In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs news and rumors, I wanted to see some of the news that emerged as the team prepared to face the St. Louis Blues in the final game of their current four-game road trip. I would also like to congratulate goaltender Jack Campbell on making the NHL All-Star team in his first season as a starter for any team.
Item 1: Jack Campbell selected to NHL All-Star Game
Almost 12 years ago, Dallas Stars drafted young goalie Jack Campbell In the first round (11th pick) of the 2010 NHL draft. However, things didn’t go as planned, and Campbell found himself addicted to hockey failures. And, from what Maple Leafs fans know about Campbell, you can only imagine the depth of the mental anguish he endured when he lost.
Just a few years ago, the promise that prompted the Stars to draft the young player had vanished. Even for Campbell, there were times when he didn’t think he could even make it to the NHL. He’s 30 now; and, in the 2020-21 season, he’s making a breakthrough after becoming a pro backup. Maple Leafs starting goaltender Frederick Andersen was injured and Campbell stepped in. He leads the team.
As the saying goes, the rest is history. On Thursday, at the height of history — at least for this point in his career — Campbell received the NHL All-Star nod. Congrats to him on his outstanding performance this season and being selected to the team.
In his first full season as a starter, Campbell has had success time and time again for his Maple Leafs. The result was a call for an NHL All-Star Game. He will join the Atlantic Division All-Star Game, and his captain will be teammate Auston Matthews.
Project Two: Mickey Manner eager to get back on the ice
Mickey Manner will play tonight Against the Blues in St. Louis.Earlier this week, the 24-year-old Marner was reactivated in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol, and has been with Matthews and Michael Bunting during the meeting. He’ll be part of the Maple Leafs’ frontline and first powerhouse tonight in his usual prominent role.
Marner just left LTIR and then missed his team’s last three after testing positive for COVID-19 and spending time in the NHL’s virus protocol. This isn’t Mana’s strongest season, and he no doubt wants to get back to where he was last season. He has 21 points in 26 games so far this season. It’s unusual that Mana has been far better than a scorer over the past few seasons.
Mana did say he might play at Arizona on Wednesday, but he took the extra time to get up to speed. His timing couldn’t have been better. Just as he was getting ready to return, the Maple Leafs discovered that Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie had tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and were unable to play.
Item 3: Pierre Envall also returns tonight
Pierre Engvall also returned for Friday’s practice after accepting a COVID-19 protocol. After Kas leaves, Engvar will become the third-tier partner of Ilya Mikheev and David Kampf. Engvall seems ready to return tonight. Like Mana, he missed the team’s last three games.
Item 4: Three more maple leaves join the COVID-19 protocol
Friday news from the Maple Leafs are three other players placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Those players are Nick Ritchie, Ondre Keys and Justin Hall.
The Maple Leafs are far from the only NHL team to experience human losses due to COVID-19; however, this team appears to have had a very tough time with COVID-19. I’m now trying to remember who didn’t have the virus. Michael Bunting is the only name I can think of without researching. Apparently, the emergence of COVID this week reminded the team that it had plans of its own.
What’s next for Maple Leafs?
As mentioned in this article, the Maple Leafs will play the Blues tonight in St. Louis. According to David Art’s post-workout tweet, the team will be locking down those lineups for tonight’s game.By the way, Alter is in his post daily confrontation this morning.
Senior Professor (Jim Parsons, Sr.) has taught for over 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He is a Canadian boy with two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing his hockey card and simply being a sports fan – hockey, Toronto Raptors and CFL football (think Ricky Ray is the embodiment of how a professional athlete should behave).
If you’re wondering why he didn’t use his real name, it’s because his son — also Jim Parsons — wrote to hockey writer First and ask Jim Sr. to use another name so readers don’t confuse their work.
Since Jim Sr. worked in China, he adopted Mandarin to mean teacher (teacher). The first character lǎo (old) means “old” and the second character shī (teacher) means “teacher”. The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher”. This became his pen name.Today, except for hockey writer, he teaches graduate research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights on the Toronto Maple Leafs and how sports can be more fully integrated into life. His twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf