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Why the Maple Leafs traded for Denis Malgin – Sportsnet.ca

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TORONTO – The arrival of Denis Malgin is further evidence of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ advantage.

The NHL operates under a restrictive salary cap, absolutely. All 31 franchises must play by those rules.

But if you’re the mighty Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, and if you can flood the gates and fill the sushi plates in good times and in bad, there are ways to colour outside the lines, to flex your financial muscle in the corners.

Consider the two young players on the rise general manager Kyle Dubas has traded in recent days to address his present issues of backup goaltending and bottom-six depth.

Speaking coldly (because, hey, it’s a business), both Trevor Moore and Mason Marchment — the pieces Dubas dealt for immediate help in the form of Jack Campbell, Kyle Clifford and Malgin — were found money.

Moore and Marchment arrived four years ago as raw, undrafted players the Leafs’ expensive and expert development team poured hours into moulding into NHL potential.

The late-blooming Marchment, who didn’t start playing major junior until 19 years of age, signed his AHL contract with Toronto back in 2016. The Leafs pounced on Moore that same year, after the spark plug turned heads at the University of Denver.

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By rolling out one of the league’s deepest scouting and development staffs and investing time into refining individual skills, Toronto can afford to take more flyers on athletes with upside and has smartly been able to churn out prospects they can either promote or flip.

“Marchment’s a guy that I’ve worked with a lot, and he’s put in a ton of work on himself,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s a great kid that’s put in a ton of work and really worked at his game. That’s a credit to him for putting the work in, for our development staff, and the Marlies organization for the work that they put in to develop an undrafted player that we’re able to trade for an NHL asset.

“We found a way to get a younger player with more NHL experience and more ready to contribute right now.”

Enter Malgin, No. 62 in your program because that’s the number he was handed at a Florida Panthers training camp, and — woo-hoo! — he made the cut.

At 23, he’s younger than Marchment, 24, but carries more big-league experience, scoring 60 points in 184 games for the Panthers before Dale Tallon granted a reported trade request from Malgin’s agent, Petr Svoboda, and shipped him to Toronto.

Upon being trotted out to face the biggest media scrum of his life, Malgin sheepishly denied asking out himself Thursday, but perhaps we’re getting into semantics.

“I didn’t want to leave Florida. I don’t know what they were thinking,” Malgin said. “It was a surprise. But now I’m here, and the goal is to make the playoffs.”

What Florida was thinking is that Malgin — undersized at five-foot-nine and 177 pounds — was not establishing himself as a force in a talent-rich top six, nor was he bringing the necessary ingredients to convince new coach Joel Quenneville that he fulfilled the three-time champion’s vision for a bottom-six winger.

Keefe, meanwhile, has been happy to broadcast with his desire for bottom-of-the-lineup depth since Ilya Mikheyev hit injured reserve.

Tinkering almost nightly, Keefe has been craving more trustworthy contributions from a rotating cast that has seen in-season tryouts for a list of tweeners like Pontus Aberg, Nic Petan, Egor Korshkov, Adam Brooks and Marchment.

Of this cluster, only Pierre Engvall has transcended to the status of Leafs regular.

There’s certainly no guarantee Malgin, who turns RFA on July 1, sticks. But starting Thursday, in a critical game against Pittsburgh, he’ll get his crack.

“When I was a little kid, I always wanted to play in Montreal or Toronto,” said the native of Olten, Switzerland. “Now I’m here, and I’m excited.”

Part of why he’s here, not unlike Campbell or Clifford, is because of familiarity.

Leafs assistant coach Paul McFarland worked closely with Malgin for two seasons in Florida and speaks highly of his competitive streak and ability to keep pace with elite playmakers.

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And Auston Matthews and Malgin formed a bond as the two youngest pros on the 2015-16 Zurich Lions, keeping in touch when their paths have crossed since.

“I just tried to make contact with him because he was a younger guy too,” Malgin said. “We had some fun together.”

Matthews describes his reunited teammate as small but skilled.

“Really shifty and elusive. A good skater and sees the ice well. So, nice to have a familiar face around the locker room,” Matthews said. “He’s somebody that likes to work on his game quite a bit, so it’ll be good to have a guy like him here, and I’m sure he’ll fit in just fine.”

Captain John Tavares, too, sees an alignment between Malgin and the Leafs’ style of play under the Dubas/Keefe regime.

“Anytime you get to a new situation, you get a new opportunity,” Tavares said, “it gives you good life, good jump.”

At a time the Leafs need it.

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Thousands of tickets still available for world junior hockey tournament in Edmonton – CBC Sports

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Odd summer timing and an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada could be the reason thousands of tickets to the world junior championship are still available on the eve of the tournament, says an Edmonton professor.

Prof. Dan Mason, who teaches in the faculty of kinesiology, sport, and recreation at the University of Alberta, said when Canada hosts, there are usually so many fans who want to see the home team take the ice that they are willing to buy Hockey Canada’s packaged games that include teams that are not Canadian.

“So Latvia vs. Slovakia, for example, those games will be sold out as well because in order to get the tickets to watch Canada play, you have to buy a package that includes some of the other games,” he said on Friday.

“The fact that there are still Team Canada tickets available, that tells you the demand is much lower than it usually is for this kind of event.”

WATCH l World junior tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy:

World junior hockey tournament to go ahead amidst Hockey Canada controversy

7 hours ago

Duration 2:07

Ticket sales for the World Junior Hockey Championships in Edmonton are below expectations as the tournament kicks of this week in the shadow of an ongoing sexual assault scandal at Hockey Canada.

The tournament runs from Aug. 9-20 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

The initial 2022 championship in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alta., was called off Dec. 29 after just four days because of rising COVID-19 cases among players and officials, which forced game forfeitures.

The 10-country tournament will be minus Russia, barred from participating by the International Ice Hockey Federation because of that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Holiday tradition

Around 1,500 tickets are still available for purchase on Ticketmaster to the first game between Czech Republic and Slovakia on Tuesday. About 1,300 tickets are available for the next day when Canada takes on Latvia. About 1,500 seats for the final game are also available with hundreds of other tickets to watch the 11-day tournament.

This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake … or do something summer-related.— Edmonton professor Dan Mason on poor ticket sales for an August world juniors

Mason said the timing of the games could be why interest is so low. The tournament typically runs over the Christmas holidays.

“Over the past 30 years or so, TSN has built the world juniors into this holiday event that people partake in,” he said.

“I watch it with my family over the [Christmas] break though so it’s kind of become part of our holiday tradition.

“This time of year, you probably already had plans to go to the lake, go to the mountains or do something summer-related. I don’t think we’re willing to give up those plans to watch hockey.”

Many people could also be waiting for a former judge on the Supreme Court of Canada to begin independently reviewing Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership.

The review comes after members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a gala event, and after Hockey Canada reached a settlement.

“I think there’s people who weren’t sure if they would go or not, and maybe deciding not to go because of that,” Mason said.

The CEO of Explore Edmonton, which promotes tourism in the Alberta capital, said in an email the marketing organization paused its promotion of the games in response to the allegations.

“As the host city for the upcoming tournament, we continue to have discussions with Hockey Canada officials about their plans to address the need for change,” said Traci Bednard.

Mason said inflation and less disposable income could be other factors working against the tournament.

“Canada may be more focused on that player development piece than trying to sort of make money off of a tournament being held in the summer,” he said.

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Nets owner Tsai backs coach, GM amid reported Durant standoff – theScore

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Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has pledged his support of the coaching staff and front office after Kevin Durant reportedly demanded that the team trade him or fire head coach Steve Nash and general manager Sean Marks

Tsai took to Twitter on Monday, saying, “Our front office and coaching staff have my support. We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Durant’s ultimatum is apparently a result of his lack of faith in the team’s direction, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The 33-year-old is firm in his stance, Charania adds.

The former MVP requested a trade at the end of June following a disappointing season that ended in a first-round exit. Little was known at the time about his reasons for the decision.

The Nets have reportedly had discussions with nearly every team in the league in hopes of getting a historic package of players and draft picks in return for Durant. Brooklyn reportedly proposed a trade with the Toronto Raptors involving Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes and talked about a deal with the Boston Celtics that would include star Jaylen Brown.

The Raptors, Celtics, and Miami Heat are seen as the most likely trade destinations for Durant, sources told Charania.

The Nets aim to take “every last asset” from their trade partner in any deal for Durant, according to Charania.

Nash, a Hall of Fame point guard, has been at the helm of the Nets for two seasons. It is his first job in professional coaching. Meanwhile, Marks has held the position of general manager since 2016 after being an assistant for the San Antonio Spurs.

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Watch live for free: Leylah Fernandez vs. Storm Sanders at National Bank Open – Sportsnet.ca

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Update: This stream has ended.

Canadian Leylah Fernandez begins her quest for her first National Bank Open title against qualifier Storm Sanders of Australia, under the lights in Toronto.

Fernandez, still only 19, is returning to action for the first time since suffering a fracture in her foot during the quarterfinals of the French Open on May 31.

The Laval native is the top-ranked Canadian on the WTA Tour after a headline-making run to the U.S. Open final last year.

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