The Toronto Maple Leafs are back from the New Year, baby!
The regular season is now firmly out of the winter break, and the Editor in Leaf staff have been working around the clock to bring you, our loyal readers, right into the middle of the action. Every angle has been covered, and every stone has been overturned.
With so many stories hitting the wall all at once, it’s easy to lose a few in the shuffle. So, enjoy this roundup of this week’s notable pieces.
Toronto Maple Leafs Top Ten Prospects (2019)
It’s that wonderful time of year again. The time of which the Leafs have all but locked up a playoff spot by New Year’s and fans, basking in that World Juniors glow, begin to turn their sights towards the future.
And by the future, I mean prospects.
Enter; Alex Hobson, whose annual Leafs prospect rankings are equal parts hotly anticipated and a good way to kill time as we slog through the dog days of the season. This year is no different.
With a cap crunch looming on the horizon, Kyle Dubas will need to make full use of any low-cost prospects in the Leafs’ system to shelter the storm.
Give Alex’s piece a read to find out which prospects are most likely to provide some relief.
“Durzi is currently 20 years old and playing for the Owen Sound Attack where he has three goals and 16 points in 16 games so far this season as an over-ager.
Durzi is playing in the OHL right now, mostly because the Marlies defence is stacked, and that is will he will get the most minutes.
After being undrafted in his first year of eligibility, Durzi went in the second round to the Leafs, which is a crazy jump. In his draft year, he had 49 points in 40 games and showed NHL talent.
He is right-handed, which gives him an edge. Along with Sandin, Liljegren, Borgman, Rosen and Dermott, Durzi makes up an excellent group of Toronto Maple Leafs young defenseman.”
Selfish Mitch Me-Ner Is Hurting the Toronto Maple Leafs
Jesus Christ, James. You couldn’t have picked a more inflammatory title if you tried.
Frankly, I was of the belief that all the contract talk surrounding the Leafs would die, at least temporarily, with the Nylander saga. Alas, I was wrong. I guess Leafs Nation simply cannot survive without something to be upset about.
Mitch Marner’s next contract looks to be that “something”.
Taking into account the rather controversial statements made by Paul Marner recently, it doesn’t look as if Mitch’s negotiation will be an easy one. Paul obviously believes his son is undervalued in most hockey circles, and a 7-figure paycheck is a sure-fire way to fix that.
As James writes this week, Marner’s decision not to sign an extension mid-season is hurting the Leafs and distracting the team from the task at hand. Read below to get upset, I guess.
“According to Pierre LeBrun and the Athletic, Mitch Marner’s agent is not open to a contract extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs until after the season.
Mitch Me-aner really needs to get his priorities straight.
This is selfish behaviour, and if he was any kind of team player, he’d give the Leafs a hometown discount, right now, and be done with it.
Also, has this guy ever thrown a hit? Dropped the gloves? He’s no Ron Hainsey, I’ll tell you that.
In fact, it’s unbelievable that this hometown kid even wants to be paid at all.
And in case you can’t tell, I’m being sarcastic. But if that kind of nonsense sounds familiar, it’s because that’s what was said, and is being said, about William Nylander, whose main crime, as far as I can tell, is not being born in Ontario.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs Need to Experiment with Lines
After a shutout loss on home ice to the Nashville Predators on Monday, it’s safe to say that the Leafs’ line combinations are starting to get a bit stale.
Yes, Toronto indeed carries a bevvy of offensive talent readily at their disposal, but it’s how Mike Babcock opts to use said talent that will push the Leafs to the cream of the NHL’s crop. Right now, that talent is not being used to the best of its abilities.
With Zach Hyman set to make his return to the lineup following a roughly month-long absence, this opens the door for some line shuffling to take place. Hyman is almost certainly expected to slot back in alongside Mitch Marner and John Tavares.
So, who does he bump down? What other moves can be made because of this?
For all that and more, give Michael’s piece from this week a look.
“When taking a glance at the combination the Leafs used in what proved to be a 4-0 loss, it looks fairly similar to when the season began. Obviously there are a few differences from what the opening night lineup looked like, but generally speaking, it has been pretty consistent.
The main roster has overall seen very minimal changes throughout the opening three months of the season. Outside of the Josh Leivo trade, the William Nylander signing, and the constant recalls, the lineup has remained more or less the same each passing night.
I understand why the Leafs have done this; they want to win and the lineups they have been using, for the most part, have worked wonders. However, when the team goes through a bit of adversity like they seem to be currently, there are minimal changes outside of a minor tweak in the lines.”
Thanks for reading!