7:23 PM EDT, Sun July 21, 2019
6 hours ago
Back to Excited Episode 68 - Around the NHL (Part 2)

Back to Excited Episode 68 - Around the NHL (Part 2)

Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via We go team by team from Minnesota to Winnipeg and discuss their moves Welcome back to another episode of Back to Excited. Today, we go through the NHL alphabetically and discuss the offseason activities of teams from Minnesota to Winnipeg. As always, you can find us on iTunes and Soundcloud. Thanks for listening!
Jul 20, 2019
Report: Maple Leafs to sign UFA Garrett Wilson

Report: Maple Leafs to sign UFA Garrett Wilson

Wilson after scoring against the New York Islanders in the playoffs last year. | Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via The Pittsburgh and Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguin is a traditional fourth-line tweener. Garrett Wilson is heading to the Maple Leafs. https://t.co/kXBo2FoNsF— Taylor Haase (@TaylorHaasePGH) July 20, 2019 This is the only report on this signing so far, but it is the weekend and everyone else is sipping margaritas. The Pittsburgh Penguins had a traditional, veteran grinder fourth line last year that featured Matt Cullen, now retired, in his swan song, and usually featured...
Jul 20, 2019
Weekend FTB: Milan Lucic for James Neal

Weekend FTB: Milan Lucic for James Neal

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 10: Milan Lucic #27 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against Curtis McElhinney #35 and Ron Hainsey #2 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre on December 10, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. | Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Why do Edmonton and Calgary think each other can solve their problems? Welcome to the weekend! We actually have something to talk about this time, the Milan Lucic for James Neal trade. TRADE:To Calgary #Flames:F Milan Lucic (12.5% retained)2020 3rd RD pick (EDM)*To Edmonton #Oilers:F James Neal* conditional...
Jul 19, 2019
Friday FTB: Marner hosts charity event, gets asked about contract

Friday FTB: Marner hosts charity event, gets asked about contract

Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Can we go one day without talking again about Marner? No, no we can’t. Can we go one day without talking again about Marner? No, no we can’t. Mitch is back in town to host a charity event for his Marner Assist Fund this weekend, and as part of that he spoke with the media. The idea was presumably to talk about his event, but of course he was going to be asked about his ongoing contract negotiations. First, he was asked some questions at the venue by some reporters. He mentioned he wanted to be signed and with the team for the start of training...
Jul 18, 2019
Toronto Marlies sign a pair of defenders to AHL deals

Toronto Marlies sign a pair of defenders to AHL deals

Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/ They might be destined for St. John’s, given the Marlies crowded blueline. The Toronto Marlies have signed two defenders, Michael Kapla and Ryan Johnston, to AHL deals. This is the season for AHL signings, and this time the Marlies found someone who isn’t going to be shocked by a St. John’s winter if he ends up there. It’s very likely that any defender added to the Marlies is going to the ECHL, since the team has eight defenders on NHL deals and then a few more on AHL contracts, but both of these players look like quality AHL depth signings. The...
Jul 18, 2019
The 2019 Top 25 Maple Leafs Under 25 preview special

The 2019 Top 25 Maple Leafs Under 25 preview special

Who, what, where, when, and why. They say the basics of reporting come from the five W’s: Who is the subject? What is happening? Where is this happening? When is it happening? Why is it happening? I’m here to answer these questions for you about this year’s Top 25 Under 25 series. What is happening? If you’ve been around Pension Plan Puppets: A Toronto Maple Leafs Community for a few years you’ll know that each year we take some time and rank the Top 25 Toronto Maple Leafs that are under 25 years of age. Where is this happening? It’s all going own right here at...
Jul 18, 2019
Thursday’s FTB: RFA signing season

Thursday’s FTB: RFA signing season

Thomas Skrlj There are a lot of players being signed, they’re just fairly obscure. It’s RFA signing season. No, really it is. Just because the Leafs have one left, and he’s not likely to put pen to any paper until September, it seems like nothing is happening. It’s also the time of year when AHLers get signed or re-signed. Nikita Korostelev signed contract extension with Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate for 2019-2020 season. #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/WQIkMsJHvq— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) July 17, 2019 JT Compher signed yesterday for $3.5 million. ...
Jul 17, 2019
Visualizing the T25U25 eligible players

Visualizing the T25U25 eligible players

I just like this picture. Our youngest prospect. | Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via How old they are, where they’re from, and other fun ways of sorting them into groups. For the past couple of years, I’ve played around with some fun and simple graphical visualizations of the T25U25 results. This year, I thought it would be interesting to look at the full eligible list of players and then compare it to who actually made the cut. This year’s eligible list is a bit unusual, since the Leafs have a large pile of just barely eligible NHL or AHL roster players who were added via trade...
Jul 17, 2019
Wednesday’s FTB: What’s Jake Gardiner up to?

Wednesday’s FTB: What’s Jake Gardiner up to?

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports This FTB will be Marner free. Starting now. Good morning fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club! Have you noticed all of the talk has been about what RFA’s are up to lately? I mean, those are some pretty good players, but there’s one UFA that has been mysteriously quiet. After ending his season with a back injury - terrible timing, you want to get injured AFTER you sign a long term deal, not before - Jake Gardiner has been missing. Yeah, he played in the series against Boston, but there’s no way he was healed. Gardiner is unsigned, after...
Jul 16, 2019
Justin Brazeau: The Marlies’ Big Project

Justin Brazeau: The Marlies’ Big Project

An honourable mention for a player ineligible for our Top 25 Under 25. We will not be ranking 21-year-old Toronto Marlies winger Justin Brazeau in this year’s Top 25 Under 25. We are not doing this because we hate him; we do not hate him. We only hate defencemen. We are not doing this because he does not deserve to be in the Top 25; he may well not, but that isn’t the reason. We are not ranking him because the Leafs don’t have any contractual right to him, and so he doesn’t make our list of eligibles. By the strict letter of the law, the Leafs have no more right to his services as a...
Jul 16, 2019
Tuesday’s FTB: 88 reasons to love Willy

Tuesday’s FTB: 88 reasons to love Willy

Eighty-eight is great. There was big news yesterday for Maple Leafs fans. William Nylander announced he is changing his number back to what he had playing in the SHL. Making the switch ... what’s old is new again #88I’ve got you covered Leafs Nation, go to @realsportstoronto to have your jersey recrested on me. pic.twitter.com/gQWHZVxQMo— William Nylander (@wmnylander) July 15, 2019 Not only is the number 88 back on the Leafs, he’s arranged to pay for you to have the number on your jersey changed. You’re paying??? Thank God! #cashmoney #LeafsForever https://t.co/gpo7Lfnn4b...
Jul 15, 2019
William Nylander is changing his jersey number to one 88 times luckier

William Nylander is changing his jersey number to one 88 times luckier

He was 88 at the World Championships and shot the lights out, so why not go back to his old number? Making the switch ... what’s old is new again #88I’ve got you covered Leafs Nation, go to @realsportstoronto to have your jersey recrested on me. pic.twitter.com/gQWHZVxQMo— William Nylander (@wmnylander) July 15, 2019 If only he could turn back time on the hair, too, but never mind that. If you know that shooting is partly luck, then you know William Nylander had no good luck on the Leafs last year and lots of it for Sweden at the world championships. If you believe in lucky...
Jul 15, 2019
T25U25: Our History of Horrifying Mistakes

T25U25: Our History of Horrifying Mistakes

Before we start talking about the new prospects let’s look back at how very, very wrong we all were so many times in the past. This year’s Top 25 Under 25 vote on the Toronto Maple Leafs prospects marks our eighth year and ninth list (there were two in 2012). The lists from those past seven years cover the period from just before the great collapse of the team and through the rapid rebuild. They span the Phil Kessel years and the Auston Matthews years, and looking at all the names in one place is a reminder of how incredibly different this team is now to then. To get a feel for how...
Jul 15, 2019
Monday’s FTB: Mitch Marner wants the impossible

Monday’s FTB: Mitch Marner wants the impossible

And sooner or later he’ll need to make a choice. Good morning! Hope everyone had a lovely and sunny weekend, free from all the rainstorms that came and went faster than Tim Erixon’s time with the Maple Leafs. We all know the excerpt that the headline is referencing. We’ll be seeing it all day on Twitter while everyone tries to avoid their work as much as possible. Typical Monday stuff. Elliotte Friedman on the current state of the Mitch Marner negotiations (31 Thoughts Podcast): pic.twitter.com/1KbEtdWtVe— The Leafs IMO (@TheLeafsIMO) July 14, 2019 So, Mitch Marner wants to...
Jul 14, 2019
Back to Excited Episode 68 - Around the NHL (Part 1)

Back to Excited Episode 68 - Around the NHL (Part 1)

We go team by team (until LA) and discuss their moves Welcome back to another episode of Back to Excited. Today, we go through the NHL alphabetically and discuss the offseason activities of teams from Anaheim to Los Angeles. Part 2 will follow next week. As always, you can find us on iTunes and Soundcloud. Thanks for listening!