September 23 4pm – UPDATE – Toronto Maple Leafs sign Mason Raymond to a One Year Deal
The Toronto Maple Leafs have made it official – Sportsnet Reporter Chris Johnston confirming VIA Twitter that Mason Raymond signed to a one year deal. This confirmed by JP Barry the player’s Agent
Toronto Maple Leafs Top Pairings
The Leafs have great potential up front on the top 3 first line. Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel should start to gel this year with Joffrey Lupul connecting for what could be a stellar year offensively. Nobody on the Toronto Maple Leafs shot the puck more than Phil Kessel in the shortened 48 game season last year – 161 Shots fired on net. With Kessel having trigger happy snapshots, creating traffic in front will be the key to success. Lupul and Bozak being in front of the net to handle the rebounds will lead to some great goals. Defensively this line has some work to do, and in part that coincides with Kessel firing the puck from every angle known to the hockey gods. On the transition this is a line that needs to play defensively if the puck is being given up by Kessel via shot. I am a strong believer that possession in the NHL is half the battle. Offensive Possession = Worn down defensive pairings = Higher Rate of Penalties taken by teams in their own defensive zone. The Cycle with high percentage chances taken from the core of the slot in the offensive zone lead to less pucks being fired around the boards and wide of the net. Just a theory I have regarding loss of possession.
Toronto Maple Leafs – The Checking Line that can create energy and goals.
The line I am most interested in seeing gel and create chances; the third line. In the early stages of what looks like a great opportunity for Mason Raymond to become a Toronto Maple Leaf, the checking line looks like this – Dave Bolland centering Mason Raymond and Nikolai Kulemin.
There is less than a week away before Leafs Nation will see if Mason Raymond can make the roster based on a professional tryout. The speed of Raymond mixed in with Dave Bolland that can fly North and South on the ice and crash the boards for pucks in my opinion will make for a great line. Throw in Nikolai Kulemin in for mix and the young 27-year-old Russian my find his scoring touch again. Many fans are warming up to the idea of Raymond making the team even if at the cost of Joe Colborne being sent the minors. This week should provide some answers to what the final roster will look like. I would like to see Leafs management somehow make room for Mason Raymond. His one ice speed and determination to come back into the NHL will make for a great story. Would love to hear your “Social” thoughts on the Toronto Maple Leafs lines and all things #Leafs