Kukla's Korner Hockey
A very impressive debut.
added 7:49pm, And goal #2 was even better, watch below...
from Kristen Shilton of TSN,
Two days removed from opening night, the Toronto Maple Leafs are primed to start the season with as many as six NHL rookies on the roster.
A 30th place finish, an NHL draft lottery win and an Auston Matthews selection later, the new-look Leafs will make their debut Wednesday in Ottawa. As of Monday afternoon, the roster sits at 25; they’ll have to get to 23 by Tuesday at 5 p.m. Assuming there are no major surprises, Matthews will join Mitch Marner, Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, William Nylander and Nikita Zaitsev in the group of NHL rookies the organization hopes will blossom for years to come.
“To me, there’s no difference right now, whether you’re a first-round pick or a second-round pick, or a seventh-round pick; if you’re playing here in the NHL, you’re all looked upon in the same light,” said general manager Lou Lamoriello. “And then it’s up to them to grab this opportunity, which could never come again where there are openings as there are. Intentionally it was done this way, with the process of last year.”
Having this many kids around is uncharted territory for Lamoriello and head coach Mike Babcock.
It’s strange times for a rebuilding hockey club when your 22-year-old top-line defender is already being asked about his ability to lead in the dressing room - because that’s what Morgan Rielly will be looked at to do. Four of Toronto's last five first-rounder will likely be starting for the team on opening night and players like Kadri and van Riemsdyk are still on that the line between being part of the the youth movement and being the veteran presence. There's a lot of excitement surrounding these players' abilities, but there will undoubtedly be turbulent times ahead - and who steps up to take control will be critical. Matt Hunwick and Roman Polak are qualified for that, as are Bozak and Brooks Laich. But some of the younger players, who are in that mid-range career level, will be tasked with setting a good example as well. How they handle the responsibility is paramount for the Leafs.
-TSN staff on their preview of the Toronto Maple Leafs. TSN has more of the preview...
from Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun,
For those who need a reminder, Babcock said after Team Canada won the World Cup last Thursday: “This is a sign of what’s going to happen here in Toronto, just so you know.”
It was a not-subtle hint that a championship is coming to Toronto via the Leafs. Certainly, the least that someone could take from it is that winning soon will be the norm.
Babcock’s matter-of-fact ways have been welcomed by the players since he was named coach of the Leafs in May 2015, and his post-Cup words didn’t disappoint.
Added pressure? Not quite.
“When he shows that kind of confidence in what we’re doing here, the direction this team is going, it just relays right through the team,” Rielly said on Sunday.
“He has confidence in us and therefore we have confidence in each other. As players we’re motivated and we want to prove him right.”
As much as Auston Matthews is viewed as the saviour — and let’s make no mistake, his potential is greater than any of his fellow young Leafs teammates — Matthews won’t be carrying the load by himself.
via the Toronto Maple Leafs,
After opening training camp on the Toronto Maple Leafs' injured reserve list, forward Joffrey Lupul issued the following statement:
"It is with deep regret that I will be unable to attend training camp and start the season with the Leafs due to injury. I pledge to work hard with a view to return to playing this season.
Hockey is the only life I have known. This is an extremely emotional time for me. Accordingly, I will not be making any further comment at this time."
from Kristen Shilton of TSN,
Since being drafted seventh overall by the Maple Leafs in 2009, Nazem Kadri has grown accustomed to shouldering a certain amount of the spotlight and expectations in Toronto.
This season is different. Gearing up for his eighth NHL training camp later this month, the projected top-line centre for the Maple Leafs is happy to cede the limelight to the team’s up-and-comers.
“I don’t mind flying under the radar sometimes,” Kadri said after an informal practice at MasterCard Centre on Tuesday. “But at the same time, guys are expected to do a lot — maybe a little more this year than last year. But I think those guys know who they are and they’re ready to take responsibility and take action.”
Kadri intends to be among them. He endured another long off-season with plenty of golf and a trip to Helsinki to attend teammate Leo Komarov’s wedding. Kadri also took stock of his position with the Maple Leafs and how he could improve it for this coming season, the first on his new six-year, $27-million contract.
from Shawn Jeffords of the Toronto Sun,
It was news Toronto Maple Leafs fans didn’t wanted to hear.
And it’s clear John Tory’s staff didn’t want the mayor breaking it to Leafs Nation. But that was potentially the scenario when Tory faced questions in late June about being part of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment’s hush-hush meeting to woo Markham-born NHL superstar Steven Stamkos.
According to documents obtained by the Toronto Sun through a Freedom of Information request, media questions about a meeting between Stamkos, Tory and MLSE, put the mayor in the tough position of potentially have to break the devastating news to the city’s hockey fans before Stamkos made his announcement.
Tory’s staff knew the top free agent was staying in Tampa Bay before the general public, a series of e-mails show.
The regular season hasn’t started yet and the Maple Leafs may already be without a No. 1 goalie.
Frederik Andersen, who the Leafs acquired in a trade from Anaheim this summer, was pulled from an Olympic qualifying game on Friday. He was in net for Denmark as they took on Slovenia and the incident occurred in the final five minutes of regulation.
The 26-year-old Andersen was accidentally run into by his own teammate and reportedly stayed down on the ice for a few minutes before leaving the game. Denmark lost the game 3-0.
Watch the collision below...
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.
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