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Sports Maple Leafs: Five questions ahead of training camp

05:37  14 september  2017
05:37  14 september  2017 Source:   thestar.com

Maple Leafs don’t seem to be looking for a trade

  Maple Leafs don’t seem to be looking for a trade ***ImagePlaceholder*** https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/IAN0riynPjh2ghcNeifTmEn8P-Y=/0x0:3000x1688/1920x1080/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/56614775/478016373.0.jpg Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images The roster might be bursting, but the Leafs seem comfortable with that state of affairs. For now. With training camp set to begin in a few days, the Leafs roster is at 47 SPCs*, and with Photo by Thearon W.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs open the door on their 101st training camp , the optimism surrounding the team is palpable. But there are questions that remain, and they will begin to be answered in training camp

Maple Leafs training camp is in full swing with a variety of intriguing players and position battles that have excited the team’s fan base. And it’s only eight days into proceedings. Here’s a look at five things to like about Leafs camp so far

Rookie defenceman Timothy Liljegren's performance in camp will determine if he’s a Leaf, a Marlie or heading back to Europe. © Vince Talotta Rookie defenceman Timothy Liljegren's performance in camp will determine if he’s a Leaf, a Marlie or heading back to Europe.

As the Toronto Maple Leafs open the door on their 101st training camp, the optimism surrounding the team is palpable.

It’s a young, talented roster that experienced a taste of the playoffs last season and has a hunger for more. Adding veterans like Patrick Marleau, Dominic Moore and Ron Hainsey has elevated expectations, while at the same time making it harder to crack the roster.

But there are questions that remain, and they will begin to be answered in training camp:

Leafs bring one of their rookie invitees to main camp this week

  Leafs bring one of their rookie invitees to main camp this week ***ImagePlaceholder*** https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/EUvsfbGoVc5BzqjN1FUhfdrZZVs=/0x0:2252x1267/1920x1080/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/56647983/trevormoore.0.jpg Trevor Moore got his start as a camp invite. Christian Bonin | TSGPhoto.com The Leafs had only a few invitees at the rookie event this year, and so far one undrafted defender has been invited to the main camp. Marc-Olivier Trevor Moore got his start as a camp invite.

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Buffalo Sabres have been league doormats for much of this decade, but both teams enter the 2017-18 season with brighter days ahead . From the Branches: A special day for Auston MatthewsDay 3 of training camp is his favourite.

Toronto Maple Leafs . Komarov will sit one more and return Saturday: Leafs ' Babcock. While NHL off-season rules do not permit any direct on-ice contact at practice until training camp starts in another week, head coach Mike Babcock might as well have been behind the bench as up in the stands

1. Who will Patrick Marleau play with?

This is probably the biggest question entering camp. The soon-to-be 38-year-old has first-line speed, second-line scoring talent and third-line checking ability. The Leafs already have left wingers in those roles: James van Riemsdyk, Leo Komarov and Zach Hyman. Marleau would be a natural fit with Auston Matthews, but could start the year with Nazem Kadri.

2. How good is Timothy Liljegren?

The first-round pick will get a long look-see. The defenceman was rated much higher a year ago — before a bout of mononucleosis cost him nearly half a season — but fell at the NHL entry draft to 17th overall, where the Leafs felt lucky to pick him. His performance in camp will determine if he’s a Leaf, a Marlie or heading back to Europe.

Leafs bring one of their rookie invitees to main camp this week

  Leafs bring one of their rookie invitees to main camp this week ***ImagePlaceholder*** https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/EUvsfbGoVc5BzqjN1FUhfdrZZVs=/0x0:2252x1267/1920x1080/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/56647983/trevormoore.0.jpg Trevor Moore got his start as a camp invite. Christian Bonin | TSGPhoto.com The Leafs had only a few invitees at the rookie event this year, and so far one undrafted defender has been invited to the main camp. Marc-Olivier Trevor Moore got his start as a camp invite.

As far as the Leafs go, the question is why do you need Prust if you have a much more upmarket version in Matt Martin? Many fans might think they should draw in ahead of Roman Polak Nicholas Grima to be invited to the Leafs development camp — report. Maple Leafs trade target: Jeff Skinner.

Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf has no interest in talking about rumours, especially the Roberto Luongo-to-Toronto talk that won’t go away. Besides Scrivens, Marlies forward Matt Frattin is also expected to be at training camp .

3. What will the defence look like?

The top four are set: Morgan Rielly, Ron Hainsey, Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev. Barring a trade, the bottom pair remains a question: Connor Carrick and Martin Marincin are returning; Liljegren is a long-shot but an option; Calle Rosen and Andreas Borgman were signed from Sweden; and Marlies Travis Dermott and Andrew Nielsen might get a call-up.

4. Will Kasperi Kapanen make the team?

Kapanen probably deserves it. He’s fast, can score and kill penalties and looked like he belonged at the end of last season and the playoffs. But he can be sent to the Marlies without waivers, which may be where the Leafs will park him until something opens up at forward.

5. Will the Leafs start the season healthy?

At this time last year, goalie Freddie Andersen was coming off a summertime concussion and role player Nikita Soshnikov never got quite got going, missing camp with a lower-body injury. But the Leafs were by and large healthy, a big reason why they were able to make the playoffs while teams like Buffalo (Jack Eichel) and Tampa Bay (Steven Stamkos) suffered through key injuries.

Daly: NHL can't comment on Lupul's 'Leafs cheat' claim yet .
Joffrey Lupul may have opened up a can of worms. Lupul - still a Toronto Maple Leafs forward, at least on paper - took to Instagram on Sunday to dispel the notion that he's unable to play in the NHL despite reportedly failing his training camp medical, commenting: "Haha failed physical? They (Leafs) cheat, everyone lets them." © James Guillory / USA Today Sports The NHL may now be forced to do some digging of its own."We aren't in a position to comment right now," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN's Darren Dreger on Monday. "That may or may not change when we know more.

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