Led by Robertson, reasons for optimism emanate from Leafs’ draft class of 2019 — Toronto Sun

As it turned out, that the Maple Leafs didn’t have a first-round pick in the National Hockey League draft last year didn’t matter much. Read More

Led by Robertson, reasons for optimism emanNickate from Leafs’ draft class of 2019 — Toronto Sun.

Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby Open To Going Straight To NHL Playoffs — NESN.com

There’s a lot of unknown surrounding what will happen to the rest of the NHL regular season with it being on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak. But two prominent stars wouldn’t mind jumping right into the playoffs if and when the season resumes. Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby joined a video conference call Thursday…

Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby Open To Going Straight To NHL Playoffs — NESN.com

There’s a lot of unknown surrounding what will happen to the rest of the NHL regular season with it being on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak. But two prominent stars wouldn’t mind jumping right into the playoffs if and when the season resumes.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby joined a video conference call Thursday and shared how he felt about the current situation. “You try to get in as many games as you can,” he said, via Pens Inside Scoop’s Sam Kasan. I wouldn’t mind starting right at the playoffs. But there are a lot of guys in different situations. The more games you can play the better integrity of it. Get as many games as you can.”

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin believes beginning the playoffs as as soon as possible is the way to go. “For us it is better for playoffs to start right now. We don’t want to play extra games,” he said, per the Washington Post’s Samantha Pell. “I would rather play playoffs right away. Sorry, guys.” Ovechkin’s Capitals would be guaranteed a playoff spot. But it isn’t as easy for teams like the New York Islanders, who were just outside of the playoff picture when the season paused March 12.

Even though no one can tell what the future holds, commissioner Gary Bettman is optimistic a Stanley Cup champion will be crowned this year.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/03/alex-ovechkin-sidney-crosby-open-to-going-straight-to-nhl-playoffs/

Leafs captain Tavares posts message of support in wake of coronavirus — Toronto Sun

A message of support and encouragement in the wake of the coronavirus came from John Tavares via social media on Wednesday night. Read More

Leafs captain Tavares posts message of support in wake of coronavirus — Toronto Sun.

By Terry Koshan

A message of support and encouragement in the wake of the coronavirus came from John Tavares via social media on Wednesday night.

“To all hockey fans in Toronto & beyond,” the note on Twitter from the Maple Leafs captain started, “let’s all play inside & play for each other.

“With this challenge comes great opportunity to enjoy quality time with family and loved ones. Let’s take care of each other by washing our hands frequently and practicing social distancing.

“To all the healthcare & frontline workers, thank you! Thank you for your courage, determination and hard work to fight this crisis. We are all extremely grateful.

“To Leafs nation, my teammates and I can’t wait until we get the opportunity again to put on our skates, and wear the Maple Leaf on our chest.

“Until then, let’s do everything we can to help each other by staying safe and healthy!”

Tavares’ message was accompanied by a photo of him holding son Jace, who was born last September.

COVID-19: Calgary Flames Foundation donates $1.15 million to support agencies — Calgary Sun

The Calgary Flames Foundation will dole out $1.15 million in donations as part of a COVID-19 community support program. Read More

COVID-19: Calgary Flames Foundation donates $1.15 million to support agencies — Calgary Sun

Salary cap issues could become greater problem for Leafs in wake of coronavirus — Toronto Sun

When the Maple Leafs skated off the ice 11 days ago — it seems more like weeks — after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena, none might have thought they could have just finished their final game as a member of the organization …. Read More

Salary cap issues could become greater problem for Leafs in wake of coronavirus — Toronto Sun.

For the Leafs headed for unrestricted free agency, a group that includes forwards Jason Spezza and Kyle Clifford and defencemen Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci, that the game against Tampa concluded their respective tenures with the Leafs is a clear possibility in the wake of the pandemic.

With the future of the 2019-20 regular season up in the air — and with the status of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs unclear — everything, as the saying goes, is on the table.

There’s no telling yet what the salary cap for the 2020-21 season will amount to once the NHL returns, whenever that may be. The $81.5-million US cap for this season was expected to rise to anywhere between $84 million and $88.2 million, based on numbers being projected at the conclusion of the general managers meetings in Florida two weeks ago.

Among the possibilities is that the cap could remain flat for next season, which could mean some trouble for the Leafs.

The Leafs have in the range of $77 million US committed to 17 players (including goalies Andersen and Jack Campbell) for ’20-21, using data from the web site capfriendly.com. Four restricted free agents with varying degrees of importance — forward Ilya Mikheyev, defenceman Travis Dermott and forwards Frederik Gauthier and Denis Malgin — are going to be looking for new contracts.

more…

Salary cap issues could become greater problem for Leafs in wake of coronavirus — Toronto Sun

Newfoundland Growlers –Leafs’ ECHL farm team –have season ended by COVID-19 — Toronto Sun

Read More: The Maple Leafs’ ECHL championship farm team won’t get a chance to defend its title.

Leafs’ farm team rocked by COVID-19 closure — Toronto Sun

The Maple Leafs’ ECHL championship farm team won’t get a chance to defend its title.

But that’s the least of the problems for management of the Newfoundland Growlers, who had to recall the team from a road trip two time zones away, deal with the cancellation (not just postponement) of its entire season, then test and get its players off The Rock before borders and flights shut down.

“It’s disappointing for our people here, but as we live every day, you see how big (COVID-19) is globally,” Growlers Chief Operating Officer Glenn Stanford told Postmedia on Wednesday. “This is bigger than the sporting world.

“We were in the Toronto area, scheduled to play in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Thursday (March 12), made the decision to stay where we were and were instructed by the league to go home Saturday (on a commercial flight).”

The 26-team league’s board of governors and the Professional Hockey Players Association decided to end the regular season and playoffs that day.

More….

Leafs’ farm team rocked by COVID-19 closure — Toronto Sun

Jets ownership doubles down on decision not to pay casual, part-time staffers — Winnipeg Sun

True North Sports + Entertainment is doubling down on its decision to shun its casual and part-time employees. Read More

Jets ownership doubles down on decision not to pay casual, part-time staffers — Winnipeg Sun

True North Sports + Entertainment is doubling down on its decision to shun its casual and part-time employees.

In a letter obtained by the Winnipeg Sun and sent to the company’s 1,050 casual and part-time staff on Saturday, TNSE reaffirmed its position on not paying its staff for the remaining four NHL games plus affected dates for the American Hockey League’s Manitoba Moose, as well as other events such as concerts that have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The letter, signed by TNSE president and chief operating officer John Olfert, states that “for approximately 97% (of the 1,050 casual and part-time employees who worth at True North venues), income from True North is not their primary source of income.

“For this group, True North shared that the principle of paying employees when shifts are worked will remain,” the letter read.

The letter said for the other 3% of employees who count on the income for their livelihood, “other arrangements have and are being explored.”

The letter does not mention how TNSE arrived at the numbers it did.

It can be read in full here:

Jets ownership doubles down on decision not to pay casual, part-time staffers — Winnipeg Sun