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FTB: One small stride towards the Maple Leafs returning

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The Leafs are now allowed to practice at their facility, but only when the rest of the league is also ready.

World Cup Of Hockey 2016 - Team North America v Sweden Photo by Andre Ringuette/World Cup of Hockey via Getty Images

Ontario announced yesterday that professional sports teams can reopen their training facilities for their athletes while taking a variety of precautions to prevent viral infections from spreading.

The NHL, however, is still not quite ready to allow their teams to proceed on that path. As reported, many teams are located in areas where the restrictions on training and practice facilities have not yet been lifted.

NHL still not at ‘acceptable mass’ to open team facilities - TSN
“The NHL still hopes to move to Phase 2 in the “mid-to-later portion of May,” as stated to teams in a league-wide memo last week, but that will be subject to “potential competitive concerns between disparately situation markets.””

That’s perfectly fine for the Leafs since some of their players wouldn’t even be able to participate immediately anyway.

We know that many players are out of the country, like William Nylander who is in some vacation getaway town, Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen who are in Arizona. The Leafs can start by recalling these players to Toronto and putting through a two week quarantine process to get it out of the way in time for the actual start up date determined by the league.

The other pending announcement is about the NHL Draft. It sounded a week ago as though a decision was imminent on a June Draft, but we’ve still heard nothing, and it sounds like they are having great difficulty getting a consensus on how to proceed.

‘Everything still on the table’ regarding NHL’s draft plans - Sportsnet
“Even as the momentum seems to have slowed around the NHL’s push for an early June draft, the possibility of conducting that event before the conclusion of a pandemic-interrupted season remains.”

The AHL meanwhile had a conference call on Friday with their league’s leadership and the team ownership representatives with cancelling the season outright on the remainder of their season on the agenda. We will get all the official details after the weekend.

Nice of them not to do a ‘Friday dump’ of bad news and instead release it on Monday morning for all to see.

Other News

Alexander Kerfoot says consistency the issue in difficult season - TSN
"You meet a new coach, get comfortable with the new coach, and then the coach gets fired and then there's a whole new coach coming in, running a whole new system, and you have to get used to that. And I get suspended for a couple games, I break my jaw. I don't mean to make excuses; I just think there was a lot of things thrown at you. But I don't know if that necessarily was the reason why I didn't play up to my personal expectations."

Commissioner confident OHL will return next season, buy how will it look? - The Record
Playing in an empty barn is not an option for the Kitchener Rangers. “I don’t believe our franchise can (play with no fans),” said Rangers chief operating officer Steve Bienkowski, who retires in June. Ticket sales are “the majority of our revenue.”

[PODCAST] Leafs Lunch Host & Broadcaster Andi Petrillo Interview by Jonah Sigel – Toronto Sports Media Blog
Andi talks about her career and how she got where she is today as the only woman in town to host a daily sports radio show. She also talks about what happened on the air with Patrick O'Sullivan on what would be his last time on her or any TSN radio show.


If you want to see Nikolai Borschevky’s greatest moment as a Leaf, you can skip to 2:24:00, or start at 2:23:00 if you want to see the octopus that cursed the Red Wings.

At 2:27:50 there’s a cute moment when Ron MacLean tries to interview Borschevsky who clearly still cannot understand English at all.

Have a great weekend!