The Toronto Maple Leafs begin a four-game jaunt through Alberta with a pair of contests with the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday afternoon. The Leafs are 4-2-0 are tied with Winnipeg with eight points in the early weeks of the regular season and the Flames have won their last two over after an opening overtime loss to the Jets.
The availability of Auston Matthews is unknown, as the Leafs sniper was held out of the 4-2 victory over Edmonton on Thursday with an upper-body injury.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on HNIC's Saturday Headlines that with the long-term injuries to Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson, the Leafs are looking for forwards. No team or player was specified in terms, but the likelihood is a trade over the signing of a free agent, in spite of some recognizable names being still unsigned.
The Toronto Maple Leafs mourn the passing of George Armstrong, a member of our Maple Leafs family for 75 years.
We extend our condolences to George’s wife Betty, their children, grandchildren and the entire Armstrong family.
This report may be an indicator that GM Kyle Dubas may be confident that players like Pierre Engvall, Adam Brooks, Alexander Barabanov and Travis Boyd can fill in at spots lower in the lineup, but not replace a Thornton who was playing top line minutes with Matthews and Mitch Marner.
Looking at the current landscape of the NHL, there are teams such as Vancouver, Philadelphia and others that are looking for defensive help and with Mikko Lehtonen and Rasmus Sandin on the taxi squad, the Leafs have enough quality depth that they can trade someone like Travis Dermott.
Dermott is scoreless in six games and is averaging 11:27 on the bottom pairing with Zach Bogosian and could be exposed to the Seattle expansion draft this summer with Toronto likely protecting Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin and TJ Brodie. The Leafs may feel that Lehtonen and/or Sandin could fill Dermott’s spot on the bottom pairing.
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