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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

One-On-One With Brendan Shanahan

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

He understands the market and the fan base. And he can’t wait to see what comes next.

“I’ve felt pressure from Day 1 on the job,” Shanahan said in a lengthy, wide-ranging interview in his Bay Street office. “I welcome pressure.

“There’s never been a time in any job I’ve ever had where I didn’t feel pressure. I’m attracted to jobs with pressure. I don’t think I’d like to have a job without pressure and urgency. You can look back now, three-four years ago, when we were building things up, you felt that urgency every day. I still feel it. It’s part of the job.”...

“We haven’t gotten over the hump and we understand that,” said Shanahan. “And I sympathize with our fans. For the last year and a half, you go into an arena and there are no fans, no positive feedback from people attending games, it’s an empty feeling. You can feed off that sometimes. We only get our feedback through media and social media. And that can be damaging.

“This is our world. If you want to talk about the Leafs or politics or cooking or gardening or anything, you’re not getting a balanced conversation. It’s difficult not to walk away and feel bad (after that). I think our players are hopeful and optimistic that we will have our fans back. I think everybody feels, whether you’re a player or a fan or an owner or you work in management, it’s something you need right now. The way we’re getting our information, there is just not enough one-on-one contact since the pandemic.

“The feeling the fans have exists within our players and our dressing room. There is an anger, even at themselves, and anger might be the wrong word, but there is a sort of determination to get the job done. That’s what I feel heading into camp.”

much more

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Buffalo Sabres And Toronto Maple Leafs Will Play An Outdoor Game In Hamilton

NEW YORK (Sept. 16, 2021) – The 2022 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ will feature the Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres on March 13, 2022, at Tim Hortons Field, in Hamilton, Ont., home of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today. The game will be broadcast on TNT, Sportsnet, via stream on SN NOW, NHL Live and TVA Sports at 3 p.m. ET.

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Questions For The Toronto Maple Leafs And Vegas Golden Knights

from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com,

Has the goaltending been upgraded?

Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek will be tasked with helping the Maple Leafs go on a deep run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after Frederik Andersen signed a two-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on July 29. Andersen won 149 games over five seasons with Toronto, but the Maple Leafs did not win a playoff series. Campbell was 17-3-2 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .921 save percentage for the Maple Leafs last season and set an NHL record with 11 wins to start the season. Mrazek signed a three-year contract as an unrestricted free agent July 28 after being limited to 12 starts with the Hurricanes last season because of a thumb injury. The 29-year-old was 6-2-3 with a 2.06 GAA, a .923 save percentage and three shutouts.

4 more questions...

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

Can they continue to evolve their game for the playoffs?

The Dallas Stars defeated the Golden Knights in the 2020 Western Conference Final by taking away the middle of the ice and getting great goaltending. Afterward, Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said players needed to add layers to their games.

The Golden Knights faced two teams in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs that used the same formula the Stars did: the Minnesota Wild and Montreal Canadiens. They defeated the Wild in seven games in the Stanley Cup First Round, and DeBoer said, "We found a way this year where a year ago I'm not confident we would have."

But after defeating the Colorado Avalanche in the second round, they lost to the Canadiens in six games in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Too often, they got frustrated by Montreal's defensive structure, turned over the puck and fed its quick-strike offense. Vegas' top scorers struggled to produce at even strength and on the power play, which went 0-for-15 in the series.

more questions

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  Tags: vegas+golden+knights

Can The Toronto Maple Leafs Afford Morgan Rielly?

from Chris Johnston at the Toronto Star,

As the summer sped by without meaningful negotiations on a Morgan Rielly contract extension, his case for a major payday only grew stronger.

These last few weeks saw an undeniable shift upwards in the market for defencemen who eat big minutes and drive offence. And the shift may have created a divide between the Maple Leafs and their longest-tenured player that will ultimately prove too wide to bridge.

Shared history and sentiment aside, where exactly is the wiggle room here?

This is the most important contract of Rielly’s career. And in a flat-cap NHL environment general manager Kyle Dubas must weigh the merits of any significant salary commitment against what he’d need to cut away from the organization’s base in order to accommodate it.

That explains in part why there’ve only been a couple of surface-level conversations between Rielly’s camp and Leafs management to this point. The CBA has permitted them to sign a deal that would take effect in July 2022 for more than six weeks now, and during that period the marketplace has evolved.

continued

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Real Reality

from Justin Bourne of Sportsnet,

Yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the subject of an upcoming docuseries -- an “All or Nothing” show put together by Amazon, but having seen All or Nothing’s in the past (I watched the one on Man City), it’s safe to say the camera will be aimed away from internal strife. If I had to guess, there’s little chance you'll finish watching that upcoming documentary and feel like there were massive internal failings despite their results. (I’m guessing the team itself was guaranteed final approval before it goes to air.)...

The NHL has a culture that leads to the burying of some of the best internal storylines because it’s a sin to admit you care about your own career, for some reason. I think with enough access, enough interviews, and perhaps that translator, we can get to some great stories.

At the end of the day professional sports are about entertainment -- it’s the world's best form of reality TV -- and embracing another angle of that can only be good for fan engagement, and in turn, the health of the league as a whole.

much more

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Video- Auston Matthews Is A Highlight Machine

His top plays from the past NHL season.

 

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Waiting On Mitch Marner

from Damien Cox at the Toronto Star,

If all goes according to the NHL’s plan to get back to normal, Marner will have 82 games to get through before the real opportunity to prove himself comes in the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, assuming the Leafs get there again. It’s going to be a long wait.

That’s what happens when you go 18 games in the playoffs without a goal. It’s also what happens when you carry a $10.9-million (U.S.) annual cap hit. Of late, new contracts, and cheaper ones, signed by players like Brayden Point, Sean Couturier and Andrei Svechnikov, have given more ammunition to those who would argue Marner not only disappears in the playoffs, but that he’s overpaid, to boot.

So that’s the environment one of hockey’s best right wingers will confront this fall, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how he responds to it. He might take the predictable approach, say things like “I only care about what the guys in the room think” and keep the media and public at a distance.

Or, he might open up, talk about what he’s done during the off-season to raise his game and engage with the media more than he has in the past. That approach might win him more public support, but not if he fails to play at the high level that made him the NHL’s fourth-leading scorer last season. You don’t want to be the chatty type who can’t produce.

more

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Afternoon Line- Travis Yost On The Toronto Maple Leafs

This roster should be good enough for the playoffs and beyond, scoring their way out of most problems over the course of the regular season. If the goaltending holds up, this is a Stanley Cup-calibre roster.

If not, this may very well be the last dance for the Maple Leafs’ core.

-Travis Yost of TSN wit much more on the Leafs.

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Auston Matthews Had Wrist Surgery Today

via te Toronto Maple Leafs,

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced that forward Auston Matthews underwent successful wrist surgery earlier today.

Matthews encountered discomfort upon increasing his on-ice training earlier this week. After consultations with specialists and Maple Leafs medical staff, surgery was the recommended course of action. His recovery will be a minimum of six weeks.

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Toronto Maple Leafs - All Or Nothing

TORONTO (August 11) – Amazon Prime Video today announced all five episodes of Canadian Amazon Original docuseries, All or NothingToronto Maple Leafs, will premiere October 1 on Prime Video. The series offers an insider view of the iconic Toronto Maple Leafs during the historic 2020-21 NHL season, including on-the-ice action and unparalleled behind-the-scenes access with players, coaches and fans. The Canadian Amazon Original series will be available in more than 240 countries and territories.

The first of the All or Nothing franchise to follow an NHL team, the docu-series brings fans closer to the Toronto Maple Leafs organization than ever before, with cameras capturing every moment during the 104th NHL regular season and playoffs. During a season unlike any before it, the series follows the team on-and-off the ice as they become the first all-Canadian North Division Champions, before facing off against their Original Six rival, the Montreal Canadiens, in the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Actor and lifelong Maple Leafs fan Will Arnett will narrate the series.

Below, watch a trailer.

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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