Caps and Leafs to square off in an outdoor game at the Naval Academy next March, updates on the Kyle Dubas situation, Memorial Cup previews, and more in the Sunday links.

Leafs Links

Capitals expected to play in outdoor game at Naval Academy next season (WaPo)
The NHL plans to announce an outdoor game at the U.S. Naval Academy on Monday, and the Washington Capitals are expected to be the home team against the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The game, expected to be played March 3, would be the first time a U.S. service academy hosts an NHL outdoor game. The matchup will be a rematch of the first round of the playoffs, a series that the Capitals won in six games.

AP Sources: Caps to host Leafs in outdoor game at Navy (Associated Press)
The 34,000-seat stadium hosts Navy football games and the Military Bowl. It’s the first game at a service academy though quite possibly not the last. The league has explored doing games at the Army’s home at West Point and at the Air Force Academy. The New Jersey Devils and Florida Panthers played a preseason indoor game at West Point on Oct. 8, 2016. Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and expansion Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley have Army ties.

30 Thoughts: What does future hold for Dubas with Leafs? (Sportsnet)

On Dubas:

It has been hard to pinpoint Dubas’s future in Toronto. There have been rumours he would not be back next season, as his contract is up. I guess we’ll know on June 30, but one source suggested he has quietly signed an extension.

On possible interest from Anaheim in Connor Brown:

The speculation is wild in Toronto, especially since Lamoriello and Mike Babcock went to Nashville to see these teams in-person. I cannot imagine the Maple Leafs wanting to trade Connor Brown. He has turned into a terrific player. But you know who else loves him? Dave Nonis. Nonis swore Brown would make it, and he was right. Where does Nonis work now?

Being ousted from playoffs still stings for Leafs’ Martin (Toronto Sun)
“There was a lot for us to be proud of, but there is still that emptiness of what could have been,” Martin said on Saturday after participating in the Canadian Hockey League alumni game at the 2017 Memorial Cup. “The expectations of ourselves should grow. Making the playoffs is great, but it’s nothing to write home about, no one remembers that. We have to find a way next season to get better again find our way deeper into the playoffs and ultimately win a Cup.”

Spitfires hoping to win all-Ontario Memorial Cup final at home (Toronto Star)
Eight of the last nine Memorial Cup champions have won their league titles, with 2012 host Shawinigan being the last club to lift the trophy after bowing out in their league playoffs. The Spitfires are trying to buck that trend after being eliminated in the first round of the OHL playoffs by London. Windsor went 44 days between games while waiting for the tournament to begin.

Spitfires and Otters differ on underdog status for Mem Cup final (Windsor Star)
Erie, which set a Canadian Hockey League record with its fourth-straight season of 50 wins or more and won the Ontario Hockey League championship, is the visiting team after losing to Windsor in the round robin and having to win the semifinal to reach the title game. “It’s impossible,” Spitfires head coach Rocky Thompson said of Erie’s claim to the underdog title. “How can (the Otters) be the underdog? You’ve been in first place all year. You won the league championship.”

Leafs’ Mitch Marner had one eye on future with trip to worlds (Toronto Star)
“I want to make sure my body is ready play through a long season,” Marner said. “That was one of the reasons to go the world championship, to make sure my body is able to play for a month longer. It wasn’t easy, the teams were hard to play against, they all had great players . . . You’re not playing against Stanley Cup teams but they were very good-calibre teams. It was important for me to go there and make sure my body could take it.”