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From the Branches: Dubas makes his first moves

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Kyle Dubas finished his first official week as Leafs GM by signing four players.

Christian Bonin

Welcome to Friday, the Victoria Day weekend awaits! I was all set to start this FTB with “it’s Friday, so the Leafs will probably make half a dozen moves at 3:00 pm just to drive us all nuts” and then the Leafs signed four guys. Thanks a lot, Kyle. I guess we know who’s taking off early for the long weekend.

Meanwhile Kasperi Kapanen and Team Finland were eliminated yesterday in a surprise upset by Switzerland. Does this mean Kappy’s season is over, or will we see him in the Marlies next playoff series? That series starts tomorrow and we’ll have plenty of coverage from the usual suspects, starting with some previews coming out today. A reminder that the PPP discount is active (if somewhat buggy) again this round if you’re interested in heading down to Ricoh.

It’s an off day at the World Championships in Denmark, but your choice of hockey action this evening is between the Memorial Cup and game four of the Western Conference Final.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs sign four new players to ELCs - KatyaKnappe
Two draft picks and two free agents are joining the Leafs on NHL contracts.

Back to Excited Hockey Podcast - Will Dubas Succeed? - Arvind and Acting the Fulemin
Why the new GM has his work cut out for him

Kasperi Kapanen has places to go, and he’s in a hurry - KatyaKnappe
The IIHF released some fun stats today, and a certain Leafs player shows up on a couple of the lists.

ECF

Capitals vs. Lightning Game Four Recap: Killorn’s Late Tally Ties Series at Two - Japers' Rink
Tampa Bay fought their way to a 4 to 2 win over Washington in Game Four to knot the series at two games apiece

Goal Breakdown: Brayden Point’s Goal - Raw Charge
Offense off of turnovers is key to the Lighning’s plan of attack

Other hockey news

Podcasts aren’t generally my thing, but I’m reliably informed there’s plenty of good stuff on the latest edition of the Bobcast. (After you’ve finished listening to Back to Excited, obviously.)

Hamilton Bulldogs face stiff test in Memorial Cup | The Star
I have it on good authority that Elseldo will have a preview soon, but in the meantime the Star has a quick and dirty team-by-team breakdown.

Report: Penguins sign Finnish defenseman Juuso Riikola - PensBurgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins have apparently done some scouting of the World Championships and liked something they’ve seen.

Joel Bouchard hired as head coach of the Laval Rocket - Eyes On The Prize
The former QMJHL coaching standout will take over in Laval this upcoming season

The Case for Trading (or Keeping) Adam Fox - Matchsticks and Gasoline
This is... creative thinking... from our colleagues at M&G. (The list of who they propose in what appears to be all seriousness to get in return for an NCAA player to whom the Flames only have the rights is... something.)

Garret Sparks' new mask honours Humboldt crash victim Parker Tobin
Toronto Marlies goaltender Garret Sparks is paying tribute to a fellow goaltender -- one lost far too soon.

O'Reilly the hero in OT as Canada beats Russia to advance - Article - TSN
Canada will compete for a medal at the world hockey championship for the fourth straight year thanks to another clutch goal from Ryan O’Reilly.

I leave you with this Deep Thought courtesy of Taylor Hall.