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Hockey Talk Before Training Camp Starts

from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,

- This may be the last and best opportunity for a while for the ever-optimistic Maple Leafs to compete for the Stanley Cup.

You see, the world is about to get very complicated for the Leafs and several other NHL teams who have spent money with the assumption the salary cap would continue to rise, and rise some more. In all the planning and organizing the Leafs and other clubs worked through, nobody budgeted for a pandemic.

So, this is perhaps the last dance for a Leafs team with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander....

- A management team of Doug Armstrong, Ken Holland, Kelly McCrimmon and maybe Julian BriseBois should be selected to run Team Canada for the 2022 Winter Olympics. A lot of people want Mike Babcock to coach. I’d like to see Bruce Cassidy, who beat Babcock twice in playoff series, get a shot. And if not him, Jon Cooper.

- There’s more to Chris Pronger leaving the Florida Panthers than has been spoken about. Pronger wanted to be the next general manager and should have been the man to replace Dale Tallon. Word around is that the assistant GM, Eric Joyce, will soon to be elevated to the top job. His background isn’t hockey, it’s national security. The Panthers continually keep trying to be smarter than everyone else in hockey and somehow fail every time they get cute.

more on the first topic plus additional hockey notes...

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



If the playoffs happen, this is the play-in series I’m most
excited to follow.

Does Columbus have enough firepower?

Which goalie(s) shakes off the rust and steals a game or two?

Can Toronto handle a heavy, relentless team defense like
the Jackets?

Torts has got another great foil in the always hyped Leafs
and their media market.

Is this when a healthy Seth Jones gets the attention he deserves?

Columbus is super-deep at forward and D, but not in high-end skill at the
former. Josh Anderson is out until at least Sept and the consensus seems to be
he and the Jackets will part ways. That’s a shame. His skating and size and hitting
and hands gave Tampa fits last year.

Posted by lefty.30 on 07/11/20 at 11:21 PM ET

d ca's avatar

I think Toronto is stuck with John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and most likely William Nylander….for years to come.

Dubas is stuck with Tavares who choose Toronto, his hometown city, and who has a NMC and who’s deal is structured so only 910k is base salary. Matthews isn’t going anywhere unless he has serious COVID complications (no on in Toronto will confirm he has it—-but no one has come out with an objection that he doesn’t).

That leaves Marner and Nylander. There are only 4 teams that could handle Marner’s 10.893M cap hit for the next 5 years (Detroit, Ottawa, LA, and NJD. Colorado can’t because they need room for Makar and Landeskog after next year and Byram the following, and MacKinnon the one after that.

That leaves Nylander and his 6.92 for the next 4 years. Again those same 4 teams and now you can add in a few more if Toronto takes a player that makes a few million less back. But would Toronto really give up Nylander for pennies on the dollar vs having to throw in a sweetener to unload a combination of Zach Hyman, Alexander Kerfoot, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, or Justin Holl—-I don’t think so. That is why Nylander is safe to me too.

I think the Leafs elevate turning 19 year old former Little Caesars bantam player Nicholas Robertson out of the OHL and call up Liljegren, Teemu Kivihalme, and Yegor Korshkov. They then play the add a LTIR during the 10% offseason cap expansion and use the LTIR relief to field a roster of 20-21 players.

Posted by d ca on 07/12/20 at 01:36 AM ET

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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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