If you watched Toronto’s home opener, or if you follow various Leafs blogs and reporters on Twitter, you probably have already seen a lot of coverage about Rodion Amirov. Toronto’s first round pick in 2020 has been going through rounds of treatment for his brain tumor. For his last chemotherapy treatment, he came to Toronto to have it done — obviously Russians aren’t as welcome in most European countries these days. He was even introduced in the SBA during the home opener ceremony.

But the other reason Toronto brought him here was to be around the team as he recovered. Some of it was for Amirov himself, so he could see what it’s like to be a part of an NHL team — something he had never really been able to do before because of the pandemic first, and his health issues after, but Toronto also wanted Amirov around the team for the other players.

There’s been some wholesome pictures and tweets that I can’t help but share.

According to an article by Chris Johnston, the immediate plan is for Amirov to stay around the Leafs — but only in Toronto, he won’t travel with the team on road trips — for “a couple more weeks” while working with the Maple Leafs staff. In a previous interview with a Russian news outlet, Amirov had said he was eyeing a “return to hockey” in November. I think there may be some assumptions and translation issues there. What he probably means is he is hoping to resume more active training and participation in team practices and such, rather than trying to actually play in games.

Whenever Keefe or someone else with the Leafs talk about a timetable for his return, they all say pretty unequivocally that there is no real time table right now. They want him to focus on his treatments, recovery from treatments, and his basic physical training to keep up his spirits and physical fitness.

But it was really nice to see him around the team and getting the exposure on social media meeting various players and people, with a big smile on his face every time. Wishing him the very best for the rest of his recovery.

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Two Leafs’ prospects had good nights, getting to the top of their leagues’ leaderboards for goals and/or points:

And Grebyonkin continues to have a solid start to his VHL career.

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Oh dear... someone tried to be cute with the wording to have the team name worked in, and didn’t stop to look at how the whole tweet sounded.