This is it. The ‘last day of summer.’

Or at least that’s what it always felt like to much younger me. It was a day you sat around outside with your friends complaining that it was all over; you were going back to school tomorrow and you didn’t even do anything fun all summer, even though you actually did.

It’s also the start of that brief window on the calendar where hockey players resurface before the official start of the season. Unofficial training camps, rookie tournaments, and, of course, those last few players signings are on the agenda.

Auston Matthews and Frederik Andersen and several other players  have been in Florida at a camp run by Darryl Belfry, a member of the Maple Leafs development staff.

The rookie tournament in Traverse City begins on Friday with the first game between the Leafs and Blues.

Maple Leafs Announce Prospect Roster for Traverse City

And, of course, there’s the whole Mitch Marner saga to play out, with Jake Gardiner still mysteriously waiting around, seemingly more and more destined to somehow sign and play here in Toronto.

On top of all that there is supposed to be a large and important meeting of NHLPA members in Chicago to consider their options with respect to activating the opt-out clause in the CBA.

The NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement Might Get Terminated, Or Maybe Not

This could be a big week for breaking news, but it could also be the most plodding of weeks as we sit and wait so tantalizinly close for the official NHL events to begin.

For today though, let’s sit back and enjoy this final day off. It won’t be long until the days when there’s so much hockey news happening all at once that we will pine for the off-season to come back.

Other News

The regular season has already started for the KHL, and a familiar name opened up the scoring.

Also this happened...

Why Wayne Simmonds is betting on himself: 'It's redemption' - Sportsnet
Wayne Simmonds' run-up to his long-awaited first crack at unrestricted free agency fell somewhere between underwhelming and disastrous, but he's out to redeem himself in New Jersey this season.

Bob Plager takes Stanley Cup to brother's final resting place - NHL
Bob Plager brought the Stanley Cup to Bellerive Gardens Cemetery to make a toast to his brother, Barclay.

Who scores the first goal of the season?

Auston Matthews, of course!136
William Nylander gets the first of his 40 goals in game 1.147
John Tavares, and he doesn’t even break a sweat doing it.168
Captain Morgan!21
Nic Petan, Nic Petan, scores the first goal like only Petan can.14
Jeremy Bracco out of nowhere!10
Frederik Andersen looking smug.15
Zach Hyman scores short-handed.9
Someone else.85