With the NHL kinda, sorta, maybe in a few months, returning to play we’ve gotten back to speculating wildly on who will be on the Toronto Maple Leafs roster when that time arrives.
Speculation around the hockey newsies is that the teams will be able to have a few extra skaters with them when the time comes:
Couple of other notes from Return-to-Play protocol: Two exhibition games per team; 28 skaters and as many goalies as you wish to carry.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 27, 2020
One of those skaters is the Maple Leafs first choice in the 2019 NHL Draft, Nick Robertson:
Robertson has left his home in California and returned to Canada, currently in 14 day isolation in Windsor, after which he’ll make his way to Toronto to begin training.
“We just think he’s a player that continues to greatly improve.”@MapleLeafs GM @KyleDubas joined @TimandSid to talk about adding Nick Robertson to their expanded playoff roster. pic.twitter.com/webev3rNc5— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 28, 2020
Nick Robertson is coming off an amazing year in Peterborough, which saw his chances to win the OHL Championship and Memorial Cup come to an end when the CHL ended the season. He has had a good offseason, winning the William Hanley Trophy as most Sportsmanlike Player and being named to the OHL All-Star team.
When training begins all eyes will be on Robertson and whether he gets into a game or not.
Two other prospects, however, are seeing their chances of becoming a Maple Leaf grow dimmer each day.
Riley Stotts is a centre and a 2018 third round draft pick for the Leafs, and has been playing fine in the WHL for the Calgary Hitmen, scoring about a point per game since being drafted. He’s been good, but nothing flashy.
Zachary Bouthillier has been playing goal for Chicoutimi Saguenéens and Saint John Sea Dogs since being picked in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. Those teams were, and I’m being technical here, horseshit. His numbers are bad, and I’m sure he knew his fate was sealed when he wasn’t invited to either the prospect tournament or training camp this year, but undrafted Maksim Zhukov was.
Both of these prospects must receive “a bonafide offer” from the Maple Leafs by June 1st (Monday) to stay in the system:
Bona Fide Offers
We usually ignore this provision of the CBA, but we learned with Jack Walker that it isn’t automatic that every draft pick is given one. Bona fide offers must be made by June 1 following a player’s draft, so they are due for any player drafted last summer, unless they were drafted from outside North America or from college — players from Canadian junior leagues are the ones we need to worry about.
(e) A “Bona Fide Offer” is an offer of an SPC which is for a period corresponding to the Player’s age as required under Section 9.1(b) of this Agreement, is to commence at the start of the next League Year, offers at least the Minimum Paragraph 1 Salary as set forth in Section 11.12 of this Agreement for each League Year covered by such offer and remains open to the Player for at least thirty (30) days after receipt of the offer by the Player. A Bona Fide Offer may be conditioned upon acceptance by the Player within thirty (30) days and carries no right to salary arbitration.
Essentially, the player is offered a minimum salary ELC deal, which they generally don’t take, but it’s a formality to say the team is still interested. In the case of Jack Walker, who now plays for the Iowa Wild, no offer was made, and the Leafs’ rights lapsed. They did not announce this right away, but did confirm it when a journalist reported on it.
The Maple Leafs have 48 contracts right now, and I don’t think they would want to use that space either of these two players. They’ve ignored Bouthillier publicly for a while, and Stotts is just this guy, you know? Both of these players will go back into the entry draft, whenever that is, and could end up as free agents, where the Leafs can offer them an AHL/ECHL contract if they wish.
In other, less important, no-Leafs news:
Rangers fans as if the NHL should return.
Hey, that’s today!
Damn right, Kyle.
For me, it’s no emotions except laughter.
Enjoy your day folks!