Being mid-August, there isn’t much big time hockey news going on. That being said, there is always something happening with the Toronto Maple Leafs and their players or staff. This edition of Maple Leafs News will focus on Morgan Rielly and Auston Matthews as they prepare for the World Cup of Hockey and on the looming decision of Jimmy Vesey and where he decides to sign.
Rielly and Matthews Getting World Cup Ready
The World Cup of Hockey will officially start Sept. 17. Players representing the various teams have been getting themselves into playing shape now, because that start date is around three weeks earlier than when the NHL season usually begins.
Morgan Rielly, the Maple Leafs’ talented defenseman, has begun training to get himself ready for the tournament. While many see Team North America as underdogs, he believes they could win it all. The roster will boast a very impressive amount of talent including, Aaron Ekblad, Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and more.
Speaking of young and impressive talent, Rielly will have a Maple Leafs teammate on the squad with him. That’s the recently drafted Auston Matthews, the big American pivot. Imagine being in the position that Matthews is in right now. He was taken first overall and instead of a normal NHL camp, he’s preparing to play on a huge stage with and against some of the best players the hockey world has to offer.
— TML World (@MapleLeafsWorld) August 6, 2016
It’s a huge step for both players, who will gain some valuable experience that can hopefully be translated into the Maple Leafs season. This will also lead to a fast start for NHL teams, with players feeling fresh after the World Cup. Getting Rielly and Matthews going quickly should be extremely beneficial for the Leafs, as they will be heavily relied upon to lead the team now and in the future.
Jimmy Vesey Decision Expected This Week
Jimmy Vesey may be the most popular player in the hockey world right now. The highly touted forward out of Harvard is expected to finally make a decision on where he wants to play next season. NHL clubs have been lining up at his door for more than a month to have a crack at signing the young forward.
Vesey will officially be an unrestricted free agent tomorrow, Aug. 16, and will be free to speak with any and all interested teams. The list of suitors is a long one that includes teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers.
Every team can only offer the same amour of money, which means the decision will likely come down to other factors. Playing time is expected to be chief among them, with the winning team expected to promise top-six minutes. With a decision finally going to made this week, expect the intensity to dial up even more as teams make a final push.
— Lindy Ruff’s Tie (@LindyRuffsTie) August 12, 2016
It’s a lot of intrigue for a player who has yet to appear in an NHL game, but all indications say that Vesey is a good talent that will improve whatever club he decides to sign with.