In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors, I’ll take a look at some players both on and off the Maple Leafs’ roster who have been making news over the past few days.
First, I’ll share new insights about the Patrick Kane continuing saga. Where (and now when) might he land with another team. It looks like it will likely happen, but there’s news about the timing. Second, I’ll look at more news about Mike Babcock and why he reported he resigned from the University of Saskatchewan’s men’s hockey program.
Third, I’ll report that two hometown (or close to hometown) NHL players – Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano – spent some time in Toronto with Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Item One: If Patrick Kane Moves It Will Be During Season
A few days ago, Frank Seravalli put an interesting spin on rumors about Patrick Kane moving to the Maple Leafs, or anywhere. Seravalli’s report was less about whether Kane would waive his full no-move, no-trade clause but when that might happen.
There’s no certainty one way or the other, but according to Seravalli there’s some certainty about when it might happen – if it does. The report is that if the Chicago Blackhawks move Kane it would be closer to the trade deadline rather than during this current offseason.
It’s an interesting strategy, and there’s tons of logic at play. It would allow Kane to stay home in Chicago until he saw how the regular-season races were developing. That would allow him to pick and choose where he might want to land – presumably based upon what team he feels has the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Item Two: Mike Babcock Announces that His Coaching Days Are Over
Just one day after he announced he was resigning from his position as a volunteer head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies men’s hockey team, former Maple Leafs’ head coach Mike Babcock also announced that he would be retiring from coaching. According to Babcock (at least for now), returning to the NHL as a coach isn’t part of the plan.
In an interview on AM 680 CKOM, Babcock noted, “We always said we were going to retire at 60 and I’m 59, so basically that’s what it is.” However, he also added that “if things change, I guess they change, but surely that’s not our plan.”
The last note leaves the door open just a crack.
Item Three: Nazem Kadri Brings Stanley Cup Home to London, Ontario
Yesterday was a special day for Nazem Kadri, his family, and his home city of London, Ontario. Kadri brought the Stanley Cup to the prayer room of the London Muslim Mosque, where he shared his success with hundreds. Kadri, who’s the first Muslin to ever win the Cup, shared it with fans wearing a variety of NHL team uniforms. These included the Colorado Avalanche, the Maple Leafs, and the Calgary Flames.
Kadri noted that he chose to start his day by sharing the Cup at the Mosque because “The mosque is part of who I am.” He added that “the community deserves it and they’ve been cheering me on for a long time.” (from “Nazem Kadri proud to parade Stanley Cup through home town and into mosque where tragedy struck,” Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun, 27/08/2022).
A video shown at the Victoria Park bandshell had many references to his time with the Maple Leafs. Later last night, Kadri brought the Cup to Toronto for a party that included a few ex-teammates. He didn’t reveal who they were, noting “I won’t spill the beans (on which Leafs he’d be meeting) for their sake, but it will be quite the celebration.”
Ever loyal Maple Leafs’ fan Sam Kadri (Nazem’s father) admitted that “A big part of me (wishes he’d won as a Leaf). If my son is no longer playing in the NHL, I’d love for the Leafs to win it.”
What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?
The day before Kadri shared the Cup with friends and family in London, another of Toronto’s native sons Andrew Cogliano actually did bring the Stanley Cup to his home city of Toronto.
Cogliano celebrated his day by sharing the Cup with groups of youngsters at the Al Palladini Community Centre, then at St. Peter’s Church, with a final stop at Meta Centre for a visit with special-needs children before taking it home.
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The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf