Toronto Six announce they’ve signed Saroya Tinker

The Toronto Six announced the signing of Saroya Tinker this morning for Season 7 of the NWHL. In Season 6, both Tinker and the Toronto Six made their NWHL debuts at the Lake Placid tournament-style season back in January/February this year. The Oshawa native returns home to join the only Canadian team (so far) in the NWHL.
The bubble season in Lake Placid didn’t go totally according to plans, especially so for Tinker, whose first season with the Metropolitan Riveters was cut short due to COVID-19 exposures among the team. This exposure came at the exact same time as the Riveters were facing some turmoil for a different reason, which was the divided support of the misogynistic sports website, Barstool Sports. Tinker, who publicly expressed disgust with Barstool Sports, as I and many others within sports have done in the past, including TSN’s Gord Miller.
Tinker is also an active supporter of Black Girl Hockey Club, which is a community-focused space for Black women in hockey.
However, politics aren’t why Toronto Six fans should be excited about Tinker, at least not the only reason why. She comes with a high potential of becoming a star defender in the …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Dermott could be moved before the expansion draft, and other trade insights from Frank Seravalli

In his new feature column, right here on the Nation Network over on Daily Faceoff (not so humblebrag) Frank Seravalli assembled a list of 20 players who are very much the topic of trade conversation this summer. And while our little corner of the internet likes to focus on potential Rielly or Marner moves, the one that Frank suggests is a far more likely one for the Leafs, and that is trading Travis Dermott in advance of the Seattle expansion draft.
Seravalli on Dermott (who was 16th on his list):
Scoop: The Leafs are prepared for the possibility to lose a player like Dermott in the Expansion Draft. But they may also explore the trade market for him in the meantime. The question Toronto and so many other teams will be asking between now and July 21: Does it just make sense to cut our losses clean at one player? Or does making a side transaction compound the problem and make it two?
The thing about Dermott is that even if the Leafs went with a protect four defensemen and four forward model, Dermott absolutely falls on the outside of the four. (I don’t think it’s crazy to assume that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s everyone gets a trophy day for the Leafs

As you may have noticed, it’s award season. Arguably one of the stupidest things the NHL does, but at least they’ve done away with the award show (hopefully permanently.) The highlight of the season is less about who wins the awards, and more about who throws the biggest meltdown over the dumbest bullshit. It seemed like the early front runners for the award hilarity was the flood of writers outraged that Oskar Lindblom won the Masterton for returning from cancer over Patrick Marleau’s playing a really long time, but the new clubhouse leader is Damien Cox’s Lady Byng meltdown:

When you’re not mad and having a normal one online pic.twitter.com/9tq0f3GCiO
— Daryl Morey’s Pier (@SnackMyFridgeUp) June 20, 2021

Awesome.
Still, despite Matthews already having the Rocket Richard I decided the Leafs needed a more awards, and because this is the participant ribbon generation, we’ve made sure that everyone gets an award.
I decided to have a traditional hockey season ending banquet. I rented a private room at the local Shakey’s Pizza and brought a ton of Rock’em Sock’em and Wrestlemania VHS tapes to watch, but sadly none of …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Pierre Engvall is a fine placeholder in the lineup

Pierre Engvall has taken a path that we’ve seen many of the young prospects not named Matthews, Marner, and Nylander have taken over the last few years. He started out as the exciting new toy, had a solid start with the team, before fading into mediocrity. Kasperi Kapanen, Travis Dermott, Andreas Johnsson, we’ve seen it many times during this era.
But throughout all of this, Engvall emerged as a decent utility forward in the bottom half of the lineup, and producing okay results in the process. Not quite what you’re looking for in the depths of a contender, but he did the trick for a while.
At the end of the day, he didn’t cost the team, but he didn’t really do anything of significance either. He was, well, there, all season, and that’s probably all we could ask for out of a seventh round pick.
Season Recap
Engvall wasn’t in the lineup to start the season, as his waiver eligibility made it easier to keep him on the taxi squad to start the season. But, after about a month, he found himself in the lineup more often than not due to injuries …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Dylan Strome is available and could be a fit for the Leafs

Rumours: Dylan Strome is available and could be a fit for the Leafs

Buried at the bottom of Bruce Garrioch’s snapshot column was the following tidbit:
The Chicago Blackhawks are looking to move forward Dylan Strome. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft by Arizona, Strome had only nine goals and 14 points in 40 games last season. He would be eligible for the expansion draft.
This should be interesting to Leafs fans for a few reasons, so indulge me as I take you on this journey you really don’t want to go on.
First, Dylan Strome represents an opportunity for the Leafs to improve their center depth at an affordable rate. A $3M cap hit on the last year of his contract makes him cheaper than Alex Kerfoot by $500k (I triple checked the math on that.) Strome is also more of a natural center than Kerfoot so there’s that, and has more offence to his game allowing him to slide up into the top six during injuries or upgrade the second powerplay unit.
Secondly, he shouldn’t cost a lot. Strome is now on his second down year after what looked like a strong performance following his trade to Chicago where he had 51 points in his first 58 games for the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rasmus Sandin is ready to take the next step with the Leafs

Rasmus Sandin took Leafs Nation by storm after being selected in the 2018 NHL draft, starring on the international stage for Sweden while showing he could be an impact player in the American Hockey League, and even seeing significant NHL action as a teenager. The last year and a half, however, has been difficult for Sandin and he has missed out on precious development time due to the pandemic and a foot injury that kept him on the shelf for over two months once the AHL finally returned to play.
At the outset of the 2020-21 campaign, it appeared as though the young defenseman would be in contention for a role on the Leafs’ third pairing but he was unable to surpass Travis Dermott and prized European free agent signing Mikko Lehtonen on the depth chart coming out of training camp. He got into just a single game, seeing only five minutes of ice time, before the organization decided he would be better served playing heavy minutes with the Marlies as he continued to work towards earning a regular spot in the NHL lineup.
The move made sense given that single outing with the Leafs was the first meaningful hockey Sandin …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Auston Matthews cemented himself as one of the best in the league

For years, Leafs fans have been singing the praises of Auston Matthews, the big star on the team, and how he should be considered one of the best in the league, both for his insane shooting and finishing ability, but also for the rise of his all-around game over the last few years.
This year was finally the year he got the recognition as one of the best in the league. He exploded for 41 goals in a shortened season, leading the league by 8 goals and finished tied for fifth in points despite missing four games as well. He ended up with the Rocket Richard trophy, and nominations for the Lady Bing, Ted Lindsay, and Hart Trophy.
He was on a whole other level that even Leafs fans hadn’t seen, and finally got the recognition he deserved from outside of Toronto, after years of being “overrated” because he was on the Leafs. He’s the best goal scorer in the league, and he’s one of the best players in the league right now.
And he’s a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Season Recap
It was a “slow” start for Matthews by his own standards, as this was actually his first …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Jake Muzzin is the hero we don’t deserve

Leafs fans argue about a lot. Should the Leafs trade Mitch Marner? Should the Leafs trade William Nylander? Is Jake Gardiner bad? Is Tomas Kaberle bad? Very rarely do you find a player that just about everyone in this fanbase universally likes, especially in this era of analytics.
Jake Muzzin is the kind of player that fits everybody’s needs. He’s got that tough physical edge and experience that the grit and character side of the fanbase has been looking for in the Mike Komisareks and Jeff Fingers and Tim Gleasons and Roman Polaks, but he’s also a very good defensive defenseman from the stats side of things. He is the biggest cog in the Leafs d-core, and when he goes down, it feels like the team will too.
And that’s exactly what happened in Game 6, as he got hurt midway through the game and would’ve been out for three weeks, but thankfully his teammates cared about him so much that they made sure that he only missed one game. It was the second year in a row that he got hurt in the middle of their playoff series and they definitely didn’t look the …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Sunday’s Rundown: Three free-agent right-wingers the Toronto Maple Leafs should target

Sunday’s Rundown: Three free-agent right-wingers the Toronto Maple Leafs should target

It’s another Sunday, and that means it’s another Sunday’s Rundown. This week we’re finishing up on the forwards as we take a look at three free-agent right-wingers the Toronto Maple Leafs should target. Last week we took a look at three centres that are set to become UFAs and the week prior we took a look at left-wingers, so it’s only right that we finish the forwards up with the right-wingers this week before we take a look at different positions.
As we all know the Maple Leafs are more than likely going to make changes to their roster ahead of next season, it’s just a matter of what and where the changes are going to be made. Is it upfront on forward, on the back end, there is just so much that we don’t know right now but with the off-season approaching soon, we’ll all find out sooner rather than later. With that said, here are three free-agent right-wingers the Toronto Maple Leafs should target.

1. Brandon Saad – 28 years old – RW/LW
2020-21 stats – 44 GP – 15 G – 9 A – 24 PTS – 14:06 TOI
The first player on this right-winger list is Brandon Saad, someone who a …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

Report that Leafs Assistant Coaches are in demand

On the Saturday Headlines segment, Elliotte Friedman shared that teams have asked permission to speak to a couple of the Leafs assistants regarding roles with other clubs. This is interesting because at this point are we particularly attached to any of the Leafs assistants? And while no specifics were really given about who is asking and who is potentially on the way out, it’s an opportunity to rehash who the Leafs have and whether they are likely to want to move on.
Manny Malhotra was a highly touted acquisition last offseason, given his success in Vancouver and that fact that he was a good Mississauga boy returning home. Given Malhotra’s success as defensive minded forward during his playing days, the fact that he was running the powerplay seemed like he was being miscast, and it certainly showed throughout the majority of the season and the playoffs.
His time with the Leafs probably doesn’t do much for him getting a look at the next step in his career, and given the rocky year his preference might be a one and done year and look for an assistant gig elsewhere.
Dave Hakstol is the one assistant left over from …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation