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FTB: The Toronto Marlies Calder Cup Final series begins today

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The AHL Calder Cup Final begins while the next wave of hockey prospects work through the fitness tests at the NHL Scouting Combine.

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Christian Bonin - TSGPhoto.com

The Calder Cup Final starts this afternoon. The Toronto Marlies are making their first visit to the final since 2012 and will be facing the Texas Stars at Ricoh Coliseum. Hardev Lad will be there for PPP today, and I’ll be there tomorrow.

With nothing else to do by the Toronto hockey media and a whole week of Marlies practices before today’s game, pretty much every Marlies player has told and retold their life story t someone from some new outlet. There’s really nothing left to say about these guys. It’s now all about what it should be: the game of hockey. The puck drops at 4:00 p.m. to get the series going.

I’ll let coach Sheldon Keefe have the last word on the Marlies.

Meanwhile, the Stanley Cup Final shifts to the east coast, with the Capitals hosting the Golden Knights in Washington tonight at 8:00 p.m. This comes after the Captials victory in enemy territory on Wednesday which added some life to the series.

ICYMI

Here’s what we wrote about Friday.

The Leafs don’t need Auston Matthews to be captain yet - Omar White
The "C" carries more with it than a title.

Nicolas Mattinen is back in the draft — and the rest of Mark Hunter’s large adult sons? - Katya
Last summer Fulemin looked at one aspect of the Leafs drafting strategy. One year later, how are those big boys doing?

Other Hockey News

It’s the time of year on the hockey calendar for a room full of middle-aged men to leer at buff shirtless teenagers working out. It’s the NHL Scouting Combine!

The league’s next wave of recruits will spend the day running, jumping, and being poked and prodded (and screamed at by Bike Guy) all while hyperbolic coverage of the results is debated live on Twitter. Get ready for hot takes on who can do the most pull ups—and who can’t do any—that will make or break the future hockey careers of these kids. It’s going to be a fun day!

Bowen, Brooks to be honored by Hockey Hall of Fame - NHL.com
"The voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs is an extremely worthy recipient of the 2018 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award."

[Radio Interview] Zach Hyman on his new children's book - CBC Radio
"Storytelling was something that was natural to me and it's a passion of mine."
‘The Magician’s Secret’ is now available.

Maple Leafs 'open to anything' at Draft - NHL.com
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has one word to describe the recent speculation suggesting he and coach Mike Babcock won't get along. "Comical," Dubas said.

NHL says NHLPA blocked effort to start long-term study of retired players - TSN
The union allegdly argued such studies might impact the players’ employability.

How the Rangers Can Improve Toughness This Summer - Blueshirt Banter
By addressing aggression this summer the Rangers' new philosophy can be a year-one success.

Kovalchuk on Lamoriello: ‘He’s a great man’ - Lighthouse Hockey
But the ex-Devil is courting interest from several teams for his NHL return

AI winter is well on its way – Piekniewski's blog
Are the capabilities of AI and ‘Deep Learning’ systems reaching a surprisingly early dead end?