Matt Martin discusses the upcoming season, Marner’s head-turning on-ice training video, and more in the links.
Matt Martin joins NHL Tonight to talk about his young Leafs team (NHLN)
Matt Martin joined NHL Tonight to discuss his charity poker initiative, expectations for next season, his relationship with Mitch Marner, and more.
On expectations for 2017-18:
Martin: Expectations are definitely higher than they were last year. They climb pretty quickly in a place like Toronto. Going into last season, I don’t think too many people expected much of us except for the guys inside the dressing room. We were able to get into the playoffs and I think that will go a long way for all of us, let alone our young guys that just got their first playoff experience. Auston, Mitch, Nylander and all of the other young guys involved can learn so much from that experience and hopefully take it to another level next year. It’s a pretty special thing to get into the playoffs. I’ve only been in the second round one time and I’d love to get a lot further. I think we’ve got the team to do it.
On his relationship with Mitch Marner:
Martin: He’s a pretty easy guy to get along with. He’s got a tonne of energy. He’s just a great kid all around. He works hard. He’s just an unbelievable talent. I don’t think I’ve ever played with a guy that is so small and so dynamic and can make plays that you just don’t see coming. He’s going to be a great player in this league for a long time. His energy in the dressing room is unbelievable and he’s always got a smile on his face. He’s going to be a key part of that team for a long time. The Leafs are definitely lucky to have him.
On his mountain biking experience with Kadri, Marner and Gardiner:
Martin: That was interesting. We went to Bozak’s wedding in Vail, Colorado. We just had some free time the morning of the wedding, actually. Gardiner said we should go biking down the mountain. We jumped on board with it. I remember Nazzy Kadri fell right away — kind of fell over the handlebars — and I was chirping him and laughing at him. Then Mitchy kind of fell and I laughed at him. We were about halfway down the mountain and I went down very hard and was covered in dirt. We had a good time, but it was definitely something I don’t think I’ll be doing again.
–What did Lou have to say?
Martin: Yeah, seriously. It was a little scary, actually. I wasn’t expecting it to be what it was. You get some good views from up there, but if you’re not an experienced mountain biker, we probably shouldn’t have been going down some of the trails we were going down.
Mitch Marner Offseason Training Video (@bbp_93)
— Paul Marner (@bbp_93) August 9, 2017
Top 25 Under 25: #17 Calle Rosen (PPP)
Barring a stellar training camp, Rosen is likely to go down to the AHL, where he can spend time honing his game with the Toronto Marlies. He’s currently waiver-exempt, as he’s beginning his two-year ELC. Calle will definitely be one to watch on the Marlies this year, and a big year there would clear his path for a promotion in 2018-19—or even late this season.
Report: Leafs to pair Rielly with Hainsey (TSN.ca)
The 36-year-old spent last season with the Carolina Hurricanes before being traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the trade deadline for a second-round pick and a prospect. He averaged 22:20 of ice time per contest in 56 games with the Hurricanes, before seeing a dip to 21:00 in 16 regular-season games with Pittsburgh. Hainsey averaged 21:07 of ice time per game in the postseason and posted two goals and eight points as the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. With the top-four set, Alexey Marchenko, Martin Marincin and Connor Carrick will be left to battle with prospects in camp to form the team’s bottom pairing.
2017-18 Penguins Prospectus: Matt Hunwick (Post Gazette)
In 2016-17, Hunwick shifted down Toronto’s lineup to playing primarily on the third pair next to Roman Polak (a more natural fit as a right shot). The duo went through its issues at the beginning of the season, but as the year wore on, things started to slowly get better. Hunwick saw his ice time (and numbers) creep slowly upward. His production and effectiveness also increased to the point where when Nikita Zaitsev went down for the first two games of the Maple Leafs’ series against Washington, Mike Babcock opted to slide Hunwick back up next to Rielly on the top pair. All told, in the six-game series, Hunwick played at least 20 minutes in every game but one and had an overall playoff CF% of 51.1, second-highest among Toronto defensemen.
Jaromir Jagr keeping NHL options open, although eyeing Europe (Puck Daddy)
“The most serious negotiations I have are with Kladno. Because Kladno has a smart owner who knows what he wants,” joked Jagr, who owns the team in Czech Republic’s second-tier professional league. “No, really, I don’t have a clue. I leave it all on my agent [Petr Svoboda]. There is a couple of [NHL] teams that showed interest, but nothing specific yet.”
Assuming everyone’s healthy, Wings will ‘probably’ have to shed salary (PHT)
The Red Wings’ cap figure stands at about $77.5 million, including $2.56 million of dead space from Stephen Weiss, who was bought out in 2015, and (Johan) Franzen. They could get as much as $3.95 million in cap relief from Franzen, which would take them down to roughly $73.6 million. That doesn’t leave a lot to sign Athanasiou, a restricted free agent, and provide a small cushion to recall a player from the Grand Rapids Griffins as a replacement for someone on short-term IR.
Dany Heatley awarded $6.5 million in lawsuit against former agent (PHT)
Former NHL forward Dany Heatley has been awarded about $6.5 million after a judge ruled in his favor for a lawsuit against his former agent Stacey McAlpine, according to CTV Calgary on Wednesday. While playing for the Minnesota Wild, Heatley sued McAlpine and his parents, Gerald and Eugenia, in 2012 for $11 million for a number of faulty real estate investments throughout North America, according to reports.