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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

Is This Season A ‘Cup Or Bust’ Year For The Toronto Maple Leafs?

from James Tanner of Editor In Leaf,

Cup or Bust

The Leafs have been slowly rebuilding for the last five years, and now all of that patience is coming to fruition.

The Leafs three best young players – Auston Matthews, WIlliam Nylander and Mitch Marner – are all entering their fourth full season of NHL hockey.

The three of them are all due to peak and have their career year. It doesn’t always happen that way, but around 23 is when most elite players have their best year.

There is also the fact that Tavares hasn’t yet started to decline.  He stands to be a great player for years, but at 28 he is the age when most players begin to feel the first signs of decline.

As a superstar player, Tavares’ age curve promises to be a gentle one, but still, it is a reasonable bet, when looking at their respective ages, to say that Tavares and Matthews as a combo will never be better than they are going to be this year.

As if that wasn’t enough good news, the Leafs – if their players all live up to their previous years – have a crazy number of first-line quality players.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Season Preview For The Toronto Maple Leafs

from Dave McCarthy at NHL.com,

The Toronto Maple Leafs could have as many as 11 new players in the lineup when they open the 2019-20 NHL season against the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 2.

Following an offseason of roster turnover after being eliminated by the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round -- the third straight season the Maple Leafs were ousted from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round -- the key will be whether Toronto can come together quickly and get off to a strong start.

"Of course, developing chemistry is going to be a challenge," goalie Frederik Andersen said, "but I think most guys in hockey are pretty easy to become good friends with, and I think that's something we'll be able to do pretty quickly. I don't see that becoming the biggest concern at all. Obviously, saying goodbye to guys I got to know a lot the last few years is tough, but that is part of how the business works."

continued

Watch the preview on the Leafs below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- The Latest From Brian Burke

via Sportsnet,

Brian Burke joined Prime Time Sports to discuss Mitch Marner's contract situation, other RFAs and how Auston Matthews may consider leaving the Maple Leafs at the end of his contract.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Latest On Mitch Marner

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mitch+marner

Afternoon Line- William Nylander

“Last year’s just gone, out of the books, really, except for maybe taking some stuff that I learned. I look forward to dominating.

“I’m confident in how I am as a player, so I’m not too worried about it.”

-William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs.  Chris Johnston of Sportsnet has more.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Mitch Marner May Be Setting The Price For Other RFAs

from TSN,

Negotiations between the Maple Leafs and restricted free agent Mitch Marner are being watched closely by agents around the NHL this summer, as Joe Smith of The Athletic writes that they are waiting for him to sign with Toronto.

"It appears there’s a waiting game among high-profile RFAs with no one wanting to go first, with a source saying agents are waiting for Toronto’s Mitch Marner to get his deal done and set the market," Smith wrote.

Marner is one of several high-profile restricted free agents who remain without a contract this summer, including Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko RantanenMatthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor and Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks.

continued

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When Will Mitch Marner Sign With The Leafs?

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

The betting here is that Mitch Marner will sign a contract with the Maple Leafs on the first day of NHL’s regular season, thus missing all of training camp and likely just a few of the first games of the season.

It isn’t an ideal situation for either Marner or the Leafs, who have managed themselves into salary cap difficulty, but it is a solution well beyond what happened a year ago with William Nylander. After the Leafs acquired the dead contract money with Vegas on David Clarkson’s deal, it provided them with the ability to get Marner signed under the noisy constraints of the salary cap once rosters are posted to begin the season.

Coach Mike Babcock certainly won’t like the interruption of having Marner missing from camp — if that’s how it winds up — because at the same time it interferes with his first line with Marner, John Tavares and Zach Hyman getting comfortable in camp, especially when Hyman is hurt and won’t likely participate.

continued plus a limited number of other hockey notes...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Video- Top Plays From Mitch Marner

Ten of them, 5 1/2 minutes to watch.

 

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mitch+marner

Looks Like David Clarkson Will Be Traded To Toronto

 

added 6:17pm, Toronto release is below.

Continue Reading »

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+clarkson, vegas+golden+knights

The Goaltending Picture In Toronto

from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,

...today’s topic will be the quality of Toronto’s NHL goaltending staff. Blame Neuvirth. He started it by talking to a Czech newspaper and blabbing that he’s signed a professional tryout offer with the Leafs. Neuvirth’s not the reincarnation of Jacques Plante, but he’s also not a total stiff. He’s 31 years old and looking for work, has played for four NHL teams and most of the time has been a pretty competent netminder.

Neuvirth played for Dave Hakstol and the Philadelphia Flyers last season, and presumably now that Hakstol’s an assistant to Mike Babcock with the Leafs, he was asked about Neuvirth and didn’t say bringing him in on a PTO would be about as useful as that time Devin Setoguchi came in for a look-see.

That said, it might be. Neuvirth was lousy in his brief workload with the Flyers last year, but we can probably agree Philly hasn’t exactly been a place where goalies go to thrive since, well, the days of Pelle Lindbergh. Carter Hart might be the next great Flyers goalie, but he’ll have to hack his way through kilometres of Philadelphia goaltending scar tissue to get there.

So the Leafs are bringing in Neuvirth because Garret Sparks failed as the backup to Andersen last year, and nobody’s convinced Michael Hutchinson is capable of unseating Sparks. Notice, by the way, we didn’t say Sparks has proven he can’t do the job. He’s been a late bloomer throughout his career, and anybody who has tracked him through junior and pro hockey wouldn’t be surprised if he bounced back.

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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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