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Sports Quick Shifts: Maple Leafs’ Dubas scouting free agents in bubble

18:17  01 august  2020
18:17  01 august  2020 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin out for remainder of preliminary round series

  Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Muzzin out for remainder of preliminary round series TORONTO — The Maple Leafs say defenceman Jake Muzzin has been discharged from hospital and is back at the team's hotel, but will not return to the lineup during Toronto's playoff qualification series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Maple Leafs said in a statement that Muzzin will remain in quarantine within the hotel and "look to rejoin his teammates upon recovery." Muzzin was injured late in the third period of Toronto's 3-0 win overThe Maple Leafs said in a statement that Muzzin will remain in quarantine within the hotel and "look to rejoin his teammates upon recovery.

1. As the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare to face the Arizona Coyotes Saturday, let’s share an interesting contrast between the Dubas said he and Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe would occasionally engage in blowups post-game, and they were Quick Shifts : Intriguing, NHL-ready free agent leaves KHL early.

Why Maple Leafs are competing for free agent Alexander Barabanov. Chayka’s negotiations with Hall’s agent , Darren Ferris, won’t plunge into the nitty-gritty of exchanging numbers and salary structures until the Maple Leafs ' Dubas sees signs of sophistication in team following pause.

Kyle Dubas wearing a suit and tie: Kyle-Dubas-Toronto-Maple-Leafs © Christopher Katsarov/CP Kyle-Dubas-Toronto-Maple-Leafs

A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. It’s about to get nuts.

1. The trade deadline is more than five months in the rear view. Bubble rosters are locked and loaded. So, besides moral support, agonizing over their teams’ mistakes and providing a soundboard for their coaching staffs, what purpose do general managers serve in the bubble?

Keefe: Leafs needed a 'little more luck' against Blue Jackets

  Keefe: Leafs needed a 'little more luck' against Blue Jackets Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe believes a couple of bounces could've changed the course of his team's best-of-five series against the Columbus Blue Jackets. "A little more luck and it might be a different result," Keefe said postgame after Toronto fell 3-0 in Game 5, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. The Blue Jackets' defense stymied the Maple Leafs' third-ranked regular-season offense, with Toronto scoring just three goals at five-on-five in the series, thanks in part to a 1.97 shooting percentage, according to Natural Stat Trick. Toronto controlled 55.1% of the scoring chances and 59.

The Maple Leafs are testing a theory to lessen Frederik Andersen's workload, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel chime in on Taylor Hall's trade, the death of Here's all the top plays from this past week in the NHL, including Auston Matthews' highlight reel goal vs. the Sabres, Jonathan Quick with some

A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling “I’m kinda staying out of it, letting Kyle [ Dubas ] and my agent talk about it,” Marner says. He was the one tapped by Leafs brass “for a quick 20-minute skate,” he says, that the club filmed for Tavares’s free

They’ll be scouting, with a keen eye to next season, which — if all goes according to plan — will fly at them faster than a Connor McDavid rush. The Stanley Cup, fingers crossed, could be hoisted as late as Oct. 4, and the league is targeting Dec. 1 to drop the puck all over again.

In the case of the Toronto Maple Leafs, coach Sheldon Keefe is immersed in the day-to-day, and while president Brendan Shanahan and GM Kyle Dubas certainly care about the next game, they’re also undergoing daily COVID-19 tests so they can step back and see the big picture — which could involve bubble personnel wearing other uniforms.

“The long term is where I’m spending a lot of my downtime,” Dubas explains. “Thinking about where our team will be going and looking at various different free agents that might be available that are here and playing, or even the games that are going to be on from Edmonton.

Defenceman Teemu Kivihalme signs contract extension with Maple Leafs

  Defenceman Teemu Kivihalme signs contract extension with Maple Leafs TORONTO — Defenceman Teemu Kivihalme and the Toronto Maple Leafs agreed to a two-year extension on his two-way contract on Saturday. The NHL salary of the contract carries an average annual value of $725,000. Kivihalme, 25, recorded four goals and 14 assists with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies in 2019-20. Before joining the Maple Leafs organization in 2019, the Cloquet, Minn., native played a pair of season with Karpat (Liiga), skating in 104 regular season games with 13 goals and 37 assists. In 34 playoff games with Karpat, he recorded four goals and five assists, winning an SM-liiga championship in 2018 and capturing a silver medal in 2019.

Gigantic Maple Leafs prospect Eemeli Rasanen talks about his mean streak, why Timothy Liljegren needs to stay in North America, Jaromir Jagr "cared A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. 1. Eemeli Rasanen flashes a devilish

In his early days with the Toronto Maple Leafs , Mike Babcock envisioned a decade-long tenure to match the one he had in Detroit. Even with four years still left on his contract and Dubas ’ current expression of support, the status quo The winds have shifted and Babcock needs to adjust his sails.

“This is a great chance to watch a lot of games of those players and really deeply study them before we head into what we hope will be a rapid succession of events from Stanley Cup Final to draft and free agency.”

Between a champagne-soaked Rogers Place and a brand-new training camp, executives will need to cram in all their signings, trades, draft picks, offer sheets and arbitration cases into a month-and-a-half whirlwind.

Toss in the fact that new CBA has eliminated the week-long wine-and-dine period for UFAs, and the pressure to quickly identify and pursue your targets will be hastened.

“A lot will have to get done in that time. So I think this is just an awesome opportunity: you’re in the same hotel or the same areas in the same facilities as a lot of these other teams, and you can learn a lot about teams and their players just by watching and observing the way they are off the ice and on, and I think this is a great opportunity for us,” Dubas says.

Poor special teams play sinks Canadiens vs. Leafs in exhibition play

  Poor special teams play sinks Canadiens vs. Leafs in exhibition play The Canadiens returned to the ice for the first time in more than four months and they did little to dispel the notion that they don’t belong in the NHL playoffs as they lost 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their lone exhibition game before they face the Pittsburgh Penguins in a best-of-five qualifying round of the NHL Return to Play beginning Saturday at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. The Canadiens looked like the team that had been left for dead when the NHL season was halted on March 12. The offence had trouble finishing, particularly on the power play, which means the Canadiens have to rely on goaltender Carey Price.

How the Maple Leafs sold John Tavares on their defence, Auston Matthews sticks up for William Nylander, Canucks stars want Alex Edler to stay, plus A quick mix of the things we gleaned from the week of hockey, serious and less so, and rolling four lines deep. 1. We’ve become so accustomed to

The Toronto Maple Leafs have fired Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle in a major front-office shakeup that has also seen them hire analytics wonderkid Kyle Dubas as their new assistant GM. Shanahan added that Dubas ’s specific duties for the Leafs were ironed out at dinner with Nonis on Monday night.

What a unique opportunity, to observe how other teams function and how opposing players carry themselves around their teammates and in public.

“It’s great,” Dubas says. “You’ve got 12 NHL teams playing for very high stakes, and they’re happening, essentially, 200 steps from where you’re living for the next number of months. So, if we don’t have a practice or a set team function, I think most of us will be there watching.”

2. One impending UFA who brings a skillset that could complement Dubas’s teams may not last until the open market.

If Washington Capitals GM Brian McLellan gets his way, Brenden Dillon could turn into more than just a rental.

“I talked to his representatives pretty consistently since we’ve gotten him,” MacLellan said Friday. “We’ll continue to talk and see if we can work something out at the end here.”

Dillon, too, has said interest in staying in D.C. is mutual.

“For me as a player and being part of the Caps, it’s been awesome, and hopefully I can be here,” Dillon told reporters. “I’m happy with being a Washington Capital from Day 1 when I came here with the trade. They made me feel right at home. I think the system, the way we play from the D-corps on, I feel a big part of things here.”

Leafs' Robertson, Liljegren crack play-in roster

  Leafs' Robertson, Liljegren crack play-in roster Toronto Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson and defenseman Timothy Liljegren have been selected as part of the club's 31-man roster for Phase 4 of the NHL's return, the team announced Sunday. Liljegren, 21, appeared in 11 games with the Maple Leafs this season. His status for the play-in round was uncertain after he was deemed unfit to play earlier this month and replaced on the Phase 3 roster by Mac Hollowell. The 18-year-old Robertson wasLiljegren, 21, appeared in 11 games with the Maple Leafs this season. His status for the play-in round was uncertain after he was deemed unfit to play earlier this month and replaced on the Phase 3 roster by Mac Hollowell.

Toronto Maple Leafs ' William Nylander is among five notable restricted free agents in need of a new contract prior to Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas sits down with Nick Kypreos and David Amber to talk about signing Quick Shifts : 'Wild card' Nick Robertson pushes fate to the wire.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Rasmus Sandin. The Toronto Maple Leafs 2018 first-round pick’s pro career got off to a rocky start this fall. Sportsnet NOW gives you access to over 500 NHL games this season, blackout- free , including Hockey Night in Canada, Rogers Hometown Hockey, Scotiabank

With Dillon feeling more at ease with his new club after reset camp, and contract talks underway, one must wonder about the future of UFA-to-be Radko Gudas, who dressed as the Caps’ seventh defenceman in their exhibition victory this week.

The rugged Gudas, a right shot, would improve most teams’ bottom pairing. This season he delivered positive shot metrics despite beginning the majority of his shifts in his own zone. He kills penalties, hits like a Mack truck, and was a career-best plus-15.

At an average ice time of 16:44, however, Washington used Gudas less frequently than he was in any of his seasons in Philadelphia.

3. When Leafs depth forward Egor Korshkov, a Phase 3 participant, failed to make the club’s bubble roster, it was soon reported he’d agreed to return to the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, with whom he spent five seasons before joining the Toronto Marlies’ 2019 playoff run.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Korshkov won’t be back in Canada sometime in 2021.

The pandemic has thrown all leagues’ schedules out of whack, so Dubas will treat each prospect on an individual basis, working out agreements that best serve development instead of going with a cookie-cutter policy for everyone in the system.

“Due to the circumstances that are impacting the world everywhere, we have to be a little bit more agile in our thinking in terms of what we want with our prospects,” Dubas explains. “None of these things are official yet, but some of these players have had relationships in Europe and they played in different places in Europe.

Blue Jackets shut out Maple Leafs to take Game 1

  Blue Jackets shut out Maple Leafs to take Game 1 Cam Atkinson scored early in the third period and Alexander Wennberg added an empty-netter as the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-0 in the opening game of their qualifying-round series Sunday night. Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo stopped all 28 shots he faced in the victory, while Maple Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen turned aside 33 of the 34 shots Columbus fired his way. Atkinson was involved in both Blue Jackets goals, registering a secondary assist on Wennberg's tally after the Maple Leafs pulled Andersen for the extra attacker.Columbus outshot Toronto 27-17 over the final 40 minutes.

“If those places are safe and they’ve done a great job versus the virus and their seasons are going to start, it’s a great opportunity for us to see those players begin to get some game action.”

When NHL camps reopen in mid-November (virus willing), Toronto could bring a prospect back into the fold or decide to leave him for a full season to develop overseas.

“Those seasons should be wrapping up when we’re about halfway through our [202-21] NHL season, and then [we could] bring them over,” Dubas says.

4. How’s this for a crazy Connor McDavid stat?

McDavid has just as many career blocked shots in the playoffs as he does points: nine (hat tip to Chris Cuthbert).

Anyone else have a sneaking suspicion the Oilers captain is going to make a bunch of his peers look foolish for suggesting he’s not one of the NHL’s top three “most outstanding” hockey players?

5. ICYMI: David Amber conducted a solid intermission interview with Canucks GM Jim Benning on Wednesday, asking if UFA Jacob Markstrom’s performance in this return to play will affect contract negotiations.

“I don’t think that’s part of it,” Benning replied. “We’ve got a good relationship with Jacob, and we talked again [Tuesday]. We’re going to get something figured out for him.”

Matthews excited for relaxed dress code in bubble

  Matthews excited for relaxed dress code in bubble Toronto Maple Leafs superstar and quasi-fashion icon Auston Matthews is looking forward to ditching the traditional pregame suit and tie when the NHL officially returns. As part of the CBA, players are ordered to wear a suit and tie on game days "unless otherwise specified by the head coach or general manager." The NHL is the only major professional sports league in North America that follows such a strict dress code. However, a relaxed dressAs part of the CBA, players are ordered to wear a suit and tie on game days "unless otherwise specified by the head coach or general manager." The NHL is the only major professional sports league in North America that follows such a strict dress code.

Markstrom’s agent, Pat Morris, will sit down with Benning — sounding as confident as we’ve heard him on the topic — and sort out the details upon conclusion of the playoffs.

“We want to keep him on the team. He’s been a good goalie for us here the past couple years and a big part of our team.”

6. Never imagined being so excited to be heading to a rink in the middle of a sunny August day.

Goalie Watch™ — certain to be a recurring topic in this qualification round — begins with a doozy: Rangers vs. Hurricanes at 12 p.m. ET.

Henrik Lundqvist routinely elevates his game in the post-season (.922 save percentage) and looked solid in the exhibition game he split with wonder rookie Igor Shesterkin. As of Friday night, Game 1’s starter was still a secret.

And the Rangers are far from the only team in that boat.

“That’s probably the biggest question mark,” John Tortorella said of his own goalie tandem.

“They could both play in a series. They could both play in the same game.”

The sense is, short leashes will be the order of the week.

“This is a sprint. I’m not waiting to get a guy going in a game. I’m going to go with the guys that are going – that’s from goaltenders right on out,” Tortorella said.

The man is bubbling with urgency and will coach accordingly. Questions like “Are they tired?” and “What are we gonna get from the next game?” will not be asked on his bench.

“In a five-game series? Are you kidding me? Things change pretty quickly in a five-game series,” Tortorella said.

“We’re going to give everybody a chance to see what they can do, but then you have to make decisions as the game goes on to try to win that particular game. It’s not about thinking about the series and the other games. It is about that particular game.”

7. After London Knights star Liam Foudy shone in the Jackets’ 4-1 exhibition win over the Bruins Thursday, setting up Boone Jenner’s opening goal, I loved Tortorella’s decisive response to a general question about how the kid looked.

NBA: Family emergency: Clippers star has to leave

 NBA: Family emergency: Clippers star has to leave Montrezl Harrell has left the NBA bubble in Disney World Orlando. The L.A. Clippers power forward apparently has to attend a family emergency, but wants to return to the team at a later date. © Provided by SPOX Montrezl Harrell has left the NBA bubble in Disney World for family reasons. Both Shams Charania ( The Athletic ) and Ohm Youngmisuk ( ESPN ) report this in unison. When the 26-year-old will return to the bubble is still uncertain.

“He’ll be in the [Game 1] lineup. He has played well. He’s had a good camp. Where he sits on lines, I don’t know yet,” Tortorella announced.

“Thing I like about Fouds is, he’s not afraid. He’s not afraid to make a play. A very intelligent player. So, he’ll be in our lineup.”

Nice little OHL duality here with the Leafs expected to bring in their own young left winger, Peterborough Petes sniper Nick Robertson, to the series.

8. The Blue Jackets forced the Bruins into 22(!) giveaways Thursday night. Part of that was Boston’s rustiness, of course; most of it was relentless pressure and a forecheck to be reckoned with. (Columbus only gave it away eight times.)

“They were on us early, forced a lot of turnovers,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “The weakest part of our game was our execution on the breakout — we weren’t clean.”

Small sample size and all that, but this is a scary sign for the Maple Leafs, who suffer a similar flaw.

Toronto rated 24th league-wide in turnovers per 60 minutes with 10.92.

Sunday night, watch for how the Leafs defenders are able to exit their own end — and how much puck support they get from forwards coming back to help with quick outlets.

9. Here is Tuukka Rask’s explanation for wearing a Boston Police ball cap for a televised NBCSN interview this week and then linking arms with the Blue Jackets at centre ice Thursday as an intended show of support to the black community:

“Listen, it was actually a recorded interview, even though they said it was live. I just put a hat on in the morning. It was not a statement. I definitely respect what’s going on in the world right now, and I know I stand with everybody for anti-racism,” Rask said Thursday night.

“I really didn’t mean to offend anybody, so there’s that. It was a recorded interview, I just put a hat on in the morning, and there’s that.”

10. Zach Werenski and Auston Matthews — a couple of ’97 borns and close friends stretching back to their U.S. national development team days —have put the fraternizing on hold until the Leafs-Jackets series declares a victor.

Under regular playoff circumstances, that’s not so tricky, but both guys are living at the Royal York.

“I don’t think we’ll be grabbing any meals or anything like that. I’m sure if I see him in the lobby elevator or something, we’ll catch up, but obviously it’s different when you’re playing against the team,” Werenski says.

“If I see [Boston’s Charlie] McAvoy around or someone I’m not playing against right now, I’m sure it’s a little different, but we’re in the middle of the series against Toronto and he’s on Toronto. You don’t really want to get too friendly with them.

“We’re here to win, and we have a job to do, and [we] kind of put that friendship aside when it comes to hockey time — and playoff time especially.”

11. A behind-the-scenes business note.

Inside the Toronto bubble, Neely noticed boxes and boxes filled with various dasherboard advertisements sitting in the locker room area. The boxes are labelled with team names, so the rink crew knows which logos to plaster up for the home side’s broadcast. They rotate every game.

So, if you’re binging hockey this weekend and think the ads are changing, you’re not going crazy — and they’re not being superimposed digitally.

“The league has made a conscious effort to try to have some make-goods with sponsors on all teams, so, yeah, you will see different dasherboard advertisements depending on what team is playing,” Neely said.

The lengths to maximize revenue and keep sponsors happy reminds us of the uncertainty that is 2020-21 and sustaining an 82-game season around rinks that are much less than full.

“It’ll be difficult to play many games without fans from a business perspective, I think,” Neely said.

“Everybody’s anticipating some kind of a [virus] spike in the fall. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but I don’t know if we can play too many games without fans. Everybody’s building out these models without fans: a third fans, half fans, full building…. But it’s all speculation.”

A harsh but realistic reminder to savour the hockey we’re getting right now.

12. Rest in peace, Eddie Shack. Only heard great legend of your play, but I grew up a Pop Shoppe fiend.

NBA: Family emergency: Clippers star has to leave .
Montrezl Harrell has left the NBA bubble in Disney World Orlando. The L.A. Clippers power forward apparently has to attend a family emergency, but wants to return to the team at a later date. © Provided by SPOX Montrezl Harrell has left the NBA bubble in Disney World for family reasons. Both Shams Charania ( The Athletic ) and Ohm Youngmisuk ( ESPN ) report this in unison. When the 26-year-old will return to the bubble is still uncertain.

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