Kyle Dubas loves making late evening trades and signings on a Friday-before-a-long-weekend, and he did not disappoint us for this one, serving an amuse bouche of Ondrej Kase to Maple Leafs fans last night.
Maple Leafs sign Ondrej Kase to one-year contract
However, the big gap in the Leafs roster is still there on the left wing, created by the departure of Zach Hyman to the Edmonton Oilers. How or when that will be addressed is up in the air, but it’s now August, always the slowest month of the NHL off-season (or it will be August tomorrow for those of you reading this on Saturday.) We’ve seen a major slow down in activity during this month before as the players, agents, and general managers hit the beaches, golf courses, and summer cottages. The last group of free agents are sometimes not signed until the end of the month, or not even until September, while the few completed trades trickle in almost at random times. It may now be weeks before more activity happens for the Leafs, but it could also be tomorrow. It’s really the uncertainty of August that makes it such a slog to get through; you never know when or if some big move might suddenly happen.
As a great chef once said, “the souffle will either rise or it won’t. There’s not a damn thing you can do about it, so you might as well just sit back and wait, and see what happens.”
In the mean time, we will keep you entertained here. The world famous PPP Maple Leafs Top 25 Under 25 will start in August, and while you wait for that main course, your appetizer will be highlights of some of the prospects that will be on our list.
#LeafsForever prospects Matthew Knies is facing off against Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemela in today's Finland vs USA World Junior Summer Showcase.— AleSTANdro Kirk (@brigstew86) July 30, 2021
Here's Knies showing off his straight-line speed, beating Niemela (no slouch in terms of skating) on a short handed breakaway. pic.twitter.com/XlmV6qQmUT
#LeafsForever prospect Matthew Knies (#18 in white) showing off his physical play by dumping a player into the bench. pic.twitter.com/eemw1nbGDS— AleSTANdro Kirk (@brigstew86) July 30, 2021
#LeafsForever prospect Roni Hirvonen with a powerplay goal to put Finland up 2-0. It's his fourth goal in five games in this tournament. pic.twitter.com/Vov6x6E5H2— AleSTANdro Kirk (@brigstew86) July 30, 2021
Today is the final day of the World Junior Summer Showcase in Michigan, and we will see one more game each of the Leafs new draft pick, Matthew Knies, who has been showing off his skills all tournament long; and the two Finns from last year’s draft, Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemela. Knies is on Team USA White, and they will play Sweden at 1:00 p.m. today. The Finnish Team plays Team USA Blue at 4:00 p.m.
The relationship between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres organisation appears to have deteriorated even further. The latest shot in the battle over his medical issues and required surgery reached a new level last night when Eichel’s agents released this rather inflammatory statement saying the organisation needs to trade him to another team immediately.
Jack Eichel’s agents issue the following statement: pic.twitter.com/tiPXShdchz— John Vogl (@BuffaloVogl) July 31, 2021
Predators prospect Prokop gets call of support from legend - NHL
The caller from an international number identified himself as simply "Elton," but you know him better as Sir Elton John.
Paul Byron out five months after hip surgery - Eyes On The Prize
The speedy forward had hip surgery earlier on Friday, and while the surgery was successful the recovery period is expected to be five months. This means that Byron is expected to return sometime around the new year.
Is the NHL’s TikTok hire really the “Voice of the Fans”? - Fear The Fin
The NHL’s TikTok hire is meant to grow the game — but is that the best way for the NHL to appeal to fans?
9 Million Dollars For Nurse? - The Copper & Blue
Darnell Nurse holds pocket aces in this round of negotiations.
David Krejci won’t return, plans to head home to Czech Republic - Stanley Cup of Chowder
Tough news for the Bruins, but a homecoming for Krejci.
Charles Barkley helped convince Wayne Gretzky to join TNT
Wayne Gretzky and Charles Barkley have been friends for many years and now they're colleagues with The Great One joining TNT's hockey panel.
U.S. private equity firm acquires hockey player asset manager - The Globe and Mail
NHL veteran and his colleagues have sold Gavin Hockey Wealth Specialists to New York-based Focus Financial Partners but will keep day-to-day control.
When is Dubas going to fill that LW spot on the roster?
|He’s trading/signing a top-six LW any day now.||18|
|He’s trading/signing a top-six LW, but it’s going to be a week or three to work it out.||22|
|The Leafs will fill the LW spot with one of the RWs they have recently signed, like Kase.||13|
|The Leafs will fill the LW spot by moving someone already on the team there, like Kerfoot or Nylander.||31|
|He will wait to move until the deadline using any banked cap space, and clearing some more by sending players back in a trade.||29|
|Nick Ritchie (I voted after 8:38 a.m. on Saturday)||134|