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Your 2017/18 Toronto Maple Leafs

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Gotta say I'm stoked, can't wait for all this to get going

http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2017/09/11/22751742.html

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It’s a pleasant dilemma at this stage, with expensive free agent Patrick Marleau quite able to play with top scorer Auston Matthews and the fluid William Nylander, or add scoring to a couple of two-way diggers in Connor Brown and Nazem Kadri. That’s if Babcock keeps Mitch Marner with veterans James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak. Or would Zach Hyman leave Matthews’ flank to explore his full checking persona? And who plays fourth-line right wing?

“You guys probably know as much as we do on what’s going to happen,” Bozak said Monday at the team’s alumni golf tournament in Milton. “Chemistry is not an easy thing to find. I think the guys who play well together, whoever it is, within any part of the lineup, will stick together.

“Whenever you play with someone a long time (he at centre, van Riemsdyk on the left) you learn where each other will be on the ice. Obviously, throwing Mitch in there doesn’t hurt. We played well last year and hopefully we’ll be together again.”

Babcock’s plan will take shape in the next few days, with on-ice practices in Niagara Falls, Ont., this weekend and the first of eight exhibition games Monday in Ottawa. Keep in mind teams will use early pre-season tilts to work some rookies and free agents into the mix and not set forward groupings until later, perhaps when Babcock exchanges starting lineups with Paul Maurice in Winnipeg on Oct. 4.

 

btw Bodog has the Leafs at 14:1 to win it all

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IMO, Hyman would drag Kadri and Brown down too much, he needs to play with Matthews and Nylander to mitigate his obvious shortcomings. So...

 

Hyman - Matthews - Nylander

Marleau (A) - Bozak (A) - Marner

Komarov (A) - Kadri - Brown

Martin - Moore - Soshnikov

Smith, Leivo

 

Rielly - ?

Gardiner - Zaitsev

Hainsey - Carrick

Marincin

 

Andersen

McBackup

 

JvR traded for a RHD, Kapanen starts with the Marlies. If this were EHM however and I could set the lines, I'd go

 

Marleau (A) - Matthews - Nylander

JvR - Bozak (A) - Marner

Komarov (A) - Kadri - Brown

Hyman - Moore - Martin

Edited by Соленья

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Marleau-Matthews-Nylander
JVR-Bozak-Marner
Komarov-Kadri-Brown
Martin-Moore-Hyman
Leivo

Rielly-Hainsey
Gardiner-Zaitsev
Rosen-Carrick
Marincin

Andersen
CMac

Soshnikov, Kapanen, and Dermott would be the first recalls when injury/trade occurs. That's what I would like.

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I wonder if a team were to lose a forward to injury before the season started, if that would open up a JVR trade opportunity. 

JVR for a top 3 D would be ideal and seems almost too perfect for us. Sweeten the deal by adding a prospect. 

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http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2017/09/11/22751740.html

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MILTON, Ont. — Ron Hainsey’s memories of the spring of 2017 aren’t contained to what happened on June 11.

That was the night Hainsey and the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup in Nashville, shutting out the Predators to take the Cup final in six games.

For the 36-year-old Hainsey, it capped a remarkable turn. In February, a trade to the Penguins from the Carolina Hurricanes ensured he would participate in the National Hockey League playoffs for the first time in a career that started in 2002-03 with the Montreal Canadiens.

Speaking to reporters at the Maple Leafs’ annual charity golf tournament at RattleSnake Point Golf Club yesterday, Hainsey recalled another significant evening from several months back: The night of April 8, when the Leafs clinched a playoff berth at the Air Canada Centre thanks to a victory against Hainsey and the Penguins.

Hainsey was on the ice when Connor Brown tipped Jake Gardiner’s shot past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with less than three minutes remaining, and watched from the bench as Auston Matthews sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.

“It was a heck of a game,” Hainsey said. “We played well, we had the lead but they stuck with it.

“They did a really good job of giving us a hard time in the neutral zone, really picked us apart a little bit through the middle of the ice and were able to get a win and clinch a playoff spot.

“It’s an impressive group and I’m very excited to be a part of it.”

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The crown jewel for the Leafs, of course, is Matthews, who has the qualities to be named the next Leafs captain. Hainsey eagerly is anticipating the experience of watching Matthews attempt to build off a 40-goal season and winning the Calder Trophy.

“I’d love to see him get 60 (goals),” Hainsey said, tongue planted only somewhat in cheek.

“He’s a great talent, big body, great hands, tough to defend around the net because you’re not going to push him around.

“There is a lot to like about his game. Just getting to know him on a day-to-day basis … it seems not just for him, but for a bunch of these guys, the sky’s the limit.”

Hainsey’s main focus, of course, will be working with a defence corps that has potential but is not laden with experience.

“Not grizzled, you’re right,” Hainsey said. “Morgan (Rielly) is only 23 but he has played for (four) years now. He has seen a few things. Some other guys are getting there.

“We will get rolling. These guys know how to play. Like I said, I played against them a few times last year but I remember the Pittsburgh game where they cliched just because it was a bigger game.

“It’s a group that certainly from the top down, they know how to play, they are well-coached, and they got some skill and some guys who can put the puck in the net. I should say ‘we’ now. We’ll get going and see how it goes.”

Hainsey played in 907 regular-season games before getting into the playoffs for the first time, an NHL record for going the longest from the start of a career without making the post-season.

“It doesn’t hurt,” Hainsey said of his new-found playoff knowledge. “We all have to remember up until Feb. 23 (when Carolina traded him to Pittsburgh), I was building on a pretty impressive resume of non-Stanley Cup experience.

“I was very fortunate to join the team I did, that had a real crack at it. So if I learned anything in those couple of months, hopefully I can use that to my advantage.”

 

 

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The prez

http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Hockey/NHL/Toronto/2017/09/12/22751968.html

 

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Sitting up on the stage, taking in the entire scene, team president Brendan Shanahan wore a noticeable grin of satisfaction, a far cry from the stoic steel-faced look he often had during his first season running the Leafs.

Remember back to 2014-15, when disgruntled fans were chucking Leafs jerseys onto the ice instead of embracing the history and future of what the blue and white represented? Bitterness and indifference oozed through the fan base, heated emotions that were fuelled by the famed Salute-gate in which players refused to acknowledged the home crowd after a victory.

Shanahan’s response during his end-of-the-season press conference on April 13, 2015, was easy to translate: We don’t want players who don’t want to be here.

“We need to have a team with greater character,” Shanahan said at the time. “We have to have people that represent this city, that represent this team, as it deserves.”

Calling the notion that the media and public spotlight made Toronto a difficult place to play “a cop out,” Shanahan then added that, “We have an incredibly resilient loyal fan base. We need to have an incredibly resilient group of players who love to play in Toronto. We need a resilient group of managers from top to bottom that are committed to doing this in Toronto in spite of any difficulties or perceived difficulties that this is a harder market than other markets. I don’t believe that.”

Twenty-nine months later, Shanahan’s vision seems to be materializing in front of our very eyes. With training camp opening Thursday, these young Leafs are on the rise.

On Monday, bodog.ca listed the Leafs' odds to win the Stanley Cup at 14-1, tying them with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators, Washington Capitals and Anaheim Ducks for fourth-best among the NHL’s 31 teams. To that end, esteemed colleague Steve Simmons columnized Monday that the franchise is taking the proper steps towards its first championship in a half-century.

 

 

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Has this significantly changed from several years ago?

“There’s a lot of things that go into it, but I do get a real sense that the relationship between our players and our fans is very very good, very very strong,” Shanahan said. “There’s a mutual admiration there. The fans like our team and our team likes playing for them.

“When we get into the playoffs and we get to fill Maple Leaf Square, and they get to see that enthusiasm, the arena becomes much louder, a much more celebratory place, the players feed off of that. These are young guys who seem to embrace that spotlight and responsibility of being a Toronto Maple Leaf.”

 

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ON THE GROWING STANLEY CUP HYPE, PART 1

Please don’t plan the parade route quite yet

“Optimism is certainly a nice thing but I think for the people that are with our team and with our players and with our management, we’re all focussed on the little things,” he said. “It’s great that people are excited but we know how much work has gone into this - and still will.”

ON THE GROWING STANLEY CUP HYPE, PART 2

Young team showing penchant of tuning out distractions

Shanahan is staying grounded on this matter, despite all the excitement in the city. There is, he says, so much more to do.

“I’m a little hesitant,” he said. “At the end of the day, we got into the playoffs in our 81st game. We didn’t get past the first round. And still there was still a lot of happiness and joy about where we could go. But we understand there’s a lot of work ahead of us.

“We’re pleased with the work we’ve put in. Our coaching staff and our management have been phenomenal. Very dedicated. And, like said, I think our fans like our players. I think our players like our fans. They enjoy being Maple Leafs. They love what’s happening in the city. But they’re also smart enough to know — which is incredible because they’re still a very young inexperienced team — that they’re just getting started.”

 

 

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ON HOW MUCH WORK STILL LIES AHEAD

Coach very wise in keeping team’s eyes on the prize

In Shanahan’s opinion, malaise is not an option in coach Mike Babcock’s world.

“We’ve got such a great coaching staff and I think Mike keeps them very focussed on what their job is that day every day,” Shanahan said. “And so these guys, by the time they get to the NHL, whether they’ve been around for a while or they’ve just gotten here, they’ve dealt with expectations. And you can’t be a champion in any sport unless you know how to deal with pressure and expectations, things like that. And I think we’ve got a lot of people that embrace it.

“But Mike keeps them grounded each and every day they go on the ice. They know what their job is.”

 

 

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ON BRINGING IN VET PATRICK MARLEAU

Is this a message that the time to win is now?

“I think it’s a lot simpler than that. He’s a great hockey player, he’s a great ambassador, he’s a great example for our young players,” Shanahan said of Marleau, the former longtime San Jose Sharks forward.

“You talk about longevity and preparation and professionalism that Patrick brings, he’s a good hockey player. So I don’t think we were trying to send a message. We had an opportunity to add a good hockey player to our team, someone we thought would not only be an excellent fit but an excellent role model as well. And we feel we were lucky enough to get him.”

 

 

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ON THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A CAPTAIN

How vital is it?

Shanahan is clear on this: He doesn’t consider the debate over the 'C' to be a priority.

“I think it’s important to have leadership,” he rationalized. “And you don’t need to be a captain to show leadership on the ice or leadership in the room. And so for us, it’s always going to be about having as many leaders as possible.

“When Mike and Lou and our staff decide it’s the right time to make the move, they’ll do it. For me, there are more important things that are going through the process now. Like I said, when the time is right, the time is right and we’ll know it. We’ll make the decision then.”

ON IF THE 'C' IS IN AUSTON MATTHEWS’ FUTURE

It's a non-story, according to Shanahan

“I think we’ve had several players who have shown leadership and I think Auston has done a great job of that as well,” he said of last season's Calder Trophy winner, Matthews. “Again, I think it’s a story for the press. I don’t think it’s a story for our players and I don’t think it’s a story for us. I’ve been on lots of teams where even though one guy has worn the 'C' lots of other guys have stood up in leadership roles. Sometimes guys who had very small roles on teams had important voices.

“What I like about our team is that they really seem to like each other, support each other, and in a lot of ways showing leadership.”

 

 

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ON CONNECTING WITH A NEW GENERATION OF KIDS

Time for the brand to mean something to Toronto's youth again

“For me, it’s apparent there are other choices nowadays,” Shanahan explained. “When I was growing up, if you wanted to watch a hockey game in your city you had to watch your team. Now there’s thousands of channels. Kids have choices. Different ways to watch games.

“And so there’s a generation of young hockey fans who are wearing Penguins hats or Chicago Blackhawks hats or L.A. Kings hats. That wouldn’t have happened in Toronto a couple of decades ago. So you have to earn that back. And I think that’s something our players and team are committed to.

“It’s not something you’re entitled to. It’s something they want to earn back - that love and passion from this city.”

 

 

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Wonder what's gonna happen with that final D spot. Got Rielly,Zaitsev,Gardiner,Hainsey,Carrick as 5 of the 6 dmen. But now Polak,Marincin as well as the many young guys all competing for that final spot? If nobody wants Polak, maybe Leafs take him on but he ends up being a healthy scratch?

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Training camp roster 

If you're a jersey number freak like me here are some fun things to look at:
-Marleau got 12 obviously. Brown returns to 28 which he wore in junior and Kapanen takes 24 which is what his father wore in the NHL.
-Dom Moore wore 19 last time around but takes 20 now. Weird that Lupul gets to keep his number even though he's never going to play another game for us. 

-Hainsey has worn 65 for the past forever but his now switched to 2. Lou really hates big numbers I guess.

-Borgman got 55 which is what he wore in Sweden. Similar to Zaitsev getting 22 off the bat. Maybe this is me reading into absolutely nothing but generally first year players under Lou get a random number assigned so the fact that it looks like he got to choose may indicate they'll think he will stick. Aaltonen got 45 but wore 55 in the KHL so I wonder how they determined that one. 

 

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58 minutes ago, doctorkong said:

Training camp roster 

If you're a jersey number freak like me here are some fun things to look at:
-Marleau got 12 obviously. Brown returns to 28 which he wore in junior and Kapanen takes 24 which is what his father wore in the NHL.
-Dom Moore wore 19 last time around but takes 20 now. Weird that Lupul gets to keep his number even though he's never going to play another game for us. 

-Hainsey has worn 65 for the past forever but his now switched to 2. Lou really hates big numbers I guess.

-Borgman got 55 which is what he wore in Sweden. Similar to Zaitsev getting 22 off the bat. Maybe this is me reading into absolutely nothing but generally first year players under Lou get a random number assigned so the fact that it looks like he got to choose may indicate they'll think he will stick. Aaltonen got 45 but wore 55 in the KHL so I wonder how they determined that one. 

 

 I don't think anyone wants Lupul's #, it would haunt them with the ghosts of Robidas Island.

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http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/maple-leafs-expecting-even-auston-matthews-year-2/

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Consider that Matthews led the entire NHL last season with 30 goals at 5-on-5 and finished second to San Jose bomber Brent Burns in shots on goal at even strength. Playing alongside other rookies – Zach Hyman on the left, and either William Nylander or Connor Brown on the right – he was a serious difference-maker at age 19.

And yet, as Matthews reflected on how things went over the summer, he identified a few areas for potential improvement.

He hopes a year’s worth of NHL experience will lend itself to staying more even-keeled through the inevitable ups and downs of the season. There’s also an opportunity, he feels, to take even greater control of games.

“I think I can just be a little bit more assertive at times,” said Matthews. “Wanting the puck a little bit more, trusting my skills and everything.”

It’s a tantalizing thought for the Leafs in these early days of training camp – a time of hope and excitement and endless possibility. For as much as the organization believes it improved by adding veteran depth this summer, and as much it boasts an enviable amount of emerging talent across the board, Matthews is the No. 1 reason there’s so much optimism here this fall.

 

check out the comments section, some dude calling Matthews "Cactus," fuck me that's funny

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Jared Cowen was bitching about how he was treated by the team...like he didn't know he was only traded because of his contract quirk....

True, it was probably frustrating for him, but buddy needed to just take it on the chin and prep for this year.

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