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FTB: The Leafs have one more home game before a long road trip

The Blackhawks are in Toronto tomorrow before the Leafs head west.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost 5-3 to the reigning Stanley Cup Champions last night in a game where errors by the Leafs undid their solid offence. Here’s our full recap of the game:

The Leafs next game is tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks in Toronto, and then they will head out for the full Western Canada road trip next week, stopping in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver... and oh, right, that road trip is not only Canadian anymore as the final stop is in Seattle. But, that’s all next week. First up are the Blackhawks and speaking of that team, the Leafs made a minor deal with them yesterday.

By all accounts, this was a request from Gabriel to be moved to a team where he can crack the NHL roster and the lack of depth on the Blackhawks can allow that to happen. Meanwhile the Leafs pickup another member of the 2015 and 2016 US National Team development program. Maybe if you collect them all you win a prize? We already have the most difficult piece to find in Auston Matthews. That’s like getting Boardwalk on day #1 of the McDonalds monopoly competition.

But wouldn’t that be something if the Hawks put Gabriel in the game tomorrow against the Leafs? Or would it be terrifying because you know he would score against them?

The other event we are waiting for is Gary Bettman’s response to the Jason Spezza’s appeal of his six game suspension. This appeal is expected to be a formality and Bettman will uphold the original decision of his staff, but it will trigger the ability for Spezza to call in a neutral arbitrator for a final binding appeal, which is where he hopes his arguments against the six game duration will be considered more positively. We should get an indication today of exactly which date Bettman will hear the appeal. Don’t be surprised if they stretch it out as long as possible so he misses six games anyway.

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The NHL Board of Governors meetings continue today at a resort near Palm Beach, FL. Today will be a full day of talks after yesterday’s afternoon only session. The Olympics will undoubtedly be on the agenda as they begin in less than 60 days, and the NHL has an out clause that is only valid until January 10th. Some near-final decisions will be made today.