September is coming, and with it some very meaningless hockey we will watch with rapt attention.
First up is the rookie tournament. This year the event involves three teams, so it is three games only, and it takes place in Laval, Quebec from September 7-9. The Leafs play the Ottawa and Montréal rookies, in afternoon games on the Saturday and Sunday. We’ll have more details soon as rosters are released.
The Leafs training camp is in Niagara Falls again from September 14-16. If you want to attend the open practices, there are tickets required (at no cost), and details are included in the link above on how to get them.
The Leafs pre-season schedule is set, beginning with the special game in Lucan on Tuesday, September 18 against Ottawa. The rest of the games are in NHL arenas:
- September 19 in Ottawa
- September 21 in Toronto vs Buffalo
- September 22 in Buffalo
- September 24 in Toronto vs Montréal
- September 26 in Montréal
- September 28 in Toronto vs Detroit
- September 29 in Detroit
The travel is minimal, the schedule isn’t packed with back-to-backs, and yet you should expect to see a lot of the Leafs fourth lines and third pairs playing at the same time.
The Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL affiliate of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced that the Brampton Beast, the ECHL affiliate of the Montrëal Canadiens, will travel to Newfoundland and Labrador in October to compete in a training camp exhibition series.
- Thursday, October 4th (7:00 p.m.) Stephenville Dome – Stephenville
- Friday, October 5th (7:00 p.m.) Hodder Memorial Centre – Deer Lake
- Sunday, October 7th (2:00 p.m.) Eastlink Events Centre – Clarenville
Training camp will run from September 30 - October 9, initially based out of St. John’s
There is no official word yet on a Marlies camp location or dates. But the expectation that part or all of their camp will take place in St. John’s was seeded before the Growlers affiliation was even formally announced.
Many of the Growlers players this season will be on Marlies contracts, so some sort of combined camp seems almost necessary.
Some of the Marlies players will start out with the Leafs camp. After all, most of the Marlies are players on NHL contracts. Players can move to the AHL camp without passing through waivers at first. Players on AHL contracts can also appear in NHL pre-season games (think veterans like Rich Clune).
The Marlies usually play a small number of exhibition games, very late in September or early in October.