ICYMI, the NHL continues to kill it, marketing wise, with their newest series of NHL TV ads. The ads promise that on their channel there are no soap operas, just hockey. This seemed like a bit of an odd claim to many, given that there are an awful lot of plotlines in hockey that parallel those of a soap opera. With that in mind…

Previously on the Toronto Maple Leafs

At the locker room clean out, Mike manages to avoid taking responsibility for the role that he played in the team’s yearly demise at the hands of Boston. Despite this, everyone is certain that this season is his last chance to save his job. Kyle publicly continues to claim he has total confidence in Mike and his abilities; meanwhile, he quickly disposes of Mike’s two closest lieutenants, and convinces Sheldon to stay on with the team. It isn’t clear if Mike takes these actions for the unsubtle threat they are.

Kyle appears to be settling into his role as the successor to Lou’s empire, but rumours about his competence continue to plague the young GM. He attempts to assuage them by making several quick trades, including moving Patrick and leaving Auston and Mitch without their surrogate father. The two young men post emotional messages on social media, while their father is subsequently quickly released from his new contract. Meanwhile, Brendan agrees to another six years with The Organization.

In Ottawa, Nikita and Connor arrive as Cody leaves, all three men hoping to find a better future in their new cities. It doesn’t look promising for any of them, with the slow implosion of the Senators hardly being stopped by the new arrivals, and the full weight of Toronto’s neuroticisms immediately being brought to bear on Cody. Elsewhere, Kasperi and Andreas are quick to agree to stay with the team, devastating commentators armed with rumours of offer sheets, and Nicholas, Mikko, and Mikhail lead a group of young players picked to join the team.

Among the chaos of the free agent frenzy, Kyle seems to have had a quiet day and has already conducted his presser when the shocking news is revealed: he has traded Nazem for Tyson and Alexander. Devastated, the fans say goodbye to Nazem, and he says goodbye to the city that drafted him.

Back in Toronto, Garret leaves the city in disgrace just as Michal arrives, believing the city to be the perfect place for him to revive his career. At Zach’s wedding, a series of increasingly drunk and chaotic Instagram stories only tell part of the story. Attendees seem determined to keep their secrets to themselves. Meanwhile, Auston makes the brave choice to not wear anything that isn’t tie-dye. He gives an interview in which he talks about how much he loves his home state, and films a commercial for a local hockey team, causing a flurry of speculation and hysteria. Elsewhere, William tries to make cornrows work for him. They don’t.

Several mysterious Russians arrive in town. Very little is known about their abilities and what future they could hold with the team, though rumours quickly spread that they could be looking to take spots in the top lines.

The pressure continues to grow for Kyle, whose bold stance the previous season of “we can and we will” once again comes back to haunt him. Mitch continues to refuse to sign. He attempts to flirt with several other teams, but is turned down for being too demanding. Frustrated, he threatens to move to Europe if Kyle doesn’t give him what he wants. Kyle doesn’t react to the threat. Darren continues to insist that Mitch should be paid the same as Auston, as everyone wonders how much of what he’s saying is coming directly from Paul and Ferris.

Next on the Toronto Maple Leafs

The new arrivals in town try to prove themselves against the returning veterans, while the stand-off between Kyle and Mitch shows no hint of ending...

Will Auston and William finally be reunited for good? Will Mike learn to adapt to the team that Kyle has built, or will his stubbornness be his downfall? Will Mitch follow through on his threats and flee to Europe?

Tune in to Days of Our Leafs tomorrow to find out.