It's bye week! I'm not sure why I added an exclamation point there. It literally means there's zero Leafs hockey this week, and tacked on to the end of this bye week is the NHL All-Star Game break. That means the next Leafs game isn't for another seven days.

However, the All-Star game happens to be here in Toronto this year, which is kind of cool. It's been a long time since it was hosted here and there is a big fan-fest at the Toronto Convention Centre opening on Thursday which will be worth checking out, along with other events like a PWHL showcase game.

But... there's still nothing much to talk about. All your favourite Leafs are at this moment probably getting tanned on a beach in Ibiza, Majorca, Mustique, Fiji, or somewhere else resembling the photo above.

The Marlies are still playing though, but also still not here as they continue to be displaced from home by the Toronto International Boat Show. Right now they are taking a swing through Pennsylvania. They defeated the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (the Pokemon logo team and Flyers affiliates) in a shootout on Saturday, and then lost to the Hershey Bears on Sunday (Capitals affiliates) but they snagged an overtime loss point. Next up are the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (you can figure out which team they are affiliated with) on Wednesday. They will make another stop in Utica before finally coming back to Toronto to play their next game here on Friday February 9.

Overall, adding in the two wins against the Charlotte Checkers, the Marlies have stabalised their place in the rankings which was much needed after that seven game losing streak through December and early January. They can now breathe a little easier. Though just a little.

The Marlies did get some very welcome reinforcement in the return of Roni Hirvonen, who played his first game since October 15 after suffering an eye injury. His return was expected, but still a bit of a surprise to come in the middle of the road trip, but it was great to see this highly touted Leafs prospect back in action.

Hirvonen got an assist right away in the game.

It's great to have him back.

If you want a refresher, Hirvonen was 9th in our last Top 25 Under 25.

2023 Top 25 Under 25: Roni Hirvonen is 9th
Hirvonen is a prospect that’s difficult to project because of where and how he’s played. He’s been in Finland’s pro league before Toronto even drafted him, as well as being part of Team Finland in various junior tournaments for years. But who is he as a player by now?

Speaking of Leafs prospects, one of them was making a lot more noise last night.

And more.

Enjoy the bye week!