‘He lets younger guys be themselves’: How Rich Clune’s leadership is felt throughout the Leafs organization

Seven years after joining the Maple Leafs organization, and Rich Clune is still playing the game he loves.
The bus was getting packed up on Thursday as the Toronto Marlies get set for a six-game US road trip. Clune walked out of the dressing room wearing a Gold’s Gym crewneck and track pants. He had some nice shoes on too.
He greets you with a big smile on his face and a kind “Hello.”
Clune had just gotten off the ice after a 40+ minute practice. The team also had time on the ice after to work on whatever they wanted. The 34-year-old spent it skating from blue line to blue line, back and forth, at some points also receiving pucks from teammate, Joseph Duszak.
He would stop, take a breath, watch what other players were doing, and then go again. There’s always something about players who work on their craft alone after practice. Bobby McMann, who was the captain while playing at Colgate University does the same thing at Marlies practices.
Players like that are doing what they love, while still finding a way to lead by example.
“I grew up in an area of Toronto where we flooded the streets,” Clune said of where his leadership may have come from. “Whether it was …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Reese McGuire has been optioned and Caleb Joseph has been added to the roster

There’s a new catcher joining the Blue Jays — it just isn’t the one you were probably hoping for.

The Blue Jays announced today that they’ve optioned Reese McGuire to the Alternate Training Site and that veteran Caleb Joseph has been added to the active roster in his place. In order to fit Joseph on the 40-man roster, Ken Giles has been moved to the 45-day Injured List (which is this year’s version of the 60-day IL).
It isn’t too surprising that McGuire got optioned. He’s having an absolutely putrid season offensively, as he has just three hits over 45 plate appearances. The surprise here is that it isn’t Alejandro Kirk joining the team.
The Jays added Kirk, one of the organization’s top prospect, to the Taxi Squad last week, which seemed to indicate that he might soon be joining the team. Given the fact the Jays have gotten virtually zero offence from the catcher position, it seemed that adding Kirk to the mix could give them a boost offensively.
Instead, it’s the veteran Joseph joining the team. Anybody is an upgrade on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nylander going to play for Sweden at World Championship

Joining John Tavares as Leafs going over to Slovakia to play in the IIHF World Championship, William Nylander will play for Team Sweden in the tournament.

Toronto’s William Nylander will play for Sweden at the upcoming world championships.https://t.co/JaPfiZ4VRw
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 30, 2019

Nylander will team up with other countrymen as Elias Pettersson, Elias Lindholm, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Henrik Lundqvist — just to name a few.
Sweden have won gold at the past two tournaments. Unfortunately Nylander was not present in 2018 due to contract concerns, much like other Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson who had to decline an invitation because of the same reason.
In the 54 games he played with the Leafs this year, Nylander scored seven goals and 27 points. As Dubas mentioned in his season-ending press conference, he was not able to start his season on the right foot.
If Nylander is able to repeat his 2017 World Championship Most Valuable Player, that will do a lot for his confidence heading into an interesting offseason for this team. In that year — his first in the tournament — he scored seven goals and 14 points in just 10 games.
With a long-term contract in hand, he will just able to focus on his …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation