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11-03-2012, 05:09 AM
  #210
Quarter
Exploding Knees
 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Ontario
Country: Canada
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2016/2017 Season Preview

Despite a strong 11-0-1 finish to the 2015/2016 season that vaulted the Leafs to 4th in the East, Toronto ultimately bowed out to the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs, dropping the series 4-1. It was the 4th straight season that the Northeast Division rivals met in the playoffs, with Toronto winning two of the previous three run-ins (12/13, 14/15).

But with that said and done and a new Stanley Cup champion crowned, the focus shifts towards the upcoming NHL season. Brendan Smith and Jon-Michael Liles found themselves on the short end of the stick this summer as Liles left the city via free agency, while Smith will find himself down with the Marlies to begin this year. Taking their places are veteran Chris Butler and rookie Jesse Blacker.

Up front, the changes are sparse. Deadline acquisition Jakub Voracek will make his return to the Leafs lineup after re-signing with Toronto this past summer. He'll play on the wing with Mikhail Grabovski and long-awaited rookie Hunter Shinkaruk (drafted 2nd overall in 2012, via Anaheim's 1st round pick). The 3rd and final rookie to make their NHL debut this season wearing the blue and white is Brad Ross who will mainly find time on Toronto's 4th line with Jay McClement and Matt Frattin.

However the biggest surprise in Toronto's hockey scene this year will be found with the Marlies. Coming off a 10th place finish in the West last season, the makeup of Toronto's AHL affiliate has changed. The biggest change will be found between the pipes as Eric Comrie and Adam Oulahen will take the reins as the Marlies goaltending duo with a collective 13 games of professional experience under their belts.

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P. Kessel - N. Kadri (81) - J. van Riemsdyk
H. Shinkaruk (70) - M. Grabovski - J. Voracek
R. Clowe - M. Fisher - N. Kulemin
B. Ross - J. McClement - M. Frattin

D. Phaneuf - J. Gardiner
C. Franson - J. Blacker (77)
J. Kindl - C. Butler

J. Reimer
J. Hudacek

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N. Deschamps - M. Grigorenko (72) - N. Gundersen (59)
J. D'Amigo - N. Mackinnon (69) - C. Ashton
R. Hamilton - K. Ericsson (61) - M. Forney
W. Acton - S. Laughton - G. Scott

T. Virkunnen (64) - B. Smith
M. Fraser - J. Mikus
S. Gysbers - M. Kostka

E. Comrie (74)
A. Oulahen (65)


Last edited by Quarter: 11-03-2012 at 05:14 AM.
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