Börje Salming showed his strength, on and off the ice, until the end

His voice at the time reduced to a raspy whisper, so low listeners had to lean in to hear him, Börje Salming instead opted for hand gestures to make his points. He was going to be the namesake of this foundation, one being started in the hopes of making a difference for many years to come, so he was going to have his say by any means necessary. There he was sitting in a board room, turning his thumbs up or down to ideas pitched. “There’s a sadness around it,…

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Nick Robertson, after four games off the bench, is ready to return to the Maple Leafs

On September 1, 2017, when Nick Robertson was 10 days shy of his 16th birthday, he stepped onto the ice for his first shift in his first preseason game in the Ontario Hockey League. He was a star of training camp with the Peterborough Pets – quick, feisty and focused – and was ready for the junior bright lights. Almost immediately, he turned the puck into the attacking zone. Seconds later, while trying to push him back into the no-man’s land, he was steam-pressed down onto the ice by an…

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Why isn’t Auston Matthews scoring 5-on-5 for the Maple Leafs?

TORONTO – It’s hard to overstate how ludicrously dominant Auston Matthews has been at puck-scoring in five-on-five pre-season. Take a look at the gap — or should I say, gap — between Matthews and everyone else over his first six seasons in the league: Top 5-on-5 Scorers (16-22) These are mind blowing things. This is Matthews with 38 more goals From the next closest player, a guy named Conor McDavid. This is despite Matthews playing 35 fewer matches than McDavid and more than 1,000 minutes. This is a serious destruction…

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Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, on the threshold of the NHL, awaits his call to the Leafs

On Saturday afternoon in Winnipeg, 24-year-old guard Dylan Wells blocked 12 of his 13 shots in the third period of a comfortable appearance with the Chicago Blackhawks. This was the seventh different jersey he has worn in just four years as a professional hockey player, and the third this year alone. It was also, finally, his debut in the NHL. Semyon Der-Arguchintsev knew how long Wells had been working at that moment, and even if he was a little late, he was planning to send a congratulatory letter. They have…

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Maple Leafs Report Cards: Auston Matthews Scores Double Leafs Score vs Bruins

Whether you like the Leafs or not, matches against the Boston Bruins are anything but ordinary. When you take that fact and hit it with Boston’s dominance of the standings this year, you’ve made tonight’s game a focal point. And what are they doing? The Leafs put in their best game of the season and handed it their second loss of the season to the Bruins. They didn’t need to change their style or become more aggressive. All they had to do was buy, execute, and produce the things we…

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Maple Leafs Report Cards: Different Game, Same Mistakes, Same Score

Let’s go over some of the things the Leafs should have had on their agenda before this game, shall we? The team needs to stay out of the box. The defense must be better at breaking the ball out of the area. The team should be better at recovering pucks in the defensive zone and clearing the disc when the opportunity arises. The team needs to play more urgently. The fourth item might have gotten a very small and subtle boost but besides that, everything was the same. To make…

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How injuries are impacting the early part of the NHL season

Let’s talk about injuries and goaltending because injuries and goaltending were the twin storylines that dominated the first week or so of the new NHL season. Injuries always, always, always undermine the best-laid plans of any hopeful NHL team. Last week, I was asked, on a podcast, previewing the NHL season to make a prediction for the Stanley Cup Final because that’s what you do in this business — make educated guesses to create fodder for conversation. But I always issue the same caveat too: That a championship contender in…

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NHL Reverse Retro 2022: Every new replacement jersey, ranks 32-1

The word “honor” appears 17 times in the NHL/Adidas edition detailing the recently unveiled Reverse Retro jerseys from all 32 teams. By “honor,” of course, the NHL means that it will honor any form of currency or credit when You pay $249.99 (plus taxes!) to own the Montreal Canadiens shirt you can’t live without. But this time it’s blue! No, I mean a different blue from the last time it was blue less than 2 years ago! We’re all suckers for this stuff, but can you blame us? Adults look…

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Why is Wayne Symonds still in hockey trouble despite calling up the Maple Leafs

On Sunday, Wayne Symonds stood in a spot that quickly seemed very unfamiliar: in front of a booth with his name on it inside the Maple Leafs’ dressing room at their training facility. The veteran smiled in 1019 NHL regular season games far less often in his media availability than in the past. In a short amount of time, Symonds’ future with the Leafs has come into question. Towards the end of last season, his first in a two-year contract extension, Symonds seemed to be out of pace at times…

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Which NHL players can be traded in 2022-23? Choose one from all 32 teams

Training camps are open, and rosters are being drawn up for the 2022-23 season around the NHL. But we all know that the rosters that will open the regular season won’t be the same as the ones heading into the playoffs in April. Whether it’s Patrick Kane, John Klingberg or Phil Kessel, there will be game-changing deals ahead of the league’s March 3 trading deadline. And it’s never too early to start thinking about who will be involved. To set the table, we asked reporters who know the best teams…

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