The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to win their first Stanley Cup in 900 years (or something like that) when (and if) the 2020-21 NHL season finally gets under way.
The Toronto Maple Leafs mark the one year anniversary of Mike Babcock’s firing by…..hoping training camp starts soon.
Negotiations are underway and the NHL and NHLPA are trying to come up with a solution to play this year’s schedule, but in the meantime all there is to do is wait for some form or interesting hockey news.
While we do that, here are some way too early predictions for next season. Feel free to print them out and then come and scream at me as the season goes by.
Toronto Maple Leafs and NHL Prediction
1. The New York Islanders become the NHL’s worst team.
The league’s most consistently confounding team, the Islanders have continued to defy the many underlying factors that suggest they should be a much worse team than the results have shown. Look for them to be so bad that Ottawa finishes 30th.
2. Nick Robertson earns a spot with John Tavares and Mitch Marner and wins the Calder Trophy.
The only reason Nick Robertson will even get consideration for the NHL this year is because he has to play on the Leafs or in the OHL, where he’s already shown he’s too good to play. He will make the team, land a spot with Tavares and destroy the secondary competition as teams focus on Auston Matthews.
3. Hart Trophy for Matthews
This is the year where Matthews finally makes believers out of people who don’t just automatically hate anything with a Leafs symbol on it. He’ll flirt with a goal-per-game and critics will rave about his defense.
4. Justin Holl becomes Household Name
Justin Holl will pick up where he left off and by the end of the season no one will underrate him any more. Like Jose Bautista before him, Holl’s ascendance in his late twenties will shock the world.
5. Rasmus Sandin and Mikko Lehtenon Ruin the Leafs Plans
Sorry Travis Dermott and Zach Bogosian, but the elevation of the Leafs opening night 3rd pairing to star status will relegate both of you to the pressbox on a regular basis.
6. Boston falls off and Montreal is a bust.
For some reason people really celebrated the Canadiens misguided off-season plans, and they will be a bad team that does not qualify for the playoffs. The real surprise though is the Bruins who will tumble down the standings as age finally catches up to their squad and the PDO run that sustained them last year disappears into the ether.