In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll share some news that probably every fan knows. That is that Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas was able to move goalie Petr Mrazek and his $3.8 million contract on Day 1 of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
Second, I’ll take a quick look at new Maple Leafs’ prospect Fraser Minten, who the team picked up at No. 38 on Day 2 of the Draft. Third, we can cross off the Detroit Red Wings as a potential landing place for Jack Campbell. The Red Wings found their goalie in Ville Husso.
Finally, we can also cross off any chance of getting Marc-Andre Fleury in a Blue and White uniform. He just signed a two-year contract extension with the Minnesota Wild.
Item One: Maple Leafs Trade Petr Mrazek to Blackhawks
In an item that almost everyone who’s a Maple Leafs’ fan knows already, but it is top news, the team traded Petr Mrazek and the No. 25 pick for the 38th overall selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. It was a good move by the Maple Leafs and helps clear some salary-cap space for some necessary moves.
Moving out with Mrazek are the two seasons he has left on his three-year, $11.4 million contract. Better yet, the Blackhawks assumed Mrazek’s full salary cap hit. I honestly wish Mrazek well with the Blackhawks and hope he stays healthy and has a good tenure in the Windy City.
Sadly for the Maple Leafs, Mrazek’s time in Toronto was marred with injury. In the end, he only played 20 games last season, putting together a record of 12-6-0, a goals-against-average of 3.34, and a save percentage of .888. His history says that he’s better than that.
Item Two: Maple Leafs Pick Fraser Minten at No. 38
The Maple Leafs had traded down from No.25 as part of the trade for goalie Petr Mrazek. They used their second-round pick (38th overall) to choose Fraser Minten, a 6-foot-1 center from Vancouver, British Columbia.
In 67 WHL games for the Kamloops Blazers, Minten scored 20 goals and added 35 assists (for 55 points). He also added six goals and 10 assists (for 17 points) during the playoffs. Minten’s reputation is that he’s a strong two-way player who can be used on both the power play and the penalty kill.
The fact that he’s foremost a defensive player might be a reason the Maple Leafs were able to trade down to pick him when they did.
Item Three: Jack Campbell Won’t Be Heading Home to Michigan
The Detroit Red Wings are no longer a suitor for Jack Campbell. During Day 2 of the NHL Entry Draft, the Red Wings moved and shook by making a trade for the rights to St. Louis Blues’ goalie Ville Husso. They then immediately signed him to a three-year contract extension.
To acquire those rights from the Blues, the Red Wings gave up the 73rd overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Good luck to Husso with the Red Wings. He looks to be their starter for the next three seasons anyway. Now, what for Campbell?
Item Four: Maple Leafs Not Likely to Get Marc-Andre Fleury
There was some hope among Maple Leafs’ fans that one-day Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Marc-Andre Fleury might move to the team. That’s not likely now that he’s signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Wild.
The contract comes with an average annual value of $3.5 million and is reported to include a no-movement clause. After Fleury was acquired from the Blackhawks, he finished the season with the Wild by stringing together a 9-2-0 record, a 2.74 goals-against average, and a .910 save percentage in 11 games. He also played in five of Minnesota’s six playoff games.
What’s Next with the Maple Leafs?
With such a dynamic 2022 Draft, things might be happening all the time. When the floor of Montreal’s Bell Centre is finally swept after the Draft is over, there will still be some moves to make. One I wonder about is rugged defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin.
Is there a chance that the Russian Bear might find a home again with the Maple Leafs? I know there are talks going on between Dubas and Lyubushkin. Where will they land? Does this depend upon the status of Rasmus Sandin?
Things are happening. We will see soon.
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