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2021 NHL Trade Deadline: The Maple Leafs probably won’t make a move. – Pension Plan Puppets



We are just under a week away from the 2021 NHL trade deadline and all anyone can talk about is the possible moves Kyle Dubas could make for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Should we be looking at this week as an important time for building the Maple Leafs? Last year the Leafs stood pat as punishment for a team who couldn’t be bothered to try hard and show up for practice after they lost to a damn zamboni driver.

This year, as noted above, there’s plenty of chatter about adding a goalie due to Frederik Andersen’s injury this season, or some depth players to help round out the line up. Depth adds are usually what most people talk about with the Maple Leafs, with the top six solidified and the salary cap pushed to the limit. Have they made major moves this late in the season? Let’s take a look back at the week leading up to trade deadlines of GMs Kyle Dubas and Lou Lamoriello.

February 24th, 2020

Last year’s deadline was done for the Maple Leafs because in the eyes of Kyle Dubas the team didn’t deserve any help.

We’ve shown enough throughout our run and since Sheldon has been at the helm to give you a great sense of optimism. We also have some games where we rightfully, I think, draw the doubts of a lot of people. The best way to put it is to use a Jekyll and Hyde way to describe it. I think it is up to our entire program — starting with me on to Sheldon and onto the players — to find our way out of it and be the best version of ourselves that we can every single day for our organization and our fan base in order to get where we want to go.

At the 2020 deadline the Maple Leafs did nothing but small, minor-league moves.

2020 Trade Deadline

Max Veronneau Michael Hutchinson
Denis Malgin Jordan Schmaltz
Miikka Salomaki Martins Dzierkals
2020 5th round pick Ben Harpur
Matt Lorito Mason Marchment
Calle Rosen Aaron Luchuk
2021 Conditional 6th round pick

All the names coming in and going out are nobodies. Heck, Martins Dzierkals was just a body thrown into the three way deal with Vegas and Chicago to make it legal. The 5th round pick acquired was originally the Leafs’ pick in the first place, so they just got their own back (it was used on Dmitry Ovchinnikov). A big ol’ nothing of a trade deadline. The Leafs’ big moves came well ahead of time, bringing in Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford at the start of February.

February 25th, 2019

Two years ago was an even bigger pile of nothing. The day before the deadline the Leafs acquired Nick Baptiste from the Nashville Predators for “future considerations” and on deadline day itself the Leafs picked up Nic Petan from the Winnipeg Jets* for the oft forgotten Par Lindholm. Baptiste would end up in an AHL trade with Belleville for Miles Gendron, and Petan floats around between the Leafs and Marlies.

February 26th, 2018

Again only two trades in the week ahead of the deadline; Eric Fehr was sent to San Jose for a 2020 7th round pick (John Fusco) and on deadline day itself we got an actual trade that mattered:

From Montreal: Tomas Plekanec, Kyle Baun
From Toronto: Rinat Valiev, Kerby Rychel, 2018 2nd round pick

A real post-rebuild trade bringing in a veteran for the playoffs, Plekanec didn’t bring much in the regular season but in the series vs Boston he played like the Plekanec we knew he could be and scored four points in seven games. He’d go back to Montreal to play his 1,000th game the next season before leaving the NHL after that moment to play in the Cezch Republic. Kyle Baun was some guy.

The only big loss in the trade was the second round pick – Rychel and Valiev never panned out to NHL players. Montreal would select Jacob Olofsson, who is still playing in Sweden.

March 1st, 2017

A late deadline in 2017 gave the Maple Leafs time to make moves they thought would push them from builders to playoff participants, and participate they did.

Just over a week ahead of the deadline they moved Viktor Loov to the Devils for Sergey Kalinin who left the Marlies for the KHL as soon as he could.

Then five days ahead of the deadline they acquired Brian Boyle from the Lightning for Byron Froese and a 2017 2nd round pick (Alexander Volkov, later traded to the Ducks). Boyle wasn’t a huge impact for the Leafs and didn’t much care to be here. He would leave for New Jersey in the off-season.

On deadline day it was what the Leafs thought was their big move. They brought in Eric Fehr, Steven Oleksy, and a 2017 4th round pick (Vladislav Kara) for the often scratched internet hockey legend Frank Corrado. Fehr promptly got himself injured, and Oleksy never played in the NHL again. But, hey, Corrado got his much deserved full time NHL career that the Leafs were holding him back from, right? Right?

February 29th, 2016

Leap day gave the Maple Leafs an extra day to clear out some extra players they had lying around who were too good for the tanking team. After Dion Phaneuf was moved to the Senators at the start of February, the Leafs waited until the deadline to move a few more bodies.

February 21st: The Maple Leafs move Shawn Matthias to the Colorado Avalanche for Colin Smith and a 2016 4th round pick (Keaton Middleton). Matthias was a tank-year body, one of those guys who played every game ahead of the deadline and you forget was on the team. Colin Smith was an AHLer, and Keaton Middleton looks to be the same.

February 22nd: Maple Leafs send Roman Polak and Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks for Raffi Torres, a 2017 2nd (went to Anaheim, selected Maxime Comtois), and a 2018 2nd (Sean Durzi). The first of two trades with the Sharks, the Maple Leafs did Polak a favour and sent him to a contender while the Leafs would tell Torres to stay home. They would use both of the picks in trades – the 2017 pick was in the Frederik Andersen trade and the 2018 pick would become Sean Durzi who would be traded for Jake Muzzin.

February 27th, 2018: The Leafs hooked up with the Sharks once again, this time sending James Reimer and Jeremy Morin out west in exchange for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith, and a 2018 3rd round pick (Riley Stotts). Reimer would join Polak on the Sharks as they went to the Stanley Cup Final that year (losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins). Stalock would not be played by the Leafs in what he calls the “lowest point of my career”. Ben Smith was an NHL/AHL tweener, and Riley Stotts is still in the WHL.

February 28th, 2018: The next day the Leafs traded Daniel Winnik away for the second trade deadline in a row. The Leafs send Winnik and a 2016 5th round pick (Beck Malenstyn) to the Capitals for Brooks Laich, Connor Carrick, and a 2016 2nd round pick (Carl Grundstrom). The Capitals needed to move Laich for cap room, and Carrick was an uneven player at the time so he was easy to move.

Laich would later be assigned to the Marlies and waived for speaking out about his demotion, and Carrick would be waived a few seasons later and claimed by the Dallas Stars. Grundstrom would be moved to the LA Kings for Jake Muzzin.

Huh. Both prospects moved for Muzzin came out of this deadline. That’s kinda neat.

Those are all the week of moves from the Maple Leafs, and none of them were earth shaking. Parts of those trades became pieces of huge trades later on that gave us daily players for this team, but those moves weren’t done at the trade deadline.

The Maple Leafs in the cap era have never made a significant move at the trade deadline. The last time they made a trade that I would consider huge in the week leading up to the trade deadlines would be in the ahead of the lost season in 2004 when they brought in Ron Francis and Brian Leetch, and the deadline before that when they brought back Doug Gilmour and added Phil Housley and Glen Wesley.

Ah, the pre-cap days of insane deadline moves, I miss you.

The Maple Leafs could surprise us, but right now I’d bet on a quiet trade deadline.

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Oilers Rookie Notebook: Dylan Holloway’s wrist injury a tough blow –



EDMONTON — The first blow came even before Edmonton Oilers rookie camp had opened, with prized prospect Dylan Holloway going under the knife Tuesday to repair a broken scaphoid bone in his left wrist.

What made it even more disappointing was, after busting the bone in the NCAA playoffs with the University of Wisconsin, Holloway had surgery after Wisconsin’s season ended in late March in Chicago that was designed to have him ready to play hockey this fall. But that surgery failed.

Holloway, Edmonton’s first-round pick in 2020 (14th overall) lunched with Holland during a Calgary world junior camp in August, and the Oilers GM didn’t like what he heard.

“He was telling me that he couldn’t shoot, couldn’t take draws. He was getting frustrated,” Holland said. “We were five to six months down the road … and there was very little healing going on. Probably about 30 per cent. The decision was made: nothing was really happening, and we’d need to start the process all over again.”

Holloway is only 19, but can play in the American Hockey League. He was likely destined for Bakersfield this year, which is definitely where he will be assigned when he heals up sometime around the new year.


No Room At The Inn

The Oilers roster is pretty much set with veterans, with precious few (if any) spots for a youngster to worm his way into the NHL.

But two left shot defencemen who may have the best shot — along with left winger Tyler Benson — are both in town and ready to begin their North American transition in earnest. Dmitri Samorukov and Philip Broberg are at the Rookie Camp prep’ing for main camp, where it isn’t a total reach that one might be able to stick around.

“They’re both going to be in North America,” said Holland, who had good news when doctors cleared Samorukov for full contact after a January shoulder injury suffered in Moscow. “He was playing very well in the KHL, but hasn’t played hockey since January. Two years of pro — one in Bakersfield, one in (the KHL) — and I’m also excited to see where Broberg is at, like everybody else.

“Do they force their way onto the Edmonton Oilers roster? Or do they have to go down to the American League and continue their development into NHL defencemen? That’s what we’re trying to find out, but they are both here (in North America) to stay.”

Samorukov, 22, played a season in Bakersfield then went home to CSKA Moscow last year, the club where he was raised as a player. Broberg, 20, spent two developmental seasons in Sweden’s top league with Skelleftea, while limping through the 2021 World Junior here in Edmonton.

“I had a knee injury and a shoulder injury at the World Juniors. It was difficult,” said the defenceman, who played through the pain. “It is an honour to play for your country, especially at the World Juniors.”

Broberg said he was about “80 percent” when he returned to Skelleftea, and by season’s end, his minutes were down. Samorukov injured his shoulder in a January battle drill during practice and lost the back half of his KHL season, but says the last two seasons have him ready to challenge for a spot on an NHL blue line.

“When I first came to the AHL two years ago, it was really good for me. Learning how to be a pro player,” he said. “Then, the season in the KHL, I established myself as a pro player. Now, we’re trying to knock in the door. To do our best.”

Remember, Samorukov first came over as a 17-year-old to play three junior seasons for the Guelph Storm. He had 45 points in 59 games in his 19-year-old season and then nicely quarterbacked the Russian powerplay at the World Juniors in Vancouver-Victoria. But the 197-pounmder has settled on a less offensive game as a pro.

“Of course when you come from junior you have a lot of points. You think you might be something special,” he smiled. “Then you realize you have some guys who can really get points. (You learn) what kind of game you have to play. I know who I am right now.”

Samorukov was part of the ask by Arizona when they were peddling goalie Darcy Kuemper, a package considered too rich by Holland. Now, we’ll begin to get a closer look at the 2017 third-rounder, who moves a nice puck and stands six-foot-three.

“This rookie camp offers him a good chance to get up and running,” said Bakersfield head coach Jay Woodcroft, “so he’s feeling confident heading into main camp next week.”

Tyler’s Time?

Is this finally the year that Tyler Benson cracks the Oilers roster? It had better be — he is waiver eligible now, at age 23 years of age with four pro seasons under his belt.

With left wingers Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Warren Foegele in town, it’s pretty clear that Benson will have to make the club as a fourth-line left-winger and try to move up from there. He’s in against Devin Shore and Brendan Perlini for that 4-LW spot, as a former candidate for exceptional status as a junior now finds himself in a utility role if he wants to get his NHL career off the ground.

“We came up with a plan to develop different areas of his game (in Bakersfield last season),” Woodcroft said. “For example, his board work. Introducing him to the penalty kill. Something he had minimal experience on, but something we felt provided a line of sight or a pathway to … make our parent club.

“Tyler was a point-per-game player last year and played on what I felt was the most dominant line in the Pacific Division of the AHL. He made plays,” his coach said. “The opportunity before him is obvious. He feels like he’s in top shape, mentally ready to go, and he’s excited about that opportunity.”

Edmonton’s recent first-round pick (22nd overall) Xavier Bourgault hit the gym hard this summer, putting on 10 lbs. He comes to camp at six feet tall and 172 pounds, so he has a ways to go.

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Blue Jays optimistic Jose Berrios won’t miss next start after abdominal scare –



Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Jose Berrios is doing much better after leaving Tuesday’s game with an abdominal injury, manager Charlie Montoyo said Wednesday.

After the Blue Jays’ 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, the team reported that Berrios left the game due to abdominal tightness on his left side and received post-game treatment.

Berrios threw seven innings of one run ball Tuesday, striking out six and allowing only four hits.

“He’s doing fine,” Montoyo said. “He’s doing a lot better than we thought, which is great news. Actually, you might get to see him playing catch in a little bit to see how he’s doing. He did all the tests. Everything looks good.”

The right-handed pitcher who the Blue Jays acquired at the trade deadline is 11-8 on the season, with a 3.43 ERA in 173.1 innings pitched.

The Blue Jays wrap up their series with the Rays on Wednesday at 3:07 p.m. ET/ 12:07 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN Now.

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France to open Billie Jean King Cup defence against Canada



Reigning champions France will kick off this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Prague against Canada on Nov. 1, with the final scheduled for Nov. 6, the International Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.

Formerly called the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition featuring 12 nations was originally scheduled to be held in Budapest in April last year before being postponed twice due to the pandemic.

France triumphed in the 2019 edition when a team featuring Kristina Mladenovic, Caroline Garcia and Pauline Parmentier defeated Australia.

This year, Belgium, the 2001 winners, will face 2017 runners-up Belarus on the opening day, while eleven-times winners Czech Republic will play on Nov. 1 and Nov. 4.

The competing nations will each play two group-stage ties to determine the winners of the four three-team groups, who will then progress to the semi-finals. Each tie will consist of two singles matches and a doubles match.

Germany, Spain, Slovakia, Australia, the U.S., Russia and Switzerland will be the other nations competing.


(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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