Happy Friday! We start with some recap quotes from the first practice day with lines. Adam Gaudette was the focus of some interest after being lined up with Tavares and Marner, with Keefe verifying there is real intent to try him there. Brigs will have more on this soon.
Sheldon Keefe: “We need some guys to come in and pop, not unlike the way Bunting did. We see Adam Gaudette as a candidate who could do that."— Maple Leafs Hotstove (@LeafsNews) September 22, 2022
On Murray: "As far day 1 of camp goes for a veteran goalie, he looked really dialed in and focused."
We can also get to Jake Muzzin, which a lot of you took way out of proportion. I know all summer people have been winding themselves up more and more convincing themselves Muzzin is going to be injured all year or with other ways to get rid of him. The injury he has right now is not related to his past issues, also it’s freaking training camp, there’s no reason to take any risks right now. So let’s put our feet firmly back in reality again, thanks.
Sheldon Keefe on the concern level, if any, about Jake Muzzin's back. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/FKrvrWfHB2— David Alter (@dalter) September 22, 2022
The Leafs are almost certainly going to sign Zach Aston-Reese, they just need to wait for some cap space to do it. Theoretically that’ll come on Day 2 of the season after Engvall goes on IR. Engvall’s going to have a hard time of things because ZAR is pretty much taking his job and I think ZAR is a better player.
Keefe on Zach Aston-Reese: "He's a guy I think we had interest in as free agency got going and then just kind of ran out of money kind of thing. But to have him here still competing is a good thing for us."— David Alter (@dalter) September 22, 2022
Zach Aston-Reese says multiple teams had interest in him for a PTO but says the #Leafs provided him the best opportunity.— David Alter (@dalter) September 22, 2022
Some version of these two pairs of lines will be the rosters for Saturday’s doubleheader.
Leafs lines Group 1 Sept.22/22— David Alter (@dalter) September 22, 2022
Leafs lines Group 2 Sept. 22/22— David Alter (@dalter) September 22, 2022
In “also news”, Axel Rindell is dealing with a small injury after an underwhelming prospect tournament.
D Axel Rindell, a 2020 draft pick, is out at a least few days with a thumb injury from the Prospects Tournament. Add him to the camp ailments that include Liljegren (hernia), Engvall (ankle), Muzzin (back), Woll (shoulder) and Abramov (back).— Lance Hornby 🇺🇦 (@sunhornby) September 22, 2022
Here is a Mitch Brown write up on the Leafs prospect system, which comes in at 20th in the league. Lots of forwards to like.
The Toronto Maple Leafs value physical skills in their prospects. A forward-heavy group checks in at No. 20. @MitchLBrown goes in-depth on the Leafs' top-15 prospects. #LeafsForever— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) September 22, 2022
🔗: https://t.co/mEat7gfw5A pic.twitter.com/qV1CHOI4SC
Various Leafs and Branches
Hockey Canada reveals large chunk of player insurance fees goes to National Equity Fund | CBC, Canadian Press
Sinclair, by the way, is the group that owns FOX/Bally and general right-wing content. The local broadcasting rights in the USA might be getting sold for a second time in recent years. Americans fans are hoping this ends many blackouts. But something tells me if broadcasters can force people into premium subscriptions using blackouts, they’ll keep doing it.
The NHL, MLB and NBA could soon purchase the right to broadcast local games on regional sports networks owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) September 22, 2022
"Everything is on the table now."@seanshapiro on why it's happening now and what it could mean: https://t.co/1iGyVsP4FB
This is an overall ban on issuing visas to Russian men entering the country after Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of his forces. It’s been in the news, I don’t think a hockey blogger should try and explain this to you any further.
“The Czech Foreign Ministry has also confirmed it has written to two NHL teams to say Prague would not issue visas to Russian ice hockey players wishing to travel to the Czech capital to take part in the NHL’s Global Series games.”
Sharks GM Mike Grier with sharp words in retort, saying either the players are all going or they are all not. We’ll see what happens here because I’m not sure either can happen because the Global Series between San Jose, Nashville, Colorado, and St. Louis will also take place in Switzerland, Germany, and Finland. There are 10 Russian players that would be affected here, you can find them in my comment in yesterday’s FTB.
Grier doubled down: "I'm a pretty firm believer [that] we're a team here. We're a group. It's not the players' fault. They didn't do anything wrong. So I don't think they should be punished for it. We stand with them and we're all together as one in here."— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) September 22, 2022
I think the main difference between the Leafs goaltending situation and Vegas’ is that Vegas had their two goalies get injured, whereas the Leafs chose the two guys they got.
Per the @GoldenKnights, Laurent Brossoit will miss training camp due to injury. We reported last month he's still on the mend - at that time, belief was a return to game action could be in Nov.— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) September 22, 2022
Vegas will presumably start the season with Logan Thompson and Adin Hill in goal.
When asked to comment on hockey culture during a national investigation into widespread sexual assault and misconduct that he himself is potentially implicated in, local man says he is “living the dream,” and is “having a blast everyday.” Local man also challenges world hunger, asserting his mom and team chef make him food everyday.
I asked #Sens Drake Batherson “what’s your take on hockey culture right now & where it’s at?”— Claire Hanna (@clahanna) September 22, 2022
“I’m living the dream. I can’t complain. We’ve got a great dressing room in there. I’m having a blast everyday.”