Columbus Blue Jackets' Nathan Horton, playing his first game of the season, waits for the drop of the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Matt Hunwick, Brooks Laich and Nazem Kadri discuss the upcoming season, Lou Lamoriello is happy with Auston Matthews’ WCH performance thus far, the Leafs are hit with a bonus overage for the upcoming season, and more in the links.

Leafs hit with $512,000 cap overage penalty

A small news item from this morning:

As we’ve explained in the past, the use of LTIR relief on Nathan Horton’s contract means that every bonus dollar achieved is over the cap and will be penalized in the form of overages the following season.

This is why Jared Cowen’s grievance arbitration on the pending buyout — no resolution is expected until early-to-mid October — is of significance to the Leafs despite a tonne of LTIR relief available on the contracts of Stephane Robidas, Nathan Horton and Cowen himself. A ruling in Toronto’s favour would allow the Leafs to stay beneath the cap with no use of LTIR relief during a year in which the Leafs stand to have significantly more bonus money to pay out to the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, among others.

This is all still infinitely more preferable than having a buyout-proof David Clarkson on the cap at $5.25 million until 2020, of course, but it is an important thing to keep in mind when it comes to LTIR.

The Leafs are now roughly $800,000 over the cap with a 25-man roster that includes Jared Cowen for the time being.

Toronto Maple Leafs Systems Analysis – The Penalty Kill (MLHS)

Toronto had a firmly above-average PK last year despite lacking any of the traditional pieces that we generally consider paramount to a good PK (elite goalie, stud defenseman, all-star two-way forward). That said, if we look at their top 12 players in shorthanded ice-time, at least six will not be on the team next season for sure.

Calder hopes, rookie rivalries and Toronto’s media circus: Auston Matthews gears up for life in the NHL (National Post)

“Auston is a very gifted player,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “He’s played with and against men over in Europe. I think that’s probably helped him. He has a confidence level that is probably really high right now … so it’s a great starting point for him.”

Brooks Laich would be honoured to wear the C (Toronto Sun)

While most non-World Cup Leafs were golfing Monday, there was no sign of winger Joffrey Lupul. His health and two more years at $5.25 million US are big questions heading into camp

Hunwick & Laich on WCOH, upcoming Leafs season (TSN1050)

Matt Hunwick mentions possibly playing alongside Nikita Zaitsev to start the season. Hunwick and Brooks Laich discuss the World Cup of Hockey, the upcoming NHL season, and their roles as veteran leaders on a young Leaf team.

Kadri: I’ll do whatever I can to help Leafs win (TSN1050)

Nazem Kadri joins OverDrive to discuss the World Cup of Hockey, the upcoming NHL season, first impressions of Auston Matthews, playing in the Toronto market, moving into more of a leadership role on a young Leafs team, and more.

Martin excited to begin life with Leafs (

“I scheduled a few haircuts over the summer that I didn’t quite make it to,” Martin said at the Maple Leafs and Legends charity golf tournament on Monday. “A couple weeks ago it was time. We went [to the salon] and cut ties with the hair. Now I’m all clean-cut. Everyone says I look a little younger, so I guess that’s a good thing.”

What Team North America must fix (ESPN Insider)

There was no malice or disrespect meant from Jack Eichel when he summed up the entirety of Team North America’s second exhibition game. They beat Team Europe 7-4, and after two viewings, the reality is setting in that the Europeans might struggle to win a game in this tournament. With that in mind, an at-times sloppy three-goal win wasn’t a cause for great celebration.

Maple Leafs GM ‘not surprised’ by Auston Matthews’ strong play at World Cup (Toronto Star)

“We had an indication of what he was capable of doing in the world championships (in May),” said Lamoriello. “There were questions going into the world championships, just because of his youth. He did well there. I’m really not surprised at what he’s done with his peers, as far as his age group. He’s just going to get better and better.”

Adam Brooks: A Q&A with Regina Pats head coach John Paddock (MLHS)

It would be interesting for me to know all the ins [and outs] of the Leafs’ plans with that. I think it’s very intriguing. You’re always looking for the future and sometimes you probably get caught up in that 17-year-old-turning-18-year-old. You think he’s got two more years to develop and that’s the better option. I’m sure at times that is the best option, and other times those players don’t maintain that upward swing that you projected. Sometimes the 19 year old is a surer bet.

Roles and Stats Part II: Roles and Offensive Stats – Forwards (Hockey Analysis)

Players who get more ice time when the team is trailing and on the power play or get more offensive zone face offs are also the same players that produce the most offense (generally speaking). They also do this through a combination of generating more shots and converting those shots into goals at a higher rate.


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