Mark Hunter promoted to Assistant General Manager

Jeff Veillette
August 22 2016 10:08AM

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have shuffled up the nametags in the war room today, promoting Director of Player of Personnel Mark Hunter to Assistant General Manager.

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TLN Top 20 Prospects 2016: #10 Nikita Soshnikov

Jess Pincente
August 22 2016 07:49AM

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In March of 2015, not very many North American hockey fans recognized the name Nikita Soshnikov.  Only one year later, Soshnikov has become one of the most well-known prospects in the Leafs organization. Though his first North American season was not magnificent (points wise), Soshnikov certainly impressed upper management last season.  His skill set makes him an exciting player to watch, and he became a fan favourite in his brief 11-game NHL stint last season.  So, what exactly should we be expecting from 22-year-old Soshnikov in the upcoming season? What is he capable of producing, and what is his ceiling?

Coming in at number 10 in our TLN Top 20 feature is our very own Russian rocket, Nikita Soshnikov.  

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On curiosity, trust, making excuses, and the fine lines

Jeff Veillette
August 21 2016 11:32AM

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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY SPORTS

The sky isn't falling because the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't sign Jimmy Vesey. We've been saying here for weeks that Toronto weren't a particularly great fit for him, and as we outlined literally seconds after he signed (I was prepared), he wasn't a particularly necessary piece in the Leafs' perspective puzzle.

But there are two ways to look at the situation. There's not getting Jimmy Vesey, and there's not getting Jimmy Vesey. With that in mind, I went to Twitter after his announcement and floated this thought.

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Why are the Leafs scaring off free agents?

Ryan Fancey
August 20 2016 12:54PM

Over the past eighteen months the Leafs have had their share of headline-making moves, no doubt. The biggest was the addition of Babcock on a record-setting coach's contract, then they followed that up with the lower-magnitude but perhaps more shocking hiring of Lamoriello. Let's just get that housekeeping out of the way. 

From there, notable trades happened, they quietly trudged through the season, and then the Auston Matthews lottery was won. It almost started to feel like under this Shanahan-run show, even beyond the high-profile management changes, Toronto was starting to make its own luck. And they still had room to grow quickly, with two free agents out there - both big names in different ways - with major ties to the team.

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The fit wasn't there for the Leafs or Jimmy Vesey

Jeff Veillette
August 19 2016 04:01PM

Heading into the offseason, many in Toronto were all but certain that the team was walking out of a drawn-out free agency period with superstar centre Steven Stamkos and NCAA youngster Jimmy Vesey. Both felt like foregone conclusions, rather than fights they had to win.

Fast forward, and they've walked away with neither. Stamkos re-upped in Tampa Bay back in June, and today, the rich got richer as Vesey ended up with the New York Rangers. The Leafs did make a strong pitch for the 23-year-old, flying into Boston with Auston Matthews in tow and no doubt reminding him that his brother and father are part of the organization.

But it didn't work. It's a shame for a team looking to further bolster an overflowing prospect pool, but at the same time, it's not the end of the world for either side, simply put, it wasn't the right fit.

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