Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Matthews, Marner, Bunting & Campbell

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs’ News & Rumors, there’s some good news for Maple Leafs’ players after the NHL awards last night. Two of the team’s best players – Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner – were given awards. Sadly, Michael Bunting did not pick up the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. Still, third place is great.

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In other news, I’ll share that a number of players currently on the Maple Leafs’ roster have announced their intentions to join another team – not on the ice, but in life. Three Maple Leafs’ players – Jack Campbell, Alex Kerfoot, and Colin Blackwell – have announced their plans to get married. Congratulations to them.

Item One: Auston Matthews Voted for Connor McDavid for Ted Lindsay Award

Connor McDavid didn’t win the Ted Lindsay Award. But he did win effusive praise from Auston Matthews, who was the winner of the Lindsay. After beating out McDavid for both the Lindsay Award and Hart Trophy, Matthews shared how he feels about McDavid’s impact on him and on the game of hockey.

Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid got Auston Matthews vote for the Ted Lindsay Award
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Matthews admitted that “Anytime that I have a vote for the Ted Lindsay I’m pretty sure I just write his name down every time no matter what, just because of the respect I have for him as a player and how good he is and how good he’s been ever since he’s been in the league.” (from “TRAIKOS: Matthews wonders what would have happened had Leafs beat Lightning; calls McDavid the MVP,” Michael Traikos, Toronto Sun, 21/06/2022).

Item Two: Matthews Wins Both the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award

In the end, although McDavid had another amazing season with 44 goals and 79 assists (for 123 points) in 80 games, Matthews’ 60-goal total might have been the tipping point. He’s only the third player during the salary cap era to reach that milestone. 

Related: Martin St. Louis, the Little Big Man

That fact certainly helped Matthews collect Hart Trophy votes. In the end, Matthews received 119 of 195 first-place votes for the Hart, with the Edmonton Oilers’ McDavid coming second with 29 first-place votes. In the voting for the Lindsay Award, Matthews gathered 1,630 points, with McDavid second with 1,111 points, and New York Rangers’ goalie Igor Shesterkin came in third with 738 points.

The fact that Matthews also won both the Hart and the Lindsay means there was consensus between the National Hockey League Players’ Association voters and the hockey writers about the best NHL player during the 2021-22 season. 

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

These are not the only awards Matthews has won during his NHL career. In 2017, he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s best rookie. In addition, during the past two seasons, he’s won the Rocket Richard Trophy for being the NHL’s leading goal scorer.

Item Three: Michael Bunting Comes in Third in Calder Trophy Voting

There’s no surprise here that Maple Leafs’ Michael Bunting did not win the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie. In the end, the Detroit Red Wings’ great young defenseman Moritz Seider won. 

Anaheim Ducks’ center Trevor Zegras finished in second place with 1,191 points while Bunting came in number three with 877 points. Interestingly, Maple Leafs’ young defenseman Timothy Liljegren tied for 11th with six votes.

Item Four: Mitch Marner Makes NHL All-Star Team

Congratulations to Matthews’ other line partner Mitch Marner, who was voted to be the right-winger on the NHL’s All-Star Team. Considering the entire evening, the Maple Leafs’ first line of Marner, Matthews, and Bunting came out looking good.

On the NHL All-Star team, Marner joins Matthews (at center), the Calgary Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau (at left-wing), Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar and Nashville Predators’ defenseman Roman Josi. The New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin was named the All-Star goalie.

What’s Next for the Maple Leafs?

Three Maple Leafs players are recently engaged. Jack Campbell became the third Maple Leafs’ player to become engaged this offseason. The Maple Leafs’ goalie announced his engagement to girlfriend Ashley Sonnenberg.

Related: Can the Maple Leafs Find a Jack Campbell Clone?

However, it looks like this summer will see a number of weddings for Maple Leafs’ players this coming year.  Two other forwards, Alex Kerfoot and Colin Blackwell also announced their engagements earlier. Kerfoot will marry Marissa Balleza and Blackwell will marry Lauren Prodoehl.

It’s interesting there’s a good chance that each of these three current Maple Leafs’ players might actually be settling down in a city other than Toronto. There are rumors that all three might be moving to another NHL team.

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