Toronto Maple Leafs News, Trades & Rumors
Auston Matthews: Ready to Lead His Maple Leafs into the Postseason

Auston Matthews: Ready to Lead His Maple Leafs into the Postseason

July 10th, 2020 I'm on record as saying that, before he finishes his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews will be recognized as the greatest center in franchise history. Granted, the unexpected might happen to erase that possibility. Related: Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Andersen,...
Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Hyman, Lehtonen, Barabanov & Matthews

Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Hyman, Lehtonen, Barabanov & Matthews

July 9th, 2020 Last week the NHL and NHL Players' Association NHLPA tentatively agreed to extend the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for another four years, which means it will run through the 2025-26 season. Not much was made of that extension at the time, but it’s a big deal and offers labor certainty...

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July 8th, 2020
Maple Leafs History

This date, in 1995, proved to be a very eventful one with the National Hockey League’s annual Entry Draft and the usual dealings that go with it. Over the years, it has also seen some veteran players end up in new places and a successful coach getting his first job in the league. A Busy Day in 1995 Due to the late start and finish of the 1994-95 season because of a lockout, the NHL Entry Draft was held much later than usual, on July 8, 1995. The 26 teams of the NHL gathered in Edmonton, AB for the nine-round draft. A Bevy of Moves Before the draft began, there was plenty of action with teams swapping players and picks. The biggest traded saw the Vancouver Canucks obtain Alexander Mogilny from the Buffalo Sabres, in exchange for Mike Peca, Mike Wilson, and their first-round pick. Mogilny scored 55 goals and 107 points in his first season with the Canucks, but his numbers declined going forward. He was eventually traded to the New Jersey Devils, in 2000, for Brendan...
July 7th, 2020
Toronto Maple Leafs

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I want to review Phil Kessel’s time with the team. I also want to share speculation about which Maple Leafs are likely to make Team Canada for the 2022 Beijing Olympic Games. Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Hyman, Robertson, Tavares & Matthews Third, I want to share two almost unbelievable Auston Matthews plays from the 2019-20 season. Finally, I want to consider how the CBA’s flat salary cap might impact the future of the team. Item One: Looking Back at Phil Kessel’s Time with the Maple Leafs Phil Kessel is one of those players people either love or hate. There is something about him that stirs the pot – a quirky personality or an aloofness that almost seems sullen. He was traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Arizona Coyotes before this season amidst much fanfare. It wasn’t a good season for him, and he didn’t produce his normal numbers. Still, he didn’t miss a game, which...
July 6th, 2020
Maple Leafs Management

When you’re hoping to sign a European free agent, there’s no better person for the job than Jim Paliafito, the Maple Leafs' senior director of player evaluation. Although his name seldom is mentioned outside of hockey circles, he’s one of the key reasons that his employer has a strong team that can and will – one way or another – compete in an age of constraining salary-cap limits. Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Maroon, Nylander, Barrie, Keefe & Rielly Paliafito’s job is to watch players, find out about them, track them, engage them, do research on them, and get to know them. He meets them and their families and their agents. He does this work over and over, and he does it well. The Maple Leafs hired the former Saginaw Spirit general manager to join their front office in 2015 as director of player evaluation, and he’s done very...
July 6th, 2020
Maple Leafs History

Some of the best players of the 1990s were rewarded for their performances on this date. July 6 also saw a number of coaching changes, roster moves and the birth of two players who left their mark on the game with brilliant National Hockey League careers. 1995 Postseason Awards The NHL handed out their postseason awards on July 6, 1995, and some future Hockey Hall of Famers took home some coveted hardware. The day belonged to Eric Lindros of the Philadelphia Flyers. He became the first Flyer to with the Hart Trophy, for being voted by the writers as the league’s most valuable player, since Bobby Clarke in 1976. Lindros also won the Lester B. Pearson Award for being the most outstanding player as voted on by his fellow players. This award is known today as the Ted Lindsay Award. He was named to the first All-Star team, as well, on this date. Lindros was a force to reckon with during the 1994-95 season. (Photo by Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Images) Jaromir Jagr of the...
July 5th, 2020
Toronto Maple Leafs

I came across an interesting bit of history doing my research for this post. That is, as sportswriter Lance Hornby noted, “Since 1917, more than 1,000 men have worn the Blue and White in Toronto’s NHL history. They’re part of a team that millions of Canadians grew up listening to, watching on TV or even seeing live, perhaps dreaming they could play for them one day” (from “Once a Leaf: Chris Kotsopoulos, Lance Hornby, Ottawa Citizen, 05/07/20). Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Hub Cities, Amnesty Buyouts, Wendel Clark As I read it, I was struck by how fortunate I feel to be writing about these players almost every day. Today’s post won’t be any different. In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I want to put perhaps a different spin on Tyson Barrie’s value to the team, prop up William Nylander as a young player who might not be finished improving, and share the charitable work of Maple Leafs captain John Tavares. Item One: Why...
July 4th, 2020
Toronto Maple Leafs

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll look at a possible addition to next season's roster, William Nylander’s increased production since Sheldon Keefe took over as the head coach, and wonder why Morgan Rielly might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder heading into the postseason. Item One: Why Patrick Maroon Would Be a Good Fit in Toronto Yesterday Maple Leafs blogger Mike Augello offered a series of forwards the team might go after and one of the players on his list was Patrick Maroon. Truthfully, I hadn’t considered him as a possible forward the team might target but I should have. Patrick Maroon when he was with the Edmonton Oilers. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers) I got to watch Maroon play with the Edmonton Oilers when I was still was a professor at the University of Alberta. During the 2016-17 season, he had a great season where he scored 27 goals and 15 assists in 81 games. Although he was traded from the Oilers to the New Jersey...