Good morning everyone, hope you enjoyed the draft.

The Leafs took two former teammates from Saskatoon on day 2. You can catch up here:

With the 185th pick in the 2023 Entry Draft, the Maple Leafs select Noah Chadwick
With their final pick in the draft, barring last minute trades, the Maple Leafs drafted Noah Chadwick.
With the 153rd pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, the Maple Leafs select Hudson Malinoski
Hudson Malinoski is a centre from Saskatoon. He has not played in the WHL, instead opting for the AJHL for a year to allow him to go the NCAA route. He is committed to Providence College for next season. Like any prospect at this stage, that makes him a long-term

Our guy from day one:

There were some trades as well:

The Oilers did a salary dump of some useful players.

The Islanders did one for someone who is not.

Chicago then put him on waivers for the purpose of a buyout.

Today is the deadline for waivers to buyout a player. Even though the buyout deadline is 5 p.m. this afternoon, the last day waivers count as good.

Today is also the Qualifying Offer deadline, although many teams have already announced their plans.

Brad Treliving met the media and had little to say.

That's one interesting bit of phrasing because to ensure he has that window, he needs an arbitration case. Teams have one 24 hr period to elect arbitration next week. Players can elect, if eligible, for a few more days until the Wednesday deadline.

Treliving also said he'd provide the Leafs list of RFAs being qualified and then just did not do that.

Sounds like GMs are trying to call a bluff here and see if players and their agents come back with better numbers on July 1. If it is a bluff on the players' side, and to some extent it has to be. Can Chicago or Arizona afford your ask? Sure, but is that what you want?

Will there be big trades today? That's hard to say since a lot of teams seem like they just don't want to pay, either in cap space or assets. Will there be signings. Maybe, but I don't think anyone on the Leafs, short of perhaps Luke Schenn, is close to a deal.

We'll see where this goes.

Late yesterday (when I was about to turn on Strange New Worlds, but fine. It's fine) there was news from the PHF and the PWHPA. Backing up for those new to this story, so context first.

The PHF or Professional Hockey Federation might be more familiar under their original name, the NWHL. That women's league was began by Dani Rylan after her talks with the now-defunct CWHL about adding a new team came to an end. The CWHL closed because their corporate structure as a charity-like organization prevented them from paying the players. The NWHL in its early years was funded by "angel investors" (venture capital where they never expect to get it back) and paid very low salaries. Most of the elite Canadian and American players left the NWHL over time.

The NWHL was purchased by a group of venture capitalists led by John Boynton (of Yandex the Russian search engine and other Venture firms, not the former Toronto Star editor). They rebranded and expanded, and were announcing large salaries this summer for players – some much more than a standard player contract in the AHL or ECHL would pay.

By this time, the PWHPA, a union without a league, had been formed to work towards a professional league that they believed would be sustainable. They did not believe the business model of the PHF met that standard. Full disclosure, I have always believed the PHF and the NWHL before it were set up to be sold to someone with pockets deep enough to carry a league through its startup decades.

Jeff Marek, who is reporting on this, has been at pains to say this isn't a merger of the two groups. It can't be in the strictest sense, since the union – the PWHPA – can't own the league they play in. But it appears the money behind the league they were working towards is going to go into the PHF. It is expected that the PWHPA players will play in the PHF. So you're forgiven in advance if you can't see how this isn't a merger.

This is, naturally and unfortunately, the expected result of this "joining". Many of the players in the existing PHF would be pushed out by an influx of PWHPA stars. Not to mention the tantalizing prospect of more European or Japanese players joining the league. The PHF recently brought in contracts that were set up to be terminated at will. And so they have been.

In further "so you say it's not a merger" news:

Most of the PHF teams are actually owned by the PHF or its member investors outright. Some have other structures, so that remains one of many things to be worked out. There are two Canadian teams in the PHF, one in Toronto and one in Montreal. The other teams represent Minnesota, the Metropolitan area of New York and New Jersey, Connecticut, Buffalo and Boston. The Minnesota team came into the PHF as an existing team. At this time, none of these teams are directly sponsored or supported by NHL teams as several were in the NWHL days.

Several NHL teams, notably the Maple Leafs and the Montréal Canadiens were heavily involved in their local CWHL teams.

There are many details left to be revealed to how this will work, how teams will be structured, what the pay is, and how the PHF players will be given access to the league they'd already signed one contract with – will they get some kind of preferential chance? What about the extras, the players that are recalled from other leagues in men's pro hockey. The PWHPA is in the process of setting up a CBA with SPCs and all players will have to have a contract that conforms to whatever that final form is.

Will teams be moved, merged or otherwise changed? There is so much unknown, so in the spirit of WYSIATI, a great many people are flipping their shit and creating doom scenarios. Others are busy relaying unsourced speculation about the reasons why the PHF owners sold.

And since most people just don't follow sports as a business, I will make this explicit: The CWHL, NWHL and PHF have never raised revenue to meet expenses. All three incarnations of a women's league were reliant on capital from outside sources. As is the case with this new league. Nothing has been reported about the salaries owed to PHF employees, or their future, although, many "jobs" in the PHF were done by volunteers.

The other open question is the involvement of the NHL and member teams. Gary Bettman has been saying for years – ever since the NWHL started – that the NHL wants to be involved, but only wants to deal with one league. Now here it is, Gary. Over to you. And just remember, we know what your revenue projections look like and how willing you are to use stars of the women's game for PR.