If rumours of trades and offer sheets are to be believed, the 2019 NHL Draft could be the beginning of massive waves of change to the Leafs organization over the next couple of weeks. Before the craziness begins in just a few short hours, I just wanted to touch on a few small pieces of Leafs news that have occurred over the last few weeks.
- First off, a hearty congratulations to the Newfoundland Growlers on winning the Kelly Cup Championship, in their inaugural season no less. This is significant because it marks the first professional championship to a hockey team based in Newfoundland, as well as being the second Leafs-adjacent championship in as many years. Best of luck to them as they attempt to defend the Cup next season.
- Speaking of the Growlers, the Leafs announced shortly after the finals that head coach John Snowden has been given a two-year contract extension. Snowden began the year as an assistant on the bench but stepped into the head coach role after Ryan Clowe stepped down due to medical issues. The extension was well earned and not just because he led the team to a championship. The Leafs have stated in the past their desire to really embrace the opportunity to use their ECHL affiliate as a place to develop young prospects and international talent and Snowden certainly knows how to bring out the best in his players.
- Last, but not least, the Toronto Maple Leafs have announced their preseason schedule for the 2019-20 season. As per usual, the Leafs will play eight games against division rivals beginning on September 17th at Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland facing the Ottawa Senators. The team will also be holding their entire training camp in Newfoundland, a fact that’s pretty exciting to local fans such as myself. The remainder of the preseason schedule is as follows:
- September 18th @ Ottawa
- September 20th VS Buffalo
- September 21st @ Buffalo
- September 23rd @ Montreal
- September 25th VS Montreal
- September 27th @ Detroit
- September 28th VS Detroit
That’s all for this time, now we turn our attention to the draft. Please don’t trade Mitch Marner.