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FTB: Happy New Year, Leafs fans

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May 2020 bring you everything you deserve. (And every single one of you deserves good things.)

2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic - Detroit Red Wings Practice Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

That puck up there is from the 2017 Centennial Classic. This year’s outdoor game is at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, and finally — finally — features two teams from “non-traditional” markets. The game begins at 2 pm.

There’s No Sense Pretending This Is Just Another Hockey Game - Defending Big D
The Winter Classic is pageantry, and it’s okay to lean into it

Your Winter Classic Schedule of Events: A Private Tailgating Party, Meetups, and New Years Day Activities - Defending Big D
We’ve got your schedule shaping up for the Winter Classic week of activities.

Road to the NHL 2020 Winter Classic Episode 1: Hot Rods & Shut Downs - On the Forecheck
The Winter Classic is the only regular-season meeting that is given its own narrative. Take a look at how the NHL is setting the plot for the Nashville Predators versus the Dallas Stars.


The WJC is dark today, as the teams prepare for their quarterfinals tomorrow.

The first game, which is Switzerland vs Russia is at 6:30 a.m. Toronto time, followed by Canada vs Slovakia at 9:00 a.m., USA vs Finland at 11:30 a.m. and Sweden vs Czechia at 2 p.m.

That last game will be an incredible atmosphere.

As you likely heard, Rasmus Sandin left the game on December 31 early after a slash to his wrist. As of last night, he had been x-rayed, had no fracture and the Swedish coach told the Swedish newspapers he was day-to-day and they would see if was ready to play again for tomorrow’s game.

The WJC now uses the new standard IIHF semifinal seeding formula, which takes the four quarterfinal winners and ranks them primarily by their group placements and points and plays first vs fourth and second vs third, so we can’t know the semifinal structure until all the quarterfinals are played.


ICYMI:

You can find the recap of last night’s game in its usual place, and Justin Holl got a new contract:

Happy New Year, Justin Holl: Here’s your extension from the Maple Leafs - Pension Plan Puppets
The Maple Leafs now have two defenders under contract through the next two years.


Today marks the first day that players currently on one-year deals can sign an extension, so plan for lots of talk about that to heat up.

The Leafs on expiring one-year deals are:

  • Jason Spezza
  • Cody Ceci
  • Ilya Mikheyev
  • Teemu Kivihalme
  • Martin Marincin
  • Michael Hutchinson
  • Garrett Wilson
  • Pontus Aberg
  • Jordan Schmaltz
  • Kevin Gravel

Of course there’s a host of other expiring UFAs and RFAs who were on longer deals. Now that Holl is signed, who is next? If you need an argument topic, there’s one for you.

Enjoy your holiday, and we at PPP hope 2020 is a great year for all of us, and that everyone gets the silverware they long for.