EDMONTON, AB - NOVEMBER 29: Goalie Cam Talbot #33 of the Edmonton Oilers keeps his eye on the puck as Zach Hyman #11 of the Toronto Maple Leafs looks for a shot on November 29, 2016 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

James van Riemsdyk reflects on his time in Toronto, Zach Hyman discusses the addition of John Tavares to the team, and more in the links.

Leafs Links

van Riemsdyk: A favourite memory was crowd at Maple Leafs Square (TSN1050)
JVR joined Landsberg in the Morning to discuss his best memories as a Leaf and parting ways with the organization.

On his favourite memory as a Leaf:

It’s going to be tough to pick just one. Again, I think the first year with making the playoffs after there was a bit of a drought, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that video clip of outside of Maple Leaf Square. I’m not sure which game it was from, but I think we had just scored a goal or something, and it might’ve pushed it to Game 7 after Game 6. You just see people jumping up and down just going bonkers out there. I think this was before they kind of tightened up the crowd out there. It used to just be whoever showed up and it could go as far as it needed to go. It was pretty crazy. I remember — that was pretty cool to see something like that.

There were some ups and downs over the course of the years, and I think I am definitely proud of the way that things came along the last couple of years. Now the team is obviously trending in a good direction. I think the organization is in a great spot. I like to think I played a small part in that. I really enjoyed my time overall in Toronto.

On whether he enjoyed playing in the environment of the Toronto market:

It was really great for me. It brought out the best in me, for sure. I love playing in an environment like that. Playing in a place where hockey matters to people — that’s exciting and that makes it fun coming to the rink every day. You feed off of the energy of different people. I absolutely loved every second of that.

It depends on your personality type. Different people like to be a little more low key away from the rink and that sort of stuff, and that’s not necessarily the way it is in Toronto. But I absolutely loved it. At least for me, I love playing in places where people care about their hockey team and are invested in it. It’s really something that brings the best out of me and I really enjoyed that aspect of Toronto.

On his Instagram chirp towards Nazem Kadri about his “seven songs” repetition with his playlist:

The best part about trying to get under his skin is that you really can’t. He lets everything roll off his back and doesn’t let it get to him. He was in charge of the music in the past couple of years in particular. We had Jake Gardiner in the morning with his more poppy, maybe country mix in there, and then Naz would take it home before the games with a little bit of the EDM and hip hop and stuff like that. I like his stuff for sure before the game, but he definitely didn’t have much of a pulse for the different moods at the different times. We had someone else take care of that. His little role and his little niche that he found? He was great at that.

Zach Hyman on a new book, and a new chapter for the Leafs (Fan 590)
Zach Hyman joined the Fan 590 to discuss his new book, the addition of John Tavares to he lineup, and more.

On where his love of writing books comes from:

I think it just came from, growing up, I loved to read and write. I’ve got four younger brothers, so story time was always a part of my life. It was just natural to me. I loved to read and write, and I guess it came to fruition in Grade 7. I won a story competition, and then from there everything kind of fell into place, and it just continued — the passion. Now I get to share it with kids and that is the most special part. As an athlete, you are a role model, and to be able to share something outside of hockey with kids is pretty cool to me.

On the addition of John Tavares and potentially playing on his line:

It’s definitely exciting for all of us to add John to our mix. I was at lunch with a bunch of buddies and they were all Leafs fans, obviously, so one of them was on their phone and checked Twitter and updated all of us on the news. Everyone was ecstatic. I’ve spoken to a bunch of guys on our team and everyone else was ecstatic. It’s not too often you add a guy like John to the mix. To have the possibility of playing with him would be really cool. He’s an amazing player. It’s still July and a lot can change, but I’m exciting to getting started with him when training camp picks up.

On playing in Toronto:

It’s the best place to play. I grew up here. I grew up a fan. I know how much it means to everyone in Toronto to see the team to do well. It’s a passionate fan base that you want to be playing for. You want to be in an environment like this where everything you do matters. It’s important. It’s important to the community. That is the pressure you want as an athlete.

Kadri fine with place in lineup, ‘thrilled’ with addition of Tavares (Toronto Sun)
“It’s not really a one-two-three type thing. We’re all going to play together and have that success. Our ultimate goal is to win a Stanley Cup and bring that to the city of Toronto, so we’re all going be on the same page,” said Kadri.

The Full 60: Sean McIndoe on John Tavares & more (The Athletic)
DGB discusses the Leafs landing Tavares and its implications, the most frustrating moments in Leafs history, the promise of the future in Toronto right now, and much more in a good dog-days podcast listen.

Kessel says Tavares knows what he’s getting into with Maple Leafs (Sportsnet)
Phil Kessel says John Tavares is going to be just fine in Toronto with his abilities as a hockey player.