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FTB: The Toronto Maple Leafs start their NHL season tonight

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It’s finally here. Hockey is back! The NHL regular season starts tonight.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Seven Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

It’s finally the day we’ve been waiting for. The Maple Leafs play the first of their 82 regular season games tonight, hosting the Canadiens at the ATM.

Needless to say, this is going to be an exciting day. There’s even still some suspense over the roster and whether William Nylander will somehow get signed and then cleared to play tonight.

Garret Sparks is now the certified backup after both Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard were plucked from the Maple Leafs yesterday on waiver claims. Kasimir Kaskisuo suddenly became the Marlies new starting goaltender and it came as a bit of a surprise to him.

Unlike past seasons where the NHL had a “big bang” opening night with all or almost all teams playing a game, this season has a limited schedule for tonight designed to showcase some rivalries (real rivalries, not the NBC NHL Rivalry Night variety featuring the Hurricanes vs. the Coyotes).

The Leafs will have tomorrow off, but get right back into it with back-to-back games on the weekend. It’s going to be a busy hockey week!

ICYMI

We wrote a lot yesterday!

CWHL Pre-season recap: Rookies lead Furies over Thunder 6-1 - Mediajunkie
Sarah Nurse scores two as Markham and Toronto wrap up their pre-season.

Are McElhinney and Pickard gone from the Maple Leafs for good? - Katya
There’s a good chance the Marlies might see one or both of them again.

Updated with official word that Sam Gagner is on the Marlies - Katya
Vancouver is considering loaning the player to Toronto, but how many veterans is too many with the news the team is adding another defender?

Evaluating Toronto’s Final Roster Decisions - Kevin Papetti
The Maple Leafs chose wisely with their final roster spots, and four former Marlies will make the jump.

Ian Scott is Top CHL goalie, Gordeev sits a game - ElSeldo
Plus Zachary Bouthillier has a bad night, then a superstar night.

Having a backup’s mentality is equally as important as having the skill - Omar White
Saying it vs. believing it.

Other News

While there was lots of action on the waivers yesterday, there wasn’t really much hard news. Everyone is simply waiting for the season to kick off, though Allan Walsh wants to spoil it for everyone.

The next generation of Indigenous hockey players is aiming to break down stereotypes and inspire others - CBC News
'I think the best thing is to just try to pave the way for others, so it shows that we aren't what they think,' says Ethan Bear of the Edmonton Oilers.

Developing: Changes At Top of Rogers Sportsnet – Toronto Sports Media Blog
Scott Moore will be leaving Rogers Sportsnet at the end of October. Moore is the President of Sportsnet & NHL at Rogers Media Inc.

Have a great day, folks. We’ll have some special game preview content throughout the day.

GO LEAFS GO!