A whole whack of Leafs played huge parts in the pre-season finale victory tonight on home ice over the Detroit Red Wings. In fact, the Blue and White were within minutes of a shutout tonight.
Most of the players involved in the Toronto scoring tonight are guys nobody has ever heard of, unless maybe you are big on CHL and AHL hockey.
John-Michael Liles was the only scorer tonight that we are familiar with. Liles’ salary ($3.785-M) is what has many believing that he may be placed on waivers. He scored tonight on the power play and had a key assist in the third period. The Leafs have Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson,Jake Gardiner, Mark Fraser, Paul Ranger and the recently signed Cody ahead of him, and that’s not even counting prospect Morgan.
Toronto is over the cap ceiling and the roster the team submits Monday at 5 p.m. is expected to have fewer than 23 players.
But in the long term forward Josh Leivo (http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/players/bio/?id=8688) made a nice impression. The 2011 third-round pick( Sudbury-OHL) who is about to embark on his first professional season scored twice Saturday.
Leivo’s first goal was made possible by Franson’s shot from the point. Unlike Liles, Franson knows he will be around Tuesday when the season opens at Montreal. But that was a late-camp development after the 26-year-old signed a one-year, $2-million deal Thursday.The Leafs finished the pre-season 5-2-1.
The Leafs’ pressbox was a little on the full side tonight. Jake Gardiner sat up there with Captain Dion Phaneuf, Jonathan Bernier was up there, Carl Gunnarsson was standing and Tyler Bozak all watched from upstairs.