Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

Yesterday, ahead of the resumption of the schedule after the All Star Game, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas met with the media and answered some questions, and that’s great because I needed something to write about!

You can watch it here. I wont embed it because videos auto-play sometimes.

Some of the highlights are...

Trade Deadline: The Maple Leafs are still looking for the opportunity to play with a full team, something they haven’t really gotten the chance to do with injuries and COVID. Dubas believes in this team, that they can do it, but acknowledges the problem with having the Panthers and Lightning in the division. Take the time until the deadline to assess the team. Don’t rush in.

Try to acquire players with term, that’s the preference - like Jack Campbell or Jake Muzzin - but there isn’t a lot that can be done with a flat cap. Players on expiring contracts are easier to deal with this year, no quarantine for american based players. Dubas is more open to that, but term is still the preference.

Jake Muzzin: He’s injured, it’s a concussion, that’s serious. Kyle has known Muzzin since he played for the Greyhounds in the OHL, and while he hasn’t always been on top of his game, when he comes back he’ll be better than he was to start the season.

The Kids: Sandin and Liljegren being up with the Leafs gives them more options and flexibility on defense. It‘s great they’re up, and cheap, but you have to take the ups and downs of rookies on your team.

Fringe players: Kyle Clifford and Nick Ritchie have been assigned to the Toronto Marlies now that the taxi squad has been ended. They can’t practice with the Leafs anymore, but the playing time will be good for them. It would be better if Ritchie worked out more, but that’s the game.

Josh Ho-Sang: He’s had a great story this year. There are a lot of players pushing for a spot on the NHL roster, and anyone who they want to be playoff eligible has to be signed by the trade deadline.

Rodin Amirov: He’s great, we loved the development he had here last year. He went back to the KHL and there’s a medical situation. That’s all Dubas would say.

Moving games to the US: Toronto is home.

I would recommend watching the presser for yourself, you get more from the body language and hearing it, but that’s my summary.

In other news....

The podcast is back, talking defence and goaltending.

Back to Excited Episode 167: Defence, Goaltending, & Coaching Grades

The Chicago Blackhawks are making all the right moves.

Those kids and their fancy goal scoring ways:

Finally, Canada defeated the Russians last night 6-1 (this morning?) after a one hour delay to the start of the game. The Russians weren’t providing COVID tests to Canada, after a series of positives earlier in the week.  The game was played - with maks on - and Canada made the Russians pay for that delay.

Canada overcomes bizarre delay to beat Russian Olympic Committee in women's hockey | CBC Sports

Enjoy your day everyone, the schedule resumes tonight with the Leafs vs Hurricanes at 7.

Go Leafs Go!