Preseason wraps up tonight versus the Red Wings, and the lineup – who isn’t in it just as much as those who are – has Leafs fans pondering some questions about the upcoming final cuts.

The safe assumption is that Mike Babcock wants these two taking part in big club practices and scrimmages as long as possible before they’re returned to the AHL to start the year on the Marlies.

The bolder prediction is that one or both of Nylander and Brown have already done enough to win spots and they’re trying to decide which of the bubble “veterans” they’re going to waive among the likes of Richard Panik and Mark Arcobello (even PA Parenteau?). This scenario seems considerably less likely, but you never know. Lots of possibilities remain on the table — this is the final game of preseason and there are still a lot of bodies left in camp.

The other (and frankly more realistic) subplot is that Zach Hyman may have done enough in preseason to play his way into an opening night lineup spot. Richard Panik is getting back into the lineup in back to back nights. Is this Panik’s final chance to show something? Could Mark Arcobello, also in the lineup tonight, be in that cutting-block group as well? Or have we read too deep into the ebbs and flows of preseason and lost sight of the apparent plan from the summer: sign stop-gap veterans, be patient with the kids?

It’s important to note that Hyman is a different case from Brown and Nylander considering he’s 23 years old and Babcock used the phrase “NHL ready” in reference to him last night.

There’s lots of questions flying around here; ones we won’t have answers to until the Leafs announce their roster of 23 either tomorrow or Monday.

As for tonight’s lineup, the lines won’t be official until the warmup rushes take place. We know the roster, though.

We also have projected lines from Paul Hendrick, which appear to be more along the lines of educated guesses than based on any intel.

Toronto Maple Leafs Projected Lineup (educated guesses per @HennyTweets)

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red Wings Projected Lineup - Oct. 3rd, 2015
Left WingCenterRight Wing
van RiemsdykKadriLupul
Left DefenceRight Defence
Goal: Bernier
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