The last week of preseason runs long to Tuesday, October 1 this year, and there’s a lot to be packed into this short stretch of time.
Monday, September 23: The Maple Leafs are in Montreal to face the Canadiens for the first of two games, both on TSN.
Tuesday, September 24: The Marlies camp should open formally in Toronto with the full group of AHL- and some NHL-contracted players already on hand.
Wednesday, September 25: The Leafs are back home to the Habs.
Thursday, September 26: Nothing official scheduled for this day.
Friday, September 27: The Leafs are in Detroit for the first of a home-and-home back-to-back set of games. Both are on Sportsnet.
The Marlies (in whatever form they take at the time) open their preseason against the Rochester Amerks at Harbor Center in Buffalo. Lately the preseason Marlies have been essentially the ECHL team, but that might change this year.
Saturday, September 28: The final preseason game in in Toronto against the Red Wings. Expect to see something like a regular season roster in three of these four games.
Sunday, September 29: The Marlies host the Amerks at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex in Newmarket in their last preseason game. The Marlies regular season begins on October 5 at home.
Monday, September 30: Last day to waive players and have them clear before the roster has to be finalized. Teams are allowed to waive players on October 1, and they count as off the NHL roster, but they have only 24 hrs to report to the minors if not claimed, so the big glut of players cut will happen today. Sunday is the day the players a team wants to sneak past a sleeping NHL will be waived.
Tuesday, October 1: Cap-compliant 23-man NHL rosters must be filed with the NHL by 5 p.m. The Leafs will open the regular season using LTIR and the training camp LTIR calculations. I hope you’re looking forward to learning the details on this as much as I am. But the short story is, the Leafs need to choose no more than 23 healthy players whose cap hits are no more than 81.5 million just like everyone else.
The real NHL games begin for the Leafs at home to Ottawa on October 2.
The ECHL preseason is in early October, and the Growlers are cleverly playing their two games in Brampton against the Beast on October 4 and 5. Tickets will be very cheap, and you might be able to see Ian Scott, so stay tuned.