The Toronto Maple Leafs will be playing hockey in no time.
We have made it to September, which means hockey is right around the corner. It has been an interesting off-season for the Toronto Maple Leafs and their new general manager, Brad Treliving.
The Leafs made a few player changes this off-season, and soon, we’ll find out where they fit into the lineup. They added Max Domi, Tyler Bertuzzi, John Klingberg, Ryan Reaves, Dylan Gambrell, Martin Jones, and Simon Benoit through free agency. Also re-signed were Ilya Samsonov through arbitration to a one-year deal, and signed Auston Matthews to a four-year contract extension.
As you can see, there are plenty of new faces for head coach Sheldon Keefe to utilize this season. Where they all fit into the line will be determined through pre-season and the first month or so of the regular season.
Goaltender Martin Jones is with the Leafs as an insurance policy and will likely be sent down to the AHL to start the season if he clears waivers. Gambrell and Benoit will battle for jobs in training camp, but could start the season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. The rest are all expected to be on the Leafs roster on opening night.
Speaking of opening night, here is a look at all the key dates in the Leafs schedule for this season. Will also list key dates leading up to the regular season.
Toronto Maple Leafs Key Dates
September 14th: Prospects Tournament
On Thursday, September 14th, the Leafs prospects will be in Traverse City, Michigan, for the annual prospects tournament. Joining the Leafs prospects will be prospects from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, and Detroit Red Wings. The Leafs first game will be on the 14th against the Blue Jackets. On Friday, September 15th, they will play the Stars, and on the 17th, they will play the Red Wings.
September 24th: Pre-season
Between Sunday, September 24th, and Saturday, October 7th, the Leafs will play in eight pre-season games. On September 24th and 25th, they will play the Ottawa Senators. Next, the Leafs will play the Buffalo Sabres on September 27th at the Joe Thornton Community Centre in St. Thomas, Ontario. The Leafs will then play three games against the Montreal Canadiens on September 29th, 30th, and October 2nd. To end the pre-season, the Leafs will play the Detroit Red Wings on October 6th and 7th.
October 11th: Season Opener / Home Opener
The Toronto Maple Leafs will begin the 2023-24 NHL regular season on October 11th at home against the Montreal Canadiens. This will be the 766th time these two teams will play each other in an NHL regular season. Montreal leads the regular season series 366-299-88-12.
October 19th and 21st: Florida Trip
On October 19th, the Leafs will play the Florida Panthers for the first time since Florida eliminated them in the second round of the 2023 NHL playoffs. Two nights later, on October 21st, the Leafs will play the Tampa Bay Lightning for the first time since eliminating them in the first round of the 2023 NHL playoffs.
November 17th and 19th: Sweden Trip
The Leafs will play two games in Stockholm, Sweden. The first game will be on November 17th against the Detroit Red Wings, and the other will be on November 19th against the Minnesota Wild.
November 25th: First Game Against Kyle Dubas
The Leafs will be in Pittsburgh on November 25th to play the Penguins. It will be the first time new Penguins GM Kyle Dubas plays against his former team.
December 14th: Babcock Returns to Toronto
For the first time since being fired in 2019, former Leafs head coach Mike Babcock will return to Toronto on December 14th. Babcock is now the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
December 16th: Dubas Returns to Toronto
On December 16th, the Leafs will host the Pittsburgh Penguins. It will be the first time that former Leafs GM Kyle Dubas returns to Toronto since his contract was not renewed and he joined the Penguins.
February 2nd and 3rd: Toronto Hosts NHL All-Star Weekend
The Leafs will host the NHL All-Star weekend on February 2nd and 3rd. It will be the 9th time the Leafs have hosted the event. It will be the first NHL All-Star game to be played in Canada since 2012 (Ottawa).
March 23rd: Auston Matthews vs Connor McDavid
On March 23rd, the Leafs will host Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers in the only meeting between these two teams this season. Anytime two of the best hockey players in the world play against each other, it’s a game worth watching.
April 16th and 17th: Ending the Season Against Divisional Foes
The Leafs will end the regular season with a trip through Florida. On April 16th, the Leafs will play the Florida Panthers, and on the 17th, they will end the season with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.