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FTB: The mentors are here!

Moms and Dads are so passé.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for the Leaf’s annual ________ trip, and this year, they picked mentors!

After taking a break from the traditional dad’s trip for a mom’s trip last season, the Leafs are once again choosing to eschew convention with a mentor’s trip. The guest list ranges from John Tavares’ minor hockey coach, Sheldon Keefe’s mother-in-law, Trevor Moore’s childhood friend, and Travis Dermott’s grandmother.

The really nice thing about labelling it a mentor’s trip rather than a mom’s trip or a dad’s trip is that it removes the need to pick a person that fits into either of those very specific roles in a player’s life – which not only removes any awkwardness for players who might not have either a mother or father, it also removes the obligation for those that might have a fraught relationship with either of their parents to invite them along to an invent rife with cameras and interviews. It lets the players define who has impacted them, and whose impact they want to publicly celebrate.

Also, it gave Kyle Dubas the excuse to invite Arkells frontman Max Kerman on the trip, which for all we know may have been his only motivation for changing the trip’s guidelines.

ICYMI

Taking a look at Keefe, Dubas, and what the alignment of their beliefs could mean for the Leafs:

The Marlies had a bit of a rough weekend:

Elsewhere

The extended, dramatic mystery of the Kasperi Kapanen scratch has finally drawn to a close with the reveal that he... overslept:

Auston Matthews is getting closer and closer to beating a Leafs’ record:

Maple Leafs Hot Stove looks towards the trade deadline:

And all the rest

Team Canada is ready to face the USA Women’s team for the final Rivalry Series games...

...and here’s how to watch them!

The Dustin Byfuglien saga may finally be winding to a close:

And we end on some good news! Our favourite eldritch monster, Gritty, will not be headed to mascot prison:

Incredible respect for every single person involved in covering this story for not even once pretending that there’s actually a real human inside that “costume”. Now that’s integrity in reporting!

Happy Tuesday everyone!