Toronto Maple Leafs News, Trades & Rumors

Keefe Changes His Mind: Maple Leafs’ Lehtonen Ready for Prime Time

Keefe Changes His Mind: Maple Leafs’ Lehtonen Ready for Prime Time

January 20th, 2021 When the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mikko Lehtonen, the KHL’s leading defenseman for the 2019-20 season, the reaction of fans was two-fold. On one hand, many Maple Leafs fans – including myself – felt this was a great signing. The team was picking up perhaps the best defenseman in the world...
Babcock Bombs as Former Leafs Coach Tries to Clarify Marner Drama

Babcock Bombs as Former Leafs Coach Tries to Clarify Marner Drama

January 19th, 2021 Former Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock and The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun sat down for a long talk. The topic of the conversation was Babcock's reputation as a bench boss and a person since being released by the Maple Leafs and choosing to stay silent regarding allegations of verbal and...
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January 18th, 2021
Toronto Maple Leafs

We saw a few different versions of the Toronto Maple Leafs over the first three games of the 2020-21 season. While the inconsistent play has caused a lot of panic for many fans on social media, it was also anticipated. These games count for regular-season points, but the Leafs, like all teams, are playing at an exhibition-level. What did you expect? Teams had a ten-day training camp and no exhibition games. Mix that with new players and new line combinations, and it is going to take some time to get a consistent performance. Still, the Maple Leafs claimed four of a possible six points. Goalie Controversy I hate to say I told you so, but it did not take long for Frederik Andersen to become the goat this season. He let in nine goals in his first two games. Sheldon Keefe and every player who got in front of a microphone said it wasn't Andersen's fault. Jack Campbell got a win in his first start of the 2020-21...
January 18th, 2021
Winnipeg Jets

In today's NHL rumors rundown, there is news on the seriousness of Nick Robertson's injury and how long the Toronto Maple Leafs will be without their young forward prospect. The Edmonton Oilers goalie carousel continues to turn as the results of the waiver claims roll in. Patrik Laine left the ice early today at the Winnipeg Jets practice and people are keeping eye on a potential injury. The Pittsburgh Penguins are interested in Jack Roslovic and could the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers work out a deal for a defenseman that needs a fresh start? Laine Leaves Practice Early Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported today that Laine was on the ice for today's skate and quickly left. Johnston was keeping any eye on Laine after the forward -- who also happens to be near the front of the line for trade rumors -- left practice early with an undisclosed issue yesterday. Reports were on Sunday that he was clutching the area above his left hip and in obvious discomfort. He skated...
January 18th, 2021
Toronto Maple Leafs

As quickly as they were down after the Toronto Maple Leafs played a stinker in their second game of the season and their first back-to-back against the Ottawa Senators on Friday night, they were up again after a dominating second game against the same young and improving Senators’ team. One difference between these back-to-backs was a total breakout performance from the Maple Leafs top line. No doubt, the team is hoping for more of the same when they host the Winnipeg Jets this evening in Toronto. Related: Toronto Maple Leafs Become Chapter in Jimmy Vesey's Puzzling Career In this edition of Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I'll report on some players who’ve played well after three games of the season. Second, I'll look at the possible impact of some moves the team was forced to make after young Nick Robertson's injury. Finally, I’ll speculate about what might happen with the team going forward. Item One: Maple Leafs Top Line’s Breakout Game The Maple...
January 17th, 2021
Maple Leafs Transactions

We knew the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to have to be creative with the salary cap situation. General Manager Kyle Dubas said there would be a lot of paperwork to file out to stay compliant, but it was just a formality for the most part. But that paperwork started a dumpster fire on Sunday morning. Jason Spezza hit the waiver wire, and within minutes it got worse. Sportsnet's Chris Johnson spoke with Spezza's agent, Rick Curran, who said Spezza would "simply retire" if another team claimed him. What just happened? Spezza has played well as a fourth-line centre. He won all 10 of his face-offs on Saturday night in a win over the Ottawa Senators. He recorded his 600th career assist in the opening game against the Montreal Canadiens. He even played a few shifts on the second line with John Tavares and William Nylander. These facts did not lead anyone to imagine that his hometown team would waive the 37-year-old...
January 17th, 2021
Toronto Maple Leafs

One of the surprising Toronto Maple Leafs’ signings of the offseason was to ink long-time NHL veteran Joe Thornton to an NHL league-minimum contract. Obviously, from the Maple Leafs’ perspective, the organization believed Thornton could add value to the team’s roster at a cost-effective option. Thornton’s goal in signing this contract was obvious; he wanted to have one more crack at the Stanley Cup before he retired. Related: Maple Leafs’ Matthews & Tavares Call Out Team: No Response & No Gas Thornton had obviously looked over his possibilities and decided that the Maple Leafs was a team that had a chance to take a long Stanley Cup run at the end of the 2020-21 season; and, he wanted to be a part of that run. Thornton Was Seen as a Third-Line Option When Thornton’s signing was announced, most hockey pundits believed he would assume a role centering the Maple Leafs’ third line and, in that role, play up to 10 minutes per game. Many believed Thornton...
January 17th, 2021
Toronto Maple Leafs

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I'll share some of the news from the team’s third game of the season – a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. The score was closer than the game’s on-ice play and the Maple Leafs put together a solid offensive and defensive effort. Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Timashov, Gauthier & Future Possibilities The highlight of the game was the play of the team’s top line of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Joe Thornton. The biggest issue of the game for the Maple Leafs was an injury sustained by young Nick Robertson, and that injury will have trickle-down impacts on the remainder of the team’s roster. I’ll share that news here. Item One: Auston Matthews Scores First Goal of the Season Usually, if I remember correctly, Auston Matthews has three or four goals by the third game of the season. This season, it took him the third game to get his first. But that was about the only thing different about...