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FTB: Elder Statesman

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Team dad is out, team granddad is in.

Anaheim Ducks v San Jose Sharks Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images

After a flurry of signings this weekend, it seems that Kyle Dubas is still not done, with rumours continuing to fly about the Leafs GM and what moves he’s yet to make. Since his choices stopped making clear sense to me right after the signing of T.J. Brodie, I also choose to believe this means he’s still got something up his sleeve, and not that he doesn’t know why he’s doing the things he’s doing and/or he’s not as infallible as I like to pretend he is. Of course there’s always the chance that I don’t know everything or understand everything, though that doesn’t sound likely.

Plus the Leafs do still have a little (though I do mean a little) cap space left.

The rumour getting the most airtime at the moment of course is that the Leafs are allegedly planning on making a habit out of stealing away the longest-term San Jose Sharks players.

Jumbo Joe Thornton, in addition to spending the last fifteen years playing for the San Jose Sharks (did you know he played for Boston for the first eight years of his career by the way? I didn’t until I went to double check that I wasn’t about to be comically, overconfidently wrong in this article), is also one of the oldest players in the league.

And I don’t just mean that in a facetious way.

The only active player older than our man Joe is Zdeno Chara, currently ringing it in at 43. Thornton himself, in comparison, is a sprightly 41. However, if what Kyle is after is age and experience, there are a couple of players that are just trailing after Chara and Thornton that provide intriguing alternatives, should Thornton turn out to be more fond of the California sun than anything the Leafs might provide.

First up, of course, is Thornton’s old San Jose teammate, Patrick Marl–

Wait, no, ok, we’ve already tried that one. Forget that, moving on.

Next up is current Ottawa Senator, and former Stanley Cup Champion, Ron Hain–

Shit. No. Ok.

Well, then there’s Justin Williams, though I’m not entirely clear on whether or not he’s still planning on playing more NHL hockey at the moment, so maybe put him down with a question mark.

After that though, an intriguing option who might help with some of our upcoming goaltender uncertainty and– oh Lundqvist just signed? With the Capitals? Hmmm.

Eh, forget it.

Joe Thornton for Leafs hockey granddad 2020.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs sign goalie Aaron Dell to a one year contract

Marlies sign Rourke Chartier to an AHL contract

Ilya Mikheyev’s arbitration hearing date is set

Maple Leafs Free Agency Recap
The perfect article for everyone who, like me, has near zero recollection of what happened in the harried excitement of the weekend.

What can we expect for the Maple Leafs North American prospects in the fall?
Will any of them play any games is exactly as central a question as you would expect.

From the Branches

Bogosian looked at Toronto’s lineup and thought it was his best option
One of the many new Leafs joins Sportsnet to discuss his decision to sign with Toronto in free agency.

Leafs Musings: On the TJ Brodie, Wayne Simmonds, Joey Anderson & Jimmy Vesey acquisitions, and the Joe Thornton rumours
Maple Leafs Hot Stove runs through all the current goings-on.

The Master Plan: Biotech player turned Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk faces off against COVID-19
Don’t worry guys, I’m sure Eugene has just a solid a grasp on this as he does every other aspect of business and team management.

World Juniors actually still happening in 2020 question mark?

And finally, Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley may have accidentally given away the league’s hand as far as what they’re thinking NHL hockey might look like in 2021.

Personally, I love the spiciness of the thought of an all-Canadian division. No soap operas, only hatred.

Happy Thursday!

Late breaking news on Thornton:

And no, that does not mean he can’t play in the NHL now. He won’t play there without an NHL-out clause.