Which Toronto Maple Leafs Will Go to the Olympics?

Jake Muzzin,Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
Jake Muzzin,Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs got some bad news on Friday: The NHL is going to the Olympics.

This is great news for fans of international competition, but as far as the Toronto Maple Leafs are concerned, I am pretty sure they’d rather not have their best players playing playoff-style hockey for another team, in the middle of the season.

The NHL’s decision to go the Olympics, which means pausing the season, risking injury, playing games in the middle of the night, and doing it all during a pandemic is reckless and crazy.

But the players want it, and the fans want it and it’s happening.

So which members of the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to make their countries rosters?

Toronto Maple Leafs and the Olympics

The thing that never made any sense to me about the Olympics is that the NHL could host their own World Cup at their convenience.  It would still feature the same players and the same teams, it would just have a different name.

It’s the exact same tournament, but without the NHL calling the shots or making the money.  Playing in the Olympics vs playing in the World Cup is just an arbitrary distinction.  But nobody asked me, so here are the Leafs who will be going to the Olympics.

Auston Matthews will play for the USA.  Mitch Marner will play for Team Canada.   Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly and John Tavares should both be in Team Canada, but they’re probably borderline picks, unless they are having great seasons.  T.J Brodie is a long shot to even be considered, but odds are there will be less effective, bigger name players on Canada’s blueline.

William Nylander should definitely be on Sweden, but he was recently snubbed despite being one of their best players.

Jack Campbell could possibly join Matthews on Team USA.  Petr Mrazek could perhaps play for the Czechs, as could David Kampf.  Denis Malgin would likely be on team Switzerland.

I think that about covers it, but really, this is terrible news for the Toronto Maple Leafs – who wants to spend $50 million dollars on players and then send them to Beijing to risk injury for a different team, right before the playoffs?  I am guessing that no NHL team is happy about this, but that no NHL team will say so publicly.

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Then again, there’s probably a pretty good chance the Olympics will get cancelled, or that the NHL will deem it too risky due to the pandemic.