Believe it or not, we’re going to be able to see some Toronto Maple Leafs hockey in a little over two weeks. A team of highly regarded youngsters including William Nylander, Matt Finn, Tom Nilsson, Connor Brown, Josh Leivo and Frederik Gauthier will suit up to take on prospects from the Chicago Blackhawks, Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins in a four-day tournament beginning on September 13. Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star has the full roster.
Nilsson, one of the aforementioned prospects, came in at number 17 in Pension Plan Puppets’ Top 25 Under 25 ranking. The 21-year-old hasn’t developed any kind of scoring touch, but the amount of minutes he played in the Swedish League and his reputation as a defensive stalwart make him an intriguing defenseman to watch.
Josh Rubin of the Toronto Star spoke to a couple of economists about the viability of a second NHL team in the GTA. Their outlook is the expansion fees an ownership group would have to pay both Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment and the league would be so exorbitant it wouldn’t work. The likeliest scenario would be if either Bell or Rogers (the competing communications giants who own 37.5 per cent of the Leafs) bought the expansion team and brought them to Toronto.
Quebec City seems like a much more likely expansion location for the league, as they’ve already begun constructing an 18,000-seat stadium and wouldn’t be encroaching on another team’s territory. Don Cherry believes that’s the case anyway, as Joe Warmington of Sun News found out. Nordiques Nation would go absolutely wild.