Bob MacKenzie confirmed this information at around 11:30 last night via Twitter, and explained that official confirmation from the Leafs was likely to come this morning.
The Leafs have been hit with a rash of injuries just before the season opener, with Brown, Connolly, Bozak, and now Kadri out of the lineup. Oh, and Kessel is still nursing a tight groin. This already stands in marked contrast to last year's relatively healthy core. With the exception of Phaneuf's leg injury and Armstrong's series of finger, eye, and foot injuries, the Leafs' mainstays played nearly every game - something that we shouldn't expect to be so lucky about again. (No, I'm not forgetting Giguere's injury - it's just that it didn't exactly hurt the team. Brown was also repeatedly injured last year. Again, he's not really a part of the "core".)
It's not all doom and gloom, though. Take a look over the jump to find lots of optimism about the upcoming season.
Tim Connolly, Special Teams Ace
Well here's hoping. From Jonathan Willis at The Leafs Nation.
No suspension for Neil: The Honeymoon is over
Danny Gray grumbles about Shanahan's decision not to suspend Chris Neil for his collision/hit on/with Grabovski. Here's a thought: what would Sydney Crosby have said if asked for his opinion on the play?
Remaking The Leafs' Penalty Kill
Over at The Leafs Nation, PPP gives his two cents about what kind of impact a marginal improvement on the PK could mean for the Leafs' overall record.
Leafs better, but not quite there
Michael Langlois makes it known that he's relatively happy with this re-building process, but that there is a long way still to go before this team can think about post-season success.
As We Approach The End Of The Preseason
Over at LeafsHQ Jeffler outlines some of the remaining decisions facing Ron Wilson.
Other Hockey Links:
Sabres raise ante in Northeast
"It’s in our discussions daily, how excited we are with what’s happening in Buffalo," added defenceman Tyler Myers, who is in for a big chunk of Pegula’s cash after signing a mammoth seven-year extension that includes a $10-million signing bonus next July 1. "It’s pretty motivating as a player to see that. You want to come to the rink and play for somebody like that." Story from James Mirtle.
Don’t ask, don’t tell | mc79hockey.com
The real rule is "Don’t get caught calling someone a faggot in circumstances in which we can’t pretend there’s doubt about what you said, even with our officials claiming not to have heard anything."
A sports wagering look at the 2011-12 NHL point standings
This system has the Leafs finishing 10th in the East, and 19th overall. Seems in line with just about every prediction I've read so far this off-season. From Wyshynski at PD.
Flyers' Sestito suspended for illegal hit
Forward will miss rest of pre-season and first two regular-season games after hit on Andre Deveaux. From the AP at the Globe.
Shanahan's Implicit Message: Become a Better Hitter
Bettman's Nightmare looks at the recent Shanahan suspension and calls for a reassessment of NHL player hitting habits.
I've linked this page almost solely for the Ovechkin quote. From Wyshynski at PD.