News: Maple Leafs release 2022-23 pre-season schedule

Although the Toronto Maple Leafs’ season has been over for quite some time and with the NHL playoffs coming to an end recently, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some news that drops. The Maple Leafs – along with numerous other NHL teams – have released their 2022-23 pre-season schedule.
Despite the Maple Leafs being one of the teams releasing theirs a little late compared to other teams, especially compared to some teams in their own division, we already knew what their schedule would kind of look like given some of the other Atlantic Divison team’s schedules.
But without further ado, let’s look at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ official 2022-23 pre-season schedule.
 

Preseason schedule drop
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 5, 2022

So by just looking at the tweet that was released by the Maple Leafs’ Twitter account, it looks like Toronto will be going back to the pre-pandemic ways by playing pre-season games against opponents like the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and the Detroit Red Wings.
Toronto will play seven total pre-season games between September 24, 2022, and October 8, 2022, including a double header on the 24th of September at Scotiabank Arena against Ottawa and a trip to Belleville to play the Senators on the 30th of September.
With those seven games on the pre-season schedule, Toronto will play Ottawa three times and will play Montreal and Detroit a total of two times each before their last game on October 8th.
According to the release by the Maple Leafs, their two games against Ottawa at Scotiabank Arena will be played at 2:00 pm ET and 7:00 pm ET with every other game scheduled for 7:00 pm ET as well. However, their game on October 7th in Detriot has been scheduled for 7:30 pm E …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

What to expect from Curtis Sanford as the Leafs goaltending coach

Earlier today the Leafs made it official that Curtis Sanford would indeed be the Leafs goaltending coach. That’s good news in the sense that having a goaltending coach in place prior to the draft and free agency is going to help a lot. That is a voice you want in the room as you overhaul an important position, and at least from what Canucks Army shared about Sanford today, he’s used to being involved in those conversations:
Sanford was instrumental in identifying Spencer Martin as a trade target for the Canucks while watching him play with the Syracuse Crunch, and later, in developing Martin from a third-string AHL goaltender into an NHL backup.
That’s what you want to see. A coach that sees the talent that he can develop. The catch for Sanford in his new role will be at the NHL level the talent is going to be less raw and will be more about refinements while winning rather than an AHL situation which will prioritize development over wins.
During his time in Utica and Abbotsford, there was certainly some overlap time with Thatcher Demko, which is also some development work that Sanford can hang his hat on. Sanford came in after Demko was selected and work was already underway on the development before Sanford showed up, but anytime you see a top tier goaltender with your goalie coach’s fingerprints on them, you have to feel a bit optimistic, right?
Sanford has als …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs announce promotions and the hiring of Curtis Sanford as goaltending coach

The Maple Leafs have made a hire and have also promoted a number of people in the organization prior to the 2022 NHL Draft in Montreal.

General Manager Kyle Dubas announced today that the hockey club has promoted Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser, Ryan Hardy & Darryl Metcalf to the roles of Assistant General Manager & hired Curtis Sanford as Goaltending Coach.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 5, 2022

Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser has been promoted to the Assistant General Manager role, while still acting as Toronto’s Head of Player Development. She’s the first-ever female Assistant General Manager in Maple Leafs history.
It seems as though Ryan Hardy will also keep his role as the Head of Minor League Operations while getting promoted to Assistant GM. The same goes for Darryl Metcalf, who will hold the title as Assistant General Manager, Hockey Research and Development.
Brandon Pridham will also remain in his role as the “primary” Assistant General Manager. Laurence Gilman will now be the Governer and Senior Vice President of the Toronto Marlies.
Along with all of these changes is the announcement that the Maple Leafs have hired Curtis Sanford as their goalie coach. If you’re interested to learn more about Sanford, I wrote about him on Monday after a report from Chris Johnston came out that he was joining the organization.
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Report: Marc-Andre Fleury was willing to accept a trade to Toronto by Michael Mazzei
Realistic first-round targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs by Kyle Cushman
Leaflets: Too quiet until it isn’t, Friedman has me scared, …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Jesse Puljujarvi is available and the Leafs need to be all over it

After yet another first-round existence, the Leafs are sure to make plenty of changes to the makeup of their roster in an attempt to improve their chances of a better fortune in 2022-23.
The need for more scoring throughout their lineup beyond the big four has continued to remain apparent as the Leafs have only scored one goal or less in the past four series-deciding games. Having more reliable offensive threats further down the lineup has proven time and time again as a necessity for teams to go on deep runs in the playoffs, and the Leafs should be exploring every possible option.
Whether it be through free agency (Rickard Rakell), an internal option (Nick Robertson), or a trade, finding some additional scoring options is the second most important thing for the Leafs to do this offseason, with goaltending being atop the to-do list. So if there is an intriguing option that has some upside and can be obtained for a reasonable price when compared to the market, it’s something Kyle Dubas and company need to be all over.
This is why this recent report from Kevin Weekes should have team management salivating:

I’m told the @EdmontonOilers are actively shopping F Jesse Puljujarvi, and there’s some interest from clubs in market for his services. Curious to see if there’s a match for potential deal between now and next week’s Entry Dra …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Report: Curtis Sanford expected to join Maple Leafs goaltending department this summer

It sounds like the Maple Leafs have added a former NHL goaltender to assist in the day-to-day goaltending operations next season.
After this year finished, Toronto took a hard look at their goaltending and decided Steve Briere wasn’t getting the job done in a way they would’ve liked. So, they didn’t renew his contract heading into the 2022-23 season.
That meant extensive research inside the organization looking at their needs, plus exploration on who they should bring in next.
Finally, after radio silence ever since the signing of Mark Giordano, it seems Toronto has found someone and his name is Curtis Sanford. In an article from NorthStar Bets’ Chris Johnston, he reports that Sanford “made a particularly strong impression” and is expected to join the Maple Leafs.
“By all accounts, the Leafs have cast a wide net since deciding not to extend a new contract to goalie coach Steve Briere last month. Word is they’ve spoken to a variety of potential replacements, including those currently employed by other NHL organizations. Sources say Curtis Sanford made a particularly strong impression. He’s expected to join the Leafs organization after working the past five years for the Vancouver Canucks in goalie development. It’s not entirely clear how the roles will be divided in Toronto’s growing goaltender department or when they’ll be announced publicly. But it’s telling that Dubas wanted to conduct an an …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Put Alexander Mogilny in the Hockey Hall of Fame already

Leafs legend Alexander Mogilny has been eligible for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame since 2009, but every June comes and goes without the “Call to the Hall”. Some of this is justified: simply better players have become eligible over the years, which has bumped him down the order. But for Mogilny to go 13 induction cycles without being selected to the Hall is puzzling considering some of his career accomplishments:
Top-100 all-time in points (81st – 1032)
Top-75 all-time in goals (56th – 473)
One of only six players to score 70+ goals in a season (76G in 77GP in 1992-93)
8x 30 goal-scorer (full-season pace: 10x)
4x 40 goal-scorer (full-season pace: 6x)
2x 100 points-scorer (full-season pace: 3x)
1x Stanley Cup champion (NJD, 2000)
1x Rocket Richard trophy* (*if it existed in 1992-93, tied with Teemu Selanne)
1x Lady Byng trophy (2003)
NHL record for most game-winning goals in a season (11 in 1992-93)
NHL record for fastest goal to start a game (5 seconds)
One of 30 members of Triple Gold Club (Olympic Gold in 1988, World Championship in 1989, Stanley Cup in 2000)
First Russian to be made Captain of an NHL club
Add in the cultural element of being the first player to defect from the Soviet Union to play …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

Matthew Knies and Ty Voit have been invited to the USA Hockey World Junior evaluation camp

Some Leafs news popped up this afternoon as USA Hockey has made their announcement of who will be attending their evaluation camp that will serve as the final look for the World Juniors tournament this summer and the first look for the World Juniors tournament around Christmas.

The 60 players that will attend the 2022 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp have been announced!
Details → https://t.co/WHs3tb7xSG pic.twitter.com/LxbK7PlOJH
— USA Hockey (@usahockey) June 21, 2022

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Matthew Knies finds himself on this list. The highly touted prospect was selected to the Olympic team so the World Juniors are a virtual lock for him this summer, but his age will make him ineligible for the winter tournament.
Enter Leafs up and comer Ty Voit, who is coming off a big year with the Sarnia Sting. Voit might be a long shot for the summer team as much of the players who were originally slated to attend the tournament last Christmas are likely to return, but Voit is one of the more interesting options for this December and should get a strong chance to make his case.
The camp also has the potential to include a future Maple Leaf as there isn’t any shortage of 2022 draft eligibles on the invite list.
The evaluation camp runs from July 24th-August 3rd, and will immediately be followed by the 2022 World Junior Tournament in Edmonton from August 9th-20th. The 2023 tournament is slated for December 26th-January 3rd in Halifax and Moncton.
More from TheLeafsNation.com

It’s time for the Maple Leafs to hire a Director of Goaltending and give that position a seat at the table by David Alter

The Maple Leafs tradability tiers for the summer of 2022 by Jon Steitzer

Maple Le …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A similar situation arises if the Maple Leafs were to take a gamble on Mackenzie Blackwood

Many have discussed the Maple Leafs signing a free agent goaltender, but what about a trade that isn’t for John Gibson?
Last week, DailyFaceoff’s Frank Seravalli released a Trade Targets list which featured a number of high-profile names. Players like J.T. Miller, Alex DeBrincat, and Kevin Fiala rounded out the top of the list, but there were some interesting pieces at the bottom too.
Just last night, though, Seravalli added a few more names to his list — Jesper Bratt, Anthony Beauvillier, and Mackenzie Blackwood. We’re going to look a little bit closer into the 25-year-old netminder because, well, the Maple Leafs might need both a starter and a backup, and Blackwood could make sense.
From Seravalli’s Trade Targets article on Blackwood:
“Scoop: It wasn’t long ago that Blackwood was considered the next hot, young netminder. He has the pedigree as a high second-round pick and his first 70 NHL games were excellent from 2018 to 2020. Blackwood struggled with a heel injury last season and his numbers have struggled for two seasons now. The sense is the Devils, who can ill afford another season with shoddy goaltending, have lost faith in Blackwood. He could be a great option for a bounce back campaign in tandem with a veteran on a strong team with limited salary cap resources.”
Let’s start off with saying that Blackwood has one more year remaining on his deal with New Jersey …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Matt Murray Speculation, Campbell’s agent is talking to the Leafs, and John Gibson talk won’t go away

The downside to the cone of silence around the Leafs is the fact that we’ve really got little to go off of for credible rumours. There’s no shortage of wild speculation and flights of fancy, but trying to guess what the Leafs are up to remains a mystery or is in fact being determined this week.
Jonas Siegel’s report on Campbell (which we’ll get to later) had this little tidbit from Campbell’s agent about where the Leafs are presently focused:
“There’s still so much time,” Overhardt said, noting that teams, including the Leafs, were likely in the midst of, or had recently completed, their pro scouting meetings.
So that’s something worth noting. If teams are just closing off their pro scout meetings it’s highly likely that next week is when we start getting leaks of the players discussed. Please. Give us something and preferably not goalie related. Anyways, here’s some goalie related stuff.
Matt Murray isn’t a good idea even if he isn’t the worst idea either
Initially Murray’s name was dropped by Chris Johnston on a TSN radio hit and that led to The Athletic exploring the idea of the Leafs acquiring Matt Murray in a back and forth between Ian Mendes and Jonas Siegel. As far as I can tell the only basis for this speculation is that Matt Murray played for the Keefe/Dubas era Soo Greyhounds. That’s not nothing and as Dubas has shown time and time again, there is some value in familiarity. Still Matt Murray isn’t an ideal target.
Murray is three years removed from being healthy, and three years removed from strong r …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Exploring what the Maple Leafs defence core should look like next season

What the Maple Leafs defence should look like is always up for debate — every year.
Last season, it seemed like there were arguments almost daily about who should and shouldn’t be in Toronto’s lineup on the back-end. The players discussed then were Justin Holl, Travis Dermott, Timothy Liljegren, and Rasmus Sandin.
As the year went on, it became quite clear who the Maple Leafs’ best defenceman of that group was and his name is Sandin. Unfortunately, he was injured prior to the playoffs and didn’t get to play, but it’s evident that the 22-year-old is an every day player.
Liljegren was also another name that improved a great amount as the season went on. He might’ve been one of the Maple Leafs’ most-improved players of the last year.
Toronto, like it always seems though, has a logjam on their hands at defence. There’s only three spots on the right side with what seems like could be four defencemen in line for it.
It could work out to three if the Maple Leafs could find a way to move Jake Muzzin in the second last year of his contract. However I don’t see that happening.
What does a successful summer for the Leafs look like?
With a no-trade clause until next season, it seems like an unrealistic possibility that the 33-year-old gets moved. Although his cap hit is $5.625 million for the next two seasons, Muzzin is incredibly …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation