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.
Rodion Amirov meets Toronto. pic.twitter.com/oFwrruEGGl— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) October 13, 2022
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.
A smiling Amirov met Alex Ovechkin postgame as well. Great to see him making the most of tonight. https://t.co/JLtM4DsXOT— Joshua Kloke (@joshuakloke) October 14, 2022
Nice moment with these two champs!— Hayley Wickenheiser (@wick_22) October 15, 2022
Great to see you Legend. @donovanbailey #amirov pic.twitter.com/T7wR1taPd0
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.
LINKS FROM THE BRANCHES
Make or Break: the 2022-23 Leafs goaltending primer | by TLN
Toronto Marlies season preview: What to expect from Robertson, Holmberg and more | by The Athletic
Toronto Marlies lose Erik Källgren to injury, drop season opener against Rochester in a special teams disaster | by MLHS
This is what happened to Erik Källgren.— Mark (@MarkUkLeaf) October 15, 2022
He had to leave the game and Ferguson makes his debut. pic.twitter.com/rBkUZbFidw
Two Leafs’ prospects had good nights, getting to the top of their leagues’ leaderboards for goals and/or points:
#LeafsForever prospect Nick Moldenhauer with a burst of speed and a power move to get to the net to score his league leading 8th goal of the season. The next closest has 5.pic.twitter.com/dK7vxPJgI6— Ale-STAN-dro Kirk (@brigstew86) October 14, 2022
#LeafsForever prospect Ty Voit with another two points tonight for Sarnia, giving him 12 points (5 goals, 7 assosts) in his first 6 games. That's good for 2nd in the entire OHL.— Ale-STAN-dro Kirk (@brigstew86) October 15, 2022
And Grebyonkin continues to have a solid start to his VHL career.
#LeafsForever prospect Nikita Grebyonkin scores his first goal in the VHL. Makes a nice pass in front, gets the puck back behind the net and finishes off the wraparound. pic.twitter.com/0pKgRTKhiV— Ale-STAN-dro Kirk (@brigstew86) October 14, 2022
Jets coach Bowness tests positive for COVID, Arniel to assume interim duties | by TSN
Oilers officially name Duncan Keith to player development role | by Sportsnet
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.
The time has come to get Wild About Children! Tickets are now on sale! Get yours before they are all sold out! 🍷#mnwild x @WildGivesBack x @WBsilverlining— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 14, 2022