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Weekend FTB: Maple Leafs do things

Marlies too.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

Yesterday was an exciting day with not one, but two actual pieces of Leafs and Marlies news.

Next week marks the beginning of the end of the T25, with number three revealed on Monday, leaving two and one as a huge mystery.

The PWHPA is getting ready to begin their showcase games:

I love that he’s a veteran now. Who ever saw that coming? Do you remember him playing 15 games for the Maple Leafs? Well he did in the tank year 2015-2016. We actually ranked him 23rd on the T25 in 2015, and somehow he’s played over 100 NHL games since.

His first three years of NHL results from 2015 to 2018 look identical to that.

And this has cheered me up immensely at the prospect of seeing Timothy Liljegren play 82 games in the NHL, or of maybe Victor Mete getting in some action. Because Scott Harrington is in the NHL (nearly) because he’s been in the NHL. That’s no way to make a roster.

Harrington, if you’ve forgotten, was one of the players acquired in the Phil Kessel trade. He was traded away to Columbus in the summer of 2016, before we did the T25, for Kerby Rychel. Rychel was considered a reclamation project at the time, and Harrington was considered so far down the defence depth chart in Toronto, he had no hope of playing even decent AHL minutes.

Columbus played him because he really was easily their seventh or eighth defender, sometimes the sixth. And then they did a really odd thing. Maybe it’s not so odd because defender salaries trend higher at the bottom end. But they signed him to three years at $1.633 million, and there was no evidence at all that any old callup wouldn’t be just as useful. He’d just come off a season of career-high 15 assists and two goals, so he got paid.

Since then he’s had fewer points than that spread over three seasons of mostly not playing. It’s been strange watching this player sit there and never get sent to the AHL (until last season) barely playing, not adding much when he does play. That can’t have been the career he dreamed of.

But if he’s an NHL veteran, it’s because he does nothing on the ice that’s objectionable, largely because he does nothing. That also can’t be the career he dreamed of. Hockey is a very weird game at times. And the NHL is a very weird place.

He’s California bound now.

Rychel, by the way, who was taken 19th overall, hasn’t played hockey since 2020. I don’t know what happened with him, but it’s not what he dreamed of either. I hope he’s doing well wherever that is. Maybe walking away was the right thing for him.

In other news:

Radio continues its death spiral:

and Rogers hires Lisa LaFlamme for a one-off gig:

So, what are those MLSE board meetings like? Does Larry Tanenbaum wear a ref’s jersey while the Bell execs and the Rogers execs linebrawl? Should they just meet on the ice at Scotiabank? Maybe televise that.

Until Monday, have a good summer weekend, everyone.