, but it’s doubtful they’ll cross paths too often as Sabourin is on an AHL deal and will be on the Marlies rink as soon as it opens up.
Sabourin gives the Marlies a little toughness as well, which is interesting that added it, after bringing back Rich Clune yesterday.
Toronto Marlies re-sign Rich Clune to one-year AHL contract

Sabourin is also coming off a season with a rather serious injury from a poorly placed hit.



Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Highlights from Kyle Dubas’ Big Week media availability

When Kyle speaks, we listen. Whether or not we agree remains to be seen, but we certainly listen and have thoughts on what he says. It’s in that spirit that we’ve gathered the highlights of his media availability and we can start seeing what he has in the works for this week. It will be a busy one. It might not be sign Pietrangelo, Hall, and trade a core player big, but it seems reasonable to expect we’ll have a new prospect that we like and shiny new defensemen, and from the sounds of it, some tough guys to cheer for as well.
On the Draft:

Kyle Dubas, on whether the #leafs will use No. 15 pick or trade it: “It’s really all sort of on the table right now.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 5, 2020

So this is a stance that I’ve become increasingly comfortable with as the draft approaches. As much as I’m giddy over prospects, the reality is the Leafs are best served by getting players who can help them now. Trading a first round pick definitely does that, but so does drafting a NHL ready player. And there is also the issue of the …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Is Toronto Raptors championship perceived differently after Clippers’ loss?

When the Toronto Raptors won their championship, it felt as if Kawhi Leonard got more praise than the Raptors as a whole. Following the Toronto Raptors championship in 2019, much of the media and people gave the credit to Kawhi Leonard, which is somewhat fair. Without him, the Toronto Raptors most likely see a second-round […]
Is Toronto Raptors championship perceived differently after Clippers’ loss? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Read More

Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Overage standouts in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

When Kyle Dubas was hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in July 2014, he made clear that his draft philosophy was one of exploiting inefficiencies. He was not in charge of the draft at that point, but it seemed pertinent that Brendan Shanahan’s first major hire was eager to go against conventional draft logic.
In the 2015 NHL draft, the Leafs targeted undersized and European skaters that they felt provided greater value than what should have been available at that point. Travis Dermott and Dmytro Timashov were the successes of that strategy, Jeremy Bracco and Nikita Korostelev the failures at this point.
In the 2016 NHL draft, they targeted overage players such as 20 year old Egor Korshkov at 31st overall. They also selected Adam Brooks and Jack Walker from the WHL, both of whom had been through the 2 previous drafts, plus Nikolai Chebykin and Vladimir Bobylev who were 19.
In the drafts since they have selected Vladislav Kara (19), Sean Durzi (19), Mac Hollowell (19), Pontus Holmberg (19), and Nicholas Abruzzese (20). The Leafs have selected an overage player every draft since Dubas was hired, and there is no reason to believe that should stop now. Draft experts may say this is not a great year for …

Read More

Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

The Pirates have claimed Anthony Alford off of waivers

When the Blue Jays designated Anthony Alford for assignment last week, it was pretty obvious that somebody was going to claim him.

While Alford hasn’t been able to find his groove at the Major League level, he still boasts an incredible set of talent and athleticism, and he’s certainly worth a shot to a team in a rebuilding phase. Like, say, the Pittsburgh Pirates!
And that’s exactly where Alford is headed.

No surprise here but Anthony Alford has been claimed on waivers. He’s going to Pittsburgh. #BlueJays
— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) August 27, 2020

Another thing to consider here is that Pirates general manager Ben Cherington, who worked in the Blue Jays’ front office over the past few years, knows Alford well.
He’ll surely get the chance to show what he can do with the Pirates that he never got with the Blue Jays. It’s a shame things didn’t work out for him here, but I’d love to see the guy do well. This should be a great opportunity for him.

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Mikhail Grabovski: A New Page in Belarusian Hockey

When the Montreal Canadiens selected Mikhail Grabovski 150th overall in 2004, he was just the 16th Belarusian to be drafted into the NHL. In either draft surrounding the 2004 Entry draft, the Canadiens selected a Kostitsyn brother, also from Belarus. These three players had careers that intertwined on multiple occasions, writing the biggest hockey story for their country at the time.
Grabovski and Andrei Kostitsyn were teammates in both Montreal and Hamilton (AHL) for the first two years of their career, and Sergei Kostitsyn joined them in the 2nd. Following that, Grabovski was traded to Toronto for Greg Pateryn and a 2nd round pick. ‘Grabo’ flourished in his first season as a Leaf, with 20 goals and 48 points.
It was also in his first season as a Leaf that Grabo would become re-acquainted with the Kostitsyn brothers. On one occasion he was toppled by a linesman while attempting to get to Sergei, and on another Sergei took a 10 minute misconduct for charging Grabovski. The incident with the linesmen landed Grabovski a 3 game suspension, further stoking the flames between countrymen.
Eventually they would all have to play nice for the sake of their national team, but it was not the last time …

Read More

Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Clifford-Campbell Conditions Corrected for COVID Compromise

It was a simpler time when the Leafs acquired bruising forward Kyle Clifford and Chief Cheerfulness Officer Jack Campbell on February 5th, 2020. The deal, which sent the large-posteriored Trevor Moore and two third-round draft picks (one conditional, we’ll get to that) to the Los Angeles Kings, was made just moments after another disastrous performance by then-backup goaltender Michael Hutchinson, as the Leafs dropped a 5-3 decision to the New York Rangers.
Little did the Leafs, or any of us, know that within five weeks a pandemic would bring the NHL season to a screeching halt. Not only did this complicate everyday citizens’ vacation plans, child care arrangements and personal hygiene efforts, but it also complicated the conditions placed on a 2021 third rounder included in the deal.
Almost five months after the NHL paused their season and just a day before the start of the qualifying round for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the league did some housekeeping to re-frame the conditions of trades impacted by the loss of the rest of the regular season and the unique nature of its playoffs.

The NHL has also amended conditions in the TOR/LA Feb. 5 trade: The #leafs owe the #LAKings …

Read More

Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Is Laurence Gilman a potential fit for the Coyotes job?

For once when asking a question in the header of a post, the answer isn’t no. Unfortunately Leafs fans probably should want the answer to be no, as keeping Laurence Gilman is likely the better outcome for the Leafs.
Yesterday it was announced that John Chayka has left the Coyotes organization. An interesting story unto itself, summarized well by Craig Morgan:
The reasons for that termination are in dispute, however. One NHL source said Saturday that during the NHL season’s pause, Chayka asked the Coyotes for permission to pursue another “another professional opportunity” that was not with another team and had sought his release from the organization about six weeks ago.
But another source said Sunday that this account is not true, and that stance was later corroborated by another league source.
“John Chayka is a liar and a quitter,” the source said.
Getting away from the tire fire that continues to be the Arizona Coyotes, I found myself again looking for the all important “How does this affect the Leafs?” angle, and that has presented itself in the case that can be made for Gilman as the potential replacement …

Read More

Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Kenny Agostino this summer

When Kenny Agostino was signed to a two-year contract back on Canada Day 2019, it was believed that he would provide some offensive help for the Marlies. He ended up doing exactly that, leading the team in goals and points.
He does have 85 NHL games to his name, but not a single one of them occurred with the Leafs during the past regular season. It wasn’t due to a lack of effort on Agostino’s part, but more so with the log jam of forwards in front of him on the depth chart.
By The Numbers
As mentioned, Agostino had a strong season offensively for the Marlies as he registered 27 goals, 22 assists, and 49 points in just 53 games. Considering an AHL season is 76 games long, he was on pace to record roughly 38 goals, 32 assists, and 70 points. His play was one of the reasons why the team finished fourth in the AHL in goals-for prior to the pause per AHL.com.
© Micah Blake McCurdy 2020
The last time Agostino played in the NHL was the 2018-19 campaign and he did fairly well during a season split between the Montreal Canadiens and the New Jersey Devils. At even strength, he collectively …

Read More

Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Frederik Andersen this summer

When it comes to goaltending and predicting the future, two words spring to mind: “Who knows?” The prevailing thought for years about goaltending has been that it is (a) voodoo and (b) very hard to predict year over year. We’ve seen it happen so many times, where a journeyman goaltender goes on a tear or a star goaltender suddenly can’t stop a beach ball.
For a while there it looked like Frederik Andersen was the anomaly after putting up three consecutive seasons of almost identical save percentages. However, a very up and down 2019-20 season has injected more uncertainty than ever about what he will bring to the table once playoff games begin in August after a four-month pause of the season.
By The Numbers
The best you could possibly ask from your goaltender is that he makes the saves he should make. Anything above and beyond that is simply gravy. And since landing in Toronto, Andersen has delivered more gravy than a Smoke’s Poutinerie on 4/20.
For the better part of four season as the Maple Leafs’ starting goaltender, Andersen has been one of the top goaltenders in the league, as …

Read More

Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation