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Thursday FTB: the Leafs broke the rules, but common sense wasn’t an option

The Leafs being mega rich isn’t the answer

Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 28: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks on from the bench during first period of an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on November 28, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Toronto defeated Detroit 4-2.
Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL Holiday Break is collectively bargained by the NHLPA as a way to give players a break and certainty for their holiday celebrations. It’s important that the league and teams adhere to it, this includes not pressuring players with loaded questions to break the rules.

The Leafs had to get their players permission to take a team flight at 10:30pm on Dec 26th when the moratorium for team travel is at midnight. And while logically it makes sense to fly earlier and get a good bedtime in St. Louis, it’s time lost with family. And some players might not have had that choice.

Without a doubt what the Leafs did was wrong and they deserve both the $100k fine, and I think fans should be behind the players in giving them their time off.

However.

When the rule allows for team travel at 12:00am and not 11:59pm, it doesn’t exactly give the players what is intended. End the break at a reasonable in the evening or in the morning so the players can make the most of their time and so teams don’t have to pick between two bad options (for their players). Make the rules make sense so there’s no need to break them. Logic; this sport could do with finding a lot of it.

Various Leafs and Branches

NHL fines the Maple Leafs and Sheldon Keefe | by: Katya

Maple Leafs Notebook: Rielly returns; Keefe responds to NHL fine | by: Luke Fox, Sportsnet

Leafs Notebook: Evaluating the state of the team’s bottom six & anticipating Morgan Rielly’s imminent return | by: Anthony Petrielli, MLHS

Maple Leafs’ Rasmus Sandin Explains Neck Injury That Temporarily Affected His Vision | by: David Alter, SI

Morgan Rielly to Return from Injury to a Trusted Defense and How it Changes Things | by: David Alter, SI

Zach O’Brien is representing the Newfoundland Growlers at the ECHL All-Star Game. Also at the tournament is Andrew Nielsen of the Utah Grizzlies, and Jeremy McKenna of the Kansas City Mavericks. Four players from the PHF and PWHPA, including Ann-Sophie Bettez, Sydney Brodt, Emily Brown, and Sam Cogan, will take part in the festivities. [ECHL]

Congrats to former Leaf Luca Caputi for his 100th game behind the bench for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL.

You read that right, Fraser Minten is on a two-game hat trick streak after scoring three goals last night. He’s also on a five-game goal streak and has 19 goals in 24 games this year. All but six of his goals this year have come on the power play, so I’m feeling like pumping the brakes for now. I’m curious to see what he does in the second half.

Slovakia upset the USA at the men’s world juniors yesterday. Canada sits third in Group A, while the USA sits fourth in Group B. The top four in each group make it to the knockout rounds.