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FTB: Prospect tournament ends and Leafs training camp begins

The Maple Leafs play their final game in Traverse City today and then the team gets ready for training camp, which opens this week.

NHL Prospects Tournament Day-4 Detroit vs Toronto Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Today is the final game for the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects in Traverse City, MI, with an early start time of 11:00 a.m. ET. After that, the team will head home, with many prospects disbursed back to their junior and NCAA teams, while the rest will switch focus to beginning the NHL pre-season.

The word is that the official start of the Leafs training camp is Thursday, likely with a day of medical checkups and off-ice fitness testing first (I don’t actually get these press releases.) The giant 50-ish group of players that will be there will then have their first on-ice skate and practices together on Friday, after which the media should probably descend on the camp to ask the usual questions to get the usual answers. There will be many players “in the best shape of their life,” and they will tell us of the many lessons they learned last year.

Of course, one person we won’t hear from—as of the time of writing this—is defenceman Rasmus Sandin. We’re still waiting on him and the Leafs to work out a contract, and for the Leafs to figure out exactly how to get him on the roster given that it would put them over the salary cap, even at a low level.

For more on that story, the Leafs hole at left-wing, and more on the pre-season stories, you can listen to yesterday’s new episode of our Back to Excited Podcast here:

After the Friday practice the group will get ready for the first pre-season games on Saturday—yes, there will be two that day—effectively a split-squad event, but the games will be played consecutively, not simultaneously, so you can watch both and start making wild off the cuff determinations on who should be cut from the camp! I look forward to that.

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Here’s Leafs Assistant Coach Manny Malhotra, who is running the bench at the prospect tournament, on the play of the group so far, including some commentary on new draft pick Fraser Minten.