James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs News & Notes: June 1, 2014

T.J. Brennan is following up his outstanding regular season with a great post-season performance with the Toronto Marlies. The Eddie Shore Award winner (AHL best defenseman), strangely, was never given an opportunity with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the regular season. Are the Leafs ever going to give him a shot, or is the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent ready to try his luck elsewhere? Michael Traikos spoke with the talented offensive d-man with a puzzling career trajectory.

The Toronto Marlies were vastly outshot again and despite a heroic effort by goaltender Drew MacIntyre, fell to the Texas Stars in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final 2-1. The Marlies are now in the unenviable position of having to win both Games 6 and 7 in Texas against the top team in the conference or else say goodbye to their Calder Cup chances. Jeff Veillette has the lowdown on a game that really shouldn’t have been as close as it was.

I was really surprised to hear top NHL draft prospect Sam Bennett couldn’t muster a single pull-up at the scouting combine in Toronto yesterday. Not that it should take away from the type of player he is, but I definitely didn’t expect that kind of performance from an elite junior hockey player. Work on that upper-body strength, I guess? The Canadian Press has more on last week’s event, which is a great opportunity for NHL front-office types to learn more about the incoming class of prospects.

Montreal Canadiens left-winger Thomas Vanek didn’t do himself any favours with a pretty dismal post-season performance. The 30-year-old Austrian repeated yesterday his desire to test free agency in July. He’ll probably still command a pretty penny as the top winger on the market. Arpon Basu of NHL.com has the story.

Many Toronto Maple Leafs fans will remember the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs well. The Doug Gilmour-led Leafs needed Game 7s in both their first- and second-round series’ to qualify for the Western Conference Final against the Wayne Gretzky-led Los Angeles Kings. Unfortunately, the Leafs couldn’t get it done in Game 7 in that memorable series. Those Kings have an opportunity to do what the Leafs couldn’t as they play in their third-straight Game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks tonight. The Associated Press previews what should be a game for the ages.

Tags: Drew Macintyre Sam Bennett T.J. Brennan Thomas Vanek Toronto Maple Leafs

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