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Thursday’s FTB: What I’m looking forward to this season

From new players to prospects to playoffs

NHL: SEP 29 Preseason - Maple Leafs at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

We are one week away rom the start of the season and I admit it will feel weird to have Thanksgiving without a Maple Leafs game. Next year we should be back to the normal schedule and I’ll feel ok about it again.

With the season fast approaching, and all the news being about the waiver wire and already covered, I thought I would go over the things I’m looking forward to about this season, rather than still be mad about the playoffs (I’m still mad).

Josh Ho-Sang

I’m always on a quest to get a former IceDog on the Maple Leafs, and Ho-Sang is the next one on my list. I’ve been following him through the GTHL to the Marlies, actually own a New York Islanders shirt from his NHL debut, and I sat in the stands at the Meridian Centre yelling “JUST PASS THE GODDAMN PUCK” many, many, nights.

All of his interviews seem to show personal growth and an eagerness to prove himself as a new player, and one who wants to make an impact on the Maple Leafs.

The Toronto Marlies

Speaking of the Marlies, they’re going to be an unstoppable force this season. Last year was a weird disappointment but this year they’ll be loaded with offense starting with Nick Robertson and moving through other Leafs prospects like Mikhail Abramov and Semyon Der-Arguchintsev.

Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander

Playoff disappointments aside, you have to look forward to watching these players in the regular season. There was a reason Kyle Dubas made his silly “We can and we will” statement; when you have star power like this on the ice you do everything you can to keep it, and keep people entertained. Not to mention Auston Matthews will be on another chase to break Rick Vaive’s record of 54 goals in one season.

Better, varied, competition

The North Division was neat, but got old super quick. Now we’ll have a chance to see the Leafs play all of the other 31 NHL teams, and they’re back in the Atlantic Division. We’ll get to see the Leafs stack up against division power teams like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, and the Boston Bruins. No one can say they’ll have an easy path to the playoffs this year, and if they have back to back division winning seasons it will prove how good this team truly is.

Playoffs

This is where it all matters. Just win, baby.

What’s something you’re looking forward to most this season? Toss it in the comments and argue about it.

The Maple Leafs are also adding to their pre-game routine:

I thought they were already doing this, but it may be because they do one before every game down here - a requirement for every public event in a city owned building.

Centre of Leafs Nation gives us their predictions.

Elsewhere in the NHL:

Kane is the story that keeps on giving.

Bad news for a promising future NHL star.

Are we moving towards a resolution?

Hey, there’s a Seattle Kraken blog! I can’t wait for their coverage of the expansion draft!

Anyway, I’m fired now, so enjoy your day!