Hockey! With Maple Leafs jerseys! Happening this week!
The annual prospects tournament in Traverse City, Michigan starts on Thursday this week. It’s the first stop on the road to the 2022-23 NHL season, which has the first regular season game scheduled about one month away; technically it’s October 7th when the Sharks face the Predators in Prague as part of this year’s NHL Global Series. The Maple Leafs first game is Wednesday October 12, two days after Thanksgiving.
In the meantime, there’s the pre-season or ”Exhibition Games” as they are officially referred by the league, but before even those, the prospects of the Maple Leafs will head out to play a mini-tournament against the prospects of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, and Dallas Stars in Traverse City, MI.
The Leafs are the only one of the five participating teams yet to release their roster for the tournament, but that must be coming out very soon. The Leafs first game is scheduled for this Thursday evening, and the group will presumably have to head out to Michigan no later than Wednesday afternoon (it’s a seven hour drive from Toronto), so they must already know now who is invited. We’ll have an update on the site when they release the final roster today or tomorrow.
If you haven’t followed in the past few years, this event in Traverse City replaced the annual Rookie Tournament between the Leafs, Senators and Canadiens.
The games at Traverse City are not going to be televised in Canada, but will be streamed online—other teams have already confirmed they will have YouTube streams of their games against the Leafs, and I assume the Leafs will announce this at the same time as the roster; this event is also a warm up for the broadcast crew too!
The Leafs signed off on the first of what are expected to be several try-out contracts for the team on Friday afternoon; this one was given to a guy who once played with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins. Why he’s fallen so far to need a try-out contract we explore in this post:
Our Maple Leafs Top 25 Under 25 finale is this week as we reach the three. Here’s who we covered last week:
Former NHL goalie Darling finds new career in stand-up comedy - NHL
For Scott Darling, retirement as an NHL player was not an easy transition.
Lundqvist Joins MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment - Blueshirt Banter
Henrik Lundqvist is taking the next step in his professional career off the ice and has officially joined MSG in a newly created role that will see him work for both the sports and entertainment divisions.
Tortorella has ‘major concerns’ about Flyers’ locker room - Broad Street Hockey
If you think the Flyers’ locker room is in a bad place without Claude Giroux, John Tortorella probably agrees with you. [SPECIES: Oh I’m so glad Torts is back to entertain all of us.]
TIFF premieres ‘Black Ice’ documentary - The Star
The documentary examines Black Canadian contributions to hockey and unpacks anti-Black racism in the game then and now.
BarDown was out at the TIFF red carpet for the Black Ice premiere.
Speaking of TIFF, it continues through Tuesday, and it’s now in the dreaded spontaneous road closure phase, so expect unplanned and sudden disruptions in the area of King Street between University and Spadina each afternoon and evening, both today and tomorrow, plus TTC streetcar disruptions that ripple across the whole of King Street because of that.