Good morning Toronto Maple Leafs fans!

We have some potential good news that is brought to us all by unsightly ads!

According to Gary Bettman, there's a good chance the players escrow balance will be paid off this season, meaning the salary cap could jump by up to $4 million this off-season.

The Maple Leafs already have about $4.1 million in cap space for next year, so if it hits he max we could be looking at $8 million in cap space in free agency. That's more than a William Nylander, or Morgan Rielly, or even nine Nick Robertson.

No one tell Michael Bunting about this.

Also on Gary Bettman’s talk yesterday, he brought up the World Cup of Hockey.

Commissioner: Salary cap could jump by $4M

"The conflict in Ukraine makes it difficult to deal with the Russian issue. We've certainly heard from some of the countries who would participate [in the World Cup] that they would have objections about Russian participation," deputy commissioner Bill Daly said.

The NHL had anticipated some kind of adjustment to the Russian team's status if Russia's war on Ukraine was still ongoing at the time of the World Cup. Initially, the hope was that the Russian players would simply play under a neutral name or flag, much like they did in the Olympics after the Russian Olympic Committee was suspended in a doping scandal. But Daly said the other World Cup countries aren't satisfied by that.

"We considered that as an alternative. Based on what I understand to be the concerns, it doesn't appear that's going to be a fix for the other countries," Daly said.

With the tournament scheduled for 2024, they'll have to work quick to start getting things ready.

Speaking of international hockey, Italy is hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics and is starting to prep their hockey team by hiring Mike Keenan as coach of the mens team.

Yes, that Mike Keenan.

Ex-NHL coach Mike Keenan, 72, guiding Italian men’s national squad | CBC

In Leafs news, Jake Muzzin will stay sidelined for a few days of observation and health checks before the team decides on any more moves.

Borje Salming’s career, looked back on by Maple Leafs Hot Stove.

Maple Leaf legend Borje Salming: forever a warrior

Finally, Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has been suspended for one game. No swinging sticks.

Evgeny Kuznetsov Suspended One Game

I disagree. I think it's too short.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Enjoy your day everyone!