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Category: Toronto-Maple-Leafs

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.

Continue Reading »

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Is The Goaltending In Toronto Good Enough To Win The Cup?

from Michael Traikos of the National Post,

While the Tampa Bay Lightning won back-to-back championships with four-time Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy as their unquestioned starter, the line between elite No. 1 goalie and flavour-of-the-month has never been so blurred — or so confusing.

Maybe that is why so many teams are now treating the position as though it is the NHL’s version of a bullpen. It’s all about quantity — not quality — these days, with teams preferring tandems and riding the hot hand for all it’s worth, before discarding it once it goes cold.

And so, Mrazek replaces Frederik Andersen as the Leafs’ 1B on a three-year deal where he and Campbell will presumably share the net. In a division that includes Vasilevskiy, Montreal’s Carey Price and Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky, you’d be hard-pressed to say that the Leafs have improved their chances of getting out of the first round.

“It never felt for us like we had a tandem,” Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said of Campbell and Andersen, who evenly split the net last season. “It was just whoever was healthy was playing. Mrazek has done (a tandem) in Carolina, but also carried the ball as a starter. We think they will push each other.”

At the same time, Dubas admitted that it’s not like the Leafs had the cap space to go “big-game hunting” for a big-name goalie. Even they did, why would they waste the money on a position where you don’t necessarily get what you pay for.

read on

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Petr Mrazek Will Sign With The Toronto Maple Leafs

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Would You Trade Mitch Marner For Rasmus Dahlin?

from Travis Yost of TSN,

One of the biggest challenges they have right now is a top-heavy roster on the cap front – not an issue for teams winning through their stars, but again, that hasn’t been the case in Toronto. Although Auston Matthews appears worth every penny, players like Mitch Marner ($10.9-million AAV) continue to be evaluated.

Top-pairing defenceman Morgan Rielly’s contract is another issue. The deal expires at the end of next season and he is looking at a raise, one he probably can’t get in Toronto, which would put another hole in the blueline....

Even on an expensive deal, few teams have the assets to trade for a player like Marner. That’s where Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin comes into play. The former first-overall pick (2018) has shown signs of brilliance in Buffalo, but it’s been rather inconsistent, and the 2020-21 season was particularly ugly. The offensive playmaking and distributing ability is there in spades; so too, unfortunately, was shoddy off-the-puck play.

What’s hard to tell is how much the Sabres acted as an anchor on Dahlin’s production versus how much Dahlin contributed to Buffalo’s struggles – though just 21 and clearly still developing, it cannot be discounted that Dahlin (who averaged nearly 22 minutes a night last season) was contributory on that front.

more and perhaps a few more parts...

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Leafs Won’t Do A Sign And Trade With Zach Hymen

from Kristen Shilton of TSN,

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Hyman is set to sign a long-term deal with the Edmonton Oilers when free agency officially begins next week. Dubas had subsequently been engaged with Oilers’ GM Ken Holland on a sign-and-trade that would have allowed Hyman to ink a max-term eight-year deal with Edmonton.

But Dreger reported on Saturday those talks proved fruitless. Dubas and the Leafs placed a high value on the cap savings that eighth year would bring Edmonton, and the Oilers weren’t willing to meet their expectations.

“We know what the value is of the eighth year with the cap savings and so if there's a fair deal to be made to do that, we'll do that,” Dubas told reporters on a Zoom call Saturday, following the conclusion of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. “But we've been in that situation before [too], and the other GMs aren't helping you out there; they’re pulling the pin from the grenade and they're throwing it to you. I know there's a narrative that we should just get something but you're saving a team significant dollars on the salary cap and that comes with the cost, and we're not going to bend on [what we think is fair].”

Hyman, 29, has played the entirety of his career to date in Toronto, amassing 85 goals and 185 points in 345 career games. Dreger reiterated on Saturday that the deal in place for Hyman now with Edmonton will be for seven years and is likely to carry an average annual value of $5.5 million.

read on

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Kyle Dubas Believes In His Leafs

from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun,

... But after a season where the Leafs finished first in the North Division, produced two all-stars in Matthews and Marner and made improvements in defensive play, Dubas isn’t bringing a sledgehammer to the main roster, at least to those under contract. Also, Jason Spezza, Wayne Simmonds and Travis Dermott have been re-signed and Dubas made the Jared McCann trade with Pittsburgh to keep Alexander Kerfoot and defenceman Justin Holl safe from the Seattle expansion draft.

“I understand some may look at it and say ‘this group hasn’t gotten it done’ and ‘why aren’t there significant changes?’,” Dubas said.

“But for better or worse, I believe in this group, believe they’re going to get it done and believe that they’re going to win. I believe in them as players, I believe in them as people. I understand that comes with a certain doubt because of the fact we have not broken through in the playoffs, but it’s my belief they will. I know that decision lies on me and what the risk is for me.

“We’re going ahead that way, so I’m comfortable with it. I believe we’re going to see the best version of this group next season that we’ve seen yet and I’m willing to bet everything on that.”

more

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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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