Jhonas Enroth traded to Anaheim for a 2018 seventh round pick, Auston Matthews named to the Atlantic Division All-Star roster, Lou Lamoriello speaks, and more in the links.
Leafs trade Jhonas Enroth to Ducks for pick (Sportsnet)
It marked the third transaction in as many days for the Leafs involving a goaltender and netted them a 2018 seventh-round draft pick in return. There were no conditions placed on that selection, according to a source. McElhinney’s salary is basically a wash with Enroth’s – he’s making $800,000 on an expiring deal – and the team acquired him for nothing. Toronto then turned Enroth into a late pick while dropping back to 47 total contracts, gaining flexibility ahead of the March 1 trade deadline.
Curtis McElhinney claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs (MLHS)
On the face, McElhinney’s numbers behind the league-leading Columbus Blue Jackets are solid this season with a 2.39 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. He was lit up for five goals in his most recent start against the Rangers, but prior to, McElhinney turned aside 44 of 46 shots in a win over Los Angeles and 32 of 34 in a win over Arizona. He’s started only five of 39 games, while entering two more in relief, which puts Sergei Bobrovsky on pace for 71 starts this season.
Transcript – Lou Lamoriello: “What we’re seeing is the growth of an organization” (MLHS)
Lou Lamoriello joined Prime Time Sports for an in-depth interview with Bob McCown and Damien Cox, touching on Auston Matthews’ All-Star appointment, the progress of Mitch Marner, plans for the deadline, the acquisition of Curtis McElhinney, and more.
Lamoriello talks trade philosophy and shields Bibeau from Vegas’s prying eyes (Toronto Star)
Tomorrow? That’s as much about the Vegas Golden Knights as it is about Antoine Bibeau getting more playing time back in the minors. Bibeau, it must be remembered, is a restricted free agent this summer and will most likely be available to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. (Teams can only protect one goalie, and that for the Leafs will be Frederik Andersen unless the Earth shifts on its axis.)
Confident Matthews to represent Maple Leafs at NHL All-Star Game (Canoe.ca)
If he’s exceeded the expectations of some, that hasn’t been the case for Matthews himself. “Honestly, not really,” Matthews said on a conference call, when asked if he was surprised at the immediate impact he’s made. “I know what I’m capable of. “So far this season we have a lot of rookies on this team a lot of guys are going through the same thing and we lean on each other quite a bit.“To me the season has gone really well so far. We’re all really enjoying it. We’re playing in the NHL and living our dream, so it’s definitely been a blast.”
Why the Toronto Maple Leafs should be talking playoffs (National Post)
Management isn’t planning to abandon the patient rebuild just for a handful of playoff-revenue dates. Brendan Shanahan and Lou Lamoriello aren’t about to deal young prospects for veterans to make the push, either. And here’s the beauty of it — the culture of the reconstruction is so firmly rooted now, that if the Leafs do manage to grab a spot, expectations will be minimal.
Midseason report card: Toronto Maple Leafs (Sportsnet)
Auston Matthews, A-plus: Great things were expected of the 19-year-old, just not this quickly. He’s already the team’s No. 1 centre, a huge driver of possession, one of the NHL’s best at generating shots and on pace for the most goals (44) by a member of the Leafs in a quarter century. Did we mention that he’s only 19?
Lamoriello wants to protect Matthews, Marner from media distractions (Sportsnet)
“They should be allowed to grow,” Lamoriello told Prime Time Sports on Sportsnet 590 The Fan. “It’s our responsibly to bring them along, to make sure we can take away as many distractions as we can and yet never lose sight of what their responsibility is as a player and what their responsibility is to the media.
Auston Matthews and the mixed history of 19-year-olds with the Maple Leafs (The Athletic)
This is a team that has not, historically, enjoyed much success with 19-year-olds on the roster. Before the current bonanza – with Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander – many of the team’s most successful 19-year-olds played when stick blades were straight and Toronto bars had to stay closed on Sunday.
Matthews honored to represent Leafs at All-Star Game (TSN.ca)
At this stage, Matthews thinks the Maple Leafs have all the talent and skill they need, but have only recently found consistent success putting it all together. Before he returned to the sun-soaked beaches, Matthews looked ahead to when the team’s unforgiving schedule starts up again.