As mentioned in the roster post, Dubas runs down the injuries.
The details on Timothy Liljegren include an “early to mid-November” return for him. His hernia surgery was last Friday.
Dubas also discusses the fact that his contract expires this summer. It would have shocked me if the Maple Leafs had extended Dubas before this season began, so this is another story that’s a story because it’s a story.
When asked about the roster, he again talks about players who were in the AHL last year making the team. Even with the injuries heading into the season easing some cap space, this is still extremely unlikely, but it’s the tradition to pretend there are jobs to be had at camp.
He does explain that the PTO for Zach Aston-Reese came about when they learned of Pierre Engvall’s training injury. That injury is not expected to keep Engvall out of action long, however.
Rodion Amirov (who is still on the Leafs roster and has never been loaned to Salavat Yulaev Ufa) may come to Toronto for training after his final round of chemotherapy, if the doctors permit it.
Note: There was a misunderstanding of a comment by Amirov, who was spending time with his KHL team and travelled with them to some games, that he would be ready for the hockey season in November or December, but that is premature, and is just the time when the final chemotherapy round is over.
When asked about Matt Murray, who finished last season on IR, Dubas clarifies that he has been medically cleared today and is ready to go. Dubas also clarifies that the goalie duo is staying a duo, and he doesn’t expect to play one a lot more than the other.
On the coming season, Dubas believes the goal is to win the division. And then the goal has to become winning in the playoffs.
Someone asks about that very silly business with the “betting line” on Sheldon Keefe getting fired. And this is when Dubas lays down his final word: Their goal is to win four rounds in the playoffs and win the Cup.
Sheldon Keefe also met the media:
The entire coaching staff has returned intact, with only the change in goalie coach to Curtis Sanford.
When asked about the roster jobs available, Keefe says tomorrow’s lines are likely to be very different from what the team ends up as. He intends to leave the top line untouched, of course. And there is a long list of wingers who can be moved around. His focus is on how the bottom six will be arranged. He won’t commit to who will play the second line left wing.
The goalie conversation is exactly what you’d expect given the setup from Dubas about a tandem. “Two options” is mentioned a lot.
When it’s time to talk about the roster as a whole, the word is again “options”.
A question is asked that assumes that there’s something wrong with John Tavares and William Nylander as a pair. Keefe doesn’t bite on the idea that there’s something in their pairing lacking, but he is interested in how the rest of the lineup might be better if they are split up. But at the same time, he talks about them as default members of the second line.
This is a good lesson to take on board right now. Keefe is going to experiment in camp, but he sure sounds like he thinks the core of the team is the same, and he’ll use them the same way. Open jobs are on the bottom rungs of the roster.
Nick Robertson is discussed, and the word here is “opportunity”, as it is with the list of other players who will play in preseason.